NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Revealed

by Suzanne Halliburton

NASCAR has announced the Hall of Fame Class of 2023, naming Matt Kenseth and Kirk Shelmerdine from the modern era ballot and voting for Hershel McGriff from the pioneer nominees.

NASCAR announced its three selections during an event live-streamed to the public. It brings the number of Hall of Famers to 61.

Kenseth earned his way into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2023 for his legendary career on the track in the 2000s. He won the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series championship, leading the standings for the final 32 weeks of the season. Plus, he twice was runner-up and made the playoffs in 13 of 14 seasons. He also was NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 2000.

Kirk Shelmerdine was Dale Earnhardt’s crew chief. A former driver, Shelmerdine joined Richard Childress racing in 1982 to work with Earnhardt. He helped Earnhardt win the Cup Series in 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991.

Kenseth Top Vote Getter for NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2023

According to NBC Sports, Kenseth received the most votes, appearing on 69 percent of the 61 ballots cast. It was his first time to be eligible for the Hall. Shelmerdine received 52% of the ballots cast.

Harry Hyde finished third in the modern era balloting. Neil Bonnett and Harry Gant ranked fourth and fifth.

This photo from 1987 shows Dale Earnhardt looking over a lap chart with owner Richard Childress (left) and crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine, who was selected to the 2023 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hershel McGriff, who earned his membership via the pioneer ballot, edged out four others for his honor. He was the most popular driver in NASCAR for years. McGriff started in 1950 and winning races through 1986.

In addition to the NASCAR 2023 Inductees to the Hall of Fame, Mike Helton, a senior advisor to NASCAR, earned the Landmark Award. This distinction honors outstanding contributions to the sport. He took over daily operations of NASCAR from the France family in 1999.

Fans also were allowed a collective vote. They voted for Kenseth and Harry Gant from the modern era ballot and A.J. Foyt from the pioneer section.

Meanwhile, 31 percent of the ballots for the pioneer division named McGriff. NBC Sports said Foyt finished second but didn’t provide a voting percentage.

There were 10 men who were nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Class of 2023. And there were five nominees from the pioneer section.

The induction ceremony for the class will be in January 20, 2023. Voting was conducted earlier today in Charlotte, N.C.

If you’re curious, NASCAR kicked off its Hall of Fame with these 2010 inductees — Bill France, Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Junior Johnson.

Each year through 2020, NASCAR selected five people for its Hall of Fame. Then it got really exclusive with only three members per class. The class of 2023 will bring the NASCAR Hall of Fame to 61 members.