Earnhardt Jr. Among 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees

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NASCAR announced today that three drivers will join the Hall of Fame in 2021: perennial fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour legend the late Mike Stefanik, and late-model champion Red Farmer.

Earnhardt Jr. follows the course of his late father in being a first-ballot Hall of Fame choice. The younger Earnhardt won the Most Popular Driver award a record fifteen times in a row from 2003-2017, even winning in 2016 when he missed the final sixteen races due to a concussion and subsequent recovery time.

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With 26 wins in the sport's premier series, Earnhardt Jr. is considered to be one of the most successful drivers to not win the championship. He won the Daytona 500 twice (2004 and 2014) and won the Xfinity Series Championship (then known as the Busch Series) in 1994 and 1999. He also won four straight times at Talladega Superspeedway, often considered "The House the Earnhardts built."

Earnhardt Jr. retired from full-time racing at the end of 2017, focusing on a new career with NBC Sports. During one of his first races as a commentator, he quickly become a booth favorite when he exclaimed "Slide job!" as Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson raced each other for the win in a heated last-laps battle at Chicagoland Speedway.

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Earnhardt Jr. said he wasn't nervous about the Hall of Fame nominations, but admitted he became emotional when he learned he'd been chosen. He looks forward to the ceremony and everything else that lies ahead with the honor. He received 76 percent of the Modern Era ballot votes.

Mike Stefanik will also be inducted after receiving 49 percent of the Modern Era votes. This was the sixth time that the driver has been on the ballot. Stefanik notably had great success on the Whelen Modified Tour, where he won 74 times and accumulated 301 top-10 finishes.

Stefanik won the Championship seven times, making history in 1997 and 1998 when he won the championship in both the Modified and the K&N Pro Series East division. Stefanik tragically perished in a plane crash in 2019 at the age of 61.

The third driver to be inducted is three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Champion and 1956 Modified Champion Red Farmer. Farmer rose to popularity in the 1960s as a member of the "Alabama Gang" along with Donnie and Bobby Allison. Farmer is now 87 and still actively drives, so he's been racing for a total of 73 years.

Farmer says he still enjoys working on cars and driving them. He's a won a total of 752 races, and says that he just likes driving and doesn't feel the pressure to win anymore. Farmer was nominated on the Pioneer Ballot and received 71 percent of the votes.

The last nominee, NASCAR executive Ralph Seagraves was named the 2021 recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Seagraves was integral in helping cultivate the relationship between NASCAR and longtime title sponsor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

Inductees were chosen by the Hall of Fame Voting Panel who met virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony date will be announced at a later time.
Earnhardt Jr. Among 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees Earnhardt Jr. Among 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees Reviewed by Stephanie Stuart-Landrey on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 Rating: 5