2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees

December 16, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Established in the North Carolina city of Charlotte in May 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame honors exceptional drivers, crew chiefs, owners and other players in this exciting sport. The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees are Tim Flock, Maurice Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jack Ingram and Fireball Roberts, who will join the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Bill France (Senior and Junior), Richard Petty, Lee Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood, among others, in the history annals of NASCAR.

Coming from a family of auto racing enthusiasts which included his sister Ethel Mobley (NASCAR’s second female driver) and bothers Bob Flock and Fonty Flock, Tim Flock (1924–1998) is considered to be one of the early pioneers of NASCAR. Tim Flock finished NASCAR’s first official season in 1949 in eighth place, with brothers Fonty in fifth and Bob in third overall points. After sitting out the 1950 season, Flock won seven races in 1951, and eight in 1952, the year he won his first Grand National Championship title. In 1995, Flock won his second Grand National Championship title, with 19 poles and 18 wins in the 45 races he completed that year. In 1998, shortly before his death at the age of 73, Flock was honored as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Other achievements include induction in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991; the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1999; the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1972; the State of Georgia Hall of Fame in 1972; the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends in 1994; and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Known to many simply as “Chief” Maurice Petty was the engine builder and crew chief for Petty Enterprises for many years. He is the fourth member of the Petty family to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the others being his father Lee, older brother Richard, and cousin Dale Inman. Although he had a brief driving career which included seven top five and sixteen top ten finishes, his talent in the auto racing industry lay in engine building, which he did with remarkable skill.

Currently a sport commentator for ESPN/ABC , Dale Jarrett’s racing career includes winning the Daytona 500 three times and the Brickyard 400 twice. He won 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and was winner of the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. With his father Ned having been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011, the Jarretts are the third father-son inductees, the other two being Bill France Sr. and Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.

Former NASCAR Busch Series race car driver Jack Ingram won 31 races and five poles, along with the 1982 and 1985 championships, during eight Busch Series seasons. It’s worth noting that Ingram was over the age of 45 when he claimed his victories, and held the record for the most Busch Series wins until Mark Martin broke the record in 1997. In addition to being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Ingram was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Nicknamed “Fireball”, Edward Glenn Roberts (1929-1964) was one of NASCAR’s pioneering drivers who gathered a host of achievements during his career, including winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and twice winning the Southern 500 (1958 and 1963). He was voted 1957 Grand National Series Most Popular Driver and named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995. Sadly, Roberts crashed in the World 600 in Charlotte on May 24, 1964, and died from complications related to his extensive burn injuries on July 2, 1964. His accident prompted NASCAR to introduce more stringent fire-related safety measures and his memory lives on in NASCAR history.

NMPA Hall of Fame Honors NASCAR Legends

December 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

For the past four decades members of the National Motorsports Press Association have been reporting hot-off-the-press motorsport stories through print, television, radio and the internet to millions of fans. When the NMPA started more than forty years ago, it consisted of a small group of journalists and broadcasters who focused mainly on NASCAR and stock car racing in the southern states of the USA. Today it has both national and international members and represents all forms of motorsports.

An interesting feature of the NMPA is its Hall of Fame in which notable figures in the motorsports industry are honored. In January 2013, three of NASCAR’s legends will be the latest inductees into the NMPA Hall of Fame – namely Ken Squier, Jim Hunter and Dr. Joseph Mattioli, with the latter two being honored posthumously. All three spent their careers contributing to the sport of auto racing, and the general consensus is that their induction into the NMPA Hall of Fame is well-deserved.

Jim Hunter started his journalistic career in South Carolina before moving into the field of public relations and later being appointed as track president at Darlington Raceway. Hunter fulfilled corporate roles with both NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation during his career, remaining an integral part of NASCAR for the rest of his life.

Dr. Jospeh Mattioli was the founder of the very popular Pocono Raceway which opened in 1971 and currently hosts both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, as well as IZOD IndyCar Series and ARCA Racing Series, among other events. The track is owned by Mattco Inc. which also owns the South Boston Speedway in Birginia. Pocono is also the home base of the Sports Car Club of America and some motorcycle clubs and racing schools. Known as “Doc” in the NASCAR community, Mattioli trained as a dentist at Temple University, but his passion lay in racing and he supported the sport whole-heartedly, which is he well remembered for.

Ken Squier started offering lap-by-lap commentary in the world of auto racing as a 14-year-old from the back of a logging truck at a stock car dirt race track in Vermont. His father, Lloyd Squier owned and operated the radio station WDEV based in his home town of Waterbury, Vermont. When his father passed away, Ken Squier took over ownership and running of the station, which he continues to do today. Squier was the co-founder of the Motor Racing Network in 1969 and filled the role of auto racing announcer for a number of years. He joined CBS Sports in 1972 and over the following years auto racing fans came to know his unique broadcasting style as he delivered lap-by-lap accounts of the action on the racetrack. Today Squier contributes to NASCAR coverage on the Speed Channel.

SFHR New Speedway Headquarters in the Pipeline

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under News

With this year’s auto racing season at an end, the auto racing industry will be looking forward to 2012, and making plans to promote this exciting sport despite the gloomy outlook for the U.S. economy. The recent ceremonial ground-breaking for the new Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing headquarters to be built on Speedway’s main street, can be seen as a vote of confidence that auto racing will maintain its place as one of the country’s most popular sports. With a budget of $2.5 million, the new headquarters is a collaborative effort with the Speedway Redevelopment Commission (SRC) and will feature shop and office space for the race team, gathering all the aspects of running a winning team – such as engineering, machine shop, service, paint and composites – under one roof.

The new SFHR headquarters has the IndyCar construction company, Dallara Automobili, as its neighbor – taking delivery of their new race cars will not present any challenges. Engineer Gian Paolo Dallara was recently presented the John Bolster Award for his achievements in the sport of auto racing, and his company will be supplying their new DW12 to fifteen IndyCar teams, including SFHR.

Sarah Fisher made a name for herself in US motorsport by becoming the first, and only, female team owner, as well as being the youngest owner in the IZOD IndyCar Series. She was also the first female team owner to win a race in the IZOD IndyCar Series. At the age of 19, Sarah made history by becoming the youngest female to compete in the Indianapolis 500, making her the third female ever to compete in the iconic race. In that same year, 2000, her third place finish at the Kentucky Speedway made her the first female to stand on the podium. By taking second place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sarah became the first female to finish as a runner-up in a major-league open-wheel race. These are just some of the accomplishments of this talented driver who has made auto racing her career. The new headquarters for her joint venture with Willis “Wink” Hartman, is the fulfillment of another of Sarah Fisher’s goals.

The 38,000 square foot building will include a home-style kitchen and a retail gift shop, with the latter featuring an area for fans where they will have the opportunity to interact with members of the SFHR team. Conference facilities will provide a convenient venue for meetings with sponsors, while a state-of-the art gym will ensure that the team has what it needs for each member to be in peak physical condition, with the added advantage of having the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just a five minute walk away.

2011 Midwest Hall of Fame Inductees

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

There are many names in the auto racing industry that are worth remembering as having been instrumental in the development of the sport. In the Midwest there is also a proud history in regard to racing, which is documented and displayed in the Midwest Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame. The main focus of this establishment is to preserve the passion and heritage of the sport and pay tribute to those who have assisted in bringing auto racing to where it is today through their innovative ideas, racing skills and dedication to their sport.

Many stories line the walls of the Midwest Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame, such as the history of the first midget car that was constructed in 1934 by Alexander Pabst that led to the first St Louis Midget Race in 1936 and the founding of the St Louis Auto Racing Association in 1938. The latter was however disbanded in 1976, but made a huge impact on racing in this state. This year a few more names were added to the Midwest Hall of Fame in a reunion and induction ceremony that was held on 22 January 2011 at the Springfield Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. Having the induction at the fairgrounds was extremely symbolic; as it was here that many memorable moments were created on its legendary speedways.

One of the inductees receiving the Pioneers award is Johnny Morris, who is a racing fan and team sponsor. Joining him in the Pioneers inductees section is Mark Perry, Gerald Wilson and Steve Long. Under the Legend inductees category was Bill Frye (Driver), Dave Williams (Driver), Steve Schahuber and Rex McCroskey (Driver). What makes Steve Schahubers’ induction so special is the fact that he not only raced the cars but he built them as well as making repairs on his car where needed. He is also active in promoting the sport and developing the same passion he had within the younger generations. The Midwest Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a spectacular affair, which also featured historical photographs, vendor booths, racing cars on display and collectables stands. It was a day of paying tribute, remembering the past and looking towards an exciting future.

Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductions

June 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum is located in Knoxville, and is dedicated to the preservation of the history of sprint car racing. Within its walls are numerous items, photographs and memorabilia that document the development of the sport, and each year an awards ceremony is held to honor the contributions made by members of the sprint racing industry, inducting them into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. This year more than five hundred people attended this prestigious event and many worthy inductees had their names cemented into the history of sprint racing.

There were twelve new names added to list of inductees on Saturday, 5 June 2010, at the ceremony that was held at Marion County Fairgrounds in the Dyer-Hudson Hall. During the three hour ceremony, a tribute to the career of each inductee was showcased. The inductees included drivers, car owners and workshop crew. The sons of both Hal Robinson and Frank Riddle, legendary sprint car drivers, accepted the awards on behalf of their fathers. The award and induction of Fred Brownfield, a promoter, was accepted by his wife Debbie, with Rhoda Krasner accepting the award for her father and promoter, Ben Krasner. Other awards that were accepted by family members and friends, included the award for the late Hank Arnold, driver and builder, Clyde Adams, George Bentel and Herman Schurch. Drivers Bobbe Adamson and Fred Linder were also honored at the ceremony, as well as Don Shepard (Mechanic) and Casey Luna (Car Owner). Celebrity members of the sprint racing industry who were present at the awards ceremony included Jimmy Oskie, Allan Brown, Ray Lee Goodwin, Bob Trostle, Jerry Daniels, Don Mack, Bill Smith, Lynn Paxton, Lanny Edwards, Jack Elam and Harold Leep.

Dr. Pat Sullivan was the Emcee for the evening and the entire program of this year’s Sprint Car Hall of Fame ceremony was dedicated to a number of Hall of Fame Inductees of previous years, namely Earl Wagner, Clarence Anderson, Jeff Sharpe, Palmer Berger, Walt James, Ken Coles, Stew Reamer, Hal Minyard and Billy Wilkerson. Visitors to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum will be able to view the names and and find out about the contributions of the new inductees, while taking a journey back in time into the history of sprint racing.

Next Page »