NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, NC — January 21, 2022
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 got their moment in the spotlight as the sport recognizes three of its shining stars in an emotional gala at the Temple of Stock Car Racing in Charlotte.
From fans cheering as their heroes walked the red carpet in the rotunda of the hall’s “Glory Road,” to Kyle Petty sitting down with inductees prior to their enshrinement to share stories. The evening culminated with the newest members joining the 55 icons already memorialized in the Hall of Honor.
About the Class of 2021
The Class of 2021 is the 12th inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its inception in 2010. It is the first such class with three members instead of five:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: A third-generation NASCAR champion in a family synonymous with the sport, Earnhardt Jr. is among the most popular drivers in NASCAR history. In addition to his 26 Cup Series wins and two Xfinity Series championships, Earnhardt Jr. served as the face of NASCAR for many years with 15 consecutive Most Popular Driver awards.
Red Farmer: Part of the original Alabama Gang, Farmer’s exact win count is unknown — but it’s more than 700 and counting. Named one of the 50 Greatest Drivers in NASCAR’s first 50 years in 1998, Farmer’s immeasurable passion for the sport has kept him racing for decades, even as he approaches 90 years of age.
Mike Stefanik: Atop the list of all-time NASCAR championships with nine sit two men: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, and Mike Stefanik. In 2003, Stefanik was named one of the Modified Tour’s 10 Greatest Drivers, and he holds the all-time series record in wins, poles, top fives, and top 10s.
Additionally, Ralph Seagraves was honored with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Announcer Bob Jenkins was also recognized as the 2021 Squier-Hall Award winner for NASCAR Media Excellence.
The Red Carpet
Mark Martin led off the parade of Hall of Famers in attendance on the Red Carpet. Fans cheered as favorites Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Ray Evernham, and Ron Hornaday Jr. joined the inductees for the photo opportunity.
For additional photos visit https://www.facebook.com/journalist.steve.s.sports.editor.thelascopress/
Prior to the Induction Ceremony
Kyle Petty sat down with the new members of the hall and those who knew them well to hold a series of fireside chats (minus the fire).
Dale Jr.: Rick Hendrick shared that during an economic downturn in the sport crew members were asked to take short-term pay cuts to help sustain the race teams. Dale Jr. came to him and asked that any deductions needing to be taken from his crew be docked from Dale’s salary instead of his teammates.
Red Farmer: Tony Stewart pulled a confession out of Red Farmer. A number of NASCAR personnel are equally enthusiastic about bass fishing and Red seemed to be able to outfish them all. While the pair fished together one day, Tony noticed Red dabbing a mysterious concoction on his bait. Red called it Hueytown Honey, the bold H on the tube revealed it to be Preparation H.
Mike Stefanik: Tragically Mike Stefanik died from injuries suffered in a plane crash in September of 2019. Prior to this year’s ceremony, the Hall of Fame did not invite family members to speak for those inducted posthumously. NASCAR was petitioned to change that policy by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The complete ceremony can be viewed on NBC’s streaming service Peacock.