Gordon headlines 2019 Hall nominees

Jeff Gordon, Harry Gant, John Holman, Ralph Moody and Kirk Shelmerdine are the five new nominees that round out the list of nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

The list of 20 – it includes 15 names that were on last year’s ballot – was announced Tuesday on NBCSN’s NASCAR America program.

Gordon and Gant are well-known – Gordon has been retired from driving for only a couple of years and he’s in the booth these days during the FOX portion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

A four-time series champ, Gordon won 93 races – third overall. He’ll be one of the five selected for induction early next year when the voting panel meets in May of this year. I don’t think he will be a unanimous choice however. Not because he isn’t deserving but having been in the room as a voting member from the beginning, I know how the process works.

There has not been a unanimous selection since the process began – Richard Petty was not a unanimous choice, nor were Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson or William H.G. France, the founder of NASCAR.

Gant became known as Mr. September when he won four consecutive premier series races in the fall of 1991. He finished his career with 18 victories in Cup, and from 1981-85 he finished in the top five in points four times. He was fourth in points in ’91-92 as well.

He was of the best Sportsman racers in the Carolinas during his prime and won 21 times in the XFINITY Series.

If you’ve ever heard folks mention Holman-Moody, that’s John Holman and Ralph Moody. The premier Ford factory organization during the late 1950s and ’60s, the team was still winning races in the early ’70s.

They are credited with two championships, both with driver David Pearson (1968-69) and more than 90 wins.

Shelmerdine scored 46 wins as a crew chief, 44 with Earnhardt and two with Ricky Rudd. Four of Earnhardt’s titles with team owner Richard Childress (1986-87 & ’90-91) came with Shelmerdine atop the pit box.

Those five join returning nominees Buddy Baker, Davey Allison, Ray Fox, Red Farmer, Joe Gibbs, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Bobby Labonte, Herschel McGriff, Roger Penske, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik and Waddell Wilson.

Returning nominees for the Landmark award are Janet Guthrie, Alvin Hawkins and Ralph Seagraves. Joining that group are Barney Hall and Jim Hunter.

The inductees for the 2019 class will be announced, Wed., May 23.

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