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Shouldn’t Kirk Shelmerdine at least be nominated for the Hall of Fame?

First of all, I’d like to start by congratulating the class of 2018 inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame that was selected yesterday and officially will be inducted into the Hall next January. So congratulations go out from Auto Racing Daily to Red Byron, Robert Yates, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ken Squier on your upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Across the NASCAR fandom on social media, there have been a lot of congratulatory comments regarding the next class, but there’s also been some grumbling surrounding at least one or two who did get in and at least a couple who didn’t. I won’t get into specifics, here.
One absence, not among inductees, but instead, among nominees has me puzzled, though. Before I get into that, I want to stress that I don’t have an issue, whatsoever, with any of the nominees being nominated year-in and year-out. I think they’re all deserving. But there is one name that has been omitted, so far, in the nomination/induction process that I’m surprised has never shown up on the nominee list: Kirk Shelmerdine.
Shelmerdine’s driving career leaves a lot to be desired. He started only 41 races across NASCAR’s three national touring series (Cup, Xfinity and Truck) and never cracked the top-10. Okay, those aren’t even remotely close to Hall of Fame-type stats, but the NASCAR Hall of Fame isn’t just for drivers. I’m thinking Shelmerdine’s stats as a crew chief are beyond Hall of Fame worthy.
Shelmerdine was a crew chief at the Cup level from 1982 until 1992, spending that entire time at Richard Childress Racing and most of that time as crew chief for a NASCAR Hall of Famer — maybe you’ve heard of him — Dale Earnhardt.
No, I don’t think Shelmerdine should be considered for the Hall of Fame merely for being Earnhardt’s crew chief. I’m not finished making my case. I’ll go on.
As Earnhardt’s crew chief, Shelmerdine was the Cup championship crew chief four times in a span of six years — 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991. Together, from the best I can gather, Earnhardt claimed at least 40 of his wins with Shelmerdine atop the pit box.
As mentioned, above, Evernham is one of the individuals to be inducted next year. Yes, Evernham was a car owner in the early 2000s, but I’m guessing he was, at least primarily, chosen for his stats as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief. Evernham won three titles with Gordon, and he’s already set for Hall of Fame induction. Where’s the love for Shelmerdine.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Evernham is more than worthy of his selection for NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. My intention is not to make light of his accomplishments, not in the least. I’m just using his stats as a comparison to argue that Shelmerdine should at least be considered for nomination.
Where’s the love for Shelmerdine?
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on May 25, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,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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