Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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Matt Kenseth, Hershel McGriff and Kirk Shelmerdine Named as 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class

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Matt Kenseth NASCAR Hall of Fame 2023
Matt Kenseth, along with Kirk Shelmerdine and Hershel McGriff were named as the 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images

A new NASCAR Hall of Fame Class has been announced, NASCAR Cup Series champion driver Matt Kenseth, championship crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine and Hershel McGriff will make up the 2023 class.

NASCAR officially announced the new list of competitors to be enshrined in the Hall in an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday afternoon.

Kenseth, 50, was a 39-time winner in NASCAR Cup Series competition, and he captured the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Additionally, Kenseth was a two-time Daytona 500 champion and he took home the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors.

The Wisconsin-native also racked up 29 wins in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition throughout the course of his career.

Kenseth earned 69% of the modern era ballot votes, most of anyone up for the honor, which is what secured his place in the hall.

Shelmerdine, 64, served as the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt during some of his prime years at Richard Childress Racing. Over the course of a career, that spanned 460 starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series, Shelmerdine snagged a total of 46 victories and four championships.

After leaving the pit box, following the 1992 season, Shelmerdine chased a budding career as a race car driver himself. Shelmerdine made 26 starts in NASCAR Cup Series competition as a driver, as well as 13 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Shelmerdine received 52% of the modern era ballot votes, which was second most of anyone on the ballot.

McGriff, 94, competed part-time as a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series over 29 years. In 87-career starts, McGriff recorded four NASCAR Cup Series wins and he finished sixth in the championship standings in the 1954 season.

Additionally, McGriff strung together 34 wins in his career in the series that became the ARCA Menards Series West. McGriff stayed active in NASCAR racing for an incredible 68 years, as he ran his first competitive race in the 1950 NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500 and he ran his last NASCAR event at Tucson Speedway in the West Series in 2018.

McGriff, who received 31% of the Pioneer Ballot votes, was the highest person in the running in the Pioneer Ballot.

Fan votes, cast on NASCAR.com, make up a portion of the Hall of Fame voting. Kenseth and Harry Gant were the two highest modern era Hall of Fame nominees on the fan vote, while A.J. Foyt was the fan vote for the Pioneer Ballot.

Joining the 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class with the prestigious Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR is Mike Helton.

Helton has been fully integrated in the sport of NASCAR for nearly five decades. In 2000, Helton was named NASCAR President. Helton was a key cog in the sport adding measures to improve safety in the early 2000s.

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Toby Christie
Toby Christiehttps://tobychristie.com
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of TobyChristie.com. Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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