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Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards among 15 nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame 2021 class

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) – NASCAR announced the 15 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2021, introducing the Modern Era and Pioneer Ballots for the first time.

The list includes a total of five first-time NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees -- three on the Modern Era Ballot and two on the Pioneer Ballot.

Six-time Talladega Superspeedway winner and 15-time most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. headlines this year's Modern Era Ballot alongside 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton and 28-time Cup Series winner Carl Edwards.

Three-time Cup champion crew chief Jake Elder and renowned car builder Banjo Matthews join three previous nominees on the Pioneer Ballot, which is designed to honor participants whose careers began more than 60 years ago.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will include two inductees from the list of Modern Era nominees and one Pioneer nominee for a total of three new inductees.

A full list of this year's nominees can be viewed below:

Modern Era Ballot

  • Neil Bonnett, from Hueytown, AL, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including his home track of Talladega Superspeedway in 1980, along with consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories from 1982-83
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr., 26-time NASCAR Cup Series winner, including six at Talladega Superspeedway, 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver & two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion
  • Jeff Burton, won 21 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including the Southern 500 and two Coca-Cola 600s
  • Carl Edwards, winner of 28 NASCAR Cup Series races and 2007 Xfinity Series champion
  • Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including one at Talladega Superspeedway in 1991, along with two Southern 500 victories
  • Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief for Bobby Isaac
  • Larry Phillips, first five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
  • Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
  • Kirk Shelmerdine, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
  • Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Pioneer Ballot

  • Red Farmer, three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion
  • Jake Elder, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
  • Banjo Matthews, built cars that won more than 250 NASCAR Cup Series races and three championships
  • Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR West Series champion
  • Ralph Moody, two-time NASCAR Cup Series owner champion as mechanical genius of Holman-Moody

Landmark Award

  • Mike Helton, named third president of NASCAR in 2000; career included track operator roles at Talladega Superspeedway (President from 1988-93) and Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series superspeedway race
  • Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.
  • Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway
  • Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company