NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2025 Most Glaring Omissions: Ray Hendrick, Randy Dorton

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NASCAR Hall of Fame Class Most Glaring OmissionsRacingOne - Getty Images
  • The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2025 was announced Tuesday in Charlotte.

  • Making the cut following a vote of 47 members of the media and NASCAR royalty were Ricky Rudd, Carl Edwards, Ralph Moody and safety pioneer Dean Sicking.

  • Two first-timers on the Hall of Fame ballot who came up short were short-track great Ray Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports master engine builder Randy Dorton.

Victory celebrations in motorsports are savored because they are always outweighed by the numerous disappointments the sport brings to those involved in it.

Those emotions carry over to their retirement years if they find their name on a NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot. For those selected, there is jubilation. For the 12 men and their families who must wait another year to once again be considered by the voting panel, there is heartache.


In Tuesday’s voting at the Charlotte Convention Center, the 47-member panel who met for about three hours in an in-person closed session conducted an energetic debate about the nominees and then voted. No one who was on the ballot for the first time was selected.

On the Pioneer ballot, that was Ray Hendrick, who possesses more than 700 Modified and Late Model Sportsman victories, and Bob Welborn, three-time Convertible Series champion.

On the Modern Era ballot, that statistic applied to Greg Biffle, the first driver to win championships in the Xfinity and Truck series, three-time Truck series champion Jack Sprague, and Randy Dorton, who was the head engine builder at Hendrick Motorsports before losing his life in the Hendrick plane crash on Oct. 24, 2004, while enroute to Martinsville, Va., for a race.

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A strong case could be made for former Truck Series and Xfinity champ Greg Biffle.Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Other nominees on the Modern Day ballot who must wait another year to see if they are selected are former drivers Neil Bonnett, Jeff Burton, Harry Gant, and former crew chiefs Tim Brewer and Harry Hyde.

A few people have been voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame the first year they are on the ballot, but it’s rare. Perhaps Dorton and Ray Hendrick (no relation to NASCAR Cup owner Rick Hendrick) not getting into the NASCAR Hall of Fame the first year each man was on the ballot were the biggest surprises.

With Hendrick Motorsports celebrating its 40th year in the sport this season, Dorton played an instrumental role in the organization. His statistics show nine championships—five in the Cup Series, one Xfinity and three in truck. Engines built by Dorton won 136 national series races. At the helm of Hendrick’s engine department until his death, he was instrumental in the organization’s three Daytona 500, six Coca-Cola 600, four Brickyard 400, seven Southern 500, and five NASCAR All-Star victories.

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Randy Dorton was one of the keys behind the scenes to some of Jeff Gordon’s greatest seasons at Hendrick Motorsports.David Madison - Getty Images

While Ray Hendrick won the Pioneer ballot fan vote on, he finished second to Ralph Moody in Tuesday’s panel vote. Those who have worked for years to get the driver known as “Mr. Modified” elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame succeeded in getting Hendrick on the Pioneer ballot this year. It’s difficult to understand why it took this long to get him on the ballot. From 1950-88, he won more than 700 Modified and Late Model Sportsman races. He won five track championships at South Boston Speedway and finished in the top 10 in NASCAR’s Modified Division nine times from 1960-69.

Immediately after the NASCAR Hall of Fame selections are announced, if you aren’t selected, just knowing your name is on the ballot isn’t consoling. However, just like when you lose a race you know there’s another one next week, such is the case with the NASCAR Hall of Fame. There’s another ballot cast next year.