DARLINGTON, S.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Kinser will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame class of 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the induction ceremony will take place concurrently with the Class of 2022 on a date to be announced later.
The inductees’ stories of accomplishment are quite interesting.
Earnhardt Jr. is a third-generation driver, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt and his father, seven-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt. During his 19-year career in the Cup Series, Earnhardt Jr. collected 26 victories (including two Daytona 500 wins), 149 top fives, 260 top 10s and 15 pole positions in 631 starts. He also has 24 Xfinity Series wins along with 70 top fives, 94 top 10s and 10 pole positions.
He has been voted NMPA Most Popular Driver 16 times. He is currently co-owner of JR Motorsports and has won Xfinity Series championships in 2014, 2017 and 2018 with drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron and Tyler Reddick.
Kinser won 20 championships in the World of Outlaws (WOO) Series during a long and successful career. He collected 577 feature victories in World of Outlaws competition as well as a record 12 victories at the Knoxville Nationals, considered the equivalent in the series to NASCAR’s Daytona 500. Kinser logged a record 56 feature wins in 1987, including 46 of 69 World of Outlaw events. All told, he has 755 victories to his credit in Sprint Car competition. Kinser also made five Cup Series starts in 1995 with team owner Kenny Bernstein.
Earnhardt Jr. and Kinser were selected on more than 65 percent of ballots cast by the National Motorsports Press Association membership, the percentage necessary for inclusion in the NMPA Hall of Fame.
The NMPA Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway and has been in operation since 1965.