NASCAR Unveils the 2023 Hall of Fame Class


Getty NASCAR has unveiled the latest Hall of Fame class.

The ballots have been submitted, and there are now three new members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Matt Kenseth, Kirk Shelmerdine, and Hershel McGriff have all received the sport’s highest honor.

NASCAR officials unveiled the new class on May 4, ahead of the trip to Darlington Raceway. Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell took the stage and first announced that Mike Helton had received the Landmark Award for his outstanding contributions to the sport. He then introduced the three newest members of the Hall of Fame.

McGriff headlines the class with a racing career that spanned decades. The Oregon native made his Cup Series debut in 1950 with a ninth-place finish in the Southern 500. He then went on to make 85 total starts at the top level of NASCAR while reaching Victory Lane four times during the 1954 season. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

McGriff made the biggest impact on what is now the ARCA Menards Series West. He started 271 races spanning 1954 to 2018, and he made his last start at the age of 90. McGriff won a total of 37 races in the series, including 12 in 1972.

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The induction ceremony for the 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame class will take place ahead of the 2023 season. The three individuals will receive their jackets and join other racing legends on January 20, 2023.

Kenseth Achieved a Considerable Amount In His Career

The 2003 Cup Series champion, Kenseth was one of the sport’s most successful drivers. He competed full-time for 18 seasons and part-time for another four while reaching Victory Lane a total of 39 times.

Kenseth captured some of the biggest races in NASCAR, including four Crown Jewels. He won the Daytona 500 twice, the Southern 500 once, and the Coca-Cola 600 once. He also captured the All-Star Race during the 2004 season. While he only captured one championship, Kenseth made the playoffs in 13 of the 14 seasons, and he finished second in the standings two separate times (2006, 2013).

According to a press release from NASCAR Media, Kenseth received an overwhelming amount of support. He accounted for 69% of the Modern Era votes, and he was one of the three selections from the Fan Vote.

A 4-Time Champion Received the Highest Honor

Kirk Shelmerdine

GettyKirk Shelmerdine practices at Talladega Superspeedway.

Shelmerdine achieved a considerable amount of success during his Hall of Fame career. He served as a crew chief for some of the biggest names in the sport, and he celebrated in Victory Lane 46 times.

Shelmerdine, who received 52% of the Modern Era votes, was instrumental in a dominant run by Dale Earnhardt. He guided The Intimidator to four of his seven Cup Series championships — 1986, 1987, 1990, and 1991.

Once Shelmerdine retired from his role as a crew chief, he took on a different role. He began competing more regularly across the three national NASCAR series, and he made a total of 41 starts. He spent the most time in the Cup Series, including a 2004 season where he started 18 of the 36 races and posted a season-best finish of 37th at Michigan International Speedway.

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