History on hold: NASCAR Hall of Fame postpones ceremony to induct Earnhardt Jr., class of 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans will have to wait a while to see the popular NASCAR personality inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that it will postpone the induction ceremony and induction week events for the Class of 2021. The ceremony, which was set to take place Feb. 5, 2021, is now expected to take place in early 2022.

The Class of 2021 consists of Earnhardt Jr., Red Farmer, the late Mike Stefanik and Landmark Award recipient Ralph Seagraves.

According to hall officials, the decision was made in partnership with NASCAR after discussions concerning how to plan and execute one of the sport’s most memorable moments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Without question, the safety of our inductees, our guests and our staff is the highest priority for us,” NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley said in a news release.

“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,” Kelley added.

The annual ceremony typically draws fans, members and visitors from across the country to a variety of special events throughout the week, leading up to the official induction dinner and ceremony.

Officials anticipate announcing the rescheduled date sometime next summer.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently reopened its doors to the public with enhanced safety measures after being closed for six months because of COVID-19 restrictions.