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Finalists Named for 2014 International Motorsports Hall of Fame: The renowned International Motorsports Hall of Fame, located in Talladega, AL, announced its 22 finalists for the 2014 induction class. The list of finalists reads like a “Who’s Who” across numerous forms of motorsports which include open wheel, sports car, drag and stock car racing. The top 20 and ties (as is the case this year) will be on the second ballot to an esteemed motorsports media voting panel. The panel will select the final individuals who receive 51 percent of the total number of votes to be the 2014 induction class. Those names will be announced in December. The 2014 International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 1. To be eligible for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, an individual must be retired in his or her line of work in motorsports for at least five years. However, that person may still be active in the sport in a different capacity. The 22 individuals eligible for the 2104 International Motorsports Hall of Fame are listed alphabetically, along with a quick description:
• Michael Andretti – Winningest driver in CART with 42 triumphs & the 1991 CART Championship
• Raymond Beadle – 3-time NHRA Funny Car Champion (1979-81) & 3-time IHRA Funny Car Titlist (1975-76, ’81); NASCAR Championship team owner with driver Rusty Wallace in 1989
• Keith Black – Winning engine builder/engineer in drag and boat racing, setting several world speed records
• Harold Brasington – Creator/builder of NASCAR’s original superspeedway – Darlington Raceway – as well as Rockingham Speedway
• Clint Brawner – Chief mechanic for Mario Andretti’s USAC National titles in 1965, ’66 & ‘69
• Joie Chitwood – 1939-40 AAA East Coast Sprint Car Champion; Noted safety advocate
• Harvey Firestone – Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
• Tommy Hinnershitz – Seven AAA National Sprint Car Championships
• David Hobbs – Sports Car racer who set four all-time Continental Formula records
• Ted Horn – Three consecutive AAA National titles (1946-48) with 12 wins
• Connie Kalitta – 10-time NHRA National event winner. First driver over 200 mph in Hot Rod race
• Joe Leonard – Won titles in both motorcycle (AMA) in 1956-57 and car series (Indy Car) in 1971-72
• Roger McCluskey – Won titles in three divisions of USAC – Sprints (1963, ’66), Stocks (1969-70) and Champ Cars (1973)
• Tom “Mongoose” McEwen – A 5-time winner in NHRA, who was an incredible promotional showman
• Danny Ongais – “Flyin’ Hawaiian” had success in motorcycle, drag, Formula 1 and Indy car racing
• Marvin Panch – 17-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner; 1961 Daytona 500 winner
• Les Richter – Former manager of Riverside Raceway; co-founder of IROC; former NASCAR VP
• Troy Ruttman – 1952 Indy 500 champ; three-time AAA Sprint Car champion
• Sir Henry Segrave – Set three land speed records, water speed record; 1923 French Grand Prix winner
• Lee Shepherd – 4-straight NHRA Pro Stock titles (1981-84); Won both Pro Stock NHRA and IHRA titles in 1983
• Leonard Wood – Innovator of modern pit stop; Crew Chief for Wood Brothers Racing, formed in 1950 and still racing today – having 98 triumphs
• Chuck Yeager – Noted Air Force Test Pilot; In 1947, first pilot to travel faster than sound
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.(TSS)(11-8-2013)
Petty Museum moving back home: The Richard Petty Museum is coming home. After 10 years of being located in downtown Randleman, North Carolina, the museum that holds memorabilia and personal collections of the most decorated American stock car driver in history is going back home to Level Cross. The Museum will be located on the site of the original Petty Engineering and later Petty Enterprises race shop. The site currently is the home of Petty's Garage and the Petty Family Foundation. The Museum was founded at the race shop in Level Cross in 1988 by Lynda Petty but moved to Randleman in 2003 after space demands of the expanding race operation. Randleman, the neighboring city where Richard Petty went to high school, then became the home of museum. With the race operation, Richard Petty Motorsports, now operating in Concord, North Carolina, it was decided to move the museum back to its original location.
After it's relocation and renovation, the museum will not only recover its spot in the building first built to house Kyle Petty's race program but will eventually expand to include the "Reaper Shed," first home of Petty Engineering where Lee Petty found the family dynasty. The museum will also include the Dodge Barn, built in the days of the team's close connection to Dodge and Plymouth. Finally, fans will be able to also visit the Lee Petty House, birthplace of both The King and his brother Maurice. The new-look museum will also feature exhibits of the Petty family's four members in the Hall of Fame (Lee, Richard, Dale Inman and Maurice), of "Mr. and Mrs. The King" from the Pixar film "Cars" and of the family's many contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
The move is effective immediately, and while the new exhibits will not open until February of 2014, the museum will provide limited tour opportunities at the Level Cross facility during the move and renovation period.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-5-2013)
NMPA Announces Nominees For 2014 Hall of Fame: The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced that there are five new candidates for its Hall of Fame. Those elected by the membership will be inducted in ceremonies in January 2014 in Charlotte, NC.
The nominees for 2104 are:
L.D. Ottinger - Two-time Sportsman champion ('74 & '75), perennial top 10 points finisher in Sportsman/Nationwide Series.
Ray Evernham - Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief for Jeff Gordon, helped bring Dodge back to NASCAR competition as a team owner in 2001, often described as greatest crew chief of all time.
Mario Andretti - A four-time INDY champion, 1978 F-1 champion, 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner, 1967 Daytona 500 winner; one of two people to win in Formula 1, Indy racing, NASCAR, and World SportscarChampionship. Only driver to win Indy 500, Daytona 500 and F-1 championship.
Joe Gibbs - As a NASCAR car owner, has won three Sprint Cup championships. His drivers have won 105 Sprint Cup and 82 Nationwide Series races (as of 5/23/2013). JGR also has two NNS owner's championships to its credit.
Steve Waid - Four-decade career included stints with daily newspapers before joining staff of Grand National Scene. Rose to position of publisher for the weekly trade paper. Former winner of the NMPA's George Cunningham Award and a recipient of the Henry T. McLemore Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in motorsports journalism.(NMPA)(7-2-2013)
Ralph Gilles named Honorary Chairman for MSHFA Ceremony: Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC and Senior Vice President – Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC, has been named Honorary Chairman for the 25th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony at the Fillmore Theatre in downtown Detroit on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. As Honorary Chairman, Gilles will deliver the evening’s keynote address at the black-tie ceremony prior to the induction of the Silver Anniversary class into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. This year’s class includes Jack Chrisman, Harvey Firestone, Masten Gregory, Brad Lackey, Bud Moore, Robert E. Petersen and Alex Zanardi. Bob Riley, chassis constructor and technology innovator, will receive the prestigious Bob Russo Motorsports Heritage Award during the ceremonies for his numerous contributions to racing. “To be part of a ceremony recognizing the achievements of these icons of motorsports is an honor,” said Gilles. “Add in the fact it’s the Silver Anniversary Induction Ceremony of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will make the event even more memorable. “The eight individuals that will be honored come from a variety of motorsport disciplines. That’s what makes this special, it covers a broad spectrum of motorsport disciplines and not just one specific segment."(MSHFA)(6-1-2013)
Fellows named to Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame: Five Canadians will be honored at The 19th Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame's Induction Ceremonies, presented by Canadian Tire, when this year's event takes centre stage under a new format at the Glenn Gould Studio at 7:15 pm on September 28th 2013. One of Canada's great race drivers and a motorsport ambassador par excellence, Ron Fellows of Mississauga, will be inducted. Others to be inducted include the late Bob Armstrong, Jimmy Carr, Tom Walters, Jon and Sharon Fletcher. Fellows has wins in 24-hour classics at Le Mans and Daytona, in NASCAR truck and Nationwide stock car competition, and three championships in the American Le Mans Series.(more info at Toronto Star Wheels and cmhf.ca)(5-29-2013)
Georgia Racing Hall Of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees: Some of the greatest racers in Georgia Racing History gathered at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA Saturday morning as the five newest inductees into the Hall of Fame were formally announced. They include a former NASCAR and short track ace, a pioneer Peach State open wheel racer, a trailblazing stock car team owner, one of the most successful short track racers in the southeast, and a drag racing legend and pioneer. The 2013 inductees are Charles Barrett of Cleveland, GA, Hank Blalock of Decatur, GA, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, GA, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, TN, and Huston Platt of Buford, GA. The five new GRHOF inductees were chosen from a list of 15 semi-finalists, all of whom were honored during Saturday’s event. The inductees were chosen by an 18 member panel of voters. The 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Dec. 13, 2013 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, GA. A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information go to www.georgiaracinghof.com.
Here’s a closer look at the five inductees to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for 2013:
Charles Barrett – Cleveland, GA – Winner of approximately 250 feature events – Won 27 Late Model sportsman features in 1972 – Won the 10th anniversary 150 lap Sportsman championship race at Anderson in 1972 – 1968, 69, 70 Anderson track champion- Won several championship events at Anderson between 1967-1972 - Competed in several NASCAR Sprint Cup events for car owner George Elliott, including a 10th at Talladega in 1973, 18th at Atlanta in 1973.
Hank Blalock – Decatur, GA - Deceased - Competed in Midget Cars across the East Coast - Served in the US Coast Guard during World War II - Began racing in 1946 in Midgets - Scored wins at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, GA the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, GA, Columbia Speedway in Columbia, SC, Augusta Speedway in Augusta, GA, -Was injured in a flip at Plant Field in Tampa, FL late in 1947 while leading, suffered brain concussion, burns, and a shoulder fracture - Served as President of the SRDC (Southern Racing Drivers Club) in 1948 - Was points champion in 1949 - Competed at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, GA, Lake Winneepesaukah in Chattanooga, TN, Macon Speedway in Macon, GA, Looper's Speedway in Gainesville, GA, Skyway Speedway in Calhoun, GA, Columbia Speedway in Columbia, SC, Lithonia Speedway in Lithonia, GA, Augusta Speedway in Augusta, GA, Garden City Speedway in Augusta, GA, Savannah Speedway in Savannah, GA, Birmingham International Raceway in Birmingham, AL, Bowman Grey Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, Broadway Speedway in Knoxville, TN, Pensacola Motor Speedway in Pensacola, FL, Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, PA, Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, SC, Boyd's Speedway in Ringgold, GA, New Orleans Motor Speedway in New Orleans, LA, and Idle Hour Speedway in Phenix City, AL - Was considered a strong competitor, always finishing in the points and in the money - Was a member of the Southern Racing Enterprises, AAA, and NASCAR - Suffered a massive head injury in a crash while leading at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, GA on Aug. 14, 1955. After spending 6 months in a coma, Blalock passed away in early 1956.
Frank Christian - Dahlonega, GA - Deceased - Was a pioneer in multi-car ownership, winning 22 races in his career. Drivers included his wife, Hall of Famer Sara Christian, Bob Flock, Speedy Thompson, Buddy Shuman, Banjo Matthews, Fonty Flock, Buck Baker, and Curtis Turner. Christian himself competed in several events as an owner/driver. His cars had an average starting place of sixth and an average finishing place of 12th. Christian's cars scored 35 poles in a six year span. Christian is credited with bringing the moonshine runners out of the mountains and into the first organized modern stock car race, held at Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway in November of 1938. Was the car owner for the first Chevrolet to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, with Fonty Flock as a driver, in 1955 at Columbia, SC.
Freddy Fryar – Chattanooga, TN - Won 826 feature events. Began racing in the early 1950s, following his brother Harold's footsteps, at the age of 14. First raced at Fort Oglethorpe Speedway in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Competed in Modifieds on the beach at Daytona in 1956, 57. Finished second to Bobby Allison in the NASCAR Modified Championship in 1964. Competed in NASCAR Modifieds, Grand Nationals, and Late Model Sportsman and USAC Stock Cars in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Won seven NASCAR Series track championships. Won state championships in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. All Pro Series champion in 1983. Won All Pro Truck championship in 1984. Ran NASCAR's Winston Cup series in several events from 1956-1971. Won the Snowball Derby twice, 1979 and 1981. Won at Mobile International Speedway, Jackson International Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, Caraway Speedway, Gresham Motorsports Park (then Georgia International Speedway), Corpus Christi Speedway, Five Flags Speedway and more. Retired form racing in 1987. Worked for various NASCAR teams for 15 years, and served as a driving instructor at the Richard Petty Driving School.
Huston Platt – Buford, GA - Deceased – Began drag racing in 1959 - Established his reputation piloting the famed "Dixie Twister", beating out several big names, including Richard Petty during Petty's stint into drag racing in 1965. - Platt's 66 Chevy II became the fastest and quickest unblown injected Chevy in the country, turning runs in the upper 8 seconds at 160 mph and setting several records - Competed in match races against Ronnie Sox, Junior Johnson, Phil Bonner, Arnie Beswick, Tommy Grove, among others - Was an independent, without factory backing. - Was a pioneer in the development of the famed "Funny Cars", which remains one of the most popular forms of drag racer today - Platt traveled around the country and into Canada to compete in his 1968 Chevy Camaro Funny Car known as the "Dixie Twister", which could turn times in the high 7 seconds and 185 plus mph - Served as his own engine builder - Worked with the Logghe brothers in developing special wheelie bars to keep cars like this on the ground off the starting line - Went on to race and defeat several major racers from around the country, including Don Nicholson, Connie Kalitta, Larry Reyes, Gene Snow and others - After a tragic accident at the Yellow River Drag Strip in 1970, Platt worked to improve safety aspects in drag racing - Platt would win the Funny Car Division II Championship in 1971 - Would retire a couple of years later - Would later take his restored Dixie Twister around the country on display and in exhibition runs. Was inducted in 2009 to the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame. Passed away Nov. 30, 2011.(GRHoF)(5-27-2013)
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame announces semi-finalists: The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame has announced the "Fast 15" Semi-Finalists for the 2013 class of inductees into the hall. The semi-finalists include Dick Anderson of Chamblee, GA, Charles Barrett of Cleveland, GA, Hank Blalock of Decatur, GA, Dick Brannan of Dawsonville, GA, Charlie Burkhalter of Athens, GA, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, GA, Tommie Clinard of Macon, GA, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, TN, Bobby Johns of Miami, FL, Jabez Jones of Toccoa, GA, Huston Platt of Buford, GA, Sam Sommers of Sylvania, GA, Jimmy Thomas of Columbus, GA, Charles Tidwell of Macon, GA, and Frank Warren of Augusta, GA. The five new GRHOF inductees will be chosen by an 18 member panel of voters to make up this year’s class. The announcement of the 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame inductees will be made during the Hall of Fame’s fourth annual Memorial Day Weekend event, scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at the Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA. The event begins at 9 am with a swap meet, a car show and the inductee announcement at Noon. The 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Dec. 13, 2013 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, GA. A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information go to www.georgiaracinghof.com.(GRHoF)(5-24-2013)
Racing and motorsports industry legends to be inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Racing and motorsports industry legends Jack Chrisman, Harvey Firestone, Masten Gregory, Brad Lackey, Bud Moore, Robert E. Petersen and Alex Zanardi will be this year’s Silver Anniversary inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization’s 25th Annual Induction Ceremony that will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. “There is no better way to celebrate our 25th anniversary than with an induction class that showcases a true variety of American motorsports with an international flair,” said Ron Watson, President of the Motorsports Hall of Fame. “This year’s Silver Anniversary group features a champion rider and drivers, a title-winning team owner, a legendary publisher and an industrial giant whose name still graces racing tires today.” The Silver Anniversary celebration will also see chassis constructor and technology innovator Bob Riley receive the Hall’s Bob Russo Motorsports Heritage Award for his numerous contributions to racing. The eight honorees combined account for countless race wins and numerous North American and World Championships in IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, motocross and sports car racing and victories in such legendary races as the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased by calling 1-248-349-RACE (7223) or by visiting the Hall of Fame's website www.mshf.com.(MSHF.com)(4-22-2013)
Yarborough joins the South Carolina Hall of Fame: South Carolina Hall of Fame President Brad Dean described both men inducted Monday into the state Hall of Fame at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center as American heroes, one of whom flew in an airplane while the other flew in a stock car. World War II veteran William Farrow and NASCAR Hall of Famer William Caleb “Cale” Yarborough were the 84th and 85th inductees into the S.C. Hall of Fame. Yarborough was in Myrtle Beach on Monday for the induction ceremony. Before the formal festivities began, he talked to students from Myrtle Beach Middle School and cadets of the Junior ROTC from Horry County Schools. “Life’s victories don’t always go to the fastest or strongest man,” Yarborough told the more than 100 students who had some of their own questions for the racing legend. Yarborough admitted to getting a little nervous before races because of the tough job ahead. However, it all went out the window when that light turned green at the starting line. Yarborough’s racing career began in 1957. Over 31 years, he won 83 victories, which ranks fifth all-time. Yarborough won three consecutive Sprint Cup championships from 1976 to 1978, an achievement unmatched until 2008. In that three-year span, he was the victor in 28 races. He was the second NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated,” and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.(Myrtle Beach Sun News)(3-26-2013)
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Class Announced: Three NASCAR Champions, a Daytona 500 winner and the former owner and developer of one of the nation's premier racing facilities will comprise the 2013 Class of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The newest inductees were named March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway prior to the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500. Their enshrinement will bring the Hall's total membership to 118. The newest inductees are: Derrike Cope, Winner of the 1990 Daytona 500; Ron Hornaday Jr., Four-Time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion; Buddy Jobe, Former Owner and Developer of Phoenix International Raceway; Chad Little, 1987 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion; Randy Lynch, 2007 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Car Owner Champion. Induction ceremonies will be held Thursday, June 20, at the Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa, Calif. in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Sonoma Raceway.(PR)(3-16-2013)
Kulwicki, Marlin and Barney Hall to be inducted in Daytona HOF: The Daytona Beach West Rotary Club Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame will induct three NASCAR standouts at 6:30pm/et on Feb. 18 at the Shores Resort and Spa. The three inductees are 1992 NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki, two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin and radio broadcaster Barney Hall, often referred to as “the voice of NASCAR.” In 2012, Bud Moore and Curtis Turner were inducted. More info at stockcarhalloffame.org.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-13-2012)
NMPA selects Hall of Fame members: Three men who spent their careers making outstanding contributions to the sport of auto racing will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame in January. Longtime NASCAR executive and former track president Jim Hunter and Pocono Raceway founder and patriarch Dr. Joseph Mattioli will be inducted posthumously and will be joined by pioneer sportscaster Ken Squier as the class entering the Hall during a ceremony on Jan. 19 in Charlotte, N.C. The three were selected on more than 65 percent of the ballots cast by NMPA members to earn induction into the Hall of Fame. Hunter was selected on 89 percent of the ballots, while both Mattioli and Squier were on 65 percent of the ballots. Those who received votes but did not reach the 65 percent mark for induction were Ray Evernham and Dick Thompson.(Pocono Raceway)(12-7-2012)