MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAMES / MUSEUMS 2002-2004 NEWS ARCHIVE
for links to Hall of Fames, Auto Racing Museum's and past HOF news
see my Hall of Fame Links page
- Racing museum in Winston-Salem to honor Reynolds/Winston: Another stock-car racing museum is moving closer to reality. This one, to be located in Winston-Salem [NC], will chronicle R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s 33-year Winston cigarette sponsorship of NASCAR's premier series. The run ended at the end of 2003 when Reynolds withdrew and was replaced by Nextel. The museum is the undertaking of Winston-Salem businessman Will Spencer, whose company produced show cars, banners and other Winston Cup promotional material for RJR and now is doing the same for Cup sponsor Nextel. Spencer has been working on the project for two years. He originally hoped to have the museum open this year but is now shooting for a debut in May just before the all-star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The museum is to be housed in a 12,000-square foot building that Spencer said he bought from the city of Winston-Salem and originally housed an auto dealership. Displays will feature 24 cars from among a collection Spencer acquired while producing show cars for Reynolds and race teams. In addition to Winston show cars, the collection includes one Dale Earnhardt car from Richard Childress Racing, cars driven by Michael Waltrip for the Wood Brothers, one car driven by Darrell Waltrip, Camel and Winston sponsored cars driven by Jimmy Spencer and the car driven by Matt Kenseth on his victory lap after winning the 2003 championship. One wall will be covered by a mural 250-feet long by 50-feet high that recounts the history of Winston's involvement in the sport. Also displayed will be banners and other Winston Cup materials, a tribute to Winston Cup champions and driver's uniforms. A glimpse at the collection will be offered when Spencer puts 15 of the cars on display at the Fitness 500, a fitness competition and autograph session featuring Cup drivers Jan. 8 at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.(High Point Enterprise)(12-23-2004)
- Appalachian State University Receives Petty Racing Collection: Lynda Petty, wife of stock car racing legend Richard
Petty, has donated a large collection of materials documenting her husband's career to the Appalachian State University Libraries
Stock Car Racing Collection. The donation, which covers 1958-2003, includes newspaper and magazine articles, fan letters, scrapbooks, promotional and charitable materials, awards of recognition, photographs, books, and race programs. During his long and successful driving career (1958-1992), Petty won seven NASCAR Winston [Netxtel] Cup championships and holds the record for most victories, with 200. Known affectionately as "the King," he won the Most Popular Driver award nine times. Since his retirement in
1992, Petty has remained involved in racing. He owns Petty Enterprises, which fields entrants in NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Busch
Series, and Craftsman Truck Series. The Petty family has been in the racing business for four generations; Richard's father Lee was a three time Cup champion, and his son Kyle and grandson Adam followed in the family tradition. The donation is currently being
inventoried and organized for public use, and there are plans to produce a Web page with finding aids detailing the contents of the
Petty collection. The Stock Car Racing Collection, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the sport was born, is the
only library in the country open to the public that focuses specifically on stock car racing. It contains more than 500 books, periodicals, and videos; an extensive clippings file covering more than 1300 subjects; photographs; posters; and promotional materials. Financial and material donations are welcomed. For more information go to: appstate.edu.(Carrick PR)(12-6-2004)
- VA Car Owners to be Inducted into VA Hall of Fame: Three legendary car owners will be inducted into the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame on Dec. 11. Junie Donlavey, who has fielded Cup cars out of Richmond for more than 50 years, and Glen and Leonard Wood, whose Stuart-based team won 96 Cup races, will be honored at World of Sports Complex in South Boston.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-3-2004)
- Wheeler, Richmond and Hyde honored: Lowe's Motor Speedway track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, driver Tim Richmond and crew chief Harry Hyde were inducted Saturday night into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Wheeler, known as the P.T. Barnum of racing for his epic promotions at Lowe's Motor Speedway, accepted the honor, while Richmond and Hyde, the inspiration for the two main characters in the move Days of Thunder, were inducted posthumously.(USA Today)(11-16-2004)
- Waltrip to be inducted into Hall of Fame: Three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip heads the latest class of inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Waltrip is joined by longtime drag racing stars Joe Amato and Bob Glidden, powerboat champion Chip Hanauer and Formula One and CART champion Nigel Mansell. Waltrip won Winston Cup titles in 1981, 1982 and 1985, driving for Junior Johnson. He also had 84 wins — tied for third all-time with former inductee Bobby Allison — 54 poles, and was named Driver of the Year three times. Amato had 54 NHRA Top Fuel wins and five division championships, both records. He also finished in the top 10 in points in each of his 19 seasons. Glidden captured 10 NHRA Pro Stock titles and another one in the IHRA. When he retired, Glidden was the NHRA's winningest driver in any class with 85 career victories. Hanauer won seven Unlimited Hydroplane national and world titles and 61 national events, including a record 11 Gold Cup races. The five-member class will be inducted on April 28, 2005.(Greensboro News/AP)(11-11-2004)
- Bruton Smith among Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: Bruton Smith, founder and chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. is among four area sports legends selected for induction into the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame. Smith joins basketball legends Bobby Jones [76ers] and David Thompson along with the late Hoyt Wilhelm, an extremely durable and effective
baseball relief pitcher, in the hall of fame's class of 2005. Smith grew up on a modest farm near Oakboro, N.C., and parlayed his
love for building things into a business empire, focusing on the motorsports and automotive industries. After promoting stock car races at numerous area short tracks, Smith spearheaded the construction of Lowe's Motor Speedway [then Charlotte Motor Speedway] and the inaugural Coca-Cola 600 was run in June of 1960. In 1995, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. became the first auto racing company to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, SMI owns and operates six premier motorsports facilities along with numerous related businesses. The Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame was established in the fall of 2003 to recognize and honor outstanding sports figures from the Charlotte region and to create greater public awareness of the area's rich sports history and heritage. Seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt was among the first four athletes inducted into the hall of fame earlier this year. Smith and the other 2005 Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a dinner celebration and tribute on April 16 at the Panthers Den at Bank of America Stadium.(LMS PR)(11-11-2004)
- Earnhardt and Parrott honored: Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Parrott, a renowned crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series, will be honored in Mooresville tonight by the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Earnhardt, who died during the 2001 Daytona 500, will be inducted into the Hall during its eighth annual gala at the Mooresville Citizens Center. Admission is by invitation only. Parrott, who progressed through the racing ranks as a crew member and eventually a top crew chief, will received the Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his “outstanding contributions to the sports,” said Don Miller, co-founder and chairman of the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which is located in Mooresville.
“Both of these men brought something different to the sport,” Miller said. “Dale was an extremely talented driver and Buddy was an equally talented crew chief. Both men set a competitive standard for the sport that continues to be the yardstick by which success is measured today.”
Earnhardt, a Kannapolis native who later moved to Mooresville and opened the sprawling Dale Earnhardt Inc. complex on N.C. 3 southeast of town, won 76 Cup races and 22 poles en route to his seven championships. He is the only Cup driver to win rookie honors and the series championship in successive seasons. Earnhardt recorded more than $41 million in career earnings.
Parrott, a Gastonia native, began his motorsports career mounting tires at the tracks for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. He then joined legendary crew chief Harry Hyde on the K&K Dodge that Bobby Isaac drove to the 1970 series title. He then served as crew chief for Ferrell Harris, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, Derrick Cope, Jeff Burton, rusty Wallace and Steve Grissom, and retired at the end of the 2001 season. Tonight’s induction ceremonies and Hall of Fame events are presented by ALLTEL and Snap-On Tools.
(Mooresville Tribune), Jayski will be attending, should be fun.(10-13-2004)
UPDATE: Enjoyed going to the event, met some nice people, local and in the sport, thanks to Frank Owens of Mooresville for inviting me. Hello to Garry Hill and Brad P. Good job by Don Miller, Benny Parsons, Todd Parrott, Buddy Parrott, Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt's sister for their nice speeches and recollections. Great video on Buddy Parrott and Dale Earnhardt.(10-14-2004)
- AARWBA Members to Select Newsmaker of the Half-Century: Selection of the "Newsmaker of the Half-Century" will be the headline event of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005. AARWBA, founded in August 1955, is the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. Fifty of racing's most famous names from the last half-century will be considered by AARWBA's Board of Directors, who may also nominate people not on the original list. Each director will choose 12 prospective finalists and the top dozen newsmakers will be put to the full membership for a vote. The 12 nominees will be announced by AARWBA President Dusty Brandel and 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight at the AARWBA All-America Team awards banquet, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005 in Pomona, Calif. Champion drivers from 2004 will be honored at the 35th annual dinner, which is open to the media, racing officials and sponsors, as well as the public. Ticket information is available at the AARWBA.org web site. The Newsmaker of the Half-Century will be named, and presented with a specially-commissioned painting, at a major race during the 2005 season.
List of 50 -- AARWBA "Newsmaker of the Half-Century" (in alphabetical order):
Bobby Allison, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Kenny Bernstein, George Bignotti
Craig Breedlove, Richard Childress, Mark Donohue, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott
John Force, A.J. Foyt, The France family, Don Garlits, Jeff Gordon
Andy Granatelli, Dan Gurney, Carl Haas, Jim Hall, Hurley Haywood
Rick Hendrick, Phil Hill, Al Holbert, The Hulman-George family, Jim Hurtubise
Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Ted Johnson, Parnelli Jones, Steve Kinser
Rick Mears, Shirley Muldowney, Wally Parks, David Pearson, Roger Penske
Richard Petty, Don Prudhomme, Fireball Roberts, Johnny Rutherford, Carroll Shelby
Danny Sullivan, Mickey Thompson, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser
Darrell Waltrip, Rodger Ward, The Wood Brothers, Cale Yarborough, Smokey Yunick
- NASCAR Museum in the works: An official NASCAR museum and hall of fame could be roaring into downtown Atlanta. After Atlanta officials pitched the idea earlier this year, NASCAR decided to request bids from at least three cities — Atlanta, Daytona Beach, Fla., and Charlotte — for a NASCAR hall of fame and museum, said Atlanta business and civic leaders familiar with NASCAR's plans. NASCAR is still working on the details of the attraction, but it may be comparable in size and scale to the new 85,000-square-foot World of Coca-Cola, expected to open by 2007. Herb Branham, a NASCAR spokesman at its headquarters in Daytona Beach, said it's "basically way too premature to speculate on any sort of project like that right now." George Pyne, NASCAR's chief operating officer, was not available for comment Wednesday. Pyne is a former Atlantan who once worked at developer John Portman & Associates with Sam Williams, head of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Though several tracks, such as Daytona and Talledega, Ala., have museums nearby, NASCAR has no official attraction besides its cafes in cities including Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Georgia has its own state racing hall of fame, Thunder Road USA, in Dawsonville.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-2-2004)
- Three Inductees to the NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler is one of three new inductees to the National Motorsports Press Association’s Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. The Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. president was cited by the Hall as “perhaps the best-known racing promoter of his generation.” The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 13 in Darlington, S.C. Wheeler has run Lowe’s (formerly Charlotte) Motor Speedway since 1975, and his partnership with O. Bruton Smith changed the face of stock-car racing. Wheeler has staged circuses on pit road, military “invasions” of the track’s tri-oval area, thrill shows and almost every other manner of stunt designed to draw fans to the track. He began his career at Robinwood Speedway in Gastonia. Also to be inducted are Tim Richmond and Harry Hyde, who enjoyed great success when paired together. Richmond, who died in 1989, won 13 races in his all-too-brief career. With Hyde as his crew chief, Richmond won seven of the final 17 races in 1986. Hyde, who died in 1996, won a championship in 1970 with Bobby Isaac and also worked with Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Neil Bonnett and others.(Gaston Gazette)(8-28-2004)
- Fans Vote Kyle Petty and Fonty Flock in Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Kyle Petty, son of seven-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Richard Petty and Fonty Flock, a legendary NASCAR driver whose three siblings also competed, have been chosen by the fans to be enshrined in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in nearby Davey Allison Memorial Park on the eve of the Oct. 3 EA SPORTS 500. Petty will be inducted into the Walk of Fame as the active driver and Flock will be enshrined into the Walk of Fame as the inactive driver of 2004. The 2004 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. This year’s induction ceremony will be emceed by Benny Parsons and begins at 7 p.m. The event is free to the general public.
Petty is an eight-time series race winner and eight-time series pole winner. He made his series debut in 1979, with his first start coming at Talladega Superspeedway on August 5. In 2000, NASCAR Illustrated named Petty along with his father Richard and the entire Petty family, “persons of the year” for their charitable work. The Petty family opened Victory Junction Gang Camp, a medical camp for children and their families living with chronic and/or life- threatening illnesses, in honor of their late son Adam earlier this year. Flock, a native of Decatur, GA began his racing career in 1949. In 154 races, he posted 19 wins and 33 poles. Yet he is most noted for the fact that in nine of his 19 victories, he started from the pole position. He came from a racing family as younger brother Tim, older brother Bob and sister Ethel also raced. Flock passed away in 1972 at the age of 51. Fans can find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com. The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Davey Allison were inducted as the inaugural class in 1994 by decree of the board of directors. Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted. Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly. Red Byron, Bill Rexford, Jim Paschal, Rex White, Bobby Isaac and Herb Thomas have been inducted as inactive drivers.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-18-2004)
- N.C. hall honors Earnhardt, Parrott: Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Parrott are the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame's honorees for 2004. Earnhardt, the seven-time champion in NASCAR's premiere series who won 76 races, will be inducted at the hall's eighth annual induction ceremony on Oct. 13 at the Mooresville Citizens Center. Parrott, a veteran crew chief who began his racing career a tire buster for Goodyear, will receive the Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his contributions to the sport. "Both of these men brought something different to the sport," said Don Miller, co-founder and chairman of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. "...Both men set a competitive standard for the sport that continues to be the yardstick by which success is measured today.(ThatsRacin.com), more info on the hall at www.ncarhof.com, a must see if in Mooresville along with Memory Lane Museum.(8-12-2004)
- Seven to be Inducted into Motor Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night: Seven inductees will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (www.mshf.com) on Thursday, July 29th in Novi, Mich. Being inducted into the 16th class will be NASCAR executive Bill France Jr., Indy 500 winners Bobby Rahal and Johnnie Parsons, NHRA Top Fuel champion Joe Amato, multiclass sports car champ Geoff Brabham, driver-designer-builder Don Vesco and longtime Los Angeles Times motorsports writer Shav Glick.(Augusta Chronicle)(7-29-2009)
- Waltrip, Wheeler among hall finalists: Three-time Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler and Harry Gant are among 20 finalists to be part of the 2005 class for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega. Waltrip led first-round balloting and was among seven to make the finals for the first time. The other first-time finalists are drag racers Joe Amato and Bob Glidden, Grand Prix champions Rene Dreyfuss and Nigel Mansell, powerboat racer Chip Hanauer and Indianapolis 500 winner Tommy Milton. Wheeler and Gant have made the final round before. They're joined on this year's list by Red Byron, the first champion in what is now NASCAR's Nextel Cup series, 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White, six-time modified champion Jerry Cook, modified and sportsman series champion Ray Hendrick, five-time late-model series champion Jack Ingram, stock-car driver and champion Cotton Owens and Ralph Seagraves, who was instrumental in setting up R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's involvement in NASCAR. The other finalists are American Auto Association champion Pete DePaolo, pioneer female driver Janet Guthrie, motorcycle champion Wayne Rainey and sprint-car legend Jan Opperman. The 2005 class will be announced this fall. Induction is set for April 28, 2005.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-24-2004)
- Dawsonville Museum could be back on track: For the first time in months, Gordon Pirkle is optimistic that Thunder Road is headed out of the ditch. The auto racing museum and attraction that Pirkle helped found in his hometown of Dawsonville [GA] has struggled to attract visitors and service its debt since opening in May 2002. It fell into foreclosure and was sold two weeks ago to a group of Dawsonville-area investors operating under the name Phoenix One. But Pirkle, who operates the nearby Dawsonville Pool Room as well as the Champion's Café inside Thunder Road, said the new owners have the potential to develop unused portions of the Thunder Road property and get the racing attraction back in regular operation. Now it's only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. "I feel better about it than I've felt in a long time," Pirkle said. He said the museum couldn't have kept going like it was, saddled with nearly $10 million in debt and without the support it needed from Dawson County. "The new owners got into this with the intention of making money," Pirkle said. "This way it'll either go forward or collapse for good."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-17-2004)
- Glick to be first print journalist inducted into Motorsports HOF: Veteran Los Angeles Times writer Shav Glick will become the first print journalist inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in a July 29 ceremony. Glick, who for decades has covered NASCAR and other motorsports, joins such notables as Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Darrell Waltrip, Roger Penske, Marion Andretti and Dale Earnhardt in the Michigan-based Hall of Fame. Glick was a classmate of Jackie Robinson and a member of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's post-war staff in Japan, prior to launching his sports writing career.(Tennessean)(6-30-2004)
- Bill France Sr. to be inducted into Hall of Fame:
Bill France Sr., the man who founded NASCAR in 1947 and established the family dynasty that still rules the sport, will be one of eight inductees into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 5. The selections were announced today at the annual International Motor Press Association breakfast in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show. France Sr., who died in 1992, will be inducted along with Don Garlits, Donald Healey, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde, Battista "Pinin" Farina, Heinz Prechter, Eberhard vonKuenheim and Jiro Yanase.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-8-2004)
- Donohue to Indy 500 Hall of Fame: Five legendary names from the Indianapolis 500 will assume their place among racing legends May 21 at the 2004 Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The event is taking place at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in conjunction with the annual “500” Oldtimers’ Club Banquet. Indianapolis 500-winning drivers Emerson Fittipaldi and Tom Sneva, and team owner John Zink are expected to attend the ceremony, while driver Mark Donohue [click here to see Jayski's tribute] and team owner Lindsey Hopkins will be inducted posthumously.(IMS Site)(3-24-2004)
- DW and Jeff to be Co-Presenters: Three-time champion Darrell Waltrip, whose racing career virtually paralleled that of Mr. Bill France Jr. as the point man for NASCAR, will team with four-time champion Jeff Gordon to introduce France to the expected crowd of some 1,200 people at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame's spacious Speed Channel Dome on April 22nd. Waltrip finished his career with 84 Nextel Cup wins, tied for third place on the all-time list, and three Nextel Cup championships. He is now a color commentator on the Fox Network's race telecasts, and will be eligible to go on the ballot this year for induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame next year. Gordon was the hottest driver in the last decade of France's tour at the helm of NASCAR, winning all four of his championships from 1995 thru 2001. In all, Gordon has claimed 64 wins and 46 poles thru the end of last season. "We got an immediate 'yes' from both men when we invited them to present Mr. France," said Jim Freeman, the Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. "There is no question that this will be one of the highlights of the evening." France will be one of five individuals who will be inducted that evening. Joining him will be long-time racing legend Charles "Red" Farmer, drag racing champion Shirley Muldowney, the all-time winner in unlimited hydroplanes Bill Muncey, and CART champion Bobby Rahal. Also in attendance that evening will be the Driver of the Year, Ryan Newman, plus many former inductees. Tickets are still on sale for the gala event, which includes a dinner, the televised induction ceremony, and receptions both before and after. Formal attire is required. For ticket information, please contact the Motorsports Hall of Fame office at (256) 362-5002 or their webiste: motorsportshalloffame.com.(FoxSports)(3-16-2004)
- Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Inductees: Six former drivers, a car owner and a long-time racing official have been selected for induction into the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame. Sara Christian, Fonty Flock, Roz Howard, T.C. Hunt, Eddie MacDonald and Charlie Mincey were picked as drivers. Billie Hester went into the Hall as a car owner, and Weyman Milam as a flagman and promoter. Hester owned cars driven by top drivers including Gober Sosebee and Mincey.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(3-13-2004)
- New Texas Racing Museum: Ground was broken for a new Motorsports Museum that will feature a variety of motor sports memorabilia, including displays of racing cars and motorcycles. The museum will be located at the site of the Bama Pie Company building at the corner of 4th Avenue and Pennsylvania in South Dallas and will open in 2005. The city pledged $29,000 through the South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund and $290,000 in community development block grant funding for the project. The South Dallas Development Corporation added $45,000.(Dallas Morning News)(2-19-2004)
- Earnhardt Inducted into Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame: The late stock car racing legend Dale Earnhardt has been named as one of four inaugural inductees of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame. Earnhardt dominated NASCAR tracks around the country for more than two decades, winning seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships and more than $40 million during his career. Born on April 29, 1951 in Kannapolis, N.C., he grew up in the sport learning from his father Ralph on short track races in the area and eventually became one of the sport's most successful and celebrated drivers before his untimely death as a result of an accident during the final moments of the Daytona 500 race in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Feb. 18, 2001.
Joining Earnhardt as the first laureates of the new Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame are three of the Charlotte region's greatest athletes, all of whom competed in the Olympic games and distinguished themselves in their respective sports:
Jim Beatty - Beatty, 69, was a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team and on February 11, 1962 achieved international fame as the first man to run the indoor mile in less than 4 minutes (3:58:9). His performance was covered live on ABC-TV's "Wide World of Sports" before a national audience. Beatty broke 11 American and three world records in 1962, compiling the greatest distance running record ever achieved by an American, and subsequently received The Sullivan Award as the Amateur Athlete of the Year in the U.S. He grew up in Charlotte, attended Central High School, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a star member of the track team and a five-time All-American. He resides in Charlotte and is president of Jim Beatty & Associates, a management and executive search firm.
Jeff Mullins - After a highly successful collegiate and professional basketball career, Mullins, 61, joined the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as head basketball coach in 1985 and over the next 11 years led his 49ers team to three league titles, three NCAA and two NIT tournament bids and a record 182 victories. He subsequently served as UNC Charlotte's athletic director from 1985 until his retirement in 1990. At Duke University, Mullins was an All-America selection in 1963 and 1964 and received the ACC Player of the Year honors and the McKevlin Award and ACC Tournament MVP accolades as a senior. He teamed with Art Heyman to lead the Blue Devils team to its first NCAA Final Four appearance. Mullins was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Tokyo, Japan. He was the fifth pick overall in the 1964 NBA draft (St. Louis Hawks) and was a three-time NBA All-Star during his ten years with the Golden State Warriors.
Floyd "Chunk" Simmons - Charlotte-native Simmons, 80, played tailback on the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill football team, but distinguished himself internationally in track and field. An outstanding decathlete, Simmons won bronze medals at the 1948 London Olympic Games and the 1952 Helsinki, Finland Olympic games. (The legendary Bob Mathias won the gold medal at both events.) Simmons graduated from Staunton Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at UNC-CH. Following graduation, Simmons spent many years as a movie actor in California and has been a commercial photographer in Charlotte for the past 38 years. Sports Illustrated named Simmons UNC's best all around athlete in a recent ranking of all-time North Carolina athletes.
Members of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame's selection committee that chose the honorees include Jim Babb, Jim Beatty, Jeff Beaver, John M. Belk, Dell Curry, Bill Hensley, Max Muhleman, Judy Rose, Dick Thigpen, Charles Waddell and H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler.
"We're pleased to announce the first laureates of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame," said Jeff Beaver, executive director of the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission and selection committee member. "The inductees were chosen from a long list of candidates who deserve this special honor and recognition. We wanted this inaugural group to be the best of the best among Charlotte's great athletes and sports figures over the years."
The inductees will be honored and officially inducted into the Hall at an induction dinner on April 17, 2004, at the Panthers' Den at Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte. O. Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Lowe's Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and Jerry Richardson, founder/owner of the Carolina Panthers are the honorary co-chairmen of the event. The event will benefit the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Senior Centers, Inc. (CMSC).
About the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame
The Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame was established last fall as an entity to recognize and honor outstanding sports figures from the Charlotte region and to create greater public awareness of the area's rich sports history and heritage. The Sports Hall of Fame will induct up to five members annually. Inductees must be 50 years old or older, have distinguished themselves through their exemplary sports achievements and good character, and have brought positive recognition to the greater Charlotte region. The honorees must be from the region (Mecklenburg County and contiguous counties) and/or have resided here for an aggregate of 10 years or more. Deserving sports figures may also be inducted posthumously. Living honorees must agree to attend the Sports Hall of Fame induction event.
"The purpose of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame is to inform and educate everyone about the fascinating sports history of the Charlotte region and to pay respect and homage to our great athletes and sports heroes," said Dan Owens, chairman of the Sports Hall of Fame organizing committee and member and former president of the CMSC board of directors. "As Charlotte enjoys its prominence as a nationally recognized sports city with NFL and NBA teams and a variety of outstanding sports organizations and athletes, it's important to remember our roots and pay tribute to those who paved the way for this success. The Hall of Fame is a worthy endeavor that will help preserve and promote the rich sports history and heritage of our region. The vision and long term goal of the Sports Hall of Fame is to spotlight individuals who have brought recognition and fame to themselves and the Charlotte region through their sports achievements, and eventually to have a permanent exhibit dedicated to preserving the memory and telling the stories of these athletes."
Tickets for the dinner are $150. For information or reservations, call 704-369-0383 or go to www.charlottehalloffame.com.
Other CMSC board members serving on the Hall of Fame Organizing Committee are: Frank Bryant, Bill Hodgin, Jonathan Howard, Nicholas Leone and Darrell E. Williams.
About the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Centers, Inc. (CMSC)
The mission of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Centers, Inc. is to enrich the lives of older adults in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, according to CMSC President Fran Mathay. The 20-year-old non-profit organization sponsors educational and social programs and provides a variety of resources for seniors from its main location at 2225 Tyvola Road and a branch location on Shamrock Drive near the Aldersgate Retirement Community. Examples of CMSC programs that are making a positive difference in the lives of Charlotte/Mecklenburg seniors include:
Grand Care: assists grandparents and other kin in raising children
Telephone Reassurance: provides daily contact to homebound isolated elderly
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP): recruits and places volunteers
Senior Employment Program: job counseling, training and placement
Senior Respite Caregivers: provides sitters to grandparents raising grandchildren
Friendly Visitors: recruits and places volunteers to visit homebound elderly
Senior Nutrition program: provides low-cost meals to seniors daily
Multicultural program: outreach to Latin American, Chinese, Russian and Asian immigrants
Education: computer classes, drama and arts, English and Spanish classes
Health and Wellness: exercise classes, fitness suite, health screenings and workshops
For more information: www.charlotteseniorcenters.org.(LMS PR)(2-17-2004)
- Former NASCAR Driver to be honored: The 33rd Rome-Floyd Hall of Fame Class of 2004 includes a future NFL Hall of Famer, a NASCAR pioneer and the man often known as East Rome’s greatest athlete. When the annual induction banquet is held Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Holiday Inn Skytop, five deserving men will be enshrined. The class includes Ray Donaldson, a six-time NFL Pro Bowl selection; Larry Kinnebrew, who a standout high school track and field athlete and played in the NFL; Nat Hudson who played in the NFL; Henley Gray, who finished fourth in the 1966 NASCAR points race; and Bill Thornton, a meritorious entry known for his contributions to the community. Gray, who was also featured in a Rome News-Tribune article in February 2003, had 374 races [Not the Cup level] on the NASCAR circuit and 55 top 10 finishes. He is also credited with providing cars driven by Ned Jarrett, CooCoo Marlin, the late Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Baker. His fourth place finish in 1966 was one behind 200 race winner Richard Petty. His name is listed in the Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia. “He was the backbone of racing at the time,” said Rome Speedway president Mike Swims. “He’s given a lot to the sport, not only short track racing but NASCAR as well.”(in part from the Rome News-Tribune)(2-4-2004)
- NASCAR's Bill France Jr., Legendary Auto Racing Writer, Shav Glick; among 2004 Inductees: Shav Glick is going to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. No, not to interview some famous race driver or car owner, although anyone in the Hall probably has been interviewed, at least once and probably more often, by Glick. This time, Glick will be granting the interviews. He's going to be enshrined as an inductee. The Times' longtime motorsports writer, Shavenau Glick — "My mother didn't give me a middle name, because she thought Shavenau was long enough" — will be among the honored guests at the 16th annual induction ceremony July 29 at the State Theater in downtown Detroit. The Hall is in nearby Novi, Mich. As usual, Glick, one of the most respected racing journalists — and certainly the best liked — will be in fast company. The other inductees, announced Thursday, are Bobby Rahal, Bill France Jr., Joe Amato, Geoff Brabham, the late Don Vesco and the late Johnnie Parsons.
France, who succeeded his late father, Big Bill France, as president of NASCAR, the country's most successful racing organization, is the stock car representative.
2004 inductees for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America:
Bill France Jr. [President of NASCAR from 1972-2000];
Shav Glick [Award-winning motor racing writer, Los Angeles Times];
Bobby Rahal [1986 Indy 500 winner and three-time national champ];
Joe Amato [NHRA's only five-time top-fuel champion];
Geoff Brabham [Four-time IMSA champion in GTP series];
Don Vesco [Land-speed record-setter in cars and motorcycles];
Johnnie Parsons [Indy 500 winner in '50; national driving champ in '49](Los Angeles Times)(1-30-2004)
- Texas Hall of Fame Inductions: Johnny Rutherford and fellow Indy-car legend A.J. Foyt of Houston, the first four-time winner of the Indy 500, were honored as inaugural inductees into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. The racing peers, who trace their careers from the state's dirt tracks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, were honored for outstanding achievement in motorsports.
Other award recipients included Carroll Shelby, a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and still active as a sports car designer at 81, who was presented the Bruton Smith Legends Award for lifetime achievement in motorsports.
Gil de Ferran, winner of the Indy Racing League's season-ending Chevy 500 IndyCar Series event at TMS in October, was presented the 2003 Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. De Ferran, who retired after the race, was cited for his character and cooperation with media and fans.
Brendan Gaughan, who swept both NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at TMS last year and has won four in a row at TMS, was honored as the track's Racer of the Year.(Fort Worth Star Telegram) and more info on the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame site(1-28-2004)
- Sebring 2004 inductees: Sebring International Raceway's Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced its 2004 inductees. Sir Stirling Moss, Mario Andretti, Carroll Shelby, Bobby Rahal, Bob and Al Holbert, race official Ford Heacock Sr., and the legendary manufacturer Ferrari headline the prestigious list of inductees. Induction ceremonies take place Friday, March 19, the day before the 52nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Spa overlooking the raceway's famous Hairpin Turn. The Sebring Hall of Fame luncheon is a non-profit event that benefits the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame Museum fund.(Speed Channel)(1-20-2004)
- Inductees to the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame include Humpy: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler is one of nine new members to be inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh on May 20. Wheeler, a Belmont native and a leader in NASCAR's success, has been president of Lowe's Motor Speedway since 1975 and is recognized as the foremost showman in stock-car racing.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-16-2004)
- Cambridge building to house Kenseth memorabilia: Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup champion from Cambridge, WI, will display memorabilia from his racing career in a new building in his hometown scheduled to open next spring. Matt Kenseth wants to give back to the place he calls home. And he believes a venue that will display memorabilia from his burgeoning racing career is the perfect way to do that. The 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup champion has purchased an 18-acre triangular parcel in the Village of Cambridge at the west edge of town, and construction will begin in February on an 11,000-square-foot building which will showcase a collection of race cars and memorabilia that spans his entire 15-year career. Kenseth merchandise, Internet sales and his fan club also will be housed in the building. Village of Cambridge president Don Trieloff anticipates that the facility, which is scheduled to open in May or June 2004, will bring new visitors, excitement and renewed interest in other businesses in the area. One detail that has been discussed but has yet to be finalized is what to call the building. The 31-year-old Kenseth hesitated to call it a museum, but that may most accurately describe the scope of plans and size of the structure.
The business will be operated by Kenseth's sister Kelley Maruszewski, who currently runs Kenseth's fan club and sells merchandise out of the family-owned business. The Matt Kenseth Fan Club Store doubles as a video store, and the family also operates a laundromat and the 10-unit Village Motel in Cambridge. Roy Kenseth, who is the track promoter at Madison International Speedway, will help the contractors oversee construction of the project. The building will not encompass the entire parcel, and further residential or commercial development is planned for the future. While discussions are ongoing for finalizing utilities, road access and sewage structures, Roy Kenseth said the response from officials with the village has been positive. "It's going to be a beautiful building and will be almost like the gateway to Cambridge," said Roy Kenseth, whose parents and grandparents also grew up in area. "It is going to bring a lot of people to Cambridge. I suppose there are going to be a small minority of people who won't like it, but the majority of people will like it. It will be good for the town."(Capital Times)(12-24-2003)
- Organized and presented by the Oceanside Rotary Club of Daytona Beach, the Stock Car Hall of Fame's 15th annual induction ceremony and dinner is scheduled for Monday, February 9, 2004 at the Hilton Inn on the Beach in Daytona Beach.
Join us this year as we proudly induct Dale Earnhardt, Ralph Earnhardt, and Jim Foster. Each honoree has contributed substantially to the sport of Stock Car Racing and all proceeds of this gala event go to local, national, and international charities.
For more information contact the Chairman, Russel C. Tullius, at (386) 290-4554, and enjoy, more info at the www.stockcarhalloffame.com site.
- Motorsports - Speedzeum: Owensboro, Ky., which has a knack for turning out NASCAR standouts (Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Jeremy Mayfield and Jeff, Mark and David Green), pays homage to motor sports with Speedzeum. The 8,000-square-foot display at the Owensboro Area Museum of Science and History is a nod to all forms of racing, from NASCAR to soapbox derbies and unlimited hydroplanes. There are photographs, full-size vehicles, clothing and more. The downtown museum at 220 Daviess St. also has 60 modern-day photographs of the Lewis and Clark trail. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3. Call (270) 687-2732.(Courier Press)(12-19-2003)
- Earnhardt Display at the National Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum has recently placed on display a 400-piece Dale Earnhardt memorabilia collection, donated to the museum by Terry Neal Thomas of Glasgow. Thomas donated a total of 1,100 pieces of Earnhardt memorabilia, which will be rotated throughout the year to feature all the pieces. The collection showcases diecasts, race memorabilia, apparel items and various other pieces of Earnhardt signature collectibles that have been part of Thomas’ collection for many years. The extensive collection is on display in the museum’s Skydome. Guests visiting the museum will also see Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s racecar driver suit on display in the Race and Performance area, and a newly added Gibson Corvette guitar display featuring three unique guitars designed with the 50th Anniversary, the Stingray and Zora Arkus-Duntov in mind. Tours are self-guided and families receive a special $20 admission price. General admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4.50 for children ages 6-16. AAA and military discounts are also offered.(Bowling Green Daily News), more info and even some live cams at the museum's site: www.corvettemuseum.com(12-10-2003)
- Sawyer and Earles to be inducted in VA HOF: On Saturday, December 20th, Paul Sawyer and the late Clay Earles will be inducted into Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, joining last years inductees, the late Wendell Scott and Ray Hendrick. The induction ceremony will be conducted in conjunction the 2003 awards banquet for Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway at the World of Sports in South Boston, VA. Legendary motorsports media personality, Chris Economaki, founder of National Speed Sport News, has agreed to be a part of the festivities. Earles and Sawyer were the visionaries that lead to the development and success of Virginia’s two premier NASCAR facilities, Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Selected Media General Newspapers will be publishing a special section commemorating the accomplishments of the Inductees the week of December 15th. For more information on the Awards Banquet and Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, call the Speedway at 1-877-440-1540 or log on to www.southbostonspeedway.com.(12-8-2003)
- Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame AND: Texas open-wheel racing icons A.J. Foyt Jr. and Johnny Rutherford, winners of a combined seven Indianapolis 500s, have been selected as inaugural inductees into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame at Texas Motor Speedway. Foyt, of Houston, and Rutherford, of Fort Worth, emerged as runaway choices for the Class of 2003, a five-member group selected by a panel of motorsports media from throughout the state. Racer/designer Carroll Shelby, recently retired IRL IndyCar Series star Gil de Ferran and NASCAR Craftsman Truck title contender Brendan Gaughan also will be honored at The Speedway Club on Jan. 27, 2004. Gaughan, of Las Vegas, will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year award as the individual who has been most successful at the track this season. Gaughan won both Truck Series races on the 1.5-mile quadoval in 2003, giving him a record run of four consecutive victories in Fort Worth. The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame will be located adjacent to The Speedway Club as a year-round attraction. Groundbreaking is scheduled for early next year. All proceeds from the hall will benefit Happy Hill Farm, a residential school in Granbury for at-risk children, in association with Speedway Children's Charities. For information on the inaugural gala in January, call (866) 463-8392 (HOF-TEXAS).(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(11-6-2003)
AND - Vote: The Hall is also conducting an online Fan Favorite poll at www.txmhof.com from TMS Racer of the Year candidates Ryan Newman, Gil de Ferran, Brendan Gaughan, Al Unser Jr. and Joe Nemechek. Fans can win T-shirts, hats or tickets to the Inaugural Gala just for voting.(11-7-2003)
- 2004 IMHOF Inductees Named: The next inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame include competitors in NASCAR, CART and drag racing, plus a racing executive and the first member who drove boats. Officials of the Talladega-based hall announced Thursday in Birmingham that the Class of 2004 will be:
----- Charles "Red" Farmer, who raced and won in seven different decades starting in the 1940s. Farmer, who still runs dirt tracks every weekend, has won four NASCAR Touring Series Championships and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
----- Bill France Jr., who took over as NASCAR's top executive from his father in 1972 and turned it into a national sport and hot television commodity. He handed the presidency to Mike Helton in 2000 and the CEO position to his son, Brian, this year.
----- Shirley Muldowney, who has won four Top Fuel national championships in drag racing and has been named to drag racing's All-American team five times. A crash in 1984 nearly ended her career, but she returned to racing 18 months later.
----- Bill Muncey, who won eight Gold Cups, seven national championships, and four world titles in hydroplane racing. Muncey, who had a record 62 wins, died at age 52 from crash injuries. He is the first power boat racer to be chosen for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
----- Bobby Rahal, who has won three CART championships, 24 races and 18 poles. He won the 1986 Indianapolis 500, as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 House of Sebring, and was selected by RACER magazine as one of the 20 Greatest Drivers of the 20th Century. The five will be inducted on April 22, bringing the total membership to 106.(AJC/AP)(10-31-2003)
- Hot Wheels Hall of Fame: Five Automotive Legends, Rides and Moments to be Honored at Star-Studded November 11 Induction Gala with Master of Ceremonies Jay Leno. Celebrating the 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels cars, Mattel, Inc. announced the five inaugural inductees into the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame, a new installation being added to the permanent Hot Wheels exhibit at the
Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. An invitation-only induction ceremony on Nov. 11, 2003, with "The Tonight Show" host Jay Leno as Master of Ceremonies will honor these significant people, vehicles and moments and reveal the permanent displays that will remain in the Petersen Automotive Museum. The evening will benefit RADD (Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving), the entertainment industry's voice on road safety.
Selected by a blue-ribbon panel of auto journalists, manufacturers, designers and drivers, the inductees were chosen as the embodiment of the Hot Wheels tradition of speed, power, performance and attitude in three categories:
Legends: People who have designed or driven the coolest cars
* Wally Parks: A trailblazing drag racer and motorsports editor, Parks founded the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to promote and regulate the sport of drag racing, leading it to its status today as the world's largest motorsports sanctioning body
* Richard Petty: Synonymous with class, excellence and NASCAR® championships, Petty's 200 victories, seven wins at the Daytona 500, an amazing 27 wins in a single season, and seven NASCAR® championships earned "The King" his throne in the Hot Wheels® Hall of Fame
Greatest Rides: Cars that epitomize the Hot Wheels® attitude of speed, power and performance
* 1932 Ford V-8: The first popular eight-cylinder automobile offering brisk performance at a reasonable price, the '32 became the classic model for building hot rods and still is the most popular base used in hot rodding today
* 1964 Pontiac GTO: The original muscle car, the powerful GTO was emulated by virtually every car manufacturer and became the high-performance image car for a generation of young car enthusiasts.
Milestone Moments: Historic automotive event that captures the Hot Wheels® essence
* Jan. 16, 1953: The introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, where it instantly became an
"The Hot Wheels® Hall of Fame induction is the culmination of our 35th anniversary year, and we're so excited to be involved in bringing automotive legends together across all genres of car culture as they claim their place in history," said Amy Boylan, senior vice president, Mattel. "From legendary personalities to the most memorable cars that have shaped attitudes, aspirations and automotive history, we're incredibly honored to help preserve these memories as the centerpiece of this permanent exhibit for all generations to see and share."
Two special awards also will be presented during the evening, including an honorary award to Mattel founder Elliot Handler, the "father of Hot Wheels," and the Hot Wheels People's Choice Awards(tm) based on the public's selection from the above three categories after
months of voting at www.hotwheels.com.
The Hot Wheels® Hall of Fame Selection Committee is comprised of 20 automotive and entertainment industry representatives including
historic drag racers Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen; visionary custom car designer Chip Foose; J.D. Power and Associates CEO and Chairman J.D. Power III; Petersen Automotive Museum chairman Bruce Meyer; and Hot Rod Magazine editor-in-chief David Freiberger.
The Hot Wheels® Hall of Fame opened in April 2003 as the first-ever, permanent museum exhibition of Hot Wheels® vehicles at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, one of the nation's largest and preeminent automotive museums. The exhibit features interactive displays, a selection of Hot Wheels® die-cast vehicles and full-size cars which embody the brand's signature speed, power, performance and attitude. The Hot Wheels® Hall of Fame hosts a rotating series of exhibits, including full-size versions of some of the most famous Hot Wheels® models ever created, like the Deora® concept car from the 1960s; the Twin Mill®, an original Hot Wheels® design that was introduced as a full-size, functional car in 2001; and Petty Enterprises's NASCAR® Craftsman Series race truck. An array of the most significant 1:64-scale to 1:18-scale die-cast Hot Wheels® cars spanning 35 years also is on display, including the world's most valuable Hot Wheels® car, a 1969 pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb purchased for more than $70,000.
RADD® The Entertainment Industry Voice For Road Safety Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving, an internationally
recognized non-profit organization founded in 1986, pairs celebrities, media access and enlightened corporate partners like Mattel to create positive attitudes about road safety through award winning public service campaigns. RADD's motto, "Your lifestyle is your business. If you take it on the road, it's everybody's" embodies its position as the entertainment industry's voice for safe and sane travel on wheels - two, four or more. Visit www.radd.org for more information.
The Petersen Automotive Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Museum members and children under five are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $6.00 per car. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general Museum information, call 323/930-CARS or visit the Museum's Web site address at
www.petersen.org.(Golin/Harris International PR)(10-29-2003)
- Smokey Yunick Award to White: Fayetteville's Rex White, the 1960 Winston Cup champion, is expected to receive the Smokey Yunick Award at AMS this morning. The award, given annually at the track, recognizes pioneers of the sport. White won 26 Winston Cup races, but his only superspeedway victory came at AMS in the 1962 Dixie 400.
- NCHOF Induction - Moody Inducted: Ralph Moody Jr. first made his mark as a driver before devoting his time and energy as part of a well-known racing and laboratory team that left an even larger and longer-lasting impression on the business. It's for that all-around mark he has left in the sport's history that he has become the eighth member to be inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, based in Mooresville. The list of honorees reads like a Who's Who list among revered stock car racing pioneers. Richard Petty, with 200 career wins and record-tying seven series points championships, was the charter inductee in 1997. Others who have followed include Bobby Allison in 1998, Tim Flock in 1999, Johnson and France in '00, Ned Jarrett in 2001 and Cale Yarborough just a year ago. Dedicated to all types of racing, from drag racing to NASCAR, the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame museum houses more than 35 donated cars that represent and help relive some of racing's greatest moments. Numerous racing displays and showcases are rotated in an effort to promote North Carolina's motor sports heritage. In the facility's short history, it has welcomed over one million race fans. This year alone, more than 270,000 guests have visited the outpost. In addition to receiving the induction award, the Moody family was also presented with a commemorative racing hood courtesy of HiRev, LLC representative Brad Perrigo, also a member of the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. Don Miller, owner of Penske Racing South and Chairman of the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame Board of Directors, again provided opening and closing remarks. Benny Parson, also on the facility's board and a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion who is now a motor sports broadcaster, once again filled the role as the evening's master of ceremonies. Among the guest speakers were Al Jones, Mooresville Mayor, and Deb Williams, a member of the host facility's board and editor of NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, who provided a tribute to the late Bob Latford.(full story at the Mooresville Tribune)(10-17-2003)
- Grand Opening of the Richard Petty Museum on Friday: the Petty Family will hold an Official Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Beautiful New 12,000 sq. ft. Richard Petty Museum now located in Downtown Randleman, NC. This will kick-off the 15th Annual NASCAR Day Festival weekend in Randleman. Friday, October 17, 2003, starting at 10:00am/et at 142 W. Academy Street, Randleman, NC (Take Randleman Exit off of 220-By Pass and follow directional signs). You may direct any questions to the Richard Petty Museum: (336) 495-1143 or more info at the Petty Racing site.(10-16-2003)
- Dawsonville Museum heading to foreclosure: When the sparkling new auto racing museum ThunderRoad USA opened in May 2002, civic pride soared in this town of 617, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. ThunderRoad was to be a huge tourist attraction in an area that claims to be the birthplace of stock car racing and is the home of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, known as "Awesome Bill." A study projected more than a quarter-million fans of the hottest sport in America would visit the museum, owned by an authority created by the city and Dawson County, during its first year. Instead, 48,000 showed up. ThunderRoad USA has revved up a debt of more than $10 million, creating another awesome bill in Dawsonville. The museum -- which includes Georgia's Racing Hall of Fame, memorials to NASCAR greats, interactive games, a track for remote-controlled cars, racing simulators, a theater, a gift shop and a diner -- was built for $12.2 million. ThunderRoad was put up for sale at the end of this summer, but drew no offers. Dragging more than $10 million in unpaid loans guaranteed by the federal government, the museum is headed into foreclosure. Last month, a citizens group gave the county commissioners a petition with 1,634 signatures supporting ThunderRoad. More than 100 people showed up at the commission meeting, which usually attracts one-tenth that number. (see full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution(10-16-2003)
- Buy A Brick; Build A Museum: Personalize a brick with your name and put it in the racing museum for a lifetime. Your brick will be placed in the decor/landscape of the Motor Racing Museum of the South in Spartanburg, SC. The museum will be housed in the old Beaumont Mill, located off Pine Street in the heart of historic downtown Spartanburg. 100,000 square feet of space for exhibit galleries and retail operations. The Museum will focus on racing from the 1940s to the present, including a gallery for each decade, Hall of Champions, SC Textile Gallery, Interactive Gallery, etc. The Museum will be a 3-D, interactive experience showcasing the latest in automotive innovation and technology. Exhibits will include 100 television screens showing the greatest races of all time, hands-on experiments on G-force and robots demonstrating car assembly. Why Spartanburg?
Spartanburg has a rich motor racing history. Legends, including Bud Moore, Cotton Owens and David Pearson, grew up racing the back roads of the "Hub City." The textile industry, racing and automobile manufacturing all have deep roots in Spartanburg. The past, present and future of automobile racing is centered within a 100-mile radius around Spartanburg. Spartanburg's history in textiles and racing and future in automotive technology make it a perfect location for the Motor Racing Museum of the South. Get your name along with the legends of stock car racing like David Pearson, Cotton Owens and Bud Moore. More info at These Bricks will be placed in the Motor Racing Museum of the South.(9-22-2003)
- Appalachian Library Receives Donation, UPS Delivers: United Parcel Service and Belk Library at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC partnered recently to preserve materials documenting the history of stock car racing. A Connecticut couple offered a sizeable donation of racing documents to the Stock Car Racing Collection at Appalachian, but had no way to transport the materials to Boone. UPS, primary sponsor of the Robert Yates Racing #88 NASCAR Winston Cup car driven by Dale Jarrett, stepped in and offered to deliver the collection free of charge. Twenty-three boxes were picked up from donors Bruce and Liz Kuchta of Niantic, Conn., and delivered to Belk Library a few days later. The Stock Car Racing Collection is an initiative by Appalachian State University to create a comprehensive repository for printed materials, photographs and videos that document the history of stock car racing in America.. The collection, maintained and preserved under the care of professional librarians, is open to the public for review and research free of charge. The Kuchta donation includes nearly 1200 issues of various racing magazines and newspapers, plus books, videos, race programs, pamphlets, and promotional materials.
The Kuchtas have been involved in racing for nearly 35 years.. Bruce Kuchta crewed for Grand National and Modified teams at Connecticut tracks in the 1970s and 1980s, and owned a Busch North team in the early 1990s.. Son Mike was a Quarter Midget driver and crew chief for Busch North and Late Model race cars.
For more information about the stock car racing collection, contact Wise at 828-262-2798, or visit the Stock Car Racing Collection's web page at www.library.appstate.edu/stockcar/index.html.(9-20-2003)
- Veteran Broadcaster Ken Squier Earns Prestigious Smokey Yunick Award: Ken Squier, a pioneer in motorsports broadcasting, will receive the 2003 Smokey Yunick Award recognizing lifetime achievement in auto racing during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. Squier was literally born into broadcasting. His father, Lloyd, owned and operated radio station WDEV in Waterbury, Vt., and the younger Squier was an on-air announcer by age 12. By age 15, he was working as the public address announcer at various local race tracks, laying the foundation for his career. Squier founded the Motor Racing Network and was a CBS Sports television announcer and host for 25 years. He and partner Fred Rheinstein also founded World Sports Enterprises, the first television production company specializing in motorsports. While Squier's motorsports activities have been scaled back during recent years, he continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of WDEV and its parent company, Radio Vermont. He also owns two race tracks, Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., and Airborne International Raceway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens and Junie Donlavey.(LMS PR)(9-9-2003)
- Gant and DW Inducted: Darrell Waltrip and Harry Gant were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association in ceremonies held Saturday night at the Darlington Country Club. Waltrip, a three-time Winston Cup champion who won 84 races and now serves as an analyst on Fox Sports' NASCAR telecasts, remembered seeing Darlington Raceway on television as a boy. "I remember in 1965 when Cale Yarborough went out of the track in Turn 1," Waltrip said. "I was watching on television and said, 'Wow, that's cool.' And that was before I even knew Cale." Darlington is also the track where Yarborough hung the nickname "Jaws" on his frequent rival. Waltrip was inducted by his brother, Michael, while Johnny Bruce inducted Gant. Gant had 18 career victories, including four straight in a memorable streak in 1991 in which he won four straight races in the same month to earn the nickname "Mr. September." Bruce, a long-time associate and friend of Gant's, remembered the driver's matter-of-fact approach to things. "Harry's thing was always, 'It ain't no big deal,'" Bruce said. "Harry, this is a big deal."(from ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2003)
- Waltrip, Gant Selected for NMPA Hall of Fame: Three-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip and 18-race winner Harry Gant have been selected for induction into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in Darlington. The pair will be inducted Aug. 30. Waltrip, 56, won 84 races and Winston Cup titles in 1981-82 and ’85. "I have to admit, this is quite an honor," Waltrip said. Gant earned nationwide recognition in 1991 when he won four races in a row at the age of 51. Nicknamed "Handsome Harry," Gant finished in the top 10 in the points race eight times, including a career-best second in 1984. Regulations require that a nominee be named on a minimum of 65 percent of the ballots to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Waltrip and Gant each received 77 percent of the votes. Fellow nominee Tim Richmond was selected by 62 percent of voters, while Butch Lindley received 30 percent of the vote.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-26-2003)
- France up for International Motorsports Hall honor: The first round of voting for the Class of 2004 at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame could have a pair of "seconds". Veteran drag racer Shirley Muldowney could become the second female inducted, and Bill France Jr. could become the second generation of sanctioning body executives, if they are chosen among the five individuals to be inducted at Talladega, Ala., next spring. Muldowney, who has won four Top Fuel championships and been named All-American five times, could join Louise Smith as the only two females in the 102-member Hall of Fame. France would join his father, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., who was inducted in the inaugural class in 1990. France and Muldowney led the first round of voting by an international panel of motorsports media. Twenty-two individuals will be on the final ballot from which the five-member class of 2004 will be selected.(Thatsracin.com)(7-23-2003)
- SC Racing Museum gets more cash: Spartanburg City [SC] Council has decided to increase its contribution to a South Carolina Racing Museum. Council gave initial approval Monday to increasing its 10-year commitment from $200,000 to $300,000 annually. The money will help pay for renovations and design work for the $20 million racing museum that could open as early as 2005 in an old mill building. The city will use money from more than $1 million expected in annual hospitality tax collections. The hospitality tax is charged on prepared food and beverages sold in the city and must be used to benefit tourism. Museum development director Paul Ianuario expects race fans to stop by on their way to events in Charlotte, Atlanta and elsewhere. Fans also may make the South Carolina Racing Museum part of day trips. The museum will offer an interactive experience focused on the history of drivers and owners from the late 1930s to the present. A visitor may walk through a section with equipment from an old textile mill and buildings designed to reflect what life was like for drivers and owners at that time. Tim Brett, president of Brett Public Relations in Greenville is working with the museum project. He said they have enough money to begin renovations and design but still need to raise $8 to $10 million to fully fund the project. Money and donations have come from grants, from events such as the Legends race, from individuals and from businesses such as the donation of land from Piedmont Natural Gas. Jimmy I. Gibbs Limited Liability Co. would agree to invest in the mill building and donate space to the museum. It also will provide a $1 million contribution for interior renovations, according to a memo from city community development director, Ed Memmott. If the museum fails to open or operate as expected, the Gibbs company will buy the museum from the city for the amount invested, the memo stated.(Greenville News)(7-16-2003)
- Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame ribbon-cutting scheduled for July 9th: On Wednesday, July 9, Darlington Raceway will host an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, located adjacent to the track on Hwy. 151 in Darlington, SC. The event will begin at 12:00noon/et. The Museum and Hall of Fame were closed for the month of June while undergoing significant expansion and renovation. The result can truly be described as a virtual transformation. While the popular exhibits formerly featured in the Museum remain “ including the Plymouth Johnny Mantz drove to victory in the inaugural Mountain Dew Southern 500 in 1950 and Bill Elliott's "Million Dollar Bird“ they have made room for some new neighbors. Mural-sized artwork on the walls guides visitors through the amazing story of racing's past, and carries them forward into the present. The NMPA Hall of Fame Theatre features state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, and a new film produced by the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and narrated by the familiar voice of award-winning broadcaster Eli Gold. New pylons and memorabilia have been added to the Hall of Fame, featuring recent inductees such as Dale Earnhardt, A.J. Foyt and Bill France, Jr. The Wednesday, July 9 ribbon-cutting is open to the public. Museum and Hall of Fame admission will be offered free of charge on that day, between the hours of 12:00noon and 2:00pm/et. For more information on the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 9, call (843) 395-8892.(Darlington Raceway PR)(7-3-2003)
- Second Annual West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Banquet:
When: Friday, July 25, 2003
5:30 to 7pm: No Host Bar
7 to 8pm: Dinner
8 to 11pm: West Coast Stock Car Hall Fame of Ceremonies
Where: Sheraton Four Points Hotel, 700 West Huntington Drive (Huntington Drive and the 210 Freeway), Monrovia, Ca. 91016
Admission: $50 per person. Deadline for reservations July 15, 2003. The number of tickets are limited, please specify if ordering with a
group. Guest rooms are available for a special rate ($79), you may make room reservations by calling (626) 357-5211, ask for stock car reunion room rate.
Info: This will be the second annual event to honor the 2003 inductees and the many drivers, car owners and promoters from the west that
helped make stock car racing what is today.
Dress Code: Black Tie optional, Coat & Tie please.
2003 Inductees: Beadle, Bob; Bown, Dick; Burke, Margo; Easley, Sonny; Erickson, Erick; Glick, Shav; Gurney, Dan; Jack, Rajo; Pagan, Eddie; Phillips, Frank; Ross, Bob; Ward, Rodger
For more information contact: Tim Meyer @ 435-635-2257 Fax 435-635-2257 or Visit their website stockcarreunion.com
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Auto Museum Renovation, scheduled to re-open in 2005: The Frederick Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum is undergoing a spectacular, $85 million transformation. Borrowing from the success of popular theme parks and advances in digital-age technology, the new Frederick C. Crawford Museum of Transportation and Industry will be a far cry from the auto-aviation museum located in Cleveland’s University Circle. The new museum, which will be in Cleveland’s vibrant downtown, will feature state-of-the-art activities along with a wonderful collection of classic autos and aircraft. It will stand a stone’s throw from Memorial Shoreway, one of the nation’s oldest expressways. The new museum, which will encompass some 150,000 square feet, will use digitalized and interactive displays to create an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages, director Ed Pershey says. Museum visitors will experience what it was like to ride in a one-cylinder automobile or compete in a 1930s air race. At the Assembly Line Diner, visitors can get in classic vehicles parked outside the eatery, turn on radios, and learn about the cars and their owners. The museum will feature eight “environments.” Among those is the Time Zone, which will house some of the Crawford’s formidable collection of automobiles, as well as aircraft and a locomotive. About 60 automobiles at a time, from the museum’s collection of 190 cars, which include everything from the world’s first enclosed car, an 1887 Panhard et Levassor, to the March Indy car Bobby Rahal drove to the win in the first Cleveland Grand Prix, will be on display. Meanwhile, all 15 of the Crawford’s classic aircraft will be on permanent display. The new facility will feature a multimedia theater located inside a 1930s airship, highlighting Cleveland’s role in aeronautics. From 1929 to 1949, the Cleveland National Air Races were a showcase of design and performance. The new Crawford museum was set to open in 2004; funding problems and a limping economy have pushed completion to 2005.(Autoweek)(6-30-2003)
- Thunder Road For Sale: Faced with mounting debt and minimal tourist traffic, Thunder Road USA is about to go on the selling block. The $12 million NASCAR racing attraction and museum celebrated its first anniversary in mid-May. Late last week, the Dawson County/Dawsonville [GA] Joint Development Authority, which oversees the property, voted to accept bids in full or in part on the 40,000-square-foot building and its 36-acre site. Friday, museum executives and area business leaders hoped this would not signal the end of the museum, located about 30 miles west of Gainesville on Ga. 53. The site will continue to operate during the bid process, which is set to begin Wednesday. Sealed bids will be accepted for 90 days. General manager Tom French said bids will be advertised in The Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and two Dawson County newspapers. The authority reserves the right to reject all bids if they do not satisfy Thunder Road's outstanding debt services, said Dick Bergen, head of the four-member group. Thunder Road is behind on a $9.8 million loan owed in part to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The museum opened in May last year amid hopes of luring 150,000 to 250,000 visitors annually, generating hundreds of new jobs and increasing sales tax revenues. None of those expectations, however, have been met. Last year, about 48,000 people visited the complex. Staff has been reduced and operating hours scaled back.(Gainesville Times), see their site at ThunderRoad USA.(6-28-2003)
- Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame expected to re-open in July: The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, located at Darlington Raceway, are currently undergoing a major expansion and renovation project. Both attractions are expected to re-open in early July. The museum, originally named after Joe Weatherly, was officially dedicated on May 2, 1965. The main gallery in the new Museum will be called the Joe Weatherly Gallery, in honor and memory of the popular driver. Notable racecars in the museum collection include the 1950 Plymouth driven to victory by Johnny Mantz in the inaugural Mountain Dew Southern 500; Richard Petty's 1967 Plymouth that won more races in a single season than any car in NASCAR history, including the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington; and the Ford Thunderbird that Bill Elliott drove to victory “ picking up the first-ever million-dollar Winston Million bonus in the process “ in the 1985 Mountain Dew Southern 500. The NMPA Hall of Fame inducted its first four members in 1965. Each year, members of the press association vote for new Hall of Fame inductees. The induction ceremony is part of Darlington Raceway's Mountain Dew Southern 500 weekend activities each year. Currently, the Hall of Fame totals 68 members. "Expanding the NMPA Hall of Fame is a major step for us," said former NMPA president David Poole. "We believe the Hall of Fame is very important to the sport, and we want it to be something our inductees, members and race fans are proud of and look forward to visiting." The new Museum and Hall of Fame facilities will nearly double their former size, and will offer visitors several new and updated exhibits. The Hall of Fame theater has also been enlarged and outfitted with a new video, produced by MRN and narrated by award-winning broadcaster Eli Gold, featuring the great personalities of stock car racing, both past and present. The track tentatively plans to host a charity fundraiser in the new facility on Tuesday, July 8, and a community ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, July 9, with free admission during designated hours. For more information on the Museum, NMPA Hall of Fame or other events at Darlington Raceway, including the Mountain Dew Southern 500 weekend August 29-31, call (843) 395-8499.(Darlington Raceway PR)(6-18-2003)
- New Petty Museum: Already one of the most popular attractions in Randolph [NC] County's $6.3 million annual tourist trade, the Richard Petty Museum opened with little fanfare three weeks ago at its new location. All of the work should be completed there next month. Started in a storage room at the shop, the 15-year-old museum has grown into Randolph County's answer to Elvis Presley's Graceland. "We just needed a bigger place," Richard Petty said, getting up off the floor where he helped workers position a heavy glass display case. "And we needed the room at the shop." Petty said the 12,000 square feet looked a lot bigger when it was empty. He estimated that it would hold only about half of the family's memorabilia. "We knew how much room we had; we just didn't know we had this much stuff." David Caughron, executive director of the Randleman Chamber of Commerce, has been so eager for the museum's arrival that he spent several afternoons working there. He's excited about the shot in the arm that the museum will give the city's Oct. 18 fall street festival, NASCAR Day. Although the museum focuses primarily on Richard Petty's 35-year career, exhibits include Lynda Petty's doll collection and the 1998 Pontiac that the late Adam Petty drove when he won his first -- and last -- super speedway race. Don't ask Doris Gammons, the museum's executive director, how many items have been added to the museum. "We're putting it out so fast, I can't even tell," she said.(News and Record), more info on the museum at the Petty Racing site.(6-13-2003)
- Boogity..Boogity...Boogity.....DW to be Inducted: Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip will be inducted Thursday night into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the State Theatre. Waltrip, who won 84 Winston Cup races, will be one of eight inductees. Others are open-wheel and sports car racer Bob Bondurant, midget and Indy car star Mel Kenyon, safety equipment innovator and supplier Bill Simpson and motorcycle racer Gary Nixon. Inducted posthumously will be drag racing engine builder Ed Donovan, hydroplane racer and designer Ted Jones, and dirt track sprint champ Tommy Hinnershitz. NBC broadcaster Benny Parsons, a former Winston Cup champion, will be the master of ceremonies. Parsons, who grew up racing at short tracks around Detroit, was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200mph, doing so at Talladega in 1982. Supporting Parsons onstage will be 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, Winston Cup hotshot Ryan Newman and drag racing icon Don Garlits. All three will present awards. Previous inductees scheduled to attend the ceremony include Junior Johnson, Bobby Unser, Ned Jarrett and Chris Economaki.(Detroit Free Press)(6-11-2003)
- Museum in Elliott's hometown in trouble: When Thunder Road USA (www.thunderroadusa.com) opened last year, many envisioned an economic windfall for this small northeast Georgia town known for breeding NASCAR winners. The $12 million, 40,000-square-foot auto racing museum was expected to attract up to 250,000 visitors a year, generate hundreds of jobs and increase sales tax revenues. One year later, Thunder Road USA is struggling with $10 million in debt and poor attendance. Only about 48,000 visitors came to the museum last year, forcing staff cutbacks and shorter operating hours. Officials are now considering plans to sell nearby land to help pay off its debt. General manager Tom French said they may also try staging live music and targeting corporate meetings and birthday parties. The museum, which includes Georgia's racing hall of fame, features memorials to NASCAR's racing greats, interactive games, a track for remote-controlled cars, racing simulators, a theater, gift shop and diner. Museum board member Russ Wallace said it's still the pride of Dawsonville, home to NASCAR greats Bill Elliott, Gober Sosebee and Lloyd Seay. Wallace said he is confident the museum will rebound financially in the coming months and denied talk that it will close down.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(5-19-2003)
- 2003 Legends in Racing Inductees: The dean of American motorsport journalists leads a class of six inductees into Legends in Racing, the hall of fame of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA). Also elected is a man who set several land speed records and was a drag racing pioneer, the only one of the Chevrolet brothers to race in the Indianapolis 500, a pre- and post-war sprint car builder, a three-time Winston Cup champion, and the King of the Outlaws. The six inductees: Chris Economaki, Art Arfons, Arthur Chevrolet, Floyd "Pop" Dreyer, Darrell Waltrip and Steve Kinser. Economaki and Arfons both easily won election this year. The other four made it in under "Rule Two" which elects the one top vote-getter in a category under a reduced minimum if nobody in that category meets the first standard. Both Chevrolet and Dreyer were elected because they tied in the Historic Non-Driver vote. Unusual this year was that someone was elected in each of the five categories.(AARWBA PR)(5-16-2003)
- Drivers to be inducted at Thunder Road: On Friday, May 9th [Tonight] at Thunder Road in Dawsonville, GA, eight auto racing legends will be inducted into the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame - 2nd annual HoF Induction Ceremony: Mechanic Henry Jones, 1960 Winston Cup champion Rex White, promoter Alf Knight, announcer Jimmy Mosteller and drivers Bob Flock, Frank Mundy, Ed Samples and Jack Smith. More info at the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Association site.
AND Thunder Road U.S.A. may run out of gas without financial assistance. The entertainment complex/Georgia Racing Hall of Fame has fallen on hard times since it opened its doors a year ago. Thus during a spiraling economy, Thunder Road has not been the destination of the estimated 350,000 people expected to visit the complex annually. To date, only 5,865 visitors have made the trip to the racing Mecca in 2003. Scheduled to celebrate its second birthday Friday, Thunder Road’s financial setbacks may be too much to overcome to prop the doors open without a financial boost. A meeting of the Joint Development Authority of Dawsonville/Dawson County is scheduled for 10:00am on Friday at Thunder Road U.S.A. to discuss the crisis. The public is invited to attend.(Dawson News & Advertiser)(5-9-2003)
- Buck Baker to be inducted: The late NASCAR great, Buck Baker will be honored as eight athletes are inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame on May 29 in Columbia, SC. The inductees are NBA star Xavier McDaniel; NFL players Kevin Long, J.R. Wilburn and Perry Tuttle; Clemson basketball star Randy Mahaffey; Clemson track athlete Tina Krebs; NASCAR great Buck Baker; and Marion duPont Scott, who is credited with saving the Carolina Cup from extinction in the 1970s and South Carolina track coach Curtis Frye will be given a special achievement award.(Charleston Post and Courier)(4-29-2003)
- Inductees Anounced For 2003 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame: West coast stock car drivers: Bob Ross, Frank Phillips, Eddie Pagan, Rodger Ward, Dan Gurney, Rajo Jack, Erick Erickson, Sonny Easley, and Dick Bown join LA Times motorsports writer Shav Glick, early motorsports pioneer Margo Burke, and Bob Beadle, Promoter of Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, Washington and Car Owner for Winston West Champion Roy Smith, in being inductees into the 2003 West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame. This years ceremonies return to the Four Points Sheraton in Monrovia, California on July 25, 2003. For more information contact the Hall Of Fame at 435-635-2257 or
online at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.stockcarreunion.com.(West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame)(4-18-2003)
- New RCR Museum to Open in Mid-May: What was once the race shop where six championships were earned is now being transformed into a museum honoring one of NASCAR’s most storied racing operations. Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) original race shop and museum at the RCR complex, with the construction of a connecting building between the two, is now a single-structure museum showcasing five decades of auto racing history. Nearly 50 race cars driven by Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Mike Skinner, Richard Childress and others will be on display along with an incredible array of trophies, banners, photographs and other memorabilia.. Also near completion in the 47,000-square-foot building is a gift shop in the area that was the original race shop’s administrative offices. The new RCR Museum & Gift Shop is scheduled to open to the public May 16, 2003.
The original shop area will be dedicated to the famed No. 3 teams with Earnhardt that earned NASCAR Winston Cup championships in 1986-87, 1990-91, and 1993-94. Nearly 20 of the world-famous black paint-schemed No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlos, including the 1998 Daytona 500 and 2000 Winston 500 (at Talladega [Ala.] Superspeedway) winners, will be on display. Video screens and memorabilia throughout the building will showcase the highlights and amazing history of the No. 3 team during its 16 seasons within those walls.
“With all the history made within those walls, it wouldn’t be right to just lease the building out to another company or to put another race team in it,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. “I had mixed emotions on how to do it. I wanted to do something the Earnhardt family would be proud of, every employee that ever worked at RCR would be proud of, and the race fans would be proud to come and see. To me, it’s going to be one of the most incredible stock car racing museums in the country because of the history that was made there over the years. I want the race fans to feel they are a part of that history because they were the ones that made it possible. When they leave, I want them to walk away with a smile on their face knowing that they had just been on an incredible tour.”
The area that was the original RCR Museum and Gift Shop will have a variety of cars on display. Vehicles representing RCR’s championships in the NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR SuperTruck Series (RCR is the only organization to have championships in all three), its current lineup of Winston Cup and Busch Series teams, cars for each of the No. 3 team’s special paint schemes for The Winston from 1995 through 2000 and a number of other race cars significant to RCR’s history will be showcased.
“There’s a lot of history that I’ve kept over the years from all of the RCR race teams that I’m looking forward to sharing with race fans,” Childress said of the area that was the original museum. “Those cars, the ones driven by Kevin Harvick, Mike Skinner, Robby Gordon, and many others, including some that I drove, are also a big part of RCR’s success through the years.”
The newly constructed center part of the building will be dedicated to Childress’ devotion to wildlife and outdoor conservation. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited, all actively involved in the conservation of the nation’s wildlife and natural resources, will be showcased in this area along with many of the animal trophies Childress has collected over the years.
RCR moved into the building, located in this small town 10 minutes south of Winston-Salem off Highway 52, in June 1986. The entire operation at that time was under one roof in the 33,000 square-foot building. The No. 3 team earned its first victory working out of the new shop in October 1986 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowe’s Motor Speedway). They went on that year to capture RCR’s first, and Earnhardt’s second, NASCAR Winston Cup championship. During the time the No. 3 team occupied the building, from mid-1986 through the first race of 2001, it earned 58 victories, 16 pole positions and more than $38 million in race winnings. The three-car Winston Cup program and the administrative staff moved into a state-of-the-art 86,000 square-foot building in the same 35-acre complex in early May 2002. RCR, which also has a two-car NASCAR Busch Series program, now consists of more than 260 employees working in 12 buildings with approximately 300,000 square-feet of shop space.(RCR PR)(4-12-2003)
- 2003 International Motorsports Hall of Fame class inducted: The International Motorsports Hall of Fame inducted its 2003 class Thursday night a class with a background as varied as racing itself. Mel Kenyon races and builds United States Auto Club midgets. Ray Fox built stock cars and served as a NASCAR inspector. Briggs Cunningham built and drove sports cars that competed with the best in the world. A.J. Watson built cars that won the Indianapolis 500, and Emerson Fittipaldi raced to the top of the Formula One and Indy car worlds. Kenyon told his audience he was especially glad he was being inducted by Winston Cup driver Ryan Newman, who won a United States Auto Club midget series rookie championship while driving for Kenyon in 1995. Fox, who was introduced by Hueytown's Bobby Allison, has rubbed shoulders with many fabled NASCAR names such as Fireball Roberts and Buddy Baker. Asked which driver was the best to work with over the years, he replied: "David Pearson and Junior Johnson were good. Junior could tell what was wrong with a car." Briggs Cunningham III represented his father, who suffers from Alzheimer's. Watson and Fittipaldi were not present at Thursday's induction ceremony. Fittipaldi, in Brazil for the Brazilian Grand Prix, was represented by his daughter, Tatiana. Christian Fittipaldi, Emerson's nephew, inducted his uncle.(Alabama Live)(4-4-2003)
- Hall of Fame Class of '03: The International Motorsports Hall of Fame [at Talladega] Class of 2003 consists of three builders and two racers. A.J. Watson, Ray Fox and Briggs Cunningham earned their inclusion by fabricating top-notch race cars. Fellow inductees Emerson Fittipaldi and Mel Kenyon got their laurels behind the wheel. Jim Freeman, executive director of the Hall of Fame, said the 2003 class represents a wide spectrum of motorsports. "As has been the case in the past few years, we have an excellent cross-section of the world of auto racing within this class of inductees. We have drivers, crew chiefs, car builders, engine builders and designers represented from six major sanctioning bodies." (see full story and bios at Alabama Live)(3-31-2003)
- Plans revealed for Texas motorsports hall: Plans were announced Friday for the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame to be located at Texas Motor Speedway. The hall will honor the best performers in Texas racing, including stock cars and other forms of auto racing. The initial class will be inducted in January. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a Texas resident, entered the room in the cockpit of the restored car that Art Cross drove to a second-place finish at Indianapolis in 1953. "When I grew up, this was the type of car I dreamed of driving," Rutherford said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-29-2003)
- Car Raced By Earnhardt, Sr. Takes Pole At 2003 Georgia Speed Week: The late Dale Earnhardt had a winning legacy in Georgia. He dominated at Atlanta Motor Speedway winning there nine times. Even though he is gone, "The Intimidator" will again lead the way, this time at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame's 2003 Georgia Speed Week. The third annual event will take place on Saturday, April 5th from 9:00am - 5:00pm. Events outside the Hall of Fame and in Cherry Street Plaza are free to the public. Regular admission will be required for entrance into the facility. Earnhardt's 1978 Chevy Nova #8, that he raced before attaining NASCAR Winston Cup stardom, heads a list of over two-dozen cars that will be displayed in Cherry Street Plaza. From 1:00 - 3:00pm inside the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, some of the Peach State's legendary motor sports figures will be signing autographs. They include 1960 NASCAR Grand National [now Winston Cup] champion Rex White, famous car owner Raymond Parks, NASCAR Grand National drivers Bob Moore and Bruce Brantley. For more information on Georgia Speed Week see their website: www.georgiasportshalloffame.com.(3-28-2003)
- Underbird to North Carolina: Alan Kulwicki's "Underbird," the #7 Ford he drove the day he won the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup title, is settling into a new nest, its owner says. Larry Bean, who restored the car, plans to move it from its current home in Daytona Beach, Fla., to the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville next week. That the car will arrive in its home just in time for the 10th anniversary of Kulwicki's death in an April 1, 1993, plane crash, is purely coincidental, Bean said.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), see more info on the car at www.underbird.com.(3-21-2003)
UPDATE: Contrary to some reports the #7 Underbird will NOT be at the track or do the victory lap, the car that will do the Polish victory lap is a 2nd #11 Hooters Memorial Ford [2003 model, not 1992]. Kulwicki's real race car sits at Larry and Pam Bean's home in Daytona, staged for transport to a new display at the North Carloina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, NC [Jayski was there in Dec 2002, what a great place] and the Bean's were not invited to participate in the Bristol ceremonies.(3-23-2003)
- White Inducted: Rex White, the 1960 Grand National (now Winston Cup) champion, was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame on Friday. White now lives in Forest Park, Ga., but lived in Spartanburg, S.C., during his racing career and grew up in Silver Spring, Md. White, 73, won the Dixie 400 at Atlanta International Raceway (reconfigured now and named Atlanta Motor Speedway) in 1962. It was his only superspeedway victory. During his career White won 28 races and 35 poles, mostly driving a gold-and-white Chevrolet with a red No. 4 on its sides.(Gaston Gazette) AND Thunder Road USA announced Friday Rex White, the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) champion has been named to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. He became the fourth NASCAR champion from Georgia to be honored, joining Red Byron, Tim Flock and Bill Elliot. During his career, which spanned a little more than eight years, White finished in the top-10 in points six times. He won 28 races, finished in the top 5 110 times and the top 10 163 times.(Macon Telegraph)(3-8-2003)
- Waltrip, Kenyon among the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Darrell Waltrip, sports car driver and teacher Bob Bondurant, midget car veteran Mel Kenyon, motorcycle ace Gary Nixon and driver safety pioneer Bill Simpson head a class of eight racing legends who will inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on June 12, the organization announced today. Posthumous induction honors will go to drag racing engine builder Ed Donovan, hydroplane racer and designer Ted Jones and dirt track sprint car king Tommy Hinnershitz. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is located in the Novi Expo Center in the Detroit suburb of Novi.(Indianapolis Star)(2-6-2003)
- Mike Joy to Host Hall of Fame Induction: FOX NASCAR anchor Mike Joy will take a break from his Daytona 500 preparation this Sunday and return to his racing roots. Joy will host the annual induction ceremony for the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame on February 2nd, at the LaRennaisance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT. Festivities will start at 11:30am/et, with a social hour preceding dinner. Tickets are $40 each, and reservations can be made by calling (860) 569-1299. Honorees include Bob Polverari, a five-time track champion; John Hoenig, who built America's first asphalt paved oval track [Thompson Speedway]; Booker T. Jones, the Northeast's pioneer African-American stock car racer, NASCAR North legend Stanley “Stub” Fadden; auto racing pioneer Richard “Moon” Burgess; sprint car/midget champion Joe Sostilio; Dick Watson, who drove the V-4 “Mystic Missile” to the 1965 Connecticut State Championship; and popular modified owner Bob Judkins, who helped bring about the “Pinto Revolution”; by debuting his pinto bodied 2x, the first NASCAR legal pinto bodied modified race car. These eight racing legends will bring to 57 the number of members in the NEAR Hall of Fame.. In addition to his duties as emcee, Polverari requested that Joy be his presenter for induction. Eligible because he has passed 65 years of age, Polverari is the first active driver to be named to the hall. Ticket information and news is available at www.near1.com. Joy's race announcing career began 33 years ago at a 1/5 mile oval in Agawam, Mass. Joy and Polverari were among the last class named to Riverside Park Speedway's Hall of Fame when the track closed in 1999 after 51 years of racing.(MotorsportsTV/NEAR Site)(1-28-2003)
- Wendell Scott inducted into Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame: Wendell Scott was the first African American to compete in NASCAR's Grand National Division (now Winston Cup) and he is the only African American to win a race in NASCAR's top division. His life and accomplishments were celebrated Saturday evening at World of Sports in South Boston. Scott was inducted into the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, along with legendary NASCAR Modified driver Ray Hendrick. Scott was a racing pioneer, entering NASCAR's top series in 1961 and winning his only Grand National race in 1963 at Jacksonville Speedway Park. "South Boston was his home track," said son Wendell Scott, Jr. "In his old days he was hard to beat there." Scott's wife Mary accepted the induction honors.(Danville Register and Bee)(1-27-2003)
- Petty Chairman: Richard Petty, the driver with the most wins in NASCAR history, will serve as chairman of the newly formed N.C. Motorsports Association. The association, which is based in Clemmons, was created last summer to promote the economic impact of the motorsports industry on the N.C. economy. "At a time when North Carolina is losing jobs in the manufacturing, agricultural and textile industries, the motorsports industry is creating hundreds of new jobs," Petty says. Other association directors include Doug Stafford of Lowe's Motor Speedway and Chris Browning with N.C. Speedway.(Charlotte Business Journal)(1-16-2003)
- Museum Celebrates Racing History: High Point Museum [NC] supporters and racing fans celebrated the museum's stock car racing exhibit with a gala at Bill Davis Racing Saturday night. The museum's exhibit, "When Racing was Racing: Stock Car Racing in the Piedmont Triad," ran from March through September last year. It highlighted the roots of stock car racing from the 1930s through the 1950s and focused on the local racing scene in that era. Barbara Taylor, the museum's executive director, said Bill Davis Racing on Old Thomasville Road [NC] seemed like a logical place to hold the gala, since the owners donated some of the items for the exhibit. Taylor said that the race shop is a natural extension of the exhibit because fans can tour the facility. Gail Davis, wife of Bill Davis, said Ward Burton's car, which won the Daytona 500 last year, will be on display at the shop after February.(High Point Enterprise)(1-13-2003)
- Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame first inductees: The Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame will hold its first induction ceremony during the 2002 Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway Awards Banquet, scheduled for 6:00pm/et, Saturday, Jan. 25 at the World of Sports in South Boston, VA. The first inductees will be Virginia motorsports legends, the late Ray Hendricks and the late Wendell Scott. Both men will be represented by their families at the induction. Hendrick, a legendary driver known for his hard-charging driving style, recorded hundreds of wins at South Boston during his storied career, many of them coming when he was piloting the famous winged #11 Modified coupe fielded by Jack Tant and Clayton Mitchell. The Richmond star won five track championships at South Boston, four of them while competing in the NASCAR Modified division and one in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division. Danville, VA, native Scott was the only African American driver to regularly participate in the NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) series. On Dec. 1, 1963, he became the first and only African American driver to win a Grand National race, with the victory coming in Jacksonville, FL. In 1999, Scott was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL. The Speedway announced its plans for the establishment of the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame in early 2002 following Ward Burton's Daytona 500 victory. Burton's win marked the first time a Virginian had won the race. The activities of the Hall of Fame will surpass just the induction ceremony, including the establishment of a Virginia Motorsports Walk of Fame at South Boston Speedway. Throughout the year, the Speedway will initiate numerous fund-raising events, with the proceeds distributed to up-and-coming Virginia racers. The Danville Register and Bee will assist the Hall of Fame in its fund raising efforts. The advisory board of the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame includes four Virginia natives: Atlanta Motor Speedway General Manager Ed Clark; Barbara Bass of the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History; motorsports artist Garry Hill; and legendary Winston Cup car owner Junie Donlavey.(South Boston Speedway PR)(1-11-2003)
- Stewart Honor: Tony Stewart and former midget car owner Ralph Potter have been elected to the Hoosier Auto Racing Fans' Hall of Fame.(Indy Star)(1-10-2003)
- Petty to be Honored: Richard Petty and The News-Journal's motorsports editor Godwin Kelly will headline the Living Legends of Auto Racing's 11th annual awards banquet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach. Petty will be presented with the LLOAR's Distinguished Driver award, while Kelly will receive the Russ Moyer Media Award. Banquet seating is $40 per person and tickets are available only in advance. For information contact Carol Peoples at (386) 441-3246.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-9-2003)
- 2003 International Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee's: The five newest enshrinees for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, located on the grounds of Talladega Superspeedway, were announced Wednesday. They will be officially inducted in ceremonies next April 3 at the Hall of Fame site. Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time Formula One world champion, heads the class. The flashy Brazilian began racing in 1967, retired in the late 1970s, then returned for a 12-year comeback on the CART circuit. The other inductees are: A.J. Watson, whose one lap of driving ended with a spin-out, became one of the most successful Indy car mechanics. Ray Fox, a NASCAR mechanic and crew chief who worked with, among others, Junior Johnson, Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker and Lee Roy Yarbrough [Note: Ray Fox Jr is the current crew cheif of the #28 RYR team]. Briggs Cunningham, an engine builder for the likes of Dan Gurney, Roger Penske and Stirling Moss. Mel Kenyon, a veteran midget-car racer who won 111 races and seven USAC Midget championships. At age 69, he occasionally races and won the Indianapolis Speedrome series title in 1993.(Alabama Live)(11-15-2002)
- Stock Car Racing Collection: The Appalachian State University Library has initiated a program to create a collection of materials relating to the history of stock car racing, and has named an advisory committee to guide its growth. The Stock Car Racing Collection is building an extensive racing collection of books and other documents available both to research scholars and fans of the sport. Suzanne Wise, a librarian at Appalachian, is spearheading the effort to build the collection. The Collection currently includes more than 350 books and videos, racing periodicals, a clippings file covering 1,100 subjects and a growing collection of race programs and photos. Motorsports photographer Don Hunter, who covered motorsports for the Charlotte Observer for many years, has donated several historic photos of racing action at the Asheville Speedway in the 1950s.. Additional gifts of materials from personal collections are welcomed, and are recognized appropriately. Seven people with strong ties to the stock car racing industry have been named to the Stock Car Racing Collection advisory committee.. They are:
-Len Batycki, former vice president of development for Richard Childress Racing and currently a principal with Strategic Advisors, a motorsports industry consulting firm;
-Chris Economaki, publisher emeritus of National Speed Sport News;
-Mike Epley, executive director of the University's Appalachian Consortium and instructor of a motorsports history course;
-Rick Gambill, president of Carrick Public Relations, which represents motorsports clients;
-Ted Hagaman, former director of Lowe's Motorsports for Lowe's Home Improvements Inc. and current director of hospitality services at Wilkes Community College;
-Ben Trout, senior communications manager with Bristol Motor Speedway; and
-Deb Williams, editor of the NASCAR Winston Cup Scene.
The group's first meeting will be held in December at the University in Boone. For more information contact Suzanne Wise at 828-262-2798, or visit the Collection's Web page at www.library.appstate.edu.(PR)(10-25-2002)
- The King inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame UPDATE: NASCAR legend Richard Petty is making history tonight as he is officially inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Petty, the first NASCAR driver to receive this honor, was nominated and selected for his contributions to the automotive world, both on and off the track. etty, who stepped out of his racecar for the final time nearly ten years ago, is a seven-time Winston Cup NASCAR champion and winner of a record 200 races. Throughout the last decade, he has remained active within the racing community through his daily responsibilities at Petty Enterprises. Off the track, Petty has lent his automotive wisdom to educate Americans on the importance of engine maintenance through the All 3 Every 3 education initiative. "The name Richard Petty is synonymous with winning on the race track," says Automotive Hall of Fame President Jeffery Leestma. "However, if you look at his contributions to other initiatives such as highway and vehicle safety, they are equally as impressive and of enormous importance."
"When I first started out, there were no Halls-of-Fame, you just did something because that was what you loved," said Petty. "It's really an honor for me, not only to be nominated but to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. To be associated with the same group of people who have changed the automotive industry forever is really an unbelievable honor." The Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, Michigan, is the only industry-wide means to honor the men and women of the global motor vehicle and related industries. It is dedicated to preserving the history of mobility by celebrating the creativity, toil and genius of the individual. The Automotive Hall of Fame is both a visitor attraction and an educational resource for inspiring others to higher levels of achievement in their own work and lives.(PR)(10-15-2002)
UPDATE: NASCAR legend Richard Petty made history last night as he was officially inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Petty, the first NASCAR driver to receive this honor, was nominated and selected for his contributions to the automotive world, both on and off the track.(Yahoo)(10-16-2002)
- Martin to be inducted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Mark Martin heads the list of the inductees in this year’s Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Martin led the fans’ vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. Two other men included in that list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert “Red” Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans’ vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS' 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities – including a concert – are free to the public. Find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com (u can buy a brick). The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-3-2002)
UPDATE: One of the most determined and talented drivers to ever compete in the NASCAR ranks heads the list of the inductees in this year's Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Throughout Mark Martin's stellar career, his strong determination to succeed - and win - has set him apart from his fellow competitors. It is the reason he is included in the list of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Martin led the fans' vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame.
Two other men included in that list of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert "Red" Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans' vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS' 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities - including a concert - are free to the public. NASCAR Stars Mark Martin, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Enter Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as Class of 2002. "It's really an honor to be inducted into the Talladega Walk of Fame," said Martin. "I've been going there to race for 20 years now, and we have some good memories over the years. Some of the best of all time are on that Walk-of-Fame and rt's really nice to be included in there." Fans can find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com. The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans' vote. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Davey Allison were inducted as the inaugural class in 1994 by decree of the board of directors.(Roush Racing)(10-2-2002)
- Atlanta NASCAR Museum? The owner of Underground Atlanta has an idea of what may draw visitors to the struggling downtown attraction. A NASCAR museum. Dan O'Leary, president of Underground's owner, O'Leary Partners, said he is considering Underground as a site for a NASCAR interactive museum. The move comes as momentum is returning to downtown Atlanta, spurred by the recent announcement that The Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernard Marcus would build an aquarium near Centennial Olympic Park instead of in Midtown's mixed-use project, Atlantic Station. That move was a mixed blessing for O'Leary because The Coca-Cola Co. also announced plans to move the World of Coke from its current Martin Luther King Jr. Drive location to the aquarium site — thus moving a major downtown tourist attraction farther away from Underground. A NASCAR museum may help fill that void. "We haven't got on the phone and said, 'This is what we're going to do,' " O'Leary said. "The NASCAR thing is just one of the things we're trying to do. But we have got a starting, open dialogue with NASCAR. That's really as far as we are."(Atlanta Business Chronicle)(9-24-2002)
- Dr Dick Berggren to inducted into the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame: Fox Broadcaster/Pit Reporter, Dick Berggren, currently one of the biggest names in stock car racing as a writer, editor, publisher and a nationally recognized television personality will be inducted into the Manchester [CT] Sports Hall of Fame. The 23rd annual induction dinner will be held Oct. 25 at Adams Mill. Dinner tickets at $30 are available at the town hall. The six newcomers will swell the total membership to 125, which includes 14 females. Berggren, 59, graduated from Manchester High in 1962, four years later at Southern Connecticut State University, and gained his doctorate in psychology at Tufts University. After an eight-year teaching career at Emanuel College in Boston, Berggren turned to his first love, stock car racing in 1970 and he's made his mark in the sport ever since. As executive editor of Speedway Illustrated magazine, Berggren's career on the fast track has included all phases from driver, pit crew, promoter, public relations, announcer to national television exposure with ESPN, CBS and CNN. Berggren was a regular driver in the Sportsman Division throughout the eastern stock car racing circuit and recorded 27 first place finishes before calling it a career as a driver. Berggren's interest in the sport started when he was a 12-year-old and saw his first race at Riverside Park. After school, he would walk down to Bob Oliver's garage on Main Street and watch the mechanics work on the Center Motors- sponsored car. Today, Berggren is one of the biggest names in the stock car off track racing world.(Hartford Courant)(9-20-2002)
- Darlington Museum and more lights: Darlington Raceway president Andrew Gurtis announced that Darlington Raceway will expand the Joe Weatherly Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame by 3,300 square feet, bringing the facility to a total of more than 10,000 square feet. The cost of the project, Gurtis said, is in the “middle six-figure range.” Construction is expected to begin before the end of the year, and will be complete by the spring of 2003. There has been speculation recently that Darlington would add lights to the 52-year-old track in order to hold night races. That will happen, Gurtis said, but first things first. The museum, which was built in 1965, has drawn thousands of tourists and race fans annually. The expansion, Gurtis noted, should bring with it an increase in the size of those crowds.(The State)(9-19-2002)
- Inductions: Dale Inman, former crew chief for Richard Petty, pioneer NASCAR official Edward Otto and legendary team owners Leonard Wood and Bud Moore were inducted last night into the National Motorsports Press Association Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame.
AND Proving that it's not always about the driver, the National Motorsports Press Association on Saturday night inducted into its Hall of Fame four new members who have a collective total of zero Winston Cup starts. Dale Inman, Bud Moore and Leonard Wood all played major roles in building some of the sport's greatest race cars and teams. The fourth inductee, the late Ed Otto, was a pioneer in NASCAR's early organization and promotion. Inman had 193 career victories as a crew chief, 180 of those with seven-time champion Richard Petty. Moore was a team owner who scored 63 victories, 43 poles and two championships in his long career. Wood is part of the Wood Brothers racing dynasty that has won 97 races and 116 poles with at least one victory in each of the sport's six decades. His brother, Glen, was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame a year ago. Otto was the first vice president of NASCAR who helped the fledgling organization expand its reach to the Northeast, Midwest and West regions of the country shortly after its founding in 1948.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2002)
- Hall of Fame Stuff: On Saturday, August 31, in an annual ceremony held during Darlington Raceway's Mountain Dew Southern 500 weekend, motorsports pioneer and former NASCAR official Ed Otto will be one of four people inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. Other inductees include Dale Inman, Leonard Wood and Bud Moore. It is appropriate to recall Otto's accomplishments this month. Sunday, August 7 marked 45 years to the day since Otto promoted the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held at Watkins Glen International. Watkins Glen was not the start of Otto's career as a race promoter. Otto began promoting auto racing events as early as 1927, and continued for half a century. He is credited with promoting more than 1,100 auto racing events, including 25 NASCAR Winston Cup events between 1949 and 1965. Otto was present when Bill France, Sr. convened with auto racing promoters and leaders from around the country on that historic day in December 1947 at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach to help form what is now NASCAR. Born in Newark, NJ in 1903, Otto became NASCAR's first vice president in 1952. He was a great spokesman for NASCAR not just in the Northeast, but also in the West and Midwest where he helped gain a footing for stock car racing. He is credited with promoting the race in which Lee Petty scored his first victory in Pittsburgh, PA in 1949. He also promoted the race in Toronto, Canada in 1958, where Richard Petty made his first NASCAR Winston Cup start. Otto also was known as an early safety advocate, and an ethical promoter who never let a driver go home empty-handed. Otto will be inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame by Hal Hamrick.(Darlington Raceway PR)
AND The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame will honor two of racing's elite at its Sixth Annual Induction Ceremony, October 9, 2002 at the Mooresville, (NC) Citizens Center. Cale Yarborough, one of the most celebrated NASCAR drivers and owners, will be honored as the Hall of Fame's newest inductee. The late Smokey Yunick, car owner and crew chief will receive the coveted Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his outstanding contributions to the sport. Cale Yarborough is one of NASCAR's most successful drivers. He was known for his aggressive, never give up driving style. Teamed with legendary car owner Junior Johnson, Yarborough recorded three back-to-back National Championships (1976-1978) and 28 race wins. Yarborough went on to create a successful career as a Winston Cup car owner, with drivers John Andretti and Jeremy Mayfield. Yarborough closed his racing career with a staggering total of 83 race wins, four Daytona 500 victories and three Winston Cup Championships. The late Smokey Yunick was a car owner, crew chief, engine builder, mechanic, and above all an innovator. He did not limit his racing innovation to stock car racing. Many of his most revolutionary machines were debuted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his quest to win the Indy 500. Yunick's ability to look into the future of automotive development and design was recognized by the big three automakers in Detroit where he was contracted to develop programs ranging from auto racing to emission controls. Yunick succumbed to Leukemia in 2001 and left a motorsports legacy that will be revisited constantly by those that wish to excel in the sport of auto racing. Located in Mooresville, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame celebrates the rich heritage of motorsports and its cultural contributions to society. It opened its doors to race fans in 1994 and now welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually. More than 38,000 fans visited during Charlotte's Speedweeks in May 2002. A non-profit museum, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is dedicated to all types of racing - from drag racing to NASCAR. It houses more than 35 cars as well as numerous displays and showcases. Past inductees into the museum's Hall of Fame include Tim Flock, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Bill france, SR., Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. For more information about the museum and the sixth annual induction ceremony, log on to its web site at www.ncarhof.com.(Tom Roberts PR)(8-29-2002)
- Another Wood to join Hall: It is fitting that Leonard Wood will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame in the same month the NASCAR Winston Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway (MIS). With Cale Yarborough's victory in the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Michigan in 1969, Wood Brothers Racing began a winning tradition at the 2-mile MIS oval that spanned 22 years. Eleven of their 97 series victories have come at MIS, making them the all-time winningest car owners there. For their efforts over the years, the brothers have received many accolades. Glen Wood was inducted into the NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame in 2001 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002. This month, Leonard Wood will join his older brother in the NMPA's hall. Wood, a resident of Stuart, VA, will be inducted into the NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 31 in Darlington, S.C., along with Dale Inman, Bud Moore and Ed Otto.(NASCAR PR)(8-15-2002)
- 21 Nominated for Hall of Fame: Twenty men and one woman are finalists for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega, Ala. Six of the 21 will be picked in the final round of voting among a nationwide panel of motorsports media, and announced in November. Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time winner of both the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One championship, led first-round voting. The 21 finalists represent a dozen forms of racing. Janet Guthrie, who raced Indy and stock cars, is the only female on the list. Among the finalists from the stock-car racing field: Red Byron, the first NASCAR champion; engine builder and crew chief Ray Fox; drivers Harry Gant, Ray Hendrick and Jack Ingram; and Cotton Owens, who was successful as both a driver and car builder/owner.(The State)(7-16-2002)
- Three elected to Hall of Fame: Three of stock car racing's pit-road innovators and a pioneer racing official have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Former Winston Cup team owner-crew chief Bud Moore of Spartanburg, former crew chiefs Dale Inman and Leonard Wood and the late NASCAR vice president Ed Otto will join the hall in a ceremony scheduled Aug. 31 in Darlington. The hall is located at Darlington Raceway.(Greenville News)(7-10-2002)
- NASCAR museum in....Boca Raton? Boca Raton, FL businessman John H. Peddie wants to replace the International Museum of Cartoon Art with a stock-car racing hall of fame. Peddie envisions the three-story, 50,000-square-foot building becoming a museum for the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing with features such as driving simulators, an exhibit on stock car racing history and a NASCAR-themed restaurant.(Sun-Sentinel)(7-2-2002)
- 2002 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Ballot: Vote Here thru July 31st, 2002
- NMPA Hall of Fame finalists named: Dale Inman, Bud Moore, Glen Wood, Butch Lindley and Ed Otto are finalists in the 2002 voting for the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame.
Inman, 65, is from Level Cross, N.C., spent more than 40 years as a crew chief for Petty Enterprises, Osterlund Racing, J.D. Stacy and Billy Hagan. He is the only crew chief to win eight NASCAR Winston Cup championships – seven with Richard Petty and one with Terry Labonte – and his cars went to victory lane a record 193 times. No other crew chief has been to victory lane more than 100 times.
Moore, 77, is from Spartanburg, S.C., and cars he built, owned and maintained by Bud Moore Engineering won 63 races, seventh all-time, and 43 poles, ninth all-time.
Wood, 67, and his brother, Glen, formed Wood Brothers Racing in 1949 in Stuart, Va. The team now stands fourth on the all-time win list with 97 victories and has won races in six consecutive decades. Glen Wood was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame last year.
Lindley, from Greenville, S.C., and is widely regarded as one of the top short-track drivers of all time.
Otto, a nominee in the NMPA Hall of Fame balloting last year, was NASCAR's first vice president and helped the fledgling Strictly Stock series extend its reach beyond the South. Lindley and Otto are deceased.
Candidates receiving votes on at least 65 percent of the ballots cast by NMPA members will be elected to the hall. Results will be announced next month and those elected will be inducted on Aug. 30 in conjunction with the Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. The NMPA Hall of Fame display is located in the stock car racing museum on the grounds of the Darlington track.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-3-2002)
- Stewart does nice for Berggren UPDATE: during FX's coverage of Cup Happy Hour, Matt Yocum was interviewing Tony Stewart and Stewart announced that he would fly Dr Dick Berggren (Fox pit reporter, publisher of Speedway Illustrated and former sprint car racer) in his private jet to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa on June 1st when Berggren will be inducted into the The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, joining the class of 2002. Berggren joins other inductees: Lloyd Beckman; Maynard "Hungry" Clark; Jack Hewitt; Jim McElreath; Everett Saylor; Larry "Smokey" Snellbaker; John Bagley; Galen Fox; Ralph "Speedy" Helm; Sam Traylor; J. Gordon Betz; and Joe Scalzo. Berggren teared up and said it was a spectacular birthday present he could hope for, his birthday is on Monday.(5-25-2002)
UPDATE: Ever heard Tony Stewart called an 'angel'? This past Saturday afternoon, Tony Stewart and the FOX Sports team
proved that they are indeed angels, as they will be providing the wings for pit reporter Dick Berggren to attend his induction this Saturday afternoon into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa, from the NASCAR Busch Series race in Dover, Del.. Another angel in the wings is Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc., who is flying fellow inductee Jack Hewitt in-and-out of Knoxville so that Jack doesn't miss Saturday night's United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown race in Terre Haute, Ind. Berggren, founder of the long-running Open Wheel magazine and current executive editor of Speedway Illustrated, was surprised on-camera Saturday afternoon at Charlotte when fellow NASCAR on FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum and former USAC sprint car champion Tony Stewart started talking about Dick's upcoming induction into the Knoxville-based Hall of Fame. He was further floored when Tony committed to loaning him his
plane for this weekend, and Matt committed to working with Steve Byrnes and getting by without Berggren this Saturday at Dover. Other behind-the-scenes 'angels' at FOX Sports are pit producer Pam Miller, main producer Neil Goldberg, and executive producer Richie "Z" Zyontz. Interestingly, Tony Stewart will be honored at Knoxville on Wednesday, August 7, during the Mopar Parts Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals as he and his Jimmy Carr-led WoO team will receive their 2001 National Sprint Car Poll "Team of the Year" awards from the.museum for their World of Outlaws (WoO) title-winning efforts last season with driver Danny Lasoski. Hewitt, one of the most versatile sprint car racing veterans to ever don a helmet, is being flown to Knoxville by his angelic friend Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc.. "Dew It Hewitt" will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon on the second floor of the non-profit museum, and then he will be flown immediately to that evening's USAC Silver Crown race at the Action Track in Terre Haute.(sprintcarhof.com PR)(5-30-2002)
- Motorsports Hall of Fame for Earnhardt: Stock car icon Dale Earnhardt, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, drag racing king Eddie Hill and pioneering open-wheel racer Gaston Chevrolet will lead a class of eight racing legends into the Motorsports Hall of Fame when the organization stages its annual enshrinement ceremony, June 12, 2002 at the State Theatre in Detroit. These four, along with racing engine designer Fred Offenhauser, sports car champion Brian Redman, international motorcycle road racing ace Eddie Lawson and air racer and Hollywood stunt pilot Paul Mantz, will join the 122 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame. The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc., a non-profit
corporation. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is located within the Novi Expo Center, I-96 at Novi Road (Exit162), in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan.(Open Wheel Racing)(1-22-2002)