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Drivers to Watch For on the 2025 Hall of Fame Ballot

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is this week, featuring three inductees, Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, and Donnie Allison. Some fans are wondering when their favorite driver will make their way into the Hall of Fame. But what about 2025? Who is next in line to be considered for the highest honor in the sport? Here is our look at a few drivers to watch out for in the next NASCAR Hall of Fame Ballot.

  • According to NASCARhall.com, a driver is eligible for the ballot if they have competed for at least 10 seasons and are retired for at least two seasons. For contributors, they just need to have worked in the sport for 10 years.
  • In terms of specific ballots, the modern-era ballot is for anyone who started their career in the last 60 years, and competitors are eligible for 10 years. Anyone who has been on the modern era ballot for 10 years, or had their career start prior to the last 60 years moves onto the Pioneer Ballot.
  • Fans are always looking for when their favorite driver will join the Hall of Fame ballot. It’s an opportunity to look back on the interesting career of certain drivers.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards is one of five drivers from the most recent ballot that have not made the Hall of Fame, and he has plenty of things working in his favor. Of drivers eligible for the Hall of Fame, Edwards has the most career wins with 28. He also is on NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list.

The problem with Edwards, however, is two-fold. First off, he does not have a Cup Series Championship, which knocks him down a peg. Secondly, when he retired, he completely left the sport for the most part. Generally, drivers who stay in the sport in some capacity tend to get voted in quicker, even if they are down on some driving metrics. Examples include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Buddy Baker, and Benny Parsons.

Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton also was on the most recent ballot and he is on NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list. He has 21 career wins, which is as many wins as Hall of Famers Benny Parsons and Bobby Labonte. Burton also gets contributor points for his career in broadcasting after retiring from driving.

However, Burton has not won a Championship, and he was never a serious threat for one. He also had two long stretches during his career where he did not win a race (2002-2005 and 2009-2013). Without a Championship, that resume could be tough to overcome.

Neil Bonnett

Of any driver left out of the Hall of Fame in 2023, Neil Bonnett may be the most puzzling. He was an 18-time winner, a member of the “Alabama Gang”, one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers, and he had a fruitful career as a broadcaster. He checks a lot of boxes.

He never won a Championship, and he was rarely a serious threat for one, but, he only ran 4 full-time seasons. His case is similar to Donnie Allison, but, Bonnett had more wins and a better winning percentage. Still, he has remained left out of the ballot.

Harry Gant

“Handsome” Harry Gant was also left out despite being on the 2023 ballot. Aside from being on the 75 Greatest Drivers list, Gant won 18 races, and he had 8 top-7 point finishes in 12 full-time seasons. Of those top-7 finishes, 3 of those were in the top-3. Despite never winning a Championship, he was at or near the top consistently.

His issue is similar to both Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards. Gant had some dry spells in his career, particularly 1986-1988 and 1993-1994. After his driving career was done, he stayed around the sport, but, he did not gain much contributors points. His case hinges on his driving career, which is definitely borderline at best.

Ricky Rudd

The last driver left out of the 2023 ballot was Ricky Rudd. Again, a member of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list, but with 23 victories. Rudd’s case can be described in one word, consistency. Between 1981 and 2002, Rudd won in 18 of his 22 seasons, and he finished in the top 10 in points in 18 of his 22 seasons.

However, while his career was solid, was it spectacular enough? He never won a Championship, and 1991 was his best opportunity where he finished a distant 2nd to Dale Earnhardt. Rudd also has only one Crown Jewel win to his credit, the 1997 Brickyard 400.

Geoff Bodine

Geoff Bodine was not on the ballot in 2023, but, he has an interesting case. He won 18 career races, and he was a major part of the genesis of one of NASCAR’s top teams, Hendrick Motorsports. He’s also a member of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list along with being a part of one of NASCAR’s most famous families.

However, Bodine’s career was marked by inconsistency. While he won 18 races, he only finished in the top 10 in points 6 times across 13 full-time seasons. His 1994 season is a prime example, where he won 3 races, but he finished 17th in points. He had high highs, but is that enough for a Hall of Fame induction?

Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle was still left off of the ballot in 2023. While he did run 5 part-time races in 2022, he was retired for 5 seasons before that, so, if Johnson was allowed in, Biffle should be considered too. Biffle won 19 races, and he is also a member of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list.

His issue, similar to Bodine’s, is inconsistency. From his rookie season in 2003 until 2013, he finished in the top-9 in points 6 times, and he finished outside the top-12 5 times. He was either very good or very not good.

Which driver do you hope to see on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2025? Will any of these drivers get their names called to the Hall?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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