NASCAR Hall of Fame Welcomes Ricky Rudd, Carl Edwards, Ralph Moody

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NASCAR Hall of Fame Welcomes Rudd, Edwards, MoodyRobert Alexander - Getty Images

The three newest members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame combined to win 56 Cup Series races—but only three “Crown Jewel events”—and no major series championships in 50 combined seasons spanning parts of seven decades. For some cynics, that makes the Class of 2025 perhaps the weakest in the Hall’s 11-year history.

Look a bit deeper, though, and you’ll find overall excellence that doesn’t necessarily show up in stats.

Drivers Ricky Rudd and Carl Edwards, and driver/owner/mechanic Ralph Moody were selected when the 47-person Voting Panel convened at the Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. Rudd and Edwards were selected from the 10-person “Modern Era Ballot” and Moody came from the five-person “Pioneer Era Ballot.” They are the 65th, 66th, and 67th nominees selected since the Hall selected its first class in 2010.


Rudd, from Chesapeake, Va., raced at the Cup level for parts of 33 seasons, from his debut in 1975 to his final race in 2007. He got his 23 victories with owners Richard Childress, Bud Moore, Kenny Bernstein, Rick Hendrick, his own RPH team, and Robert Yates. He won at 13 different venues, with his most significant victory the 1997 Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Carl Edwards was a mainstay in Cup for 13 season, mostly with team owner Jack Roush.Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images

With strong support throughout the Voting Panel’s discussions, “Rooster Rudd” received 87 percent of the Modern Era ballots. Edwards received 52 percent (which determined the second “Modern” winner), followed by Harry Gant, Jeff Burton and Harry Hyde. Moody received 60 percent of the Pioneer ballot votes, with first-time nominee Ray Hendrick finishing second. Modern Era drivers began their career in 1965 and beyond; the Pioneer ballot was for those who began racing anytime before that.

Edwards was a Cup regular for parts of 13 seasons, beginning in 2004 with owner Jack Roush. He raced 11 seasons for Roush before spending his final two with Joe Gibbs. He retired after the 2016 season with 28 Cup victories. He won on 14 tracks, highlighted by the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and that season’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He remains a long-time resident of Columbus, Missouri.

Moody, from New England, was a successful short-track, dirt-track driver in the early to late 1950s. His greatest success came when he teamed up with racer/businessman John Holman to create the formidable Ford-based Holman-Moody Racing Team.

This year’s 15 nominees included 11 drivers from various NASCAR series, three men mostly often remembered as championship-level crew chiefs/mechanics/owner, and one engine-builder.

The Modern Era ballot featured holdovers Rudd, Edwards, Burton, Gant, Hyde, Tim Brewer, Neil Bonnett, plus first-time nominees Jack Sprague, Randy Dorton, and Greg Biffle. The Pioneer ballot featured Moody, Ray Hendrick, Banjo Matthews, Larry Phillips, and Bob Welborn.

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Ralph Moody made his mark in the 1950s.RacingOne - Getty Images

Dr. Dean Sicking, developer of the life-saving SAFER barriers now mandatory at all tracks, won the Landmark Award for his contributions to NASCAR. Also on that ballot were holdovers Alvin Hawkins, Les Richter, Lesa France Kennedy, and newcomer Bob Welborn.

The Hall opened in 2010 with a five-man class chosen from a field of 20 nominees. That inaugural Class of 2011 featured seven-time Cup champions Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, driver/owner Junior Johnson, NASCAR founder Bill France and his son, Bill France Jr. When fans howled that three-time champion and 105-time David Pearson should have gone in before France Jr., the Hall had its first – and most enduring – “snub.”

The Hall continued to accept five a year for the next 10 years. (Pearson was in that second class, along with Ned Jarrett, Lee Petty, Bud Moore, and Bobby Allison). In 2021, the Voting Panel was charged with selecting only three nominees, two from the Modern Era Ballot and one from the Pioneer Era Ballot.

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Dean Sicking, left, made his mark on the safety side of NASCAR with the development of SAFER barriers.Darrell Ingham - Getty Images

Except for 1950 champion Bill Rexford, all 28 eligible Cup Series champions have been welcomed into the Hall. It’s almost a cinch that every active champion eventually will make it: Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney. Retired champions Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick will go in after their three-year waiting period.

On the other hand, … winning the Daytona 500 doesn’t ensure anything. Fifteen eligible Daytona 500 winners – among them A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti – remain on the outside looking in. Three-time winner Denny Hamlin is the only ineligible (until he retires) 500 winner likely to someday get the call.

The latest class will be inducted on Feb. 9, 2025 at the Hall of Fame in the Charlotte Convention Center.