Home Sports Carl Edwards and Ricky Rudd elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame

Carl Edwards and Ricky Rudd elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame

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HAMPTON, GA - MARCH 3: Former NASCAR driver Carl Edwards looks on during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 3, 2017 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards is headed to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards and Ricky Rudd are two of the newest members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Edwards and Rudd were among the class of three people elected to the NASCAR Hall on Wednesday. The two former drivers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2025 along with car owner Ralph Moody. Dean Sicking, the creator of the SAFER barrier for concrete walls, has received the Landmark Award.

Edwards won 28 races in 445 Cup Series starts from 2004 to 2016. He finished second in the points standings twice and was on the verge of a Cup Series title in his final season before being involved in a accident at the end of the race.

The Missouri native won nine races in 2008, but finished 69 points behind Jimmie Johnson for the Cup title. In 2011, Edwards was a key player in the best postseason in NASCAR history when he and Tony Stewart battled in duel for the title. Stewart won the final race of the season (his fifth win in 10 playoff races) and the two drivers finished tied in the points standings. Stewart won the title because he finished the season with five wins to Edwards’ one.

Edwards failed to win the title that season despite finishing second in each of the final three races of the season and finishing no worse than 11th in any of the final 10 races of the season. The drama surrounding the championship battle between Edwards and Stewart that season is a big reason why NASCAR moved to a multi-round playoff format with eliminations in 2014.

In 2016, Edwards reached the final round of the playoffs and was in position to win the Cup title with less than 20 laps remaining. But a warning for a car dropping debris caused a late restart of the race and Edwards was eliminated in a crash as he attempted to block a move by Joey Logano.

Edwards abruptly retired after that season and has not raced in a single NASCAR race since.

Rudd won 23 races over 33 years in Cup. He set a Cup Series record with 788 consecutive starts before Jeff Gordon broke that record in 2015.

Rudd won races in 18 seasons and never had a season with more than two wins. His best season came in 1991, when he finished second in the standings behind Dale Earnhardt. After driving for Rick Hendrick and other car owners, Rudd spent most of the 1990s driving for his own team before joining Yates Racing and Wood Brothers in the 2000s.

Moody, a World War II veteran, won five Cup Series races in the 1950s before partnering with John Holman to run Holman-Moody Racing. David Pearson won the 1968 and 1969 Cup titles driving for the Moody’s team and Mario Andretti won the Daytona 500 the previous year driving a Holman-Moody car. In total, drivers with Holman-Moody equipment won 96 races in 524 starts.

Moody was elected to the Hall of Fame via the Pioneer Ballot, while Edwards and Rudd were elected as 2025 Modern Era inductees.

Sicking’s honor is well deserved given the safety advances racing has made with the SAFER barrier. The barrier is double-walled with energy-absorbing foam blocks in the middle to help absorb high-speed impacts. SAFER barriers are mandatory at all tracks that host NASCAR races.

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