NASCAR Cup Series
Carl Edwards, Ricky Rudd voted into NASCAR Hall of Fame
NASCAR Cup Series

Carl Edwards, Ricky Rudd voted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

Updated May. 21, 2024 7:27 p.m. ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ricky Rudd's eighth time on the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot proved to be the charm.

And deservedly so.

Rudd, considered one of the toughest drivers ever and who once started 788 consecutive races (a record until Jeff Gordon broke it in 2015), earned 23 Cup wins driving for a variety of teams, including his own, from 1975-2007.  One of the 10 nominees on the Modern Era ballot, he was on 87 percent of the 48 ballots cast during voting Tuesday as the committee showed consensus that his career was Hall of Fame-worthy.


"I've kind of learned to be numb to the fact — I don't have my expectations set very high," Rudd said after his selection. "All of a sudden, to get an unbelievable call, it's not even real to get this call because I worked so hard to black it out. I didn't think it was going to happen."

Carl Edwards, winner of 28 Cup races in a 13-year Cup career when he abruptly retired after the 2016 season, earned the other Modern Era spot in the 2025 Hall of Fame Class as he received 52 percent of the votes. Team owner Ralph Moody earned the one Pioneer Era spot with 60 percent of the vote as panelists chose among five nominees.

The panel — made up of NASCAR executives, former drivers, the current Cup champion, media and others involved in the sport — pretty much got the selections right.

Edwards and Rudd were the clear choices in the Modern Era ballot. Edwards had the most wins of any of the drivers on the ballot, and Rudd's combination of victories and longevity (his 906 Cup starts ranks second all-time behind Richard Petty) put him above the rest. They were both on my ballot. Harry Gant finished third in the Modern Era voting, followed by Jeff Burton and Harry Hyde. 

Ray Hendrick was second in the Pioneer voting, and he was the one I put on my ballot. Hendrick (no relation to Rick Hendrick) had a 38-year career racing mostly on the East Coast in both the modified and late model sportsman divisions from 1950-88. He was a star with more than 700 wins.

Hendrick was arguably the most accomplished driver among the Pioneer nominees, although Midwesterners would argue that Larry Phillips was even more accomplished. Hendrick did occasionally compete in Cup events and was a threat with six top-10s in 17 starts.

Moody was considered the mechanical guru of the Holman-Moody organization, and his cars won 94 races from 1957-1973. He certainly was one of the top owners in the sport during that time and is deserving of the honor, but I felt Hendrick and Phillips, as accomplished drivers, ranked higher in that group. 

The 2025 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction is set for Feb. 7. 

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


Get more from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more