By Bob Priddy, Contributing Editor
(NASCAR)—Retired Columbia racing driver Carl Edwards was not among the three new members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced today. This was the first year Edwards was listed among the nominees.
Elected on the Modern Era Ballot were Dale Earnhardt Junior and Mike Stefanik. Farmer was named on the Pioneer Ballot. This was the first year the Hall put a limit of three on new members.
Edwards was one of 15 nominees. He won 28 Cup races and the championship in what was then known as the Busch Series before leaving racing after the 2016 season.
Also failing—again—was Larry Phillips, the legendary driver who dominated tracks in southwest Missouri for decades and was NASCAR’s first five-time national champion in the weekend series.
Earnhardt was the most popular driver in NASCAR fifteen years in a row. Farmer, who still races in his 80s, drove his first race in 1948 and is thought to have won about 750 races at all levels. He was picked on the Pioneer ballot. Stefanik, who was a terror in the Whelen Modified Series and in the NASCAR East Series racked up nine titles in those series. .
The Landmark Award went to Ralph Seagraves who, as an executive with R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, forged a long-lasting sponsorship of the Winston Cup as the championship award at NASCAR’s highest level of competition.