Shelmerdine won four premier series championships with Dale Earnhardt in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- Inducted: 2023
- Position:Crew Chief
Champion Crew Chief
Not many reach the pinnacle of their professions as quickly as Kirk 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 from life 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.