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Nate Ryan’s ballot for the 2023 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Jeff Burton, Marty Snider, and Nate Ryan review the resumes of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2023, including Matt Kenseth, Mike Helton, Kirk Shelmerdine, and Hershel McGriff.

Nate Ryan cast a ballot May 4 for the NASCAR Hall of Fame as NBC Sports’ digital representative.

It’s the 13th consecutive class voted on by Ryan, who is one of 63 members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel (including one online vote determined by fans). There was no vote held in 2021 because the induction of the class that was selected in June 16, 2020 voting was delayed until Jan. 21, 2022.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame voting process is on its second iteration. From 2010-20, the five highest vote-getters were inducted from a list of 20 to 25 nominees.

For the past two votes the ballot has consisted of two categories: Modern Era (10 nominees) and Pioneer (five nominees). Two inductees are chosen from the Modern Era ballot and one from Pioneer (members of the voting panel each vote for two Modern Era candidates and one Pioneer candidate).

Here is the Nate Ryan ballot for the 13th class (followed by his ballot for each of the preceding 12 classes, which included six at USA TODAY Sports):


  1. Matt Kenseth: The 2003 Cup Series champion also was a “Triple Crown” winner with two Daytona 500 victories (2009, ’12), the 2013 Southern 500 and the 2000 Coca-Cola 600. The Cambridge, Wisconsin native scored 39 victories in NASCAR’s premier series (ranking 21st all-time) and notched 331 top 10s (17th all-time) in 47 percent of his 697 career starts in stints with Roush Fenway Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. Kenseth also made the playoffs in 13 of his final 14 full-time seasons while finishing in the top five of the Cup points standings seven times over an 18-year span. His 182 top fives rank 22nd all-time.
  2. Kirk Shelmerdine: Four-time champion crew chief for Dale Earnhardt (1986-87, ’90-91). As a crew chief, he guided teams to 46 Cup victories and 15 pole positions in 460 starts from 1977-92. Pursued a driving career after retiring as a crew chief, scoring three ARCA victories and finishing 20th in the 2006 Daytona 500.


  1. Hershel McGriff: He enjoyed the longest career in NASCAR history, starting with driving an Oldsmobile nearly 2,500 miles from his Oregon home to Darlington, South Carolina, to race the car in the inaugural Southern 500 in 1950. The 1986 NASCAR West champion won four times in NASCAR’s premier series (all in 1954) and was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998. McGriff, 94, competed regularly into his mid-70s and retired after a May 2018 start at Tucson Speedway.

Landmark Award

Janet Guthrie. She finished 15th in the 1976 World 600 in her Cup debut and also was the first woman in the Daytona 500 in 1977. She became the first woman to lead a lap in Cup at Ontario Motor Speedway in October 1977.

NASCAR Hall of Fame ballots for Nate Ryan

2010: Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Bill France Jr.

2011: Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty

2012: Waltrip, Yarborough, Dale Inman, Raymond Parks, Curtis Turner

2013: Fireball Roberts, Turner, Fred Lorenzen, Herb Thomas, Tim Flock

2014: Roberts, Turner, Lorenzen, Flock, Joe Weatherly

2015: Lorenzen, Turner, Weatherly, O. Bruton Smith, Rick Hendrick

2016: Turner, Smith, Hendrick, Ray Evernham, Bobby Isaac

2017: Hendrick, Evernham, Benny Parsons, Parks, Red Byron

2018: Evernham, Byron, Robert Yates, Alan Kulwicki, Buddy Baker

2019: Jeff Gordon, Kulwicki, Baker, Davey Allison, Jack Roush

2020: Tony Stewart, Baker, Waddell Wilson, Joe Gibbs

2022: Kirk Shelmerdine, Dale Jr. (Modern Era); Jake Elder (Pioneer).

2023: Matt Kenseth, Kirk Shelmerdine (Modern Era); Hershel McGriff (Pioneer).


2015: Raymond Parks

2016: Raymond Parks

2017: Raymond Parks

2018: Ralph Seagraves

2019: Jim Hunter

2020: Ralph Seagraves

2021: Janet Guthrie

2023: Janet Guthrie