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NASCAR Hall of Fame finally inducts 2021 class

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – JANUARY 21: NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaksduring the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 21, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT


The 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame class of inductees that includes Dale Earnhardt Jr, Red Farmer and Mike Stefanik finally was inducted into the Hall Friday night in Uptown Charlotte. The class originally was scheduled for induction in early February of last year, but that ceremony was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Earnhardt headlined the latest induction ceremony as the only driver among the three with the NASCAR Cup Series featured significantly on his resume.


“To join Dad in the Hall of Fame is probably as good as it’s going to get,” Earnhardt said. His father, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2010.

Earnhardt raced full-time in NASCAR’s top series between 2000 and 2017 after winning back-to-back NASCAR Xfinity (then-Busch) Series championships in 1998 and 1999.


Earnhardt won 26 races in the Cup Series, driving first for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and then Hendrick Motorsports. Those wins include two Daytona 500 victories in 2004 and 2014. He also was voted the series’ Most Popular Driver 15-consecutive seasons.


Earnhardt remains active in NASCAR as owner of Xfinity Series team JR Motorsports and broadcaster for NBC Sports. As an Xfinity Series team owner, Earnhardt has three series championships and 47 race wins. He continues to contest one Xfinity Series race as a driver each season.


The 2021 Hall of Fame class was the first with only three inductees, down from five, and the first divided into two categories, modern era and pioneer. Stefanik also was on the modern-era ballot and Farmer on the pioneer.


The late Stefanik was a nine-time NASCAR champion, matching the title tally of Hall of Famer and modified legend Richie Evans. Stefanik’s titles came on the When Modified Tour and the NASCAR East Series.


Stefanik has the distinction of holding records for the most championships (seven), race wins (74), top-fives, top-10s and poles on the Whelen Modified Tour.
Stefanik also raced in the Xfinity and NASCAR Truck Series. He was the Truck Series Rookie-of-the-Year in 1999.


Stefanik died in a plane crash in 2019.


Farmer, who continues to race at the age of 89, is an original member of the famed Alabama Gang that also included NASCAR Hall of Fame members Bobby Allison and Davey Allison.


“It’s something that gets in your blood, and you can’t get it out,” Farmer said.

Farmer was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. His racing resume includes only 36 Cup Series races between 1953 and 1975, but he won three-consecutive championships in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division, the forerunner of the Xfinity Series, between 1969 and 1971 and a modified title in 1956.


Farmer’s wins tally across all racing series is unknown but is assumed to exceed 700.


Also recognized during Friday night’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony were the late racing announcer Bob Jenkins with the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence and late R.J. Reynolds executive Ralph Seagraves with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Seagraves was instrumental in bringing the iconic Winston sponsorship to NASCAR in the early 1970s.


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Posted by on January 22, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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