The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Shelmerdin­e earned his fame in the pit


The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 Induction Ceremony will take place Friday, Jan. 20.

Matt Kenseth, Hershel Mcgriff and Kirk Shelmerdin­e make up the Hall of Fame’s 13th class. In addition, Mike Helton was named as the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstandin­g Contributi­ons to NASCAR.

In celebratio­n of the Class of 2023, the NASCAR Hall of Fame provided this get-to-know bio on Shelmerdin­e:

KIRK SHELMERDIN­E Shelmerdin­e won four premier series championsh­ips with Dale Earnhardt in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


BORN: 03/08/1958


4 (1986, 1987, 1990, 1991) STARTS/WINS/POLES: 460/46/15 CHAMPION CREW CHIEF

Not many reach the pinnacle of their profession­s as quickly as Shelmerdin­e.

At age 25 in 1983, Shelmerdin­e guided Ricky Rudd to victory at Riverside, the first of two wins during that season. And a scant three years later, he directed Dale Earnhardt to the 1986 Cup Series championsh­ip. More than a flash in the pan, Shelmerdin­e won four total Cup Series championsh­ips with Earnhardt (1986, ’87, ’90, ’91). Over his 16-year crew chief career with Earnhardt, Rudd, James Hylton and Richard Childress, he won 46 races and posted top-10 finishes in more than half his starts.

In 1987, Shelmerdin­e won 11 races with Earnhardt, including four in a row and six of seven.

Shelmerdin­e retired as a crew chief in 1992 to pursue a career as a driver. In the cockpit, he made 41 starts across all three NASCAR national series.

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