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Motorsports Hall of Fame of America gets new home: The Detroit Science Center has reached an agreement with the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America to bring a significant portion of the Hall's collection of vehicles and displays to the Science Center. The Hall was formerly located in the Novi Expo Center in Novi, Mich. Cars, exhibits and other displays began arriving at the Detroit museum last week. Among them are Art Arfon's "Green Monster Cyclops," a Kenny Bernstein Funny Car and Sebastien Bourdais' Championship Indy Car. Admission to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the Detroit Science Center is included in Science Center museum admission. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will honor its new class of Inductees on August 25, 2010. The 22nd Annual Induction Ceremony will be held once again at the historic Fillmore Detroit. More info at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America website.(12-23-2009)
Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame inductions: Fans voted in July for the 2009 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7:00pm during Talladega Superspeedway’s AMP Energy 500 weekend, two new names will be added to this prestigious list: Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega at Davey Allison Memorial Park 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.(TSS)(10-29-2009)
Some Georgia Racing Greats to be honored: the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame will be holding their 2009 Induction banquet at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Dawsonville City Municipal Comples this Friday, Oct. 23 at 6:00pm. Among the inductees are former NASCAR drivers Bob Burcham, Ronnie Sanders, Tommie Irvin and Buck Simmons. More info at thunderroadusa.com.(10-21-2009)
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Banquet:
Reservations for the 8th Annual Induction Banquet of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
2009 GRHOF Induction Banquet, Friday, October 23, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
Dawsonville City Hall, Home of the GRHOF, 415 Highway 53 East, Dawsonville, GA 30534
2009 Inductees: Bob Burcham, Luther Carter, Herb “Tootle” Estes, Tommie Irvin, Ronnie Sanders, Leon Sells, Buck Simmons and Katron “Cannonball” Sosebee. More info at GeorgiaRacingHOGF.com.(8-30-2009)
Four To Be Inducted Into 2010 Hall of Fame Class: Four new members, who each have made major contributions to auto racing, will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. The class includes Roger Penske, Jack Roush, Robert Yates and Rusty Wallace. They will be inducted on Jan. 16, 2010, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Concord, N.C. They join a Hall of Fame that includes Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, A.J. Foyt, Harry Hyde, Bud Moore, Glen Wood and Leonard Wood.
Roger Penske’s IndyCar team is the sport’s most successful with a record 15 Indianapolis 500 victories and more than 140 wins overall. His NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have won 63 races, including a Daytona 500. He’s won more than 300 races and 20 championships in all forms of racing.
Jack Roush won 24 titles, including 12 manufacturer’s championships, and 119 races in road racing. His NASCAR teams have won five championships in the sport’s top three divisions, including back-to-back crowns in the Sprint Cup series in 2003 and ’04. His Cup teams have scored 115 victories, including this year’s Daytona 500.
Robert Yates was one of NASCAR’s top engine builders and carried that success with him when he became a car owner. Before he retired, his organization won the 1999 Cup championship and 57 Cup races, including three Daytona 500s.
Rusty Wallace, the 1989 champion in what is now NASCAR Sprint Cup, ranks eighth on the all-time series wins list with 55 victories. He scored at least one win in a record-tying 16 consecutive seasons. Wallace, now a Nationwide Series car owner, also was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
The National Motorsports Press Association was formed more than 40 years ago. It features motorsports writers, broadcasters and photographers from throughout the U.S. and abroad. (NMPA)(9-10-2009)
Foyt & Evernham to be inducted in to NC Auto Racing HoF: The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame (“NCARHOF”) in Mooresville, NC, announced that its thirteenth annual induction ceremony will be held on October 14, 2009 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville, NC. A.J. Foyt, seven-time Indy car champion, winner of four Indy 500s, and winner of the 1972 Daytona 500 will be inducted into the NCARHOF. Ray Evernham, crew chief on three NASCAR Cup championship teams, will be honored with the prestigious Snap-on Golden Wrench Award.
Known primarily for his stunning success in Indy car racing, A.J. Foyt is also a winning driver in NASCAR, the USAC, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the IROC series. In total, he has accumulated 14 major driving championships, earning him the “Driver of the Century” designation from the Associated Press. Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is scheduled to induct A.J. Foyt into the NCARHOF.
Ray Evernham may be best known for having served as crew chief for driver Jeff Gordon in the 1990s, leading the team to three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. His motorsports career has also taken him into the IROC series as a team manager and, later, into NASCAR team ownership. Having a keen interest in using technology to achieve performance, Ray Evernham is also widely recognized for his innovative work with pit crews and his thumb print remains on engineering systems now used throughout the racing industry.
As an organization committed to celebrating the rich heritage of all forms of motorsports, The NCARHOF is proud to be recognizing these two outstanding individuals during its next induction ceremony. Tickets and sponsorships for this year's induction ceremony may be purchased by contacting the NCARHOF at (704) 663-5331. The NCARHOF [ncarhof.com] is recognized as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Net profits from the NCARHOF support child abuse prevention efforts and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser [12-8-2009 this year].(NCARHOF)(9-9-2009)
NMPA Hall of Fame Candidates Announced: The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced the candidates for this year’s NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame ballot. All candidates who receive votes on at least 65% of the ballots cast will be elected. In the event that no candidate receives 65% of the required votes, the leading candidate (or candidates, in the event of a tie) will be elected. The nominee's are: Roger Penske, Jack Roush, Rusty Wallace, Waddell Wilson and Robert Yates. The NMPA consists of qualified members of the media who report on the sport of auto racing through his or her affiliation with print, radio, television or the Internet news organizations. The NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame, located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway has been in operation since 1965, and recently inducted its 77th and 78th members. For more information on the National Motorsports Press Association and/or to join the organization, go to www.nmpaonline.com.(NASCAR)(8-8-2009)
Tickets Still Available for 21st MSHFA Induction Ceremony: Tickets varying in price from $75 to $750 are available for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America's 21st Annual Induction Ceremony at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit on Wednesday Aug. 12. Racing fans can see the ceremony live from the Fillmore's intimate balcony with a $75 ticket. More info and other ticket packages can be viewed at mshf.com. Racing legends Kenny Bernstein, David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and Joe Weatherly will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.(Motorsports Hall of Fame of America)(8-8-2009)
Riesbeck named to Legends of The Glen Class: Watkins Glen International announced Jim Riesbeck as the final inductee into the “Legends of The Glen” Class of 2009. After honoring the Drivers of the Decade in 2008, the Class of 2009 is composed of individuals who have had a significant influence over the history and success of Watkins Glen International. The induction was a part of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 6-9, which featured racing by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series—a series that Riesbeck helped bring back to The Glen more than twenty years ago. The award was accepted on Friday afternoon by members of the Riesbeck family. Family members in attendance included his brothers John and Larry Riesbeck, and his sister Mary Linda Vetter. In early 1983, Riesbeck was searching for a way to increase the economic viability of Upstate New York, which would benefit his employer, Corning, Inc. After visiting the 1983 Daytona 500, Riesbeck knew that bringing NASCAR’s top division to the region was exactly what he needed to do. He began searching for a facility near Corning, N.Y. and stumbled upon the racetrack in Watkins Glen which was for sale. At the time, The Glen was going through one of the darkest periods in its history. The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Corporation filed for bankruptcy in 1981, leaving the track to be auctioned off and all spectator events cancelled for 1982 and 1983. After looking at the facility for the first time on 1983, Riesbeck was surprised with the good condition of the track and quickly traveled back to Daytona Beach for a meeting with executives of International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Within just a few months, the two companies announced a new entity formed through their joint venture. The newly announced “Watkins Glen International” would begin hosting spectator events in 1984. Riesbeck never gave up on his dream of bringing NASCAR racing to Upstate New York and continued to work with NASCAR executives until he was successful in securing an agreement. In August 1986, Watkins Glen International hosted its first race for NASCAR’s top division in more than 21 years. After an afternoon on great racing on the 2.45-mile circuit, Tim Richmond took the checkered flag to win from the pole position. Riesbeck continued to be a driving force at The Glen until his untimely death in 1993. In appreciation of everything Riesbeck has done to make The Glen on of the premier road courses in America, Watkins Glen International presents a Steuben bowl, The Riesbeck Cup, to the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race every year.(WGI)(8-8-2009)
Ernie Saxton to be honored: Nationally-recognized public relations, motorsports marketing and promotions specialist Ernie Saxton has been named recipient of the 2009 Leonard J. Sammons Jr. Memorial Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to auto racing. Saxton will be honored when the 18th annual Northeast Modified Hall of Fame driver inductions and special award ceremonies take place Sunday, May 24 on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day Weekend holiday show at the adjacent speedway. When it was first announced that Saxton was to receive the Sammons Award, being surprised was just one of the emotions that he felt. “I am humbled to have been selected for this award,” said the 67-year-old publisher of the highly-regarded Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News upon being told of this honor. “After writing so many columns and articles and working for so many speedways and organizations, I still enjoy what I do. And as long as my health holds out, I plan to continue doing this, although I might phase a few things out in the years to come. But I am really looking forward to the activities at Weedsport.” A columnist with Area Auto Racing News for some 28 years, Saxton has written or still writes for such varied publications as the Bucks County Courier Times, Inside Track Motorsports News, Stock Car Racing, NASCAR Magazine, Speedway Illustrated and National Dragster. The director of public relations and communications at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., for 43 years, Saxton also served in that capacity at New Jersey’s Bridgeport and Trenton International Speedways, and he was the press liaison for six years at Pennsylvania’s Pocono International Raceway. As an announcer, he has worked at 174 tracks across the country. He has been behind the microphone at Grandview for 41 years and also called the racing action at such unique locations as the old Ascot Park in California, New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the old John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, and the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. At the upcoming ceremonies later this month you can be sure that Ernie Saxton will acknowledge the help that his wife Marilyn has given him over the years. And their relationship in this light is well-known throughout the racing community. But so is his leadership in motorsports and he is well-deserving of this singular recognition.(NASCAR PR)(5-23-2009)
Walk of Fame to Open in Mooresville: The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame (“NCARHOF”) is offering race fans yet another reason to visit Mooresville, NC also known as “Race City USA”. Historic Downtown Mooresville will be the home of the new attraction known as the North Carolina Auto Racing Walk of Fame. Comparable to Hollywood’s famous Boulevard of Stars, the sidewalks of Mooresville will feature markers honoring each of the past thirteen inductees into the NCARHOF. Each year, the new NCARHOF inductee will have their marker added to the Walk of Fame.
The Walk of Fame is made possible through funding generously provided by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau. A vision shared by the Bureau’s Chairman, Ron Johnson, and NASCAR Technical Institute’s John Dodson, who also serves on the Board of Directors for the Hall of Fame led to the creation and installation of the historic walkway.
The Walk of Fame ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th, 2:30 pm at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville. Many of the Inductees are slated to attend the event which includes Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, and Buddy Baker as well as family members of the late Dale Earnhardt, Tim Flock, and Benny Parsons. “Having all of these great drivers come together for this event is going to be historic in itself. What a great opportunity for fans to come out and meet the legends that made all of this possible” said Don Miller, Chairman of the NCARHOF.
Richard Petty was the Halls inaugural inductee in 1997; he also offered valuable input in creating the Walk of Fame. “Preserving the rich history of auto racing and creating something that honors the pioneers in this sport is something that means a lot to me. That I’m included as an honoree in this exhibit is really something special.” The North Carolina Auto Racing Walk of Fame located on the sidewalks of Mooresville will be open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dedicated to all types of racing—from drag racing to stock cars, the museum houses more than 35 cars that represent and help relive some of racing’s greatest moments. Numerous racing displays and showcases are continually rotated in an effort to promote North Carolina’s motorsports heritage. The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Proceeds from the NCARHOF support Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser.(NCARHOF)(5-19-2009)
Earnhardt’s Black #3 Chevy Unveiled at NC Sports Hall of Fame: The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame is now home to a black #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy made famous by the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR President and CEO, Richard Childress, with whom Earnhardt won six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships from 1986 to 1994, was on-hand for the May 13 celebration in downtown Raleigh, N.C. The 2000 #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo was unveiled next to a 1963 #3 Chevrolet Impala made famous by pioneer NASCAR driver and car owner Junior Johnson. The race cars are on display in the lobby of the North Carolina Museum of History in the Sports Hall of Fame. “To be able to put one of Dale’s cars into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame after everything he accomplished as a lifelong resident of North Carolina is a great honor,” said Childress. “Dale was inducted into the hall of fame years ago so we felt it was important to have one of RCR’s famous black #3 GM Goodwrench Chevys on display there, too.” Earnhardt was inducted into the hall of fame in 1994 and went on that season to win his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Childress was honored with his own induction last May. The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame began as a two-year exhibit in the North Carolina Museum of History in February 1982. The grand opening of the 4,000-square-foot exhibit took place in April 1994.(RCR PR)(5-14-2009)
IMHOF Induction Ceremony Presenters and Inductees Rich In History: The list of well-known names who will be in attendance for the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Induction Ceremony extends far beyond the five men who will make up this year’s class of inductees. The Class of 2009 consists of car owner and race promoter J.C. Agajanian, NASCAR Cup driver Donnie Allison, seven-time Modifieds champion Jerry Cook, longtime team owner Bud Moore and NASCAR pioneer and car owner Raymond Parks. Those inductees will be presented during the April 23 ceremony by a group that also has plenty of motorsports experience, including one former driver who is already a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Agajanian will be presented by Parnelli Jones, who drove one of Agajanian’s cars to victory in the 1963 Indianapolis 500. Longtime motorsports journalist Dick Berggren will present Cook. NASCAR's Jim Hunter will present Allison. NASCAR President Mike Helton will present Parks. Buz McKim will present Moore. McKim, the historian for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame has spent years chronicling the history of Moore, his drivers and associates in racing. Also scheduled to be in attendance are 2009 Miss America winner Katie Stam of Indiana, and Stan Barrett, driver of the 3-wheeled Budweiser Rocket Car that attempted to break the sound barrier in 1979. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 7 to 17 and free for kids age 6 and younger. Discounts to the museum of $1 off individual tickets are available to: adults in the military, AAA members, senior citizens, children (age 7 to 17) of a military member or AAA member. Discounts do not apply to combo tickets. The 2009 ceremony will be held April 23rd, 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.(TSS PR)(4-20-2009)
Online Voting Open for Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Online voting for the 2009 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame is currently underway. On Saturday, Oct. 31, two new names will be added to the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame – which two drivers will receive this honor however, is something the fans will have to decide. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located in the Davey Allison Memorial Park 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. Fans may vote for their driver of choice through July 15 by visiting talladegawalk.com. Voting is limited to one vote per day.
Active driver nominees for 2009 include: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Robby Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Morgan Shepherd and Michael Waltrip.
Inactive driver nominees for 2009 include: Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith and Speedy Thompson.
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. For additional information, visit talladegawalk.com. For tickets, visit talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS PR)(4-18-2009)
Means honored by county hall of fame: NASCAR’s biggest star and the people of Huntsville, Ala., have something in common these days. They both recognize Huntsville resident Jimmy Means as a true American hero. Dale Earnhardt Jr. for years has been vocal and enthusiastic in his support of Means, a journeyman driver in the series now known as Sprint Cup but who now fields under-funded cars in the Nationwide Series. The Huntsville folks are making their affection official Monday, inducting Means into the Huntsville/Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. Veteran Huntsville Times reporter Mark McCarter says Means is the first race driver inducted into the Hall.(Racin' Today)(4-13-2009)
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame announces inductees: The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame has announced 10 new members for induction in ceremonies to be held July 3 at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. The 2009 class is the sixth in the history of the Hall which inducted its first members in 2002. The Hall, founded in 2001, memorializes significant contributors to the sport's development and history -- including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media. The latest group brings the Hall's membership to 83. The nomination process began earlier this year followed by a final vote by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. Elected in the Historic category (1930 through 1969) are Ben Gregory, brothers Joe and John Fernandez, Bert Letner, Chuck Meekins, Dick Rathman and Art Watts. Inductees from the Modern era (1970 to present) are Chuck Bown, Rick Carelli, Doug George and Wayne Spears.(NASCAR.com)(4-9-2009)
Labonte, Smith inducted into Texas Motorsports HOF: #96-Bobby Labonte and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith were inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame during Wednesday evening’s gala at The Speedway Club at
Texas Motor Speedway. The two were honored along with Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, #99-Carl Edwards and IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon. Labonte and Smith join previous inductees A.J. Foyt (2003), Johnny Rutherford (2003), Terry Labonte (2004), Lee Shepherd (2004), Kenny Bernstein (2005), Jim Hall (2005), Eddie Hill (2006), Mark Martin (2007) and Jim McElreath (2007) into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Labonte’s presenter for his induction was none other than his older brother and 2004 inductee, Terry Labonte. “It’s a great honor,” Labonte said. “Just having the career and starting out in Texas. This is just a neat factor to come to this. This is pretty cool. I always enjoyed following in Terry’s footsteps.” Labonte was honored with a special announcement at the conclusion of the ceremony. Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch unveiled the special paint scheme Busch will run during Sunday’s Samsung 500. The paint scheme is a replica of the #18 Interstate Batteries car that Labonte drove during his 2000 Sprint Cup Series championship year while at Joe Gibbs Racing. The scheme pays tribute to Labonte’s induction with “Congrats Bobby Labonte! Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame 2009 Inductee” on the deck lid of the car [see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page]. Smith brought back NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing to Texas in 1997 with the construction of Texas Motor Speedway. Since then, he has continued to develop “The Great American Speedway!” into one of the premier sporting venues in the country. Smith, with the help of racing star Curtis Turner, opened Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1960 and hosted the first World 600 that year. Since that time, Smith has set the standard in marketing and promoting motorsports as he has turned SMI into one of the most recognizable brands in NASCAR.
Hendrick was awarded this year’s Bruton Smith Legends Award. The honor is a lifetime achievement award given to a legendary figure in motorsports. Hendrick is known for establishing one of the winningest organizations in NASCAR. The team owner of four of NASCAR’s most recognizable drivers (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin) has set the standard of excellence in motorsports.
Edwards, who became the first Sprint Cup Series driver to sweep both races at Texas Motor Speedway last year (the Samsung 500 and Dickies 500), earned the Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year. Edwards led nearly half the Sprint Cup Series laps run last year at TMS, leading 335 of 673 laps. His two wins placed him atop the list for most wins by a Sprint Cup Series driver at “The Great American Speedway!” with three. Dixon received the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. Dixon earned his first TMS victory during last year’s Bombardier Learjet 550k en route to the IndyCar Series championship.(TMS PR)(4-2-2009)
Bernstein, Hobbs, Parker, Richter, Unser, Jr., Wheeler & Weatherly to be inducted into MHOF: Racing legends Kenny Bernstein, David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and Joe Weatherly will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. “Innovation and competitive spirit are hallmarks of the class of 2009,” says Hall of Fame president Ron Watson. “These men have exemplified leadership and teamwork both on the track and in the front office.”
Kenny Bernstein became the King of Speed in 1992 when he was the first NHRA driver to break the 300 MPH barrier. He is a four-time NHRA Funny Car champion and an IHRA World Funny Car titlist. After changing classes to Top Fuel, Bernstein garnered two additional NHRA driving crowns, becoming the first to win championships in both nitro categories. He is still actively involved in drag racing as an owner. He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America’s three major motorsports series: NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART.
David Hobbs is currently a television broadcaster on Speed Channel whose sports car driving career spanned three decades. While accumulating some 40 major victories at all levels of motorsports, he captured the 1971 U.S. Formula 5000 championship and the 1983 SCCA Trans Am title. Hobbs also raced competitively at the Indy and Daytona 500s, in Formula One and 20 times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Scott Parker dominated the nation’s flat dirt tracks on his Harley Davidson, establishing two all-time records with 94 national event wins and nine Grand National championships at the time of his retirement in 2002. Parker was named American Motorcyclist Association Pro Athlete of the Year three times during his 22-year career.
Les Richter was an eight-time Pro Bowl football player with the Los Angeles Rams before becoming one of the co-owners of Riverside International Raceway and helped turn that track into one of the finest in the world. He also co-founded the International Race of Champions, became a vice president of NASCAR and played a dominant role in the development of California Speedway.
Al Unser, Jr. is known in racing circles as “Little Al” but his accomplishments are as big as his family name. Unser visited Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500 twice and was also a two-time season series winner in CART and the International Race of Champions. He will join his father Al Unser Sr. and his uncle Bobby Unser in the Hall of Fame.
H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler is known as a consummate promoter and public relations genius. Wheeler was the innovative president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina for nearly three decades. He was instrumental in making it one of the premiere racing facilities in the world, being the first to offer extensive VIP suites and condominiums.
Joe Weatherly began his racing career and won three championships on motorcycles before switching to NASCAR, winning the 1953 Modified championship. Then, he went on to win the Grand National (now Sprint Cup) championship in 1962 and 1963. He ranks 19th in all-time Cup wins with 24. He died in a 1964 accident at Riverside Raceway in California.
Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased by calling 248-349-RACE (7223). More info on the Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame at mshf.com.
The Motorsports Museum & 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, and showcasing the stories of 175 Hall of Famers known as the Heroes of Horsepower. 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’ jet car and stock cars driven by Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott.(MHOF PR)(2-14-2009)
Dodson appointed to NC Auto Racing HOF board: The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame ("NCARHOF"), a non-profit organization founded in 1994 as a means of preserving the history of automobile racing, is pleased to announce the appointment of John G. Dodson to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Mr. Dodson fills the seat previously occupied by the late Benny Parsons, who served on the Board until his passing in January 2007. Currently serving as the Community/NASCAR Team Relations Director for the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, Mr. Dodson brings over 30 years of motorsports industry experience to the NCARHOF's Board of Directors. Mr. Dodson started his career as a rear tire changer in the 1979 Daytona 500 for driver Richard Childress, and worked with racing greats including Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Tim Richmond, and 1989 Winston Cup Series Champion Rusty Wallace. Mr. Dodson's motorsports career extends deep into the industry where he enjoys success as a motorsports media consultant in radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. In 2008, Mr. Dodson was also instrumental in helping to initiate the NC Auto Racing Walk of Fame, which is scheduled to open in May 2009 in Mooresville, NC. Mr. Dodson joins the following motorsports icons on the NCARHOF Board of Directors: 1983 Winston Cup Series Champion Bobby Allison, 1980 Daytona 500 Winner Buddy Baker, NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, NHRA team owner Darrell Gwynn, Motorsports Artist Garry Hill, 2008 Daytona 500 Winner Ryan Newman, and Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Team Owner and 1989 Winston Cup Series Champion. Dedicated to all types of racing from drag racing to NASCAR, the museum houses more than 40 cars that represent and help re-live some of racing's greatest moments. Numerous racing displays and showcases are continually rotated in an effort to promote North Carolina's motorsports heritage. The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization recognized under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Proceeds from the NCARHOF support Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser. More inf at ncarhof.com.(1-28-2009)
Tickets For International Motorsports HoF Induction Ceremony On Sale Now: Tickets are now available for the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Induction Ceremony, scheduled for April 23, 2009 at the SPEED Channel Dome in Talladega, Ala. This year’s black-tie optional ceremony begins with a reception at 5:30pm and the banquet and awards ceremony immediately following. The five inductees being honored are: J.C. Agajanian, Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Bud Moore and Raymond Parks. Individual tickets are $125 and a table for eight may be reserved for $1,000 by calling 1-256-761-4755. In addition to the five inductees, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will be on hand to accept his award as the 2008 Driver of the Year and 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier will also be recognized during the ceremony. 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 2009 Induction Ceremony will be held Thursday, April 23, at the SPEED Dome, adjacent to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.(TSS PR)(1-28-2009)
NMPA inducts three legends: The National Motorsports Press Association had its Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday night. The banquet honored the newest inductees — Chris Economaki, T. Taylor Warren and Junie Donlavey — and took place in one large banquet room of the Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord, NC.(in part from NASCAR This Week)(1-18-2009)