Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads a list of 15 nominees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2021. The list announced Tuesday includes 10 nominees from the sports modern era, and five who were in the sport more than 60 years ago.
Earnhardt won 26 races in the top-level NASCAR Cup series during his career and was the sport's most popular driver 15 times. Also nominated were 21-time winner Jeff Burton and 28-time winner Carl Edwards. Nominees from the sport's early years included crew chief Jake Elder and car builder Banjo Matthews.
Three inductees will be announced in May by the Charlotte-based NASCAR Hall of Fame. Here's a list of this year's nominees:
Modern Era Ballot
- Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories
- Jeff Burton, won 21 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including the Southern 500 and two Coca-Cola 600s
- Dale Earnhardt Jr., 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver and two-time Xfinity Series champion
- Carl Edwards, winner of 28 NASCAR Cup Series races and 2007 Xfinity Series champion
- Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories
- Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief
- Larry Phillips, first five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
- Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
- Kirk Shelmerdine, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
- Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
- Jake Elder, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
- Red Farmer, three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion
- Banjo Matthews, built cars that won more than 250 NASCAR Cup Series races and three championships
- Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR West Series champion
- Ralph Moody, two-time NASCAR Cup Series owner champion as mechanical genius of Holman-Moody
- Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series superspeedway race
- Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.
- Mike Helton, named third president of NASCAR in 2000; career included track operator roles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway
- Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway
- Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.