A few days after the induction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, the Hall announced new changes to the nomination and voting process going forward on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
When all is said and done, three people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021 — two from a so-called modern era ballot and one from a pioneer ballot.
The current nomination committee, found listed here, will select 10 nominees. These nominees will make up the modern era ballot. A new separate honors committee, “largely composed of all living Hall of Famers, Landmark Award winners and Squier-Hall Award winners” will select five additional nominees that will make up the pioneer ballot.
After the nominations, the voting panel will meet on May 20, the Wednesday before the NASCAR All-Star Race, and ultimately vote for three nominees. After the votes are tallied, the top two modern era nominees and the top pioneer nominee will be selected as the three-inductee 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
“When we opened the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, we had to catch up on more than 60 years of NASCAR history,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps told NASCAR.com. “Our plan has always been to evaluate the process as the Hall of Fame matured. With 55 of the sport’s greatest competitors enshrined, we felt the time was right to move to three inductees, which will help maintain the high standard of enshrinement that’s been set.”
Potential nominees are eligible to be on the pioneer ballot if they have started their career more than 60 years prior to the induction class (the 2021 ballot cut-off will be for people beginning their career in 1960 or earlier), or if they have been on the modern era ballot for a decade or longer.
The requirements to be selected as a Hall of Fame nominee remain the same, with one exception: crew chiefs must now be retired for two years or longer. This closes a loophole where, say, Chad Knaus could have retired after the 2020 season and be voted into the 2022 class six months later.
Twelve members of the Honors committee will also now serve on the voting panel, adding seven new members to said panel.