NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 announced
It’s a new year, and 2020 has had many changes throughout the sports world. The NASCAR Hall of Fame isn’t changing, but the format for which nominees are selected has been a little tweaked. Today marked the announcement of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class. For a system that normally, selected five members each year, it has dropped to just three. In two different categories, the Pioneer Era and the Modern Era. This year’s class has plenty of history and even though there were plenty more deserving nominees, the voters got it right. Here’s a look at the three-member class, and the 2021 Landmark Award Winner.
The Alabama Gang has another Hall of Famer
In the Pioneer Era, there were five deserving candidates, but no offense to the others, Red Farmer stands out. Farmer one of the founding members of NASCAR’s historic Alabama Gang has finally earned his spot at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. A four-time regional champion in the early days of NASCAR, Farmer’s racing career, is still growing to this day. His Cup Series career, may not be what the other members of the Alabama Gang, had, but Red Farmer is a well-deserving choice from the Pioneer Era.
A Nine-Time NASCAR Champion
Your probably thinking, the most Cup Series Championships won is seven, by three different drivers. The late Mike Stefanik stands out as one of the greatest racers period. He might not have reached NASCAR’s top level, but Stefanik’s nine total NASCAR championships made him worthy of this great honor. Seven of those championships came in the Whelen Modified Tour. The other two came in the ARCA Menards East series (in his day the Busch North Series. Adding in a Rookie of the Year award in the Truck Series in 1999 didn’t hurt his cause. After just missing out in 2020, Stefanik takes his place with NASCAR’s greatest.
NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Takes his place
There have been plenty of deserving drivers and crew chiefs and even owners over the years, but when your last name is Earnhardt, you stand out. That can be said about third-generation superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale joins his father Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His credentials might not show a cup championship, but “Little E” had plenty of impactful moments in the sport. His 26 career cup wins including two Daytona 500 victories (2004, 2014), along with two Xfinity Series Championships, are enough alone for this great honor. Who can forget that he is a record 15-time Most Popular Driver. He hasn’t stopped there with a broadcasting career and being a multi-time Championship Owner in the Xfinity Series. Dale Jr, might not have the Cup titles like his Dad, but he is deserving as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
NASCAR 2021 Landmark Award Winner
The Landmark Award goes to a person who has given outstanding contributions to NASCAR. The 2021 winner, is Ralph Seagraves, who arguably got NASCAR to what it has become today. Without his actions, the NASCAR Cup Series, might not exist. Seagraves, marketing chief for R.J. Reynolds, helped lift the sport during the Winston Cup era. He helped form the groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership. That sponsorship brought about the change from all the short tracks, to much larger tracks across the country. Seagraves had a major role in helping drivers secure sponsorship in his time working with NASCAR.