The 20 driver class for the 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame was announced on Wednesday as the biggest story wasn’t about who’s on the list, but rather, who’s not. Kirk Shelmerdine was previously on the ballot in past years, but this one, he was left off. Shelmerdine, was best known for being a championship winning crew chief for Dale Earnhardt. See, Shelmerdine helped Earnhardt to four of his seven Cup championships (1986, 1987, 1990, 1991) and 46 of his 76 wins. He also helped Earnhardt to 142 top five finishes and 246 top 10’s in their tenure together too. Without Shelmerdine, Earnhardt only won 30 races and three titles.
It’s not like crew chiefs aren’t elected into the Hall anyways. Richard Petty’s longtime crew chief Dale Inman is in. Jeff Gordon’s crew chief Ray Evernham is in. Why can’t Earnhardt’s? Petty, Earnhardt and Gordon are listed as the top drivers to ever come through NASCAR. Why are 2 of their three crew chiefs in?
Not only is he not elected, he was taken off the ballot now.
That’s a shame.
Same goes for Carl Edwards. This was the first year he was eligible. He wasn’t even listed either.
Edwards, has 28 wins and 223 top 10 finishes in NASCAR’s premiere series. He’s won the All-Star race, the Coca-Cola 600 as well as the Southern 500. He finished in the top five in the final standings six of his 11 years including being runner-up twice (2008, 2011). In fact, his final two years in NASCAR he finished fifth and fourth respectively in the final standings.
On top of that, Edwards is a 38 race winner in the XFINITY Series including being the 2007 series champion. He’s also won six times in the Truck Series as he’s won of only a handful of drivers to have won in all three NASCAR divisions.
How was a driver of that caliber not on the ballot? Yes, I get that he has never won a championship or even a Daytona 500, but the rest of his resume is worthy.