MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAMES / MUSEUMS 2008 NEWS ARCHIVE
for links to Hall of Fames, Auto Racing Museum's and past HOF news
see my Hall of Fame Links page
- Benny Parsons ARCA car at the NC Auto Racing Hall of Fame: The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame - ncarhof.com announced that, for a limited time, the actual #98 Ford Torino driven by Benny Parsons in the 1968 and 1969 ARCA series championships will be on display in the museum. In 1970, the car was sold to Wendell Scott, NASCAR's first black driver, who raced the car under #34 until 1973. The car was one of two identical Ford Torinos returned to original race trim and used in the final scenes of the movie "Greased Lightning" starring Richard Pryor as Wendell Scott. This very special Ford Tornio is on loan to the Hall of Fame until May 2009, although the museum maintains an inventory of one-of-a-kind automobiles including #48 Lowe's Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and a #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon. Said Don Miller, chairman of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, "What makes our museum so unique is that not all of our automobiles are replicas or show cars. Many are the actual race cars that are in the same condition that they were when they left the track." The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is located in Lakeside Business Park in Mooresville, North Carolina. Proceeds from the NCARHOF support Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser - Dec 9th.(NCARHOF PR)(11-25-2008)
- NC Auto Racing HOF announces Walk of Fame: Mooresville, North Carolina, also known as "Race City, USA", will unveil a new Walk of Fame attraction in May 2009 designed to honor inductees of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The walkway will be located on the sidewalks of Historic Downtown Mooresville in front of the Charles Mack Citizen Center. Ron Johnson, Director of the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau, has played key role in the project, not only by bringing the funding to the table but injecting his vision for a one of a kind attraction. Said Ron Johnson, "This project marks the end of a five-year dream that NASCAR Technical Institute's John Dodson and I have shared. We wanted to build something that would bring together the rich heritage of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and the downtown Mooresville area." The attraction will feature markers for each of the Hall of Fame's inductees. The 2008 induction ceremony, being held on October 8, will honor the late Benny Parsons. During this year's ceremony, an unveiling of the Walk of Fame markers, featuring Richard Petty's 1997 induction into the Hall of Fame, will take place.
Don Miller, founder of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Board said, "I can't tell you how excited I am about this project. Racing was born in the Carolinas. This walkway solidifies our rich history and preserves our heritage in this great sport that has meant so much to all of us." North Carolina manufacturer David Allen Company has been contracted to build the markers, which will be installed by early May. More info on the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame at ncarhof.com.(NCARHOF PR)(10-7-2008)
- International Motorsports Hall of Fame 2009 inductees named: Donnie Allison, 69, was one of five inductees who will make up the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame class, which was announced Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. "It's hard to put into words," he said. "Without a doubt, it's the biggest honor ever bestowed on me. I'm really at a loss for words, believe it or not."
Legendary team owner Bud Moore joins Allison, along with car owner and race promoter J.C. Agajanian, former NASCAR Modifieds champion Jerry Cook and former car owner Raymond Parks. One of the men Donnie drove for is Moore, who became one of the most successful team owners in NASCAR history. Moore's drivers also included Joe Weatherly, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Darrell Waltrip. Weatherly won two championships (1962, '63) driving for Moore. Moore, 83, was the crew chief for Buck Baker's championship season in 1957. Parks, 94, was the car owner of the first NASCAR champion when Red Byron won the title in 1949. Cook, 69, won six NASCAR Modifieds championships in the 1970s, and later became the director of the Modifieds division. Agajanian, who died in 1984, won two Indy 500s as a car owner with Troy Ruttman in 1952 and Parnelli Jones in 1963.(ESPN)(10-4-2008)
- Labonte, White to be inducted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Fans voted in July for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 4 during Talladega Superspeedway’s AMP Energy 500 weekend, two new names will be added to this prestigious list: Bobby Labonte and Rex White. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR’s greatest names and a tribute to one of racing’s brightest stars – the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans’ vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway.
Dr. Jerry Punch, lead announcer and host of ESPN/ABC sports coverage, will make his second appearance as emcee for the Induction Ceremony. Punch took over emcee duties last year after the passing of Benny Parsons. Parsons was a longtime supporter and significant part of the event. He is also credited with being one of the first inactive drivers to be inducted. During this year’s event, Phil Parsons, Benny’s brother, will help unveil a permanent plaque honoring Benny’s longtime duties.(TSS PR), more info at talladegawalk.com.(10-1-2008)
- NC Auto Racing HOF to induct Parsons & Matthews: NASCAR's 1973 Winston Cup champion and former TV analyst Benny Parsons and legendary car builder Edwin "Banjo" Matthews will be honored Oct. 8 during the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremonies at the Citizen's Center. Parsons, who passed away in January 2007 due to complications from his battle with lung cancer, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Matthews, who died in 1996 of heart and respiratory disease, will be honored with the Snap-on Golden Wrench award.
Born in Wilkes County, N.C., Parsons became a two-time ARCA champion before moving to NASCAR's premier series. In 1973, he earned the Winston Cup title in a manner that still serves as an example as to why one should never give up when pursuing a dream. On lap 13 of the October race at Rockingham, N.C., Parsons was involved in a wreck that tore the right side off his car. The roll cage was ripped apart and the rear-end assembly was lying in the middle of the track. Several teams joined Parsons' in repairing the car and returning him to the event, thus giving the L.G. DeWitt-owned team the series championship. After stepping from the driver's cockpit, Parsons joined ESPN and hosted a nationally syndicated radio talk show, "Fast Talk With Benny Parsons." While with ESPN, he won an Emmy in 1996. A decade later, Parsons collected another Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series "NASCAR on NBC/TNT."
An Akron, Ohio, native, Matthews moved to Miami and competed in his first race at age 15. In 1952 he relocated to Asheville, N.C., and raced Modifieds. He competed in 50 races on NASCAR's Grand National [now Sprint Cup] circuit before becoming a full-time car owner in 1963. It was Banjo's Performance Center, however, for which he gained notriety. From 1974-1985, cars constructed by Matthews' won 262 of 362 Cup races, including all 30 in 1978, and four consecutive series championships, 1975-78. In many events, cars built by Matthews comprised more than half the field. In addition to building race cars, Matthews' firm also repaired them. His company didn't limit itself to Cup cars. It also constructed Limited Sportsman, Modifieds and IROC cars.
Tickets for this year's induction ceremonies may be purchased by contacting the NCAHOF (704) 663-5331. The NCAHOF is a not-for-profit organization that supports Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser.(NCAHOF PR)(9-20-2008)
- Buddy Baker inducted in to Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Buddy Baker was among seven legends of motorized sports inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The induction ceremony was Wednesday night in Detroit. Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 as well as back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s (1972 and '73). On March 24, 1970, Baker became the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier at Talladega Superspeedway. Baker collected 19 wins, 202 top-five finishes and 311 top-10s. After retiring from competition, Baker made a second career as a television commentator. His father, Buck Baker, also is a member of the MHFA. Other 2008 inductees include open-wheel driver Michael Andretti, drag-race champion John Force, the late sports-car racer Richie Ginther, motorcyclist Wayne Rainey, multi-sport champion Paul Goldsmith and pilot Betty Skelton. (NASCAR.com)(8-15-2008)
- Finalists For IMHOF Class of 2009 Announced: Twenty-one racing legends have been nominated by a panel of international motorsports journalists for possible induction to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009, officials announced Monday. The field of nominees was expanded to twenty-one this year over the usual twenty because of a tie in votes. The group will be narrowed to five inductees when the final round of voting begins July 30th.
Representing IndyCar in the top-21 are: J.C. Agajanian, Clint Brawner, Pete DePaolo, Ted Horn and Troy Ruttman.
From Sprint Cars are: Tommy Hinnershitz and Jan Opperman.
Representing NASCAR are: Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Carl Kiekhaefer, Bud Moore, Marvin Panch, Raymond Parks, Maurice Petty, Rex White and Lee Roy Yarbrough.
From sports cars is Brian Redman.
Representing the NHRA is Ronnie Sox. Several nominees careers' spanned multiple series, including: from NHRA & NASCAR, Raymond
Beadle; from AMA & NASCAR, Paul Goldsmith and from AMA & IndyCar, Sam Hanks.
The next Induction Ceremony is set for Thursday, April 23, 2009, and consists of a reception, banquet and awards ceremony. Individual
tickets are $125 or a table of eight may be reserved for $1,000 by calling 1-256-362-5002.(TSS PR)(7-29-2008)
- Dale Earnhardt car on display at IMHOF: UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt scored his first victory at Talladega Superspeedway behind the wheel of the #15 Wrangler Ford Thunderbird on July 31st, 1983. To celebrate the upcoming 25th Anniversary of that historic first win, officials for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum (IMHOF) recently unveiled the famous car that started Earnhardt's winning ways at Talladega. The car comes to the IMHOF at a fitting time, as the 25th Anniversary of Earnhardt's win coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum. Along with 10 Sprint Cup Series wins (a series record), Earnhardt also collected one Nationwide Series victory and three IROC wins, making him the most successful driver in Talladega Superspeedway history. Visitors to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum will find the #15 Ford Thunderbird on display in the Union 76 building through December.(TSS PR)(7-10-2008)
UPDATE: A car unveiled at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Tuesday and touted as the car Dale Earnhardt drove to his first victory at Talladega Superspeedway is not that car, the car's owner and Hall of Fame officials confirmed Wednesday. The 1982 Ford Thunderbird unveiled Tuesday was driven by Earnhardt but is not the car in which he won the 1983 Talladega 500. (Birmingham News)(7-10-2008)
- Georgia Racing Hall of Fame class of 2008 chosen: This year’s inductees are former NASCAR vice president of competition Bill Gazaway, short track racer Jack Jackson, 1965 NASCAR rookie of the year Sam McQuagg, Peach Bowl champion Charles Padgett, drag racing pioneer Randy Payne, NASCAR legend Wilbur Rakestraw, car owner Dub Smith, and track promoter Mike Swims. The eight inductees were chosen from the initial “Sweet 15” nominees, who had been whittled down from over 40 nominees that were submitted to the Hall of Fame voting committee.(Georgia Racing Hall of Fame PR)(6-23-2008)
- Roush to be honored: Jack Roush of Roush Fenway Racing, was named a finalist for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. "The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame is certainly an organization that has a high standing in the community and is respected throughout the country, and if I'm up for an award, I feel honored by it," he said.
Roush was nominated in the Contribution category. The inductees will be announced June 20. Roush is the chairman of the board of Roush Enterprises, the parent company for Roush Industries and Roush Performance, which are both headquartered in Livonia. Roush also calls Livonia home. Roush was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.(Detroit News)(6-14-2008)
- Childress Inducted into N.C. Sports Hall of Fame: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) president and CEO Richard Childress and six others were honored in Raleigh last night at the 45th Induction Banquet for the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. The evening's event, which took place at the North Raleigh Hilton, was a who's who of some of the greatest sports figures in North Carolina history. Those inducted in addition to Childress, who was the 258th inductee of the now 260-member group, were former Duke University Athletic Director Tom Butters, former Duke University quarterback Leo Hart, sportswriter and promoter Bill Hensley, former UNC and NFL offensive lineman Ken Huff, former Guilford College men's golf and basketball coach Jack Jensen, legendary former Harlem Globetrotter Fred "Curly" Neal, and current University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill men's basketball head coach Roy Williams. "It was a very humbling experience and an honor for me to be nominated and inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame," said Childress. "Only in America can a kid with a dream to drive a race car be fortunate enough to be inducted into the hall of fame of his home state. I'd be remiss if I didn't give Dale Earnhardt a lot of credit for my induction. I also have to thank all of the long-time team members at RCR and the current team members who are keeping the RCR heritage strong. Racing is a team sport and I've been fortunate to have been able to surround myself over the years with people who are committed to success." Childress, an 11-time NASCAR championship-winning team owner, including six Cup Series titles with the legendary Dale Earnhardt (1986-87, '90-'91, '93-'94), is the ninth member of the motorsports fraternity to be honored by the North
Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. The others include Lee Petty (1966), Richard Petty (1973), Ned Jarrett (1990), Buck Baker (1992), Junior Johnson (1992), Herb Thomas (1992), Dale Earnhardt (1994), and H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler (2004).(RCR)(5-17-2008)
- Jarrett's enshrined In LMS's Court of Legends: NASCAR champions Ned and Dale Jarrett were inducted into Lowe's Motor Speedway's Court of Legends Tuesday
afternoon as part of the week-long festivities leading up to Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The Jarretts are the first father and son to be enshrined in the speedway's Court of Legends and the induction ceremony included having their signatures, footprints and handprints immortalized in concrete near the track's main entrance. They are the 21st and 22nd members of the Court of Legends, joining fellow NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty, David Pearson, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte. Dale Jarrett's induction came just four days before he climbs into the #44 UPS Toyota Camry for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his final career start in stock car racing's premier division. More info and a list of those enshrined, see lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(5-14-2008)
- Jarrett's to be enshrined In LMS's Court of Legends: Ned and Dale Jarrett, one of only two father-and-son combinations to claim championships in NASCAR's premier division, will be simultaneously inducted into Lowe's Motor Speedway's Court of Legends on Tuesday, May 13 at 2:00pm/et. H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, will honor the two North Carolina natives who will have their signatures, footprints and handprints immortalized in concrete near the track's main entrance. Officials of Lowe's Motor Speedway and UPS will also announce the winner who will ride-along with Dale Jarrett in the UPS truck during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 17. The $1 million-to-win event will be Jarrett's final NASCAR start.(LMS)(5-12-2008)
- Hendrick Motorsports reopens museum: Check out Rick Hendrick's first Chevrolet. Watch a dissected Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow" being pieced together. See the cars and memorabilia of Casey Mears, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. These are just a few things visitors can do now that Hendrick Motorsports has reopened its museum. The 15,000-square-foot facility, which was closed the last four months for renovations, pays tribute to nearly 25 seasons of Hendrick Motorsports history and offers fans the latest in team-related apparel and merchandise. Admission to the museum is free of charge. Throughout the year, the museum will exhibit a rotating stable of famous Chevrolets -- such as an original All-Star Racing entry, multiple Daytona 500 champions and the inaugural Brickyard 400 winner. Featured currently are cars driven by Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Ken Schrader and Ricky Hendrick, among others. Visitors will be met at the entrance by the Monte Carlo SS that Johnson drove at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2007 Sprint Cup Series title. The Hendrick Motorsports museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors can find special announcements, extended race-week hours, driving directions and additional information related to the museum at www.HendrickMotorsports.com.(HMS)(5-8-2008)
- Hall of Fame induction tonight: The International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be top-heavy with NASCAR characters. Tonight's program includes three stock-car men who helped push their sport into major-league status. The NASCAR banner will be carried into the Hall of Fame by Robert "Red" Byron, Everett "Cotton" Owens and Ralph Seagraves. On the other half of the program are Art Arfons, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins and Frank Kurtis.
The following men will be inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame tonight in Talladega, Ala.:
Art Arfons (1926-2007): Set the unlimited Land Speed Record three times in the infamous Green Monster.
Robert "Red" Byron (1926-60): Won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the Daytona Beach & Road Course in 1948.
Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins (1930- ): Built engines for 61 NHRA eliminators, producing five titles and three ARHA crowns.
Frank Kurtis (1908-87): Built five Indy 500-winning cars, and his midget-car package dominated the sport for 20 years.
Everett "Cotton" Owens (1924- ): Scored 41 NASCAR wins and 38 poles as driver and car owner.
Ralph Seagraves (1929-98): Helped initiate R.J. Reynolds' sponsorship of motorsports, including NASCAR, in the 1970s.
(Daytona Beach News Journal), for more info, see the International Motorsports Hall of Fame site.(4-24-2008)
- Special Tribute For NASCAR's 60th Anniversary Honors Champions Past and Present: The past and present of NASCAR will converge on stage during the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 24. Standing side-by-side will be Raymond Parks, owner of the car driven by Robert "Red" Byron to the first NASCAR championship in 1949, and Jimmie Johnson, the driver who won the most recent NASCAR Cup title in 2007. Both Parks and Johnson will have their championship trophies with them during the presentation. The moment will be the highlight of a special tribute honoring the 60th anniversary of NASCAR's formation. After a short video tribute, all of the past
champions who are members of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame - both drivers and car owners - will be recognized. Those who will be present for the ceremony include NASCAR legends Ned Jarrett, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Ray Fox, Red Farmer and Everett "Cotton" Owens, who is also being inducted into the IMHoF that night as a member of the Class of 2008. Past Inductees that will also be in attendance include Carroll Shelby, Johnny Rutherford and Mel Kenyon. Parks was an active car owner from 1938 to 1955 and one of the most successful owners during the early days of NASCAR. Parks' teams won all five beach races held at Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1945 and 1946, as well as the first NASCAR-sanctioned race in 1948. A native of Georgia, Parks teamed up with a number of stock-car racing's driving pioneers, including Lloyd Seay, Roy Hall, Bob Flock, Fonty Flock, Ed Samples, Jack Smith, and Gober Sosebee. But it was Parks' relationship with Byron that proved to be the most successful. In 1949, Byron competed in six of the eight official NASCAR races held that year, winning two and finishing in the top-five in two others. He won $5,800, earned 842½ points and went into the record books as the first NASCAR champion, beating out eventual three-time champ Lee Petty. Ironically, Byron is one of the six people being inducted into the IMHoF this year. He and Owens are joined in the Class of 2008 by land speed record breaker Art Arfons, drag racing guru Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, car fabricator Frank Kurtis and Winston promoter Ralph Seagraves. Opened in April of 1983, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports. Each year, the annual International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held on the grounds of the museum to honor those men and women chosen for induction from among the greatest names in all of motorsports. The 2008 ceremony will be held April 24, at the SPEED Channel Dome, adjacent to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Individual tickets for the evening are $125 and a table of eight may be reserved for $1,000. Tickets and tables are available by calling 1-256-362-5002. For more information on tickets for the upcoming Aaron's Dream Weekend, guests should call the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA, (1-877-462-3342) or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(4-16-2008)
- Bill France Sr. To Be Inducted Into U.S. Business Hall of Fame: NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. will be inducted posthumously into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday night in Nashville, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. France, who died in 1992, founded NASCAR in 1947 and was the sanctioning body’s first president, serving in that capacity until 1972 when he was followed by his son Bill France Jr. France is part of an illustrious 2008 class of inductees that also includes: USA Today founder Al Neuharth; Thomas Frist, Jr., M.D. Chairman Emeritus, Hospital Corporation of America; Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of the RLJ Companies and the Black Entertainment Network; John E. Pepper Jr., retired chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble; and Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay. France’s grandson, J.C. France – who races Daytona Prototypes in the Rolex Sports Car Series – will accept the induction honor on behalf of the France family. J.C. France is the son of NASCAR vice chairman and executive vice president Jim France.(NASCAR PR)(4-9-2008)
- Martin, McElreath inducted into Texas Motor Sports HOF: NASCAR veteran driver Mark Martin and open-wheel star Jim McElreath were inducted into the Texas Motor
Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies held tonight at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, Texas Motor Speedway and Happy Hill Farm Academy honored
Jimmie Johnson, the two-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion and defending Dickies 500 winner; Sam Hornish Jr., a three-time IndyCar Series champion and last season's Bombardier Learjet 550k winner; and Indy-car veteran Arie Luyendyk, who won the first nighttime Indy car race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997, with special awards during the
ceremony. McElreath and Martin join previous inductees A.J. Foyt (2003), Johnny Rutherford (2003), Terry Labonte (2004), Lee Shepherd (2004), Kenny Bernstein (2005), Jim Hall (2005) and Eddie Hill (2006) into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame. The Bruton Smith Legends Award, a lifetime achievement award given to a legendary figure in motorsports, was presented to Luyendyk. Luyendyk is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (1990, '97) and three-time Indy 500 pole winner. Johnson was honored as the Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year. Hornish Jr., now a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie after an illustrious IndyCar Series career, was recognized with the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. Hornish Jr.'s charitable contributions to Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter have not gone unnoticed. For the past three years, Hornish Jr. has hosted the Sam Hornish Jr. Celebrity Bowling Tournament prior to the Bombardier Learjet 550k race weekend.(TMS)(4-3-2008)
- Texas Motor Sports HOF names inductees: Mark Martin and open-wheel star Jim McElreath have been selected as this year's inductees into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame and will be honored April 2 at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, Texas Motor Speedway and Happy Hill Farm Academy announced that Jimmie Johnson, the two-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and defending Dickies 500 winner; Sam Hornish Jr., a three-time IndyCar Series champion and last season's Bombardier Learjet 550k winner; and Indy-car veteran Arie Luyendyk, who won the first nighttime Indy car race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997, will also be honored with special awards during the ceremony.(TMS PR)(3-6-2008)
- Drivers Elected to Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Open wheel racing champion Michael Andretti, NASCAR legend Buddy Baker and perennial drag racing king John Force will lead a class of seven racing greats into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at the Fillmore Detroit. These three, along with sports car ace Richie Ginther, motorcycle hero Wayne Rainey, versatile competitor Paul Goldsmith and pioneering aerobatic pilot Betty Skelton will join 167 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Tickets for the Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 1-800-250-RACE (7223). The Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame is operated by the nonprofit Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is a museum housing more than 40 racing and high-performance vehicles. The constantly changing collection features racers from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, Can Am, TransAm, sprint cars, powerboats, truck racing, drag racing, motorcycles, air racing and even snowmobiles. Among the highlights are Art Arfons' Green Monster jet car and championship NASCAR stock cars driven by Darrell Waltrip and Dale Jarrett.(MSHF PR)(2-16-2008)
- Childress named to N.C. Sports Hall of Fame: Richard Childress, the owner of Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, NC will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in May. Childress is one of eight honorees in the Class of 2008. The NASCAR team owner won six Winston Cup [Now Sprint Cup] championships with Dale Earnhardt Sr. behind the wheel, the Busch Series [now Nationwide Series] Grand National championship in 2001 and 2006 with Kevin Harvick and the Truck Series title in 1995 with Mike Skinner. His team became the first in NASCAR history to win the championship in all three national series. His teams have also won two Daytona 500s. Childress was inducted into the Davidson County Sports Hall of Fame in October. He also owns Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC. The eight inductees will be enshrined at the 45th annual induction ceremony in Raleigh on May 15. They will be introduced at an afternoon news conference at the N.C. Museum of History. Formal induction will come during an evening banquet at the North Raleigh Hilton. Banquet ticket information is available from the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh at (919) 845-3455 or at the Hall’s Web site, www.ncshof.com. The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the museum is free.(Lexington Dispatch)(1-31-2008)
- Hendrick museum closes for renovations: The Hendrick Motorsports museum, located on the team's racing complex in Concord, has been temporarily closed to the public while it undergoes a full renovation. The redesigned facility will reopen in time for NASCAR's annual visit to Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Hendrick Motorsports is located one mile from the race track. Also undergoing a facelift is Hendrick Motorsports' team store, which will reopen in a temporary location on Jan. 28. The store will operate under its regular business hours in the race shop of drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson until construction on the new facility is completed. Other areas of the Hendrick Motorsports complex, including the team race shops, will remain open to the public during the museum renovation.(HMS Site)(1-25-2008)
- Johnson Named NMPA Driver of the Year; Houston Named to Hall of Fame: There was little doubt about who was going to be chosen the National Motorsports Press Association's driver of the year for 2007. The question, instead, was whether Jimmie Johnson would personally accept the Richard Petty trophy. The answer, for the second year in a row, was no. Johnson, who repeated as NASCAR champion last season, was announced as 2007's top driver Sunday at a luncheon during the NMPA's annual convention. When he was unable to attend last year's awards presentation, Johnson videotaped an acceptance message. He did likewise this time, too, but the video wouldn't play. It's the third time in four years that Johnson was voted the NMPA driver of the year, and it was part of the spoils that went with a 10-win season by the 32-year-old native of El Cajon, Calif. Johnson is the fourth driver to win the NMPA award more than twice. Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough each captured the trophy three times, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. won it by himself four times and shared it with Tim Richmond in 1986. The trophy has been given annually by the media group since 1969.(Fayetteville Observer)
AND: On Saturday night Tommy Houston, one of the truly significant figures in the history of what was previously known as the Busch Series, joined the National Motorsports Press Association's Stock Car Hall of Fame. Like most of the men honored by the NMPA, the honor clearly moved Houston. He basked in the attention, answered every question and went out of his way to be cooperative. Houston's last words to the audience -- the dinner was near Lowe's Motor Speedway at the Concord Convention Center and Embassy Suites hotel -- were, "Thank you for remembering me, and good night."(Gaston Gazette)(1-21-2008)