Dim the lights.
The latest spotlight on track to shine down on Mooresville’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have to wait.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced earlier this week that it will postpone the Induction Ceremony and Induction Week events for the Class of 2021.
Earnhardt Jr. is among three inductees comprising the incoming class, joining Red Farmer and the late Mike Stefanik. Also, Ralph Seagraves is on tap to be the recipient of the Landmark Award. All now will have to wait their turn.
The decision was made in partnership with NASCAR after thorough and thoughtful conversations regarding how best to plan and execute one of the sport’s most cherished moments while facing the ongoing uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Induction Ceremony, which was initially set to take place on Feb.5, 2021, is now anticipated for early 2022.
"Without question, the safety of our inductees, our guests and our staff is the highest priority for us," said Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director. "The ongoing public health crisis prohibits our ability to plan for and celebrate these honorees' landmark achievements as originally scheduled to the fullest extent – with their families, friends and fans present – and in a manner that’s representative of their incredible accomplishments in NASCAR and their contributions to the sport."
The celebration annually draws fans, members and visitors from across the country to a variety of special events throughout the week at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, leading up to the official Induction Dinner and Ceremony.
In addition to class Inductees and the Landmark Award recipient, the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence is also recognized during the week’s events.
It is anticipated that the new date for the Class of 2021 Induction Ceremony and Induction Week events will be announced sometime in summer 2021. In addition, events celebrating both the class of 2020 and 2021 are hopeful for later in 2021.
The Class of 2020 exhibit in the museum’s Hall of Honor will remain on display until the Class of 2021 is enshrined in 2022. The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently reopened its doors to the public with enhanced safety measures following six months of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In a somewhat related move, the Mooresville-based North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, located inside Lakeside Business Park, previously announced that it was also cancelling this year’s induction ceremony.
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