HALL OF FAMEINDUCTEES BY YEAR BIO
 

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INDUCTEES BY YEAR BIO'S FOLLOW INDUCTEE LIST

 * Deceased

2024 INDUCTEES

aL UNSER JR. 2-TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500  WINNER

Eddie Hill 12 national season point championships on land or water

*Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker American motorcycle and automobile racing driver

*Tom  Binford Chief Steward of the Indianapolis 500

*Edward Vernon Rickenbacker Owner Indianapolis Motor Speedway

*Elzie Wylie " BUCK" Baker Sr. NASCAR CHAMPION

2023 inductees

carl hungness publisher of indianapolis 500 yearbook

* Dale ARMSTRONG nhra CHAMPION & mechanic

* jan Opperman usac star

Ron "Sleepy" Tripp midget car driver

*Lloyd Ruby  indy car driver

Michael Andretti cart champion

2022 inductees

*robin miller broadcast journalist

Darrell Waltrip three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion

Jimmie Johnson seven-time nascar Cup champion

ned jarrett two-time Grand National Series champion

Dario Franchitti three-time indianapolis 500 champion

*Joe Weatherly Grand National Series champion, AMA Grand National Champion

 

2021 inductees

*Floyd Clymer  magazine publisher, a racing promoter, an author, and a motorcycle manufacturer

*Theodore E. “Pop” Myers  Good Will Ambassador indianapolis motor speedway

*Floyd "Pop" Dreyer  the nation's top motorcycle rider in the 1920s

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. an American businessman, former racing driver

*Ron Watson, founder president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA)

*Roger McCluskey usac champion  driver.

2020 inductees

*bill Jenkins nhra champion

*Dale Armstrong IHRA Champion

TONY STEWART indy car and nascar champion

Jeff Gordon multiple nascar championionships

Ricky Carmichael AMA Supercross Champion

Bubba Stewart AMA Motocross Supercross Champion

 

2019 inductees

Dale Jarrett Winston Cup champion Daytona 500 Winner

*Alan Kulwicki nascar race driver

*Nicky Hayden AMA Superbike Champion

Hélio Castroneves 3 time indianapolis 500 winner

Sam Schimdt Indy racing league driver

Warren Johnson nhra champion

2018 inductees

*Wendell Scott pioneer African American driver

Janet Guthrie pioneer FEMALE driver first woman to participate at indianapolis

Willie T. Ribbs first African American driver to qualify for indianapolis 500

Nigel Mansell  Indy car world series and F-1 world Champion

Alain Prost four time F-1 world Champion

Niki Lauda  three time F-1 world Champion

2017 inductees

Tony George Indy Racing league founder

johnny rutherford  3 time indianapolis 500 winner

John Force nhra champion

*frank wheeler indianapolis motor speedway founder

*john marcum arca founder

*Arthur Newby  indianapolis motor speedway founder

 

2016 inductees

*Bryan Clauson OPEN WHEEL RACER

*Peter  Revson  Formula One and the Indianapolis 500.

*Alberto Ascari two time world champion

* Dan Wheldon 2 time Indianapolis 500  winner

Gordon Johncock 2 time Indianapolis 500  winner

Tom Sneva USAC NATIONAL CHAMPION INDIANAPOLIS 500 winnER

 

2015 inductees

Bradley "Buzz" Calkins winner 1st indy racing league event winner

*Ralph  Liguori USAC AND NASCAR DRIVER

Bobby Allison Nascar Champion

John Young Jackie" Stewart three time world driving champion

Michael Schumacher 7 time world driving champion

*Ayrton Senna f-1 racing legend

 

2014 inductees

Arie Luyendyk 2 time indianapolis 500 winner

Mark Martin   nascar legend

Emerson Fittipaldi 2 Time Indianapolis 500 winner and F-1 Champion

*wilbur shaw  3time indianapolis 500 winner

Rusty Wallace nascar champion

Joe'Amato  NHRA CHAMPION

2013 INDUCTEES

*Joe Leonard AMA and USAC National Champion

Charlie Patterson car owner "mr. racing everything"

*Bruce McLaren race-car Designer, Driver, Engineer and Inventor

Conrad "Connie" Kalitta Drag Racing Driver

*Rich Vogler USAC National Sprint Car and Midget champion

*Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson NASCAR Superstar

2012 INDUCTEES

*Gary Lee Racing Broadcaster

Tom Bigelow Open Wheel Legend

*Larry Rice Open Wheel Racing Legend

Johnny Parsons USAC Open Wheel Racer

*Jim Hurtubise Open Wheel Legend

Bill Elliott NASCAR National Champion

2011 INDUCTEES

Richard Day Most Respected Public Relations Person in the Sport

*James Allison Founder Indianapolis Motor Speedway

*Mari Hulman George CEO Indianapolis Motor Speedway

*Bob Jenkins Premier Broadcaster

*Sam Hanks 1957 Indianapolis 500 Winner

Howard Augustine "Humpy" Wheeler Track and Race Promoter

2010 INDUCTEES

* Harry Miller Race Car Designer

*Charlie Wiggins  Pioneer African American Race car driver

Cale Yarborough NASCAR Champion

*Sid Collins The Voice of the 500

Paul Page Broadcast Legend

* Art Pollard Indy Car Driver

2009 INDUCTEES

* Wally Parks The father of drag racing

*Rex Mays Indy Car Driver

*Clint Brawner Mechanic Race Car Designer

Donald Davidson Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian

Parnelli Jones Driver Owner 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner

*Ernest Schlausky A.K.A. CROCKY WRIGHT Motorsports Pioneer

2008 INDUCTEES

*GRAHAM HILL INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER WORLD DRIVING CHAMPION

 JOHN "JACK" BRABHAM  WORLD DRIVING CHAMPION 

*HENRY " SMOKEY" YUNICK  MECHANIC CAR DESIGNER

* MARION "MICKEY" THOMPSON  DRAG RACER OFF ROAD RACING CHAMPION

*Fred Offenhauser Automotive Engineer

*A.J. Watson Car Designer

2007 INDUCTEES

*Bill France Jr. NASCAR Executive and Promoter

*Carl Fisher American entrepreneur Founder Indianapolis Motor Speedway

*Tom Carnegie Chief  announcer at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 60 years.

*Henry Ford Race Car innovator

* Ralph  Depalma Indianapolis 500 winner and racing pioneer

 * Benny Parsons NASCAR Winston Cup Champion
 

2006 INDUCTEES

*CHRIS ECONOMAKI SPEED SPORT NEWS FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER

SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY NHRA LEGEND 1ST WOMAN TO WIN MAJOR EVENT

DON PRUDHOMME NHRA DRIVER

STEVE KINSER 17 TIME WoO CHAMPION " KING OF THE SPRINTS"

*GEORGE BIGNOTTI 7 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER CHIEF MECHANIC

*COLIN CHAPMAN INFLUENTIAL DESIGNER, INVENTOR AND CAR BUILDER

2005 INDUCTEES

 *LEE PETTY LEGENDARY NASCAR DRIVER

*BOBBY UNSER  3 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

*JIMMY BRYAN  USAC NATIONAL CHAMPION

*EDDIE SACHS SPRINT MIDGET DRIVER

 *TONY BETTENHAUSEN AAA NATIONAL CHAMPION

*MAURI ROSE 3 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

2004 INDUCTEES

*RAY HARROUN 1ST WINNER INDIANAPOLIS 500

*DAVID " THE SILVER FOX" PEARSON 3 TIME NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION

*MARK DONOHUE SPORTS CAR DRIVER

DON " BIG DADDY" GARLITS NHRA CHAMPION

AL UNSER SR. DIRT TRACK MASTER 4 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER .

*BILL VUKOVICH SR. 2 INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

2003 INDUCTEES

*JIMMY CLARK 2 TIME F-1 CHAMPION AND INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

*GASTON CHEVROLET DRIVER INVENTOR

KENNY BERNSTEIN NHRA CHAMPION

*RODGER WARD 2 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

MARIO ANDRETTI  F-1 DAYTONA 500 AND INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

*JOHNNIE PARSONS SR AAA NATIONAL CHAMPION AND INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

2002 INDUCTEES

MEL KENYON  " KING OF THE MIDGETS "

*BOB GLIDDEN ALL TIME NHRA WINNIEST DRIVER

ROGER PENSKE 14 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNING CAR OWNER

*ANDY GRANATELLI STP FOUNDER DRIVER 

RICK  MEARS  4 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

*LOU "Louie" Meyer first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500

2001 INDUCTEES

*ANTON " TONY" HULMAN OWNER INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

*WILLIAM " BILL " FRANCE SR. FOUNDER NASCAR

RICHARD " THE KING" PETTY 7 TIME NASCAR CUP CHAMPION

ANTHONY JOSEPH " A.J." FOYT FIRST 4 TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER

*DAN GURNEY F-1 NASCAR AND INDY CAR DRIVER

*DALE EARNHARDT 7 TIME NASCAR CUP CHAMPION

 

2024 inductees

al UNSER jR. 2-TIME INDIANAPOLIS 500  WINNER

Alfred Unser Jr. nicknamed "Little Al" to distinguish him from his father, Al Unser – is an American retired racing driver. Known primarily for his Championship car career, Unser won two CART championships, and is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Early in his career, Unser found success in the Can-Am series, winning the championship in 1982. He joined his great uncle, uncle, and father, as a winner of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, doing so in 1983. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. He has the most Long Beach Grand Prix victories in history, winning six times.

Unser was born into a racing family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the son of Al Unser and the nephew of Bobby Unser, both Indianapolis 500 winners themselves. The Unser family has won the Indy 500 a record nine times.

Eddie Hill 12 national season point championships on land or water

Eddie Hill an American retired drag racer who won numerous drag racing championships on land and water. Hill had the first run in the four second range (4.990 seconds), which earned him the nickname "Four Father of Drag Racing."His other nicknames include "The Thrill", "Holeshot Hill",and "Fast Eddie".In 1960, he set the NHRA record for the largest improvement in the elapsed time (e.t.) when he drove the quarter mile in 8.84 seconds to break the previous 9.40-second record.

Hill raced at open competitions and Top Fuel events from 1955 until he retired in 1966. After opening a motorcycle shop, he returned several years later to race motorcycles. He started racing drag boats after attending a drag boat event in 1974 and he won championships in all of the major boat drag racing sanctioning bodies. Hill set the lowest wet elapsed time (e.t.) record with a 5.16-second run, which was lower than the land drag racing record of 5.39 seconds. He quit water drag racing after he suffered broken bones at a crash in Arizona and returned to land drag racing in 1985. Initially underfunded and unsuccessful, Hill set the all-time speed record at a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event in 1987, becoming the first person to hold both the land and water speed records simultaneously. In 1993, Hill became the NHRA's oldest Top Fuel champion. When Hill retired in 1999, he had won 12 national season point championships on land or water, and had won more than 100 trophies in motorcycles and 86 drag events between his land and water careers.

 

*Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker American motorcycle and automobile racing driver

Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker (March 12, 1882 – May 10, 1960) was an American motorcycle and automobile racing driver and organizer in the first half of the 20th century. Baker began his public career as a vaudeville performer, but turned to driving and racing after winning a dirt-track motorcycle race in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in about 1904.

Baker was also famous for his record-setting point-to-point drives, in which he was paid to promote the products of various motorcycle and automobile manufacturers. In all, he made 143 cross-country motorcycle speed runs totaling about 550,000 miles (890,000 km).

In 1908, Baker purchased an Indian motorcycle and began entering and winning local races. His most famous victory came in 1909 at the first race ever held at the newly built Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Baker also raced at the 1922 Indianapolis 500, placing 11th in a Frontenac. He became the first NASCAR Commissioner in 1947. Baker was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1981, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1989, and the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.

*Tom  Binford Chief Steward of the Indianapolis 500
Thomas Wyatt Wilson Binford was an Indianapolis-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. One of Indianapolis' most influential men, Thomas W. Binford, was a pioneer, visionary, and civil rights leader. He participated in civic, philanthropic, cultural, and political aspects of the city and state and was valued for his sensitivity, wise counsel, personal and financial support, and sincerity. In addition to his many personal interests, Binford spearheaded a group to buy the Indiana Pacers basketball team in 1975 and served as its president and general manager for one year. From 1974 to 1995, Binford served as the Chief Steward of the Indianapolis 500, presiding over its transition from United States Auto Club governance to Indy Racing League governance.

*Edward Vernon Rickenbacker Owner Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Edward Vernon Rickenbacker  was an American fighter pilot in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient.With 26 aerial victories, he was the most successful and most decorated United States flying ace of the war.[3] He was also a race car driver, an automotive designer, and a long-time head of Eastern Air Lines.

On November 1, 1927, Rickenbacker purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Carl Fisher for $700,000. He considered his salary of $5,000 a year and the opportunities for public relations to be more valuable than the $700,000 in debt he incurred.[ He also drove the speedway's pace car for several years.

He operated the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for more than ten years, overseeing many improvements to the facility. He was responsible for the first radio broadcast of the Memorial Day 500 race.[59] After a final 500-mile (800 km) race in 1941, he closed the Speedway to conserve gasoline, rubber, and other resources during World War II. In 1945, Rickenbacker sold the racetrack to the businessman Anton Hulman, Jr.

*Elzie Wylie " BUCK" Baker Sr.  NASCAR CHAMPION

Elzie Wylie Baker Sr.  better known as Buck Baker, was an American stock car racer. Born in Richburg, South Carolina, Baker began his NASCAR career in 1949 and won his first race three years later at Columbia Speedway. Twenty-seven years later, Baker retired after 1976 National 500.

During his NASCAR Cup Series career, Baker won two championships, 46 races and 45 pole positions, as well as recorded 372 top-tens. In 1957, he became the first driver to win two consecutive championships in the series. Between 1957 and 1959 Baker competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division. From 1972 to 1973, he competed in the Grand National East Series, where he recorded five top-tens in twelve races. On May 23, 2012, it was announced that he would be inducted into the 2013 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on February 8, 2013.

 

 

2023 inductees

carl hungness publisher of indianapolis 500 yearbook

A high school drop out from DENVER COLORADO CArl was able to attend  college with the agreement to go back and earn his high school degree

in 1968 carl began producing automobile posters

in 1972 carl had an ideal to republish Floyd Clymer's indianapolis 500 yearbook and began advertising in magazines the 1973 indianapolis 500 yearbook and thru the large amount of pre-book orders financed the production costs of the 1973 yearbook

carl wrote and published several books including "I Love To Make The Dirt Fly A Biography of Carl G. Fisher 1874-1939" ,"Go! the Bettenhausen Story The Race Against a Dream" and the Indianapolis 500 yearbooks from 1973 thru 1997

HE PURCHASED A PRINTING COMPANY IN THE LATE 70S TO DECREASE HIS PRINTING COSTS

carl's publishing company also published several other sports books outside of auto racing AS WELL AS SEVERAL POSTERS WHICH ARE STILL AVAILABLE TODAY

Carl's introduction to each year book was entitled "the Peeled eye" and the website monthly column is in that honor

a true artist cARL IS NOW A SCULPTOR AS WeLL AS A GLAZER AND RESIDES IN MADISON INDIANA

Dale Armstrong nhra driver and mechanic

Dale Armstrong ) was a Canadian drag racer and crew chief. After winning 12 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and 12 International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) events in the 1970s including the Pro Comp title in 1975, he became Kenny Bernstein's crew chief.[2][3] The combination produced four consecutive national championships in Funny Car (1985 to 1988) and another

Armstrong was born in Holden, Alberta, in 1941 He bought his first car, a 1936 Ford Coupe, for five dollars at age 14.[4] In 1957, he began drag racing the car on a dragstrip at an airport near Calgary.[4] It took him five attempts to make a 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) pass; he took out non-essential pieces of the car such as the back seat to lighten the load.His reputation for repairing cars quickly grew and soon there were cars lined up for repairs behind his family's garage.[4] He began drag racing in NHRA's Northwest division in a Chevrolet Z-11 in the B/Factory Experimental class in a front-ended machine that had 11-second passes at 115 miles per hour (185 km/h).[3] Armstrong and a friend towed his dragster to Southern California for the February 1964 Winternationals.[4] In January 1965, he moved to Southern California and began campaigning a Chevrolet II at local tracks since he could compete up to five nights per weekHe converted the car into a Funny Car and began running the car in early 1966 using the nickname "The Canuck".[3] The car appeared on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in December 1966; the article in the magazine said "Even a diehard Chevy lover would have trouble telling just what had been the original vehicle"The supercharged engine achieved runs in the 8-second bracket with a top elapsed time (e.t.) of 8.89 seconds.In 1969 he drove a Chevrolet Camaro in the Super Stock class and he followed it up with making passes in Funny Cars "Travelin' Javelin" and Tom Strum's Swapper

Armstrong switched to the Injected Funny Car class in a 1973 Barracuda before moving to the new Pro Comp class in 1974.He joined Ken Veney's team and beat Veney in the finals of his first A/Fuel event at the Winternationals.[3] He also won the AA/Altered U.S. Nationals for Jim Foust that season before moving to Pro Comp in 1975.[3] While competing in Foust's Alcoholic BB/Funny Car, he won the Pro Comp championship including wins in the U.S. Nationals and Worlds.[3] Armstrong continued racing in Pro Comp for three more years. During that time, he won eight more National events including the 1977 U.S. Nationals.[3] In 1976, he won seven of nine IHRA Pro Comp National events and the championship.

He moved to Funny Car in 1980 and 1981 and had three final-round loses.He used Mike Kase's Dodge Omni at the 1981 World Finals to set a national record with a 5.891 second pass to break Bernstein's 5.90 mark.[3] During the 1981 season, he had two accidents. Armstrong described the fiery 240 mph crash of his Dodge Challenger at Columbus, Ohio: "Yeah, that was kind of a bad one," he said. "It told me it was time to get out of driving."

Armstrong joined Bernstein's team as his crew chief in 1982.[3] In late 1983, he took their new Ford Tempo-bodied Funny Car to a wind tunnel and found additional speed after some modifications.[3] Bernstein had a 5.80  e.t. with an all-time-best 260.11-mile-per-hour (418.61 km/h) pass in the 1984 Gatornationals finals to beat John Collins Bernstein ran third in points that season in his Budweiser Tempo Armstrong tested an on-board computer to see when the clutch was engaged and when the spark plugs were firing.[6]

Bernstein won the 1985 championship after winning six of 12 national events and reaching nine finals.The Armstrong-wrenched Tempo set two national records during the season.[ Bernstein continued winning in 1986; he won five of 14 events He qualified number one eight times, set the low e.t. ten times, and reached eight finals.[3] Bernstein had the first Funny Car 270 mile-per-hour pass at the U.S. Nationals (271.41 miles per hour (436.79 km/h) / 5.50 seconds) and lowered the record e.t. into the 5.4 second range with a 5.425-second run at the Chief Nationals.[3]

Armstrong continued as Bernstein's crew chief in 1987 and they used a controversial Buick LeSabre body Bernstein won a record-tying seven national events and achieved their third consecutive Winston points titleThe Buick had the first 5.3 second run at the Winston All-stars race with a 5.39-second e.t.[ Bernstein tied another Don Prudhomme Funny Car record when he won his fourth straight championship in 1988His Buick Reatta made six finals, winning three times, achieved six low e.t., and qualified number one five times. In 1989, Bernstein finished third in Funny Car before moving up into the Top Fuel class in the following season

Armstrong continued as Bernstein's crew chief in Top Fuel, and the combination produced six wins in 1992 which tied a class record. In 1993, Wes Cerny developed a cylinder head / magneto combination that Armstrong tuned for the first 300 miles per hour run At the Gator Nationals qualifying, Bernstein also set the record e.t. with a 4.823-second pass at 301.70 miles per hour (485.54 km/h) during qualifying for the Motorcraft Gatornationals in Gainesville Armstrong said:

Being the crew chief on the first car to run 300 means more to me than any national event win or any Winston championship. There isn't any question at all. People will forget what years we won the Winston championship, but they'll never forget when the first 300 was run and who did it.

At the 1994 season-ending Winston Select Finals at Pomona, Bernstein broke the 310 mph barrier with 311.85 and 314.46 passes.[3] In 1996, Bernstein won the Winston Top Fuel championship In doing so, he was the first driver to win Winston championships in Top Fuel and Funny Car.[3] Armstrong became one of the few crew chiefs to win titles in both classes.

Armstrong and Bernstein parted ways in 1997 after being together for 16 season; Bernstein had won 48 events and five championships with Armstrong.[Armstrong joined Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite team at the end of that season.Larry Dixon drove Prudhomme's dragster on the first 4.4 second pass (4.486) at the Matco Tools SuperNationals. In 2000, Armstrong joined Jerry Toliver's World Wrestling team in Funny Car - the team led the Winston points in August before finishing third]

Jan Opperman usac star

Jan Opperman  was an American racecar driver. He won the 1971 Knoxville Nationals, the premiere event in sprint car racing. In 1976, he won the Hulman Classic at Terre Haute, Ind., which at the time featured most of the top sprint car drivers in the country and had several drivers in the field who would start the Indianapolis 500 later that month.

Born in Long Beach, California, Opperman died in Fountain, Florida, 16 years after suffering critical injuries from a crash during a race in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. Known primarily as a sprint car driver, he also drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1974 and 1976 seasons. He had 9 champ car starts, including the 1974 and 1976 Indianapolis 500 with 3 top ten finishes.

Considered a natural driving talent, Opperman attracted the attention of Indy 500 veterans Parneli Jones and A.J. Foyt. His first start at Indianapolis came with the team co-owned by Jones, a sprint car veteran and winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500. Opperman spent his early sprint car racing career running "outlaw" rather than sticking to one sanctioning body. He won dozens of races each year traveling across the country from race track to race track in pursuit of the best paying races.

Opperman was just hitting his stride in the elite United States Auto Club's, sprint, midget and dirt car (called Silver Crown division today) divisions when he suffered critical head injuries while battling for the lead of the Hoosier Hundred at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds in early September 1976. Opperman missed the 1977 season, but returned to racing on the outlaw circuit in 1978 but never again attained the level of success he achieved before that accident.

Early in his career, Opperman was known as a hippie and part of the drug culture. During the 1960s when living in Beaver Crossing, Nebraska he became a dynamic Christian, and, until his catastrophic accident, was working toward creating a ranch in western Montana for troubled youth.

One of Opperman's trademarks was a battered western hat that had been worn by his brother, Jay, who died while racing a sprint car at Knoxville Raceway on May 16, 1970.

Ron "Sleepy" Tripp midget car driver

Ron "Sleepy" Tripp is an American Hall of Fame midget car driver. Tripp got his nickname as a youth when he would fall asleep in his quarter midget car while waiting for his next race to start.

Tripp won the 1975 and 1976 United States Automobile Club (USAC) National Midget championships. He stayed on the national tour for several more years before he started racing in the Western States series, on the West Coast. He consistently placed first or second in the series points, winning championships in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992. He reached his 100th win May 2, 1998 at Ventura Raceway.[2] Sleepy sits on top of the Western States feature list with 104 wins.

He also had 59 National Midget car victories, which places him fifth on USAC's all-time National Midget Car series feature winners list And those 59 National USAC total victories, placing him 11th on USAC's all-time National career feature victory leaders list.[1] His combined National, Western and Regional USAC wins have him the winningest driver in midgets. With over 250 career wins to his name.

"Sleepy" was born Ronald James Tripp to parents Barbara and Gerald Tripp, August 13, 1953, and he was raised with his older brother, Bob and younger sister, Karen in Costa Mesa, California. Growing up in a racing family had the boys racing at a very young age, winning their way into the record books. The boys raced in Quarter midgets, winning numerous trophies along the way. They then tried their hand in motorcycles, before jumping up to the full-size midget cars. During Sleepy's high school years, he was a wrestler and accomplished football star at Newport Harbor High School, being named MVP and Captain for their 1970 League Championship football season. Last played in July 1971 at the Aloha All Star Football Classic at Honolulu Stadium. Has been married to Erin since Nov 1982, whom he met in New Zealand while racing, they have one daughter, Shay, who is married and has recently made Sleepy and Erin grandparents. Both of Sleepy's parents have since passed and the boys still work together at their families electrical contracting business.

After Sleepy took the 'Rookie of the Year' and USRC 1974 Championship he then headed for the Midwest and tried his luck with USAC, taking 'Rookie of the Year' honors and Championship in 1975 and then again winning the USAC Championship back-to-back in 1976. He was invited to race in Australia during their 1976/77 season, along with Johnny Rutherford (who was that years Indianapolis 500 winner). In turn, Sleepy raced 17-years in either Australia, New Zealand or both. He raced with USAC National series, until he returned to California to race the newly formed USAC Western States Championship, in which he joined car owners George and Gary Zarounian, to dominate the early years, winning the 1983, 85, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92 Championships. During those years, he won 104 features, putting him at the top of the feature win list. His racing career ended after crashing at a USAC/BCRA race at Stockton, California, in 2003.

First invited to tour 'down-under' through Australia and New Zealand in 1976/77 where he began to win races and fans for nearly two decades. After running his own car for six years, he teamed up with car owner, Danny Lendich, winning many of the prestigious races, such as the 50 Lap Classic, the World 30 Lap Derby, Bob Tattersal Memorial, Ross Goonan Memorial and the City of Auckland Grand Prix. In all, he has 34 feature wins at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland.

Tripp also had success in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s with many feature wins including winning the 1983 and 1984 Australian Speedcar Grand Prix on the paved Liverpool City Raceway, as well as both the Harry Neal and Rick Harvey Memorial's and the 40 Lap Speedcar Derby at Adelaide's Speedway Park. Despite regularly beating the local drivers, Tripp's laid back nature, and his style of car set up and driving which often involved racing with the left (inside) front wheel not even touching the track, proved popular with Australian crowds.

In the 80's, his name and popularity extend motor racing, as there was a racing horse, greyhound and rock band all named 'Sleepy Tripp'. Still today there is a trotter racing down-under with his name.

The afternoon of October 7th, 2012, on his way home from a weekend away to Mammoth, he crashed his motorcycle and was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he spent a touch-and-go month long in ICU, eventually moved to Brea Kindred Rehab, to learn to walk again. Sleepy and Erin spent their 30th Wedding Anniversary at this hospital. Eventually released to go home the end of Jan, only to end up at Hoag Hospital with a heart infection and spent 6-weeks on a regimented medicated cleansing at Crystal Cove Rehab. Once they had got on top of the infection, he was released to go home. The Tripp's are very thankful to all their family, friends and fans that were behind his recovery all the way!!!

Lloyd Ruby  indy car driver

Lloyd Ruby  was an American racecar driver who raced in the USAC Championship Car series for 20 years, achieving 7 victories and 88 top-ten finishes. He also had success in endurance racing, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona (twice), the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 World Sportscar Championship.

Ruby raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1958–1977 seasons, with 177 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 from 1960 to 1977. He achieved 88 top-ten finishes, and seven victories. His best finish at Indy was third, in 1964. In 1966, he led the Indy 500 for 68 laps.

Ruby also had two endurance racing victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona (1965–1966), both times partnering with Ken Miles. Ruby and Miles teamed up to win the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 World Sportscar Championship. Ruby was scheduled to drive in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, however he was forced to withdraw due to spinal injuries suffered in a plane crash.[2] A year later, he teamed with Denny Hulme in a Ford GT 40 Mk IV for the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ruby played a key role in Ford Motor Company's GT40 program in the mid-1960s. He also raced in the 1961 United States Grand Prix.

Despite a Championship Car career replete with success, Ruby is probably best remembered for his many misfortunes at the Indianapolis 500. His biography, written by Ted Buss in 2000, was titled, Lloyd Ruby: The Greatest Driver Never to Win the Indy 500. Ruby led the race in five different years, for a total of 126 laps, however, his best finish at Indianapolis was third, in 1964. His only other top-five finish at Indy came in 1968. In 1991, he was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Perhaps Ruby's most notorious hard-luck bout at Indy came in 1969. With race leader Mario Andretti experiencing overheating problems, Ruby was in a strong position to score a victory. During a pit stop around the halfway point, a crew member motioned Ruby to pull away too soon. The refueling nozzle was still engaged in the car's left saddle tank, and as Ruby dropped the clutch, the car lurched forward. The nozzle ruptured a hole in the gas tank, ending Ruby's day.

He died in 2009 at the age of 81 in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas

 

Michael Andretti cart champion

Michael Mario Andretti  is an American semi-retired auto racing driver and current team owner. Statistically one of the most successful drivers in the history of American open-wheel car racing, Andretti won the 1991 CART PPG Indy Car World Series and amassed 42 race victories, the most in the CART era and fourth-most all time. Since his retirement from active racing, Andretti has owned Andretti Autosport, which has won four IndyCar Series championships and five Indianapolis 500 races.

He is the son of Formula One World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, and the father of current IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti.

Michael Andretti was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania to race car driver Mario Andretti, a four-time IndyCar champion and one-time Formula One champion, and his wife Dee Ann (née Hoch)

Following a successful career racing karts, winning 50 of his 75 races over eight years, Andretti moved into racing cars. He obtained his SCCA National License in 1980, then won six races to claim the SCCA's Northeast Division Formula Ford championship in 1981. He also drove in a number of Formula Vee races in regional SCCA events. In 1982, he won six of the 11 races on his way to winning the Robert Bosch US Formula Super Vee Championship. He also won the opening race of the 1983 Super Vee season before he moved up to drive in Formula Atlantic, and won his second title by winning the FIA Formula Mondial North American Cup the following season. Although he made his international sports car debut at the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, he was denied the opportunity to race, as the Mirage M12 he had chosen to race with his father was disqualified 80 minutes before the race was due to start. The father and son partnership returned to the Circuit de la Sarthe the following year, and were joined by Philippe Alliot in the Porsche Kremer Racing's Porsche 956, taking third place. Andretti also raced alongside his father in the Riverside 6 Hours where they were joined by A. J. Foyt and Preston Henn, but the Porsche 935 failed to finish. The father and son duo paired up again the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona, this time in a full-works Porsche 962, which made its race debut. They took pole position, but during the race, the engine broke

Andretti made his CART debut in 1983, racing for the Kraco Enterprises team. He re-signed for Kraco for the 1984 season, where he managed five third-place finishes and ended his rookie season in seventh overall. In the Indianapolis 500, he finished fifth and shared the Rookie of the Year award with Roberto Guerrero. He went on to win his first IndyCar race in 1986 in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The season became a two-man battle for the championship title, between Michael and Bobby Rahal. Andretti would take the points lead with his victory on the Milwaukee Mile. A week later, on Father's Day, Michael was leading on the final lap at Portland, when his March-Cosworth 86C ran out of fuel, allowing his father, Mario, to beat him by just 0.07 seconds. It was one of the most shocking finishes in the history of IndyCar, and the closest finish until 1997. With Rahal continuing to win races, Andretti's consistent finishing only allowed Rahal a nine-point lead in the standing with two races remaining. Andretti won a key victory in at Phoenix. Going into the season finale at Tamiami Park, Andretti was just three points behind Rahal, but neither driver were a factor in the race, with Andretti retiring with a broken halfshaft

In a one-off race with Alfa Corse, he took part in the inaugural World Touring Car race, 500 km di Monza. Paired with Alessandro Nannini, they finished 16th overall, second in class. Back in CART, he continued with Kraco in 1987, and like 1986, the championship was between Andretti and Rahal. Michael would win the Michigan 500, drawing within nine points of Rahal. With him winning in dominating fashion at Nazareth Speedway, his championship hopes remained alive, although Rahal clinched the championship at the next race. Andretti would also win the season finale, Tamiami Park. He would finish runner-up for the second season in a row. Back in June 1987, Michael joined Hendrick Motorsport to race a Chevrolet Corvette GTP in the Mid-Ohio 500 km, this time joined by his cousin, John Andretti, where they finished 11th.

Following Porsche's defeat in the 1988 Daytona 24 Hours, Porsche entered a 962C at Le Mans for Mario, Michael and John. They were tremendously competitive in the first half of the race, until the Andretti family's car needed minor repairs before lapsing on to five cylinders, finishing sixth overall. Michael and Mario join Busby Racing for 1989 Daytona 24 Hours, only for their 962 to retire with brakes problems

The 1988 CART season was a lean year for Michael. He remained with Kraco and won only a single race, the Marlboro Challenge, for which no championship points were awarded.

For the 1989 season, Andretti signed with Newman/Haas Racing, partnering him with his father. He won two races that season, Molson Indy Toronto and the Marlboro 500 at the Michigan International Speedway, placing third in points. For 1990, Al Unser Jr. would become champion, Andretti was his nearest competitor, winning five races and four poles. In the second-to-last race of the season at Nazareth, Unser crashed out, giving Andretti a huge opportunity to close the gap. Andretti managed only a sixth-place finish, and could not capitalize on Unser's misfortune. Unser left Nazareth with a 27-point lead, enough to clinch the championship. Andretti would finish runner-up once again.

For the 1991 24 Hours of Daytona, Mario was joined by both Michael and his Mario's younger son, Jeff Andretti. Piloting a Jochen Dauer Racing entered Porsche 962, they were classified fifth overall, despite not finishing the race.

Andretti was the drivers' champion of the 1991 CART PPG Indy Car World Series. He won a total eight of 17 races, eight poles and led more than half of the laps during the season, but Rahal still took the championship battle down to the final race of the season. Andretti's season started slowly, recording DNFs in the opening two events, then the heartbreaking second place at the Indy 500. He recovered from this, winning four of the last five races of the season and with Rahal retiring during the title decider at Laguna Seca, he cruised to the title. The day before, he won the non-championship, Marlboro Challenge for a second time.

Remaining with Newman/Haas for 1992, Michael's season started slowly, but then wins three races out of four mid-season. Despite taking two more wins later in the year, including the season finale at Laguna Seca, Rahal beat him again to the title by just four points. He would leave for F1 at the end of the year, with his seat going to the reigning Formula One World Champion, Nigel Mansell, who would win the 1993 CART title in his rookie season.

For four seasons between 1989 and 1992, Michael had his father as his teammate at Newman/Haas. Together, they established a number of firsts, including the first father-son front row, for the 1986 Dana 200 for Special Olympics at Phoenix, and the first of 15 father-son podiums in the 1984 Cribari Wines 300K at Laguna Seca, with the last coming nearly a decade later in the 1992 Daikyo IndyCar Grand Prix, around the street of Surfers Paradise

The Andretti family's bad luck at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known as the Andretti Curse. He shared Rookie of the Year honours with Guerrero in 1984, when he finished fifth. However, in 1991, he led with 12 laps remaining, but finished second to Rick Mears after battling the multiple Indy 500 winner. The pair of them traded memorable late-lap outside passes for the lead in Turn One. The next year, 1992, he dominated the race, leading four-fifths of the laps, but, with 11 laps remaining after holding a two-lap lead, his fuel pump failed, and his car coasted to a stop. He was classified in 13th place. He also dropped out while leading the Indy 500 in 1989, 1995 and 2003. Andretti holds the record for most laps led in the Indy 500 without having achieved a victory

For the 1993 season, Michael signed for Marlboro McLaren, to partner with the triple World Drivers' Champion Ayrton Senna in their Ford HBD V8-powered MP4/8. He signed during the summer of 1992 and the deal was announced at Monza over the weekend of the 1992 Italian Grand Prix.

"I think he can win Grands Prix and become the World Champion," said Ron Dennis, McLaren's team principal. "It's not a question of which country you come from. It's how you demonstrate your desire to win."[22] There were practical factors that mitigated against Andretti being able to show competitive form in his debut season in F1. The rule changes introduced that season destroyed his hopes of unrestricted laps in free practice during which he could learn the tracks, as most were unfamiliar to him. From the start of 1993, just 23 laps were allowed in the morning's untimed session and only twelve in the qualifying session

With the pressure intensifying, Michael began the year with crashes in the Kyalami and at Interlagos. In the latter of these two, he had a massive collision at the start with Gerhard Berger in a Ferrari. He then qualified sixth for the Sega European Grand Prix at Donington Park, but he collided with Karl Wendlinger's Sauber on the opening lap. Next time out at Imola, he again fell foul of Wendlinger after a drive that might have ended with a visit to the podium, and many critics cited this as the key turning point for the America]

In the Gran Premio de España, Andretti finally completed a race, finishing fifth amongst the established front runners.[23] However, his showing was criticized by former McLaren World Champion James Hunt because Andretti was lapped by his teammate Senna.

During the F1 season, Andretti watched the 1993 Indianapolis 500 on a television set. During the race, his former team, now with Nigel Mansell driving, was passed by winner Emerson Fittipaldi on a restart with less than 20 laps to go. Even though he wasn't in the race, Andretti would also consider 1993 a near-miss; "I mean, he (Mansell) did well to be leading, but no way would Emerson and [Arie] Luyendyk have passed me on that restart, I can guarantee you."

He would finish in the points on three occasions, but he could never quite string things together consistently. He never fully got to grips with the McLaren MP4/8. Highly technical aspects which he was not used to in the technologically simpler Indy cars such as active suspension and traction control hampered Andretti's chances as did the standing starts used in F1. Some in the industry also felt that since he commuted to races and test sessions from the United States, rather than relocating full-time to Europe was also a contributing factor to his lack of success in Formula One. At the time, McLaren's Special Projects Manager, long-time Andretti family friend Tyler Alexander, who had been involved in F1 since the mid-1960s, had urged Michael to relocate to England as he knew times had changed from when Mario had raced to the 1978 World Championship. True enough, he finished third at Monza (which would prove to be his last Formula One race), but with three races remaining, he left the team and the championship by mutual agreement after the race

According to Michael's son Marco, the McLaren team "sabotaged" his father's chances at being competitive in order to replace him with the team's test driver Mika Häkkinen, who would require a smaller salary. "The reality of it was, they had Mika Häkkinen ready to come in for a lot less than what my dad was getting paid, and that's all it was. Right then and there, they had to make him look [bad]," claimed Marco in 2008. "They would make the car do weird things in the corner electronically, stuff out of his control." However, Andretti still had problems in practice for the Italian Grand Prix, and both he and Senna spun off with brake balance problems early in the race. Andretti was able to continue and fought back up to third, holding off Wendlinger. Throughout the season, Senna experienced similar reliability problems to Andretti, mainly electronic gremlins, particularly in San Marino, Canada, Hungary and Belgium, although Häkkinen equalled Andretti's third place Monza finish in Japan, while Senna won both the Japanese Grand Prix and the season ending Australian Grand Prix, his final race for McLarenAnd according to Häkkinen in a much later interview, Andretti was commuting to Europe from the United States, and was not in Europe enough when testing needed to be done, allowing Häkkinen to consistently show his speed and build a relationship with the team. Häkkinen had also said that Andretti's mental approach was all wrong, and he did not realize the kind of incredible sacrifices one needed to make in order to succeed in Formula One.[28]

It has also been reported that at the start of the 1993 season, Dennis signed Häkkinen as a backup to Senna, who was initially reluctant to commit to the team for the whole season (Senna's move to Williams had to wait until the next season because his rival Alain Prost was having his retirement season there and had it written into his contract that they could not sign the Brazilian triple World Champion as his teammate). This created a difficult atmosphere for Andretti, who would be in the shadow of the brilliant Brazilian, and also faced the threat of being replaced by Häkkinen

Andretti returned to the IndyCar racing after his unsuccessful season in Formula One with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, where he once again proved very successful. He went on to win in his very first race back in the series at the 1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix, around the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in Queensland, Australia, having led every lap along the way. That win also got Reynard's first win in CART in their debut. Although the season may not have gone the way Michael would have liked, he did win again in the Molson Indy Toronto, taking a record fourth win. By the time he retired, Michael would have won seven times around the Exhibition Place.[30]

In 1995, he returned to Newman/Haas Racing. Taking only one win in Toronto, he had a consistent season, scoring points in every round which resulted in Andretti claiming fourth overall in the points standing. The following season, he would finish as runner-up to Jimmy Vasser, in a season marred by the death of Jeff Krosnoff and split with Indy Racing League, visiting victory lane on five occasions. Newman/Haas began a new relationship with Swift which did not prove to be very successful in 1997-1999. In 2000 the team used Lola chassis and Michael won the Firestone Firehawk 300 held at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, and again in Toronto

Michael tried again to win Le Mans in 1997, again alongside Mario, but joined on this occasion by Olivier Grouillard. Following an accident during the night, the trio were forced to retire their Courage C36. Michael would not return to la Sarthe as a driver.

For 2001 he made the decision to move to Team Green as he wanted to try to win the Indianapolis 500 and Newman/Haas refused to enter the Indy Racing League event. Andretti ran in a third Team Green car with Motorola sponsorship and ran at Indianapolis. He led 16 laps, and was leading the race during a rain delay just beyond the halfway point. Had the race been halted due to the rain, he could have been declared the winner. The red flag, however, did not come out at the time and the race resumed. A punctured tyre, and a minor collision in the pits with eventual winner Hélio Castroneves, driving for car owner Roger Penske, slowed him down, and at the end of the day, Andretti settled for 3rd place. In July it was announced that Michael had bought the team and intended to shift the entire operation (which was renamed Andretti Green Racing) to the IRL.

His career in CART ended in 2002, in which he took his 42nd and final career victory at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - placing him in third place for all-time victories in championship car racing behind his father, Mario Andretti (52 wins) and A. J. Foyt (67 wins).

Andretti is also tied with Al Unser Jr. for the most wins in a CART/IndyCar season with eight victories. He achieved this during his championship-winning season of 1991. Throughout his time in IndyCar, he retained a consistent and impressive record, finishing in the top ten of the championship on 17 occasions

Andretti entered in the first four IRL events in 2003, culminating with the 2003 Indianapolis 500, after which he retired from full-time IndyCar racing. He led the race for 28 of the opening 94 laps before a throttle linkage failure put him out of contention once again. That year he bought into the "Team Green" squad run by brothers Kim and Barry Green in CART. It became Andretti Green Racing and for 2003, the team moved to the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.[33][36]

The team claimed consecutive IndyCar Series titles in 2004 and 2005, with Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon respectively, winning 11 of the 17 races, including the Indianapolis 500. The 2007 enhanced the Andretti legacy, when Dario Franchitti captured Andretti Green Racing its third Series title in four seasons, and its second Indianapolis 500 win.

Andretti returned to the driver's seat for the 2006 Indianapolis 500 in a one-time effort to assist the development of his son, Marco, an IndyCar rookie for the 2006 season. Michael led the race with four laps to go, before falling to second behind his son a lap later. He went on to finish third, while Marco only just missed out on the 500 victory after he was passed just before the start/finish line on the last lap by three-time IndyCar champion, Sam Hornish Jr.

After qualifying his car in 11th place for the 2007 Indianapolis 500, Andretti went on to finish 13th. He then announced that this would be his last Indy 500 as a driver. Andretti leaves driving competition at Indy with a frustrating distinction: the driver who led the most laps (431) without winning the race. He competed in 16 Indy 500s, with a top finish of second in 1991, but led the race nine times.

By 2012, racing under the name of Andretti Autosport, they brought the 2012 IndyCar Series championship back home. Michael served not only as the team owners, but as the strategist on Ryan Hunter-Reay's four race victories. Hunter-Reay also captured the 2014 Indianapolis 500, with a close victory over Hélio Castroneves.

At the beginning of 2018, he partnered with Ryan Walkinshaw's Walkinshaw Racing and Zak Brown's United Autosports to create Walkinshaw Andretti United which competes in the Australian Supercars Championship. Andretti United expanded into Extreme E in 2021

On February 18, 2022, it was announced that Andretti had submitted a request with the FIA to enter Formula 1 under "Andretti Global".

 

 

2022 inductees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*robin miller broadcast journalist

Miller rose to prominence as an IndyCar journalist during his lengthy career with the Indianapolis Star, where he worked from 1968 to 2001. Among writers covering the IndyCar Series, Miller was acknowledged as the foremost authority, given his knowledge of the garage and the depth of his contacts He also wrote for Autoweek, Car and Driver, ESPN and Speed.

In 1972, he bought his first race car, from Andy Granatelli. He raced a Formula Ford in 1972, and then bought a midget car in 1974 from Gary Bettenhausen] He then competed in USAC midgets from 1975–83. Miller's best race came in 1980 when he qualified 5th out of 93 cars for the annual "Hut 100" at the Terre Haute Action Track, a dirt race that featured 33 starters in 11 rows of three like Indy and also sported several top Indy drivers of the time. He considered that race the highlight of his career, however, he blew his engine and dropped out.  after about ten years, he quit driving due to his lack of mechanical knowledge, and massive debts

 

Darrell Waltrip three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion

 Darrell raced from 1972 to 2000 in the former NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now called the NASCAR Cup Series), most notably driving the No. 17 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Waltrip is a three-time Cup Series champion (1981, 1982, 1985). He also Posted a modern NASCAR series record of 22 top five finishes in 1983 and 21 top five finishes both in 1981 and 1986, Waltrip won 84 NASCAR Cup Series races, including the 1989 Daytona 500,a record five in the Coca-Cola 600 (formerly the World 600) (1978, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1989), and a track and Series record for any driver at Bristol Motor Speedway with 12 (seven consecutive from 1981 to 1984).

Jimmie Johnson seven-time nascar Cup champion

A seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, he competed full-time in the series from 2002 to 2020, driving the No. 48 Chevrolet with Hendrick Motorsports, before transitioning to open-wheel racing. Johnson's seven Cup championships, the first five of which are consecutive, his successes have caused many analysts and fellow drivers to consider Johnson as one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time.

He now competes in the NTT IndyCar Series, driving the No. 48 Honda on a part-time schedule for Chip Ganassi Racing and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driving the No. 48 Cadillac on a part-time schedule for Ally Cadillac Racing.

 

ned jarrett two-time Grand National Series champion

"Gentleman Ned Jarrett" is a American stock-car driver who won two National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) championships (1961 and 1965).

According to legend, Jarrett first began driving cars at age nine, when his father would allow him to drive the family car to church on Sunday mornings. He competed in his first race at age 19, finishing 10th at the Hickory (North Carolina) Motor Speedway.Jarrett holds the distinction of greatest margin of victory by mileage, winning the 1965 Southern 500 by an astonishing 14 laps. He went on to capture the second of his two championships that year. When Ford announced its (temporary) departure from NASCAR in 1966, Jarrett decided to retire from racing, at the age of 34. He remains the only driver to retire as series champion.

Dario  Franchitti three-time indianapolis 500 champion

Dario is a four time IndyCar Series champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (2007, 2010, 2012) as well as a winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona (2008).

Franchitti started his career in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, competing in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Three and was also the winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 1992. After Franchitti did not secure a single-seater drive in 1995, he was contracted by the AMG team to compete in touring cars in the DTM and its successor – the International Touring Car Championship. Despite two seasons with relative success, the series folded at the end of the 1996 season, again leaving Franchitti without a drive. Mercedes placed Franchitti in CART in 1997 with the Hogan Racing team.

at a indy car race in houston  in 2013 Franchitti collided with Takuma Sato and E. J. Viso on the final lap, causing Franchitti to become airborne and fly into the turn 5 catchfence.  and Franchitti suffered a spinal fracture, right ankle fracture, and a concussion Due to these injuries, as well as injuries caused by previous crashes, doctors told Franchitti that he would risk permanent paralysis if he continued racing.Franchitti then retired from competitive driving, but maintained his affiliation with Ganassi Racing by becoming a competition director.

Joe Weatherly Grand National Series champion, AMA Grand National Champion

Joe won  NASCAR's Grand National Series championships in 1962 and 1963, three AMA Grand National Championships, and two NASCAR Modified championships.

Weatherly enjoyed behaving outrageously. He once took practice laps wearing a Peter Pan suit. Moreover, he frequently stayed out partying until the early hours, usually with fellow driver and friend Curtis Turner. This behavior earned him the nickname the "Clown Prince of Racing". In 1956 at Raleigh, while racing in the convertible series, Weatherly's engine blew. With the help of Ralph Liguori pushing from behind, he displayed showmanship to the fullest extent by crossing the finish line while standing in a "chariot of fire".

Weatherly died on January 19, 1964, from head injuries sustained in a racing accident at the fifth race of the 1964 season, at Riverside International Raceway. His head went outside the car and struck a retaining wall, killing him instantly. Weatherly was not wearing a shoulder harness, and did not have a window net installed on his vehicle, because he was afraid of being trapped in a burning car

 

2021 inductees

Floyd Clymer  magazine publisher, a racing promoter, an author, and a motorcycle manufacturer

 a pioneer in the sport of motorcycling, was a racer, a motorcycle dealer and distributor, a magazine publisher, a racing promoter, an author, and a motorcycle manufacturer

The Clymer name is best known for his publishing business. His first publication, Motorcycle Topics, was published in the late 1910s, and he resumed publishing magazines and books in earnest after WW2. He published the popular Clymer repair manuals for cars, motorcycles, and powersports vehicles in a standardized format to step-by-step disassembly and reassembly of the complete vehicle, illustrated with photographs. The 'Clymer manual became shorthand among home mechanics as a useful guide to vehicle maintenance and repair. In 2013 the Clymer manual business became part of the Haynes Group, and are still published under the Clymer name. Clymer also published dozens of books on cars and motorcycles, and was among the first to assemble historical surveys of the car and motorcycle industries with his Treasury of Early American Motorcycle, Treasury of Early American Automobile, Those Wonderful Old Automobiles, Henry's Wonderful Model T, and Historical Motor Scrapbooks from the 1950s. He also published an annual yearbook for the Indianapolis 500 from 1946-1968, as well as collections of British car and motorcycle magazine road tests. Clymer purchased Cycle Magazine from Petersen Publishing in July 1957, which had a circulation of several hundred thousand during his tenure through 1966. It was said of Clymer that "He never met a motorcycle he didn't like", and some criticized Cycle for failing to prompt improvements in motorcycle design through journalistic feedback.

floyd Clymer died of a heart attack in 1970, at age 74

 

Theodore E. “Pop” Myers  Good Will Ambassador indianapolis motor speedway

THEODORE E. “POP” MYERS earned an important niche in the history and tradition of automobile racing by devoting the last 40-plus years of his life to improving the sport in general and the Indianapolis 500 race in particular. He joined the staff of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1910, prior to the first Indianapolis 500, and served with distinction as Vice-President as well as General Manager under the regimes of all three track owners. For much of the time during those four decades Myers ran the day-to-day affairs along with his secretary, Miss Eloise “Dolly” Dallenbach. He made three trips to Europe as a “Good Will Ambassador” for the American racing fraternity and served for many years as a member of the American Automobile Association Contest Board. Myers was still working for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he passed away in February 1954.

 
 

Floyd "Pop" Dreyer  the nation's top motorcycle rider in the 1920s

Pop went from one of the nation's top motorcycle riders in the 1920s and some of his records still have not been broken; he then went on to be one of the leading race car builders from the 1930s into the 1950s and led the way in kit car building. Many of his racing innovations are still being used today. He was also a race car owner and his drivers won national championships. He had a "Whos Who" list of race car drivers driving for his team car.Later in life he became a successful businessman and was on the the first in the United States to sell Honda motorcycles. He was never satisfied with stock equipment so he custom built aerodynamic flairings for motorcycles and was the first to use fiberglass in building sidecars for motorcycles.Out of all his hardships of life, Floyd was able to overcome and triumph not only on the race track but in life.

 

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. an American businessman, former racing driver

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. an American businessman, former racing driver, current team owner and member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He has been involved with the North American auto racing scene for over 30 years. He is owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing which operates teams in the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Cup Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and Extreme E. He is the only team owner in history to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and most recently the 24 Hours of Le Mans - six of the biggest races in the world

 

Ron Watson, founder president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA

Ron Watson, founder president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA), leaving a legacy of remarkable accomplishments in creating the MSHFA, then molding it into a respected organization that honors all forms of motorsports.Ron felt that motorsports needed a great hall of fame," said Levy, "then worked tirelessly for the next 30-plus years to make that dream a reality. In so doing he built an institution that's respected the world over and became himself one of the most important voices in the sport. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.

Roger McCluskey  usac championship driver.

He won championship titles in three divisions of the United States Auto Club: Sprints, Stocks, and Champ Cars. He won the USAC Sprint Car title in 1963 and 1966, the USAC Stock Car title in 1969 and 1970. The Champ Car title in 1973. His first USAC Stock Car start resulted in a runner-up finish in Phoenix, Arizona in January 1968, when he drove as a substitute driver for Norm Nelson. mcCluskey earned four USAC Midget Car wins, 23 USAC Sprint Car wins, 23 USAC Stock Car wins and five USAC Championship Car (national championship) wins (including his last start at Milwaukee in 1979, which is a rarety since most drivers don't win their last race in their career). He was the USAC national champion in 1973. He started every Indianapolis 500 race from 1961 to 1979 except 1964, with a best finish of 3rd in 1973.He also made four NASCAR Grand National Series starts from 1969 to 1977 with a best finish of second in 1970 at Riverside International Raceway. He represented the USAC series in the 1974 International Race of Champions. McCluskey raced for the Holman and Moody team in a Ford GT40 Mk.IIB at the 1967 LeMans 24hrs of Endurance, France. During this event, McCluskey is credited with pulling Mario Andretti to safety-and thus saving his life-after Andretti had seriously crashed his Ford GT40 Mk.IV when a front brake locked.

 

2020 inductees

bill Jenkins nhra champion

William Tyler Jenkins nicknamed "Grumpy" or "The Grump", was an engine builder and drag racer. Between 1965 and 1975, he won a total of thirteen NHRA events. Most of these wins were won with a four-speed manual transmission. In 1972 he recorded 250 straight passes without missing a shift

He was formally trained as a mechanical engineer at Cornell University, and he used his training and skills to build engines. He has been inducted in numerous motorsports halls of fame for his engine building skills in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock class. His innovations include drag racing's first kickout oil pans, Pro Stock strut-style front suspension, and dry sump oiling system, and cool cans, electric water pump fan, gas port pistons, and slick-shift manual transmissions. Considered the "Father of Pro Stock", Jenkins-built engines were used to win five NHRA Pro Stock championships and three American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) championships.

He was nicknamed "Grumpy" for having a no-nonsense attitude at races. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America said: "his continual search for improved performance left little time for idle chatter with his racing colleagues.

Dale Armstrong international Hot Rod Association champion

Dale Armstrong was a Canadian drag racer and crew chief. After winning 12 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and 12 International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) events in the 1970s,including the Pro Comp title in 1975, he became Kenny Bernstein's crew chief. The combination produced four consecutive national championships in Funny Car (1985 to 1988) and another in Top Fuel.[ Bernstein became the first driver to top the 300 miles per hour mark in an engine tuned by Armstrong.Armstrong has been inducted in numerous halls of fame. He died on November 28, 2014 at his home in Temecula, California at the age of 73. He had sarcoidosis.

TONY STEWART indy car and nascar champion

Anthony Wayne Stewart nicknamed Smoke, is an American former professional stock car racing driver and current NASCAR team owner. He is a three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion as a driver, winning titles in 2002, 2005 and 2011. As a team owner, he has won Monster Energy Cup titles in 2011 with himself and in 2014 with Kevin Harvick as drivers. Throughout his racing career, Stewart has won racing titles in Indy, midget, sprint, and USAC Silver Crown cars. He is the only driver in history to win a championship in both IndyCar and NASCAR.

He last competed full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) during the 2016 season, driving the No. 14 Chevrolet SS for his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing, under crew chief Mike Bugarewicz. From 1999 to 2008, he drove the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car, under crew chief Greg Zipadelli with The Home Depot as the primary sponsor. While driving for car owner Joe Gibbs, Stewart won two Cup Series championships in 2002 and 2005. In 2011, Stewart became the first owner-driver since Alan Kulwicki to win the Cup Series championship, which ended Jimmie Johnson's streak of consecutive championships at five. Stewart is the only driver to win the Cup Series championship under the old points system and the chase playoff format, and is the only driver to win the title under three different sponsorships (Winston in 2002, Nextel in 2005, and Sprint in 2011). He is also the first driver in the Cup Series to win the championship by virtue of a tie breaker (number of wins during the season is the first level tie breaker; Stewart had five while eventual runner-up Carl Edwards had one.) On May 22, 2019, Stewart was inducted into the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

Jeff Gordon nascar champion

Jeffery Michael Gordon is an American former professional stock car racing driver, currently an announcer for Fox NASCAR, and a top executive for Hendrick Motorsports. He formerly drove the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 23 full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons between 1993 and 2015, and served as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in select races during the 2016 season.

Gordon started his professional racing career in the Busch Series with Hugh Connerty Racing, followed by Bill Davis Racing, winning three races, and began racing full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports in 1993. He is a four-time Winston Cup champion, having won the title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. He also won the Daytona 500 three times in 1997, 1999, and 2005. He is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 career wins, the most in NASCAR's modern era (1972–present). Gordon's 81 pole positions led all active drivers and is third all-time; Gordon won at least one pole in 23 consecutive seasons, making this a NASCAR record. He was also the active "iron man" leader for consecutive races participated in with 797 through the 2015 season.

In 1998, NASCAR named Gordon to its 50 Greatest Drivers list. In 2008, ten years later, ESPN's Terry Blount ranked him 10th in the 25 Greatest Drivers of All-Time. Foxsports.com named him as the fifth best NASCAR driver of all time.

Gordon, along with Rick Hendrick, co-owns the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, who won seven Cup championships from 2006 to 2010, 2013, and in 2016. Gordon also has an equity stake in the No. 24 team. Gordon also owned a Busch Series team between 1999 and 2000, Gordon/Evernham Motorsports (co-owned with Ray Evernham; later solely owned as JG Motorsports), winning twice.

Gordon was born in Vallejo, California, and raised in Pittsboro, Indiana, and considers Sonoma Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway as his "home" tracks. He currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch and their two children Ella Sofia and Leo Benjamin.

Ricky Carmichael AMA Supercross Champion

Ricky Carmichael is a former motocross racer known for his success in motocross in the early 2000s, having won the AMA Motocross Championship 450cc class seven times and the AMA Supercross Championship 450cc class five times. His unrivaled successes in the sport of motocross have given him the nickname "The GOAT"; standing for Greatest of All Time

After a dominant amateur career, Carmichael made his pro debut for the (Splitfire Pro Circuit) Kawasaki team in 1997. He was fast but erratic in Supercross; winning several main events. Crashes and inconsistency cost him the title to Suzuki's Tim Ferry. Outdoors, Carmichael was much more in his element, and he beat defending champion Steve Lamson for the win at the first round. Carmichael was very dominant and won the overall title in his rookie year.

He more than made amends for his rookie-season loss in Supercross by winning all 8 main events of the 1998 125cc East Region. He won the East/West shootout as well. Outdoors, he defended his title easily despite early challenges from Lamson, John Dowd, and Mike Brown.

Carmichael jumped to the 250 class for Supercross in 1999 with the Factory Kawasaki team. It started off reasonably well with some top 5 finishes, but had a violent crash in the early rounds and was forced to take time off. The rest of the year was filled with crashes and disappointing results and Carmichael failed to finish in the top 10 overall. He raced 125 outdoors once again with Pro Circuit, and again dominated that series for his third title in a row.

In 2000, Carmichael jumped to the 250 class full-time. He was much more consistent this year with regular top 5 finishes, including his first win at Daytona. He finished 5th overall behind eventual champion Jeremy McGrath; the latter's final title. Outdoors, Carmichael had no such trouble adapting the bigger bike and was the class of the field. He had some close battles with Sebastien Tortelli, but ended up winning the 250 National Championship in his first try.

By 2001, Carmichael had showed a new commitment to his fitness and preparation. After some early series battles with McGrath, Carmichael took a chokehold of the points lead and won 13 out of 15 Supercross races as well as the championship. After another battle with Tortelli and Kevin Windham outdoors, Carmichael won that title again as well.

Carmichael switched to Honda for 2002. He suffered a horrendous endo at round one of Supercross; earning no points. He mounted a furious comeback by winning 11 races from 16 and the title over David Vuillemin.

Carmichael accomplished something that year previously thought impossible. He won all 24 motos of the 2002 National season.

Bubba Stewart AMA Motocross Supercross Champion

James Stewart Jr.  also known as Bubba Stewart, is an American former professional motocross racer who competed in the AMA Motocross and the AMA Supercross Championships. Through his years of racing, he earned the nickname “The Fastest Man on The Planet”, due to his extraordinary talent, speed, athleticism and innovation.

In 2008 James won every race and every moto of the AMA Motocross season. The only other person to do this is Ricky Carmichael. James is second in all time 450 Supercross wins (50), and second all time in AMA outdoor national wins (98). He is also known for innovating the "bubba scrub" or just "scrub", which revolutionized the sport and became a fundamental skill needed to compete in Professional Motocross. He was the first to host his own television show "Bubba's World" which brought even more attention to the sport. He is arguably the most financially lucrative racer, bringing in endorsement deals paying him over $10M a year throughout his career. Known for his vibrant personality and big smile, James has been featured in news outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Maxim, ESPN The Magazine, GQ and many more. Additionally, Teen People named him one of “20 Teens Who Will Change the World”. He has the record for best rookie season, having won 10/12 Motocross races in 2002.

James has 5 FIM World Champion titles from Motocross of Nations, and World Supercross. 4 AMA Supercross Champion titles, and 3 AMA Motocross Champion titles. He won the Redbull Straight Rhythm in both 2014 and 2015. He's a Motocross legend who battled the greats of multiple era's.


2019 INDUCTEES

Dale Jarrett 1999 Winston Cup Series 1993, 1996, 2000 Daytona 500 Winner

Jarrett was born on November 26, 1956 in Conover, North Carolina, the middle child of Ned and Martha. Jarrett has an older brother, Glenn; and a younger sister, Patti. Jarrett's father Ned competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division between 1953 to 1966, winning two series championships in 1961 and 1965. Following retirement, Ned remained active in the racing community as manager of Hickory Motor Speedway and later established a career in broadcasting.

Jarrett spent his childhood traveling to his father's races across the Southern United States. He was introduced to golf by age twelve; he also played football, basketball and baseball while attending Newton-Conover High School. Jarrett led his high school's golf team to three conference championships, and was named the school's athlete of the year as a senior. Following graduation in 1975, Jarrett worked at Hickory Motor Speedway, the track his father managed.[8] Jarrett was offered a full golf scholarship from the University of South Carolina, which he declined. Though he continued to play golf, Jarrett was interested in following his father's footsteps as a racing driver.

In April 1977, Jarrett entered his first professional race in the Limited Sportsman Division at Hickory. His vehicle, a 1968 Chevrolet Nova, was built by Andy Petree and Jimmy Newsome.Jarrett started last and finished in ninth place; it was after this event when Jarrett knew that he wanted to race for a living. Jarrett continued to compete in the Limited Sportsman Division for two years, before moving up to the Dash Series and then the Late Model Sportsman Division, the latter in which he earned his first victory.

*Alan Kulwicki nascar race driver

Alan Dennis Kulwicki , nicknamed "Special K" and the "Polish Prince", was an American auto racing driver and team owner. He started racing at local short tracks in Wisconsin before moving up to regional stock car touring series. Kulwicki arrived at NASCAR, the highest and most expensive level of stock car racing in the United States, with no sponsor, a limited budget and only a racecar and a borrowed pickup truck. Despite starting with meager equipment and finances, he earned the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award over drivers racing for well-funded teams.

After Kulwicki won his first race at Phoenix International Raceway, he debuted what would become his trademark "Polish victory lap". Kulwicki won the 1992 Winston Cup Championship by what was then the closest margin in NASCAR history. He died early in 1993 in a light aircraft accident and therefore never defended his championship. He has been inducted into numerous racing halls of fame and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers.

Kulwicki was known for being a perfectionist and doing things his own way. An engineer by trade, his scientific approach to NASCAR racing inspired the way teams are now run. Despite lucrative offers from top car owners, he insisted on driving for his own race team, AK Racing, during most of his NASCAR career. Described by his publicist as "a real hard type of person to get to know", he remained a bachelor throughout his life.

* Nicky Hayden AMA Superbike Champion

Nicholas Patrick Hayden, nicknamed "The Kentucky Kid", was an American professional motorcycle racer who won the MotoGP World Championship in 2006. Hayden began racing motorcycles at a young age. He began his road racing career in the CMRA before progressing to the AMA Supersport Championship and then to the AMA Superbike Championship. He won the AMA title in 2002 and was approached by the Repsol Honda team to race for them in MotoGP.

In his first season he performed well, finishing fifth in the championship and winning the Rookie-of-the-year award. However, this was followed by a difficult second season in which he managed eighth overall. Hayden then rallied in the 2005 season by scoring his first Grand Prix win at Laguna Seca, and finishing third in the standings at the end of the season. The next year, 2006, would be Hayden's greatest in motorcycle racing as he won the 2006 MotoGP world title, breaking Valentino Rossi's five-year consecutive streak. He remained with Honda for two more seasons without a world title, before moving to Ducati for 2009. Hayden had five largely unsuccessful seasons at Ducati, with his highest finishing championship position a seventh place in 2010. He subsequently moved to the Honda Aspar team in 2014 where he raced for two seasons before making a move to the Superbike World Championship with the Ten Kate Racing Honda team.

Hayden finished fifth in his first season in the World Superbike Championship with the highlight of his season being a win in Malaysia. For 2017 Hayden continued with the Red Bull Honda team (formerly Ten Kate Racing team).

On May 17, 2017, Hayden was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Italy. He suffered a traumatic rain injury and died five days later in a local hospital. Hayden was posthumously inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2018.

Hélio Castroneves 3 time indianapolis 500 winner

Hélio Alves de Castro Neves (Portuguese pronunciation: ju kastu nvis] better known as Hélio Castroneves, is a Brazilian auto racing driver competing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Prior to IMSA, Castroneves competed in the IndyCar Series, gaining 23 wins and 38 poles, and placed second in the season standings four times, third three times, and fourth five times. Castroneves also competed in the CART championship, with a highest championship points finish of fourth; he recorded six wins and seven pole positions in the series.

Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500 in 2001, 2002, and 2009, making him one of only nine drivers, and the only active driver, to have won at least three times. He also finished second at Indy in 2003, 2014, and 2017. Castroneves has won four pole positions for the Indy 500, including back-to-back poles in 2009 and 2010, the first driver to do so since Scott Brayton in 1996. He is also one of only five drivers – along with Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Bill Vukovich, and Al Unser being the other four – and the only active driver to win the Indy 500 in back-to-back races.

Sam Schimdt Indy racing league driver

Samuel "Sam" Schmidt is a former Indy Racing League driver and current NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights series team owner. Schmidt's brief IndyCar career included a win in 1999, but an accident before the 2000 season left him a quadriplegic.

After graduating from Pepperdine University, he became a successful businessman, eventually purchasing his father's parts company in 1989 at the age of 25.He raced at a competitive amateur level, supported by his business income, but dreamed of someday driving in the Indianapolis 500. He first drove professionally in 1995 in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series at the age of 31 which, by racing standards, is an unusually old age to begin a professional career. Nonetheless, he won Rookie of the Year honors.

In 1997 he made his first Indy Racing League start and became a rising star in the league. He raced three consecutive years at the Indianapolis 500, and earned his first race victory, from the pole position, at Las Vegas in 1999.[citation needed] He finished fifth in series points that year. During that offseason, while testing in preparation for the 2000 season, Schmidt crashed at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 6, 2000. The accident rendered him a quadriplegic, and put him on a respirator for five months.

After leaving the hospital, Schmidt, no longer able to actually drive a racecar, realized he needed to find a new passion and follow it. Inspired by meeting tetraplegic Formula One team owner Sir Frank Williams, he founded Sam Schmidt Motorsports, which has become the most successful team in the history of the Indy Lights series, winning the 2004 series championship with Thiago Medeiros, the 2006 title with Jay Howard, and the 2007 title with Alex Lloyd. Sam Schmidt Motorsports was a full-time IndyCar series team in 2001 and 2002, and continues to participate annually in the Indianapolis 500. In the Firestone Indy Lights series, as of August 2009 the team had posted 30 victories out of 100 starts.

After acquiring the FAZZT Race Team IndyCar team in 2011, Sam Schmidt Motorsports returned full-time to the IZOD IndyCar Series, and on May 21, 2011, driver Alex Tagliani won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500, the first pole for the team.


 

Warren Johnson nhra champion

Warren Johnson is a retired American NHRA drag racing driver. He is the driver with the most wins in pro stock with 97 career wins, six world championships and earned himself the nickname "The Professor of Pro Stock."

In 1995, Johnson had one of the biggest comebacks in NHRA history. After the alleged season ending vandalism of the cars driven by Darrell Alderman and Scott Geoffrion, Johnson started gaining points, and had gained over 500 points with the season half completed to clinch the championship that year.

In 1997 he became the first NHRA Pro Stock driver to exceed 200 mph with a pass of 200.13 mph at Richmond, Virginia. He became the first Pro Stock driver to make a sub-6.9 second pass with a 6.894-second run at Richmond, Va. In 2006 Johnson reached his 500th career race.

On May 2, 2010 at age 66 Warren became the oldest professional winner in NHRA history as we won the AAA Midwest Nationals in Madison Illinois.

Currently, Johnson is a member of the Kiz Toys’ Board of Advisors. Kiz Toys is a toy company based out of Cumming, Georgia, and Johnson advises the company on automotive aspects of the KizMoto line, Kiz Toys’ initial product line. Johnson reviews product designs and development on an ongoing basis and offers suggestions on current and future products associated with KizMoto. As of May 2010, he won the National Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock championship in six seasons and 97 NHRA national events. Johnson is also a two time IHRA champion in the Mountain Motor Pro Stock division.

2018 INDUCTEES

 

*Wendell Scott pioneer African American driver

 

born August 29, 1921 in the 'Crooktown' section of Danville, Virginia, was a remarkable man and accomplished many feats. Scott was the first, and remains the only, African-American to compete in and own a NASCAR team.
Wendell Scott began his career, as did many drivers of the era, off the track. He gained seat time driving a taxi in Danville as fast as it could go, and hauled moonshine whiskey at night. Scott accumulated 13 speeding tickets in his taxi, which caused him to lose his chauffeurs license. Hauling bootleg was exciting to him; he could buy liquor for 55 cents a pint and sell it for twice that amount, plus he had practice racing from the police and leaving them in a cloud of dust. He often bragged about how he could out run the police, for instance getting so far ahead and hiding in the shadows of the night until the police would come flying by. He was not always lucky though, and once was caught and placed on probation.
In 1949, a race promoter for the Danville Fairgrounds, in a quest to increase attendance for the track, was seeking an African-American to race. He went to the Danville police station to obtain a name, where the police promptly referred him to Wendell Scott. The promoter made Scott an offer, and he agreed with much enthusiasm. Scott used to watch the races with a friend and would often say, if given the chance, he would race.
 

Scott raced in the modified and sportsman division early in his career on dirt tracks in places such as Staunton, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Roanoke, Zion's Crossroads, Ruckersville, and Natural Bridge in Virginia, and Hagerstown in Maryland. Scott also raced on the sands of Daytona in the 1950's. In this division, Scott won a total of 128 races. He was the Virginia State Champion in 1959, and the Southside Speedway Champion in that same year.
In 1961, Scott, along with his wife Mary, decided to make the move to the highest level of racing, NASCAR Grand National Division (now known as Winston Cup). He had to make the transition from dirt track to pavement, racing against such drivers as Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Earl Brooks, Glen Wood, and Lee and Richard Petty. He also faced the challenge of going into many different tracks in the deep South at a time when segregation and racism were strong and brutal. Scott would confront many obstacles during his career in racing, often being hit on the track deliberately by other drivers, denied expense money, and turned away from tracks all because of the color of his skin. He loved racing, however, and took the bad with the good.
In 1963 NASCAR ran a split season and in December of that year, which started the 1964 season, Scott made automotive racing history. At Speedway Park in Jackson, Florida, in a 100-mile feature race, Wendell Scott finished the race first in what should have been the greatest day of his life. However, it turned out to be one of the worst when Scott was denied the win to Buck Baker. Scott and his team protested the call and after three hours of consultation a NASCAR official declared Scott as the winner. They labeled the incident as a scoring error, marking him a lap down. Scott actually ran 202 laps in the 200-lap event. It was later said that NASCAR ruled the finish out of fear of what might happen if Scott were to pull into victory lane in front of a crowd of white spectators. Scott said that he never would have kissed the beauty queen, but only shook her hand. Scott also noted that every time he passed Baker he would wave at him. This incident troubled Scott for the rest of his life. He wanted to hear his name and car number being announced over the speaker in victory lane. He did receive the winner's purse but never got the trophy for his driving performance.
Scott continued to race until a near death car crash in 1973 at Talladega Speedway in Alabama forced him to retire. He didn't have factory backing, but he did have spirit and his family: wife Mary, sons Wendell Jr., Franklin, and Michael, and daughters Willie Ann, Deborah, Cheryl, and Sybil.

 

 

Janet Guthrie pioneer FEMALE driver

Janet Guthrie was born March 7, 1938, in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1976 she became the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race. The next year, she was the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Guthrie was named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Race car driver and pilot Janet Guthrie was born on March 7, 1938, in Iowa City, Iowa. Janet Guthrie broke into the dangerous sport of professional auto racing to become the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Before she got behind the wheel of a race car, she was an experienced pilot. Guthrie learned to learn fly while she was in her teens. 

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in physics in 1960, Guthrie worked as a research and development engineer for Republic Aviation. There she was involved in work that would later evolve into Project Apollo. Guthrie even applied to be an astronaut in 1964. While that dream didn't work out, she soon found her life's ambition behind the wheel of a race car.

Janet Guthrie bought her first race car, a Jaguar XK 120, in the early 1960s. She later switched to a Jaguar XK 140, which helped secure two Sports Car Club of America race victories. Guthrie also scored wins in her class in the 1967 and 1970 Sebring 12-hour races. By the early 1970s, she raced cars full time. Guthrie was the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race in 1976. And she made history again the next year as the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. At Indianapolis she came in 29th, and at Daytona she was the twelfth driver to cross the finish line. Guthrie also had her best Winston Cup finish that same year with a 6th place showing at Bristol.

In 1978, Guthrie returned to Indianapolis where she set the fastest time of the day twice. She ended up coming in 9th. Guthrie finished fifth at the Bettenhausen 200 in Milwaukee the following year, which was her best finish in Indy car racing. Also in 1979, she was the fourth driver to qualify at the Pocono 500, coming in after A.J. Foyt, Danny Ongais and Johnny Parsons. Guthrie went on to compete in the Daytona 500 the next year where she came in 11th. But after that, her career fizzled out because of a lack of funds. As she told AARP Bulletin, "I ran out of money. For the next three years I tried to find sponsorships and get back in the game. Finally I decided if I didn't cut it out I was going to jump through a window."

Despite the lackluster end of her career, Guthrie has been recognized for her contributions to her sport. She was named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006. Guthrie has shared her experiences with the 2005 memoir Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle. By out maneuvering many of her competitors, she showed the critics that women have what it takes to make it on the track.  Her efforts have made it easier for later female drivers, such as Danica Patrick, to get into racing.

 

Willie T. Ribbs first African American driver to qualify for indianapolis 500

William Theodore Ribbs, Jr. was born on January 3, 1956, in San Jose, California, to Geraldine and William T. Ribbs, Sr. Rather than managing the successful family plumbing business founded by his grandfather in 1927, Willy T. Ribbs races cars professionally. He is the first African American to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and one of the only African American NASCAR racers.

Ribbs' love of cars and racing began at the age of four. At age nine, Ribbs worked as a ranch hand on his grandfather's ranch. His first foray into motorsports was driving Formula Ford cars in Europe soon after his high school graduation in 1975. He won the Dunlop Championship in his first year of competition, then returned to the United States and raced Formula Atlantic cars. Ribbs won the pole in the Long Beach Formula Atlantic race in 1982, outpacing veteran drivers before his engine failed. In 1983, he won five races in the SCCA Trans-Am and was honored as Pro Rookie of the Year. After competing in two NASCAR Winston Cup races in 1986, financial difficulties including the lack of corporate sponsorship kept his team from finishing the season.

In 1989, Bill and Camille Cosby stepped in and funded the Raynor-Cosby Motorsports team with Ribbs as the star driver. Ribbs won two top-ten events in his 1990 Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) Indianapolis debut. In 1991, he became the first African American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, and he qualified again in 1993. However, by 1994 it was clear that corporate sponsors were not yet willing to back an African American motorsports athlete, despite Cosby's offer of free television commercials in return for sponsorship. Ribbs was released from his Indianapolis 500 contract and spent the year competing in the CART series, finishing in the top ten at Michigan and Denver Grand Prix races.

In 1999, Ribbs raced in the Las Vegas Indy Racing League (IRL). In 2000, he signed with Victoria Motorsports SCCA Trans-Am team and finished second at Long Beach, third at Detroit and fourth at Las Vegas. He was awarded the Johnson Triple Crown. In 2001, Ribbs joined the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the support of Dodge, which initiated a motorsports diversity program to provide opportunities for minorities to race. This made Ribbs the first African American in the modern era to compete full-time in a major NASCAR division. Ribbs successfully raised his two children, Sasha and William Theodore Ribbs, III as a single parent.

 

  Nigel Mansell F-1 Champion

Nigel Ernest James Mansell OBE was born the 8th of August 1953 in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, England. His early childhood was unremarkable puctuated by frequent moving. He like other young boys was attracted to the exploits of Brutish sports figures including Jimmy Clark. After considerable success in kart racing, he would graduate to the British Formula Ford championship in 1977, despite suffering a broken neck in a testing accident. By now married he somehow convinced his wife Rosanne to sell the family home to finance a move into Formula 3.

In between crashes and breakdowns a certain Colin Chapman saw enough to offer the erstwhile Brit a tryout with Lotus to become a test driver for the Formula One team. Lotus, a shell of its former glory provided the car for his Formula One debut, at the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, a fuel leak in the cockpit seemed to put him in his place and left him with painful first and second degree burns. There was never a better example of Nietzsche’s dictum, “Was ihn nicht umbringt, macht ihn stärker”, directly translated as “What does not kill him makes him stronger”. Mansell became very close to the legendary Lotus boss Colin Chapman and was devastated by his sudden unexpected death in 1982. Out of a sense of loyalty to his departed mentor he stayed with the team for two more years.

 

In 1985 he joined another British team, Williams and experienced his first success after years of trials when he won the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. This was followed by more success but save for to incidents the World Championship was still out of reach. In 1986 a burst tire in Adelaide destroyed his season at the last possible moment while in 1987 a serious qualifying accident at Suzuka injured his back again and handed the title to his hated Williams teammate Nelson Piquet. The loathing was mutual but 1987 was not without moments of satisfaction for Mansel whose late race charge to beat the Brazilian at Silverstone unleased a flood of adulation in front of his home crowd. Setting lap records 11 times in the final moments of the race as he caught and passed the race leader. To pour salt into any wound that may have been reopened he stopped to kiss the tarmac at the spot where he'd overtaken Piquet.

Williams would suffer a down cycle when they were left to scramble for an engine and ended up with one provided by Judd. A perfectly competent firm Judd lacked the resources of the large automobile manufacturers. Mansell seized an oppurtunity at Ferrari and soon won the hearts of the Tiofosi with his barely controlled agression on the track. At the Hungaroring, a track notorius for it lack of passing oppurtunities Mansell stormed through the field from a lowly 12th on the grid to the top step of the podium. Clouds soon appreared on the horizon in the form of Alain Prost who joined the Prancing horse in 1990. Anouncing his retirement at Silverstone he instead rejoined Williams coming close to winning the title for the resurgent team. In 1992 all of the struggles suffered through the years fell a ways when Mansell driving a Williams-Renault stormed to his first World Championship. Mansell's single season record of nine wins in 16 races, combined with 14 poles and five consecutive GP victories has been matched only by Michael Schumacher.

Seemingly on the top of the world he may have been excused if he only saw enemies when he learned that Prost was negotiating the other seat at Williams to replace the more pliable Ricardo Patrese. Mansell decided to seek exile in America where he when IndyCar racing. He would soon find that the wall at Phoenix was where bravery ended and a respect for America’s fearsome ovals would have to be born if he were to survive if not prosper. Remarkably it was the short ovals where he seemed to thrive the most and won the IndyCar Championship at his first go. Having won in the new series there was nothing left to prove and his enthusiasm began to wane and disputes with the team took a life of their own. Mario Andretti, a name synonymous with American racing and a racers racer would later remark that; “I guess if Ronnie Peterson was the best team-mate I ever had, Nigel Mansell was the worst”. To be fair none of the other top stars of the period, Piquet, Senna, or Prost could be called easy teammates and they often got along best with those teammates of inferior talent.

The tragic death of Ayrton Senna and retirement of Prost would see Mansell return a third time to Williams. His last season in Formula One involved an aborted fling with McLaren where he was needlessly embarrassed by the team when it was found that he could not fit and drive the car safely and it had to be widened. He would not see the end of the season and retired for good. Was Mansell misunderstood, possibly, was he brave and quick, without a doubt.

 

 Alain Prost F-1 Champion

Alain Prost was deservingly dubbed ‘The Professor’ for his intelligent approach to racing. That, and his astute manoeuvrings outside the cockpit, which often paved his way into the right cars at the right times.

The result was 51 wins – more than any other driver at the time of his retirement – and four world championship titles. Had it not been for his notorious rivalry with Ayrton Senna, which descended into outright war during their two seasons as McLaren team mates, his career tallies might have been even more impressive.

Prost arrived in F1 with McLaren in 1980, having declined the offer of a one-off drive at Watkins Glen the year before. He often led team mate John Watson in his debut campaign, but his confidence in the car suffered after a series of dangerous suspension failures. He left to join Renault team who, with turbo engines, powered him to his first win on home ground in 1981.

The championship was a possibility in 1982 but chronic unreliability wounded his cause. He was also famously undermined by team mate Rene Arnoux, who refused to heed the team’s instructions for Prost to be given the win as the pair led the field at Paul Ricard.

Arnoux left for Ferrari and Prost led the 1983 title race until the final round, when he lost out to Nelson Piquet. Renault then dropped him after he dared to criticise them for not keeping the car apace with technological developments.

But Prost had the last laugh – while Renault endured two winless seasons and then withdrew from F1, he returned to McLaren and won first time out at Jacarepagua. However six further wins that year were still not enough for him to capture that first-ever title – he was beaten by team mate Niki Lauda by the smallest-ever margin of half a point.

Prost finally clinched the crown in 1985 and added a second in 1986 in a dramatic finale in Adelaide. By 1987 McLaren’s TAG-Porsche engines had fallen behind but McLaren boss Ron Dennis secured the coveted Honda powerplants – and the services of Ayrton Senna – for the next season.

The MP4-4s were untouchable in 1988. Prost held the upper hand for the first few races but Senna hit back hard, winning four in a row at mid-season. Although Prost accrued more points during the season, drivers could only count their best eleven finishes, and Senna’s eighth win of the year saw him clinch the championship at the penultimate round.

The pressures of the championship had taken its inevitable toll on their relationship, particularly in Portugal where Senna forced Prost alarmingly close to the pit wall at high speed. Matters worsened in 1989 when Prost accused Senna of reneging on a pre-race agreement at Imola.

That championship was decided in controversial fashion. Prost went into the penultimate race ahead on points and when Senna made to overtake his team mate Prost, well off the normal racing line, tangled with his team mate. Both were seemingly out on the spot and although Senna recovered and went on to win the race, his subsequent disqualification secured Prost’s third title.

Prost had already made arrangements to move to Ferrari. He took the number one with him and took the fight to Senna in the middle of the season. But returning to Suzuka the McLaren driver had the initiative and repaid Prost in kind for his tactics twelve months earlier. Though not quite with the same degree of subtltety – Senna rammed Prost off the track at the first corner at over a hundred miles an hour.

Prost’s relationship with Ferrari soured in 1991. Winless against the might of McLaren and Williams, he was fired before the final round for criticising his car in circumstances not dissimilar to his departure from Renault.

But, as ever, he had a contingency plan – a contract with Williams team for 1993. The team had dominated the 1992 campaign and Prost was rarely tested as he collected a fourth title, though Senna headed him in the points early in the season.

Having departed the sport seemingly for good Prost tested for McLaren at the beginning of 1994, then decided to remain in retirement. In 1997 he returned as boss of an eponymous team, formerly Ligier, but over the next five years the team dwindled from race-winners in 1996 to non-points-scorers in 2000. Prost quit for good after the team folded in 2001. He now serves as an ambassador for Renault.

 

Niki Lauda  F-1 Champion

Lauda was a champion Formula 1 race car driver known for his long-standing rivalry with fellow driver James Hunt.

was born into a wealthy Austrian family in 1949. Always interested in cars, Lauda began racing in his early 20s, joining Ferrari in 1974. He took his first world championship a year later, but his career took a nasty turn in August 1976 when he was involved in a terrible crash. Lauda returned to the driver's seat just six weeks later, and he reclaimed the championship in 1977. After initially retiring in 1979 to run an airline he had founded, Lauda returned to racing in 1982, taking the championship for the last time in 1984. He has since served as an adviser to Ferrari and as a television commentator, in addition to running his airline, Lauda Air.

Famed race car driver Niki Lauda was born Andreas Nikolaus Lauda on February 22, 1949, into a wealthy Vienna family, but he nevertheless had to earn his way into the world of Formula 1 racing. He became interested in auto racing at a young age through a general love of automobiles, getting his fix parking relatives' cars and thrashing around the Austrian countryside in a 1949 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Lauda's first race came along in 1968, but, despite his early success (he came in second in that race), his family was fully against the idea of him becoming a race car driver.

Lauda worked his way through the Formula 3 and 2 circuits, supporting his struggling career through bank loans, before landing a spot on the Ferrari Formula 1 team in 1974. Ferrari was a company with a stellar reputation, but one that had not had a racing champion since 1964. Lauda turned that around in his second year as he compiled enough wins to take the championship with a wide margin over second place.

In 1975, Niki Lauda came head-to-head with James Hunt, the flamboyant British driver, for the first time at the Dutch Grand Prix. Hunt took the race, but more importantly Lauda took the championship that year, and the two began a career-long rivalry/friendship. The two drivers would meet again and again over the years, but a key race in 1976 would be different.

2017 INDUCTEES

Anton Hulman "Tony" George Indy Racing league founder

Anton Hulman "Tony" George (born December 30, 1959) is the chairman and former President and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hulman & Company, serving from 1989 to 2009. He was also formerly on the Board of Directors of both entities. He founded the Indy Racing League and co-owned Vision Racing. Many commentators, such as Gordon Kirby, suggest that George's actions at the head of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in creating the IRL to rival the then-dominant CART led to a sharp decline in popularity of open-wheel racing in the United States as it split the fanbase, and gave a significant boost to the national popularity of NASCAR.

Tony George's grandfather, Tony Hulman purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of World War II. George is a former driver, having competed in the 1989 Indy Lights championship, finishing 12th in points and capturing 5 top-tens. His mother (Tony Hulman's daughter), Mari Hulman George (born 1934), formerly served as the speedway's Chairman and delivers its famed "ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" public address before every Indianapolis 500 from 1997-2015 and the Brickyard 400 from 1997, 1999-2015. He delivered the command for the 2017 Indy 500 using the Drivers Start Your Engines command.

Tony George became president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation after the death of Joe Cloutier in 1989.

During his first few years as Speedway head, he oversaw new projects such as an infield road-circuit, Tower Terrace Suites, pit lane reconstruction (including the addition of a warm-up lane requested by many influential Speedway alumni), and a control tower.

Before George's arrival, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (or "the Speedway") traditionally had only one race: the Indianapolis 500. He changed that with the announcement that a NASCAR race would be held at the Speedway. The Brickyard 400 made its debut on August 6, 1994, with Jeff Gordon taking the checkered flag. Many Indianapolis purists despise stock car racing at the most famous circuit in North American open-wheel lore. Some fans believe the configuration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the diamond cutting of the track surface makes it a poor facility for stock car racing, traditionally exhibited on high banked ovals.

In 1998, the IROC series came to the track, to little fanfare, and less success.

Later, George helped bring Formula One back to the U.S. with the United States Grand Prix held at the Speedway in 2000. This project involved building a road course inside the oval. The inaugural event in 2000 set an F1 attendance record. Controversy surrounded the 2005 United States Grand Prix, where only 6 of the 20 cars took the green due to problems with Michelin tires, which likely damaged the reputation of the event and the F1 in general in the USA market. Michael Schumacher became the first driver to win 5 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning the 2006 race on July 2. The UK's Lewis Hamilton won the 2007 event, which turned out to be the last running. George and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone could not reach an agreement to continue the US Grand Prix at the Brickyard for 2008 and beyond.

The Speedway hosted its first MotoGP event in 2008. The motorcycles could not safely race through the banked turns at high speed, so a portion of the infield was plowed and paved to provide a bypass to Turn 13 of the original road course.

George resigned on June 30, 2009 as President and CEO of IMS and Hulman & Company claiming it to be so he could focus more time on the Indy Racing League. It has been reported that while George's mother Mari Hulman George (who is also chairman of the board) supported him, his sisters (who are the other directors) wanted him forced out. The board also rejected George's request to continue funding Vision Racing. George had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on IRL teams, drivers, entry fees, marketing plans, airplanes, personnel and his own team. However the IRL has been said to be continually losing money, and after the estimated $60 million overhaul of the Speedway to accommodate Formula One in 2000, George’s sisters, Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi Conforti-George, voiced their concern to their mother over the spending habits of their brother, finally convincing Mari Hulman George to take unchecked power away from George in June 2009.

In January 2010, George resigned from the board of directors. In February 2011, however George again became a director of Hulman & Company when the board was expanded.[6] At a July 2016 NASCAR event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony George was described as Chairman of the Board of Hulman & Company, which owns IMS and the IndyCar Series.

Shortly after being removed from the CART Board of Directors, George announced the creation of the Indy Racing League, which began racing in 1996. He claimed to create the IRL to challenge the already established CART series, and to encourage a more even playing field in open wheel racing. He claimed he wanted a series to run entirely on oval tracks, making it distinct from CART, which raced on road and street courses in addition to short ovals and superspeedways. George angered many CART participants by requiring 25 of the 33 spots in the Indianapolis 500 to be occupied by drivers in the IRL circuit. This meant that CART could not hold the Indianapolis 500 as a points scoring event on their calendar as not enough teams would be allowed to compete and earn points. CART decided to stage their own race on the same day, the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway. Due to the lack of participation from the established CART teams, most of the biggest names did not enter the Indianapolis 500 for several years. Tony George became a figure of derision among some racing fans, and he is blamed for open wheel racing losing fans, sponsors and drivers to NASCAR.[8]

George was successful in increasing the visibility of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy 500 remains one of the highlights of the IRL race season and maintained a strong attendance. George also attracted NASCAR and Formula One (from 2000 to 2007) to Indianapolis. In 2008, the MotoGP series added the oval circuit to its schedule. However the IndyCar series had trouble drawing fans, plus it lost IndyCar drivers to NASCAR such as Sam Hornish, Dario Franchitti, and Danica Patrick. Despite the absorption of the Champ Car World Series (the successor to CART) to IndyCar series, the merged series is nowhere as popular or commercially successful as CART in the early 1990s.[2]

IRL The IRL was founded in 1994 and began racing in 1996 claiming to offer a cost-effective, all-oval alternative to the PPG CART Indycar World Series. The basic beliefs behind the creation of the series were:

  • Cost controlled racing
  • Driver Safety
  • All-oval schedule
  • Give a better opportunity for American drivers to succeed in motorsports and compete at the Indianapolis 500, particularly USAC drivers whose numerical representation at the 500 had dwindled.

However, as the series evolved, it moved away from these principles, with more foreign drivers, increased costs and, eventually, racing on road courses and street circuits.

The IRL ("The League") struggled initially, until CART faced financial turmoil and CART teams began to return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2000. The concern over CART's future, financial stability, and the attraction to the sponsorship draw of the Indy 500 saw teams slowly moving over to the IRL from 2001 to 2003.

CART declared bankruptcy in the 2003 off season. George made a bid for certain assets of the company, while a trio of CART owners (Gerald Forsythe, Paul Gentilozzi, and Kevin Kalkhoven), along with Dan Pettit, also made a bid, calling their group the Open Wheel Racing Series (OWRS). George's offer was to purchase only select company assets, in an effort to eliminate any series that would rival his Indy Racing League. However, if George's bid (which was actually higher than the OWRS bid) had been successful, many vendors that were still owed money by CART would have not been paid. Therefore, a judge ruled that the OWRS group should be the purchaser of CART, which ensured a 25th anniversary season in 2004, running as Champ Car. Open Wheel Racing Series. (OWRS) would later change its name to Champ Car World Series (CCWS) LLC.

Prior to 2003 the IRL was unable to use the term "IndyCar" since that was licensed to CART. In 1992, The Speedway trademarked the term "IndyCar" which had been widely used by CART in championship branding and promotion. The Speedway then leased the term to CART through 1997. With the inception of the IRL, a lawsuit, and a six-year non-use agreement, formal use of the term disappeared. Widespread confusion ensued with CART still competing at "Indy" branded events in Canada and Australia, and both CART/Champ Car and IRL cars being popularly referred to as "IndyCars". In 2003 the non-use agreement expired and the IRL was able to adopt the recognized IndyCar moniker once again, thereafter becoming the IRL IndyCar Series.

Road courses entered the IRL schedule in 2005. Adding road courses added significant costs to the increasingly expensive league, because modifications to the chassis and engines (which were initially designed solely for the stresses of oval racing) would be required.[citation needed] This caused much criticism of George, and debate amongst fans, some of whom argued it went against what the IRL was founded. The fans opined that oval racing was more exciting than road and street racing, better represented the heritage of open-wheel, paid homage to the Indianapolis 500, was more cost effective and better allotted American drivers with the opportunity of success in open-wheel racing.[citation needed] The other side of the debate argued it was best for the IRL to adopt more road racing, and become similar to CART, the series that saw American open-wheel racing reach its peak (popularity, manufacturer and sponsor interest) with a diverse schedule, technical package, manufacturer involvement, and large costs.[citation needed] In addition, Champ Car, the successor to CART, had failed at providing as diverse a schedule as in the CART era. Becoming CART-like in its season schedule was suggested as a way to help grow the IRL fan base.

In 2005, George stepped down from his operational duties in the IRL to start his own team, Vision Racing, with his wife Laura George and actor Patrick Dempsey. The team was formed from the remnants of Kelley Racing, which disbanded after the 2004 season. George's stepson, Ed Carpenter, began driving for the team in 2005. Vision Racing shut down operations on January 28, 2009 due to a lack of sponsorship.[9]

On February 22, 2008, the IRL and Champ Car World Series signed a deal to unify the two open-wheel American circuits, bringing them under the umbrella of the IRL IndyCar Series. A statement was released by the two sides, saying, "Owners of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League completed an agreement in principle Friday that will unify the sport for 2008."

"Gerald Forsythe, co-owner of Champ Car, signed an agreement in principle in Chicago, joining his partner Kevin Kalkhoven and Indy Racing League founder and CEO Tony George who had signed late Thursday in Indianapolis."

JohnnyRutherford.jpg johnny rutherford  3 time indianapolis 500 winner

John Sherman "Johnny" Rutherford III (born March 12, 1938), also known as "Lone Star JR", is an American former automobile racing driver. He is one of ten drivers to win the prestigious Indianapolis 500 mile race at least three times, winning in 1974, 1976, and 1980.

Rutherford began racing modified stock cars in 1959 and he also dabbled in stock car racing, making 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1963 to 1988. Rutherford won in his first start, at Daytona International Speedway driving for Smokey Yunick. This made him one of the youngest drivers ever to win in NASCAR history, in a full points-paying NASCAR race.

.In 1959, Rutherford started driving modified stock cars in Dallas. He joined the International Motor Contest Association sprint car circuit in 1961 leading it for most of 1962. Rutherford later joined the United States Auto Club (USAC) starting in the Hoosier Hundred and later winning his first championship.

Rutherford won his qualifying heat race for the 1963 Daytona 500, becoming the youngest winner of a Duel as a championship race, a record that would stand as the races were taken off the championship schedule in 1971 (though it has since been broken, the race was not a championship race when it happened). Later that year he also had his first start in the Indianapolis 500. Rutherford's first Indy car race win took place at the Atlanta 250. He won the USAC National Sprint Car Championship in 1965.

On April 3, 1966, Rutherford suffered a serious crash at Eldora Speedway. His car flipped out of the track, and he suffered broken arms, a broken finger, and a head injury. He was forced to sit out the 1966 Indy 500.

Rutherford won pole position at the Indy 500 in 1973, 1976, and 1980. In 1973, Rutherford set a one-lap track record of 199.071 mph, falling just shy of becoming the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier at Indianapolis. Victories at the Indy 500 for him came in 1974, 1976 and 1980. In 1984, at Michigan International Speedway, Rutherford set an all time Indy car qualifying lap speed record of 215.189 mph. His win in the 1986 Michigan 500 at age 48 made him the oldest winner of a 500-mile race, a record that still stands. Rutherford recorded nine straight seasons with a victory making him one of just six drivers in Indy Car history to do so

In October 1977, Rutherford travelled 'down under' to compete in Australia's most famous motor race, the Bathurst 1000 km (800 mi) touring car race at the Mount Panorama Circuit. There, partnering fellow Indianapolis racer Janet Guthrie (who earlier that year had become the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500), Rutherford drove a V8 powered Holden Torana for the team that had won the 1976 race, Ron Hodgson Motors. Driving a completely unfamiliar car (Australian cars have the steering wheel on the right side of the car) on a 6.172 km (3.835 mi) public road course carved into the side of a mountain, Rutherford qualified 26th out of 60 starters. During practice he complained about his car as it was not as good as the teams lead car driven by 1976 winners Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick (JR was 8.2 seconds slower). Morris then got in the car and while not as quick as his own Torana, easily lapped over 5 seconds faster showing the problem was simply JR's lack of familiarity with the car and track. Wisely, JR made a cautious start to the race (another new experience was the standing start), but his race would come effectively to an end on lap 8 when he attempted to lap the Ford Escort RS2000 of 1966 winner Bob Holden. The Torana and Escort made contact and Rutherford ended up crashing into an earth bank at the top of The Mountain. The bent Torana was then brought back to the pits on the back of a tilt-tray truck (with the race still going at full speed and cars passing the truck going along the 2 km long Conrod Straight at over 150 mph (241 km/h)). It was then disqualified before being reinstated. Rutherford then completed another 5 laps before finally retiring with Guthrie not getting to drive.

Rutherford's NASCAR Winston Cup career included 35 starts from 1963 to 1988. He won in his first start, at Daytona International Speedway driving for Smokey Yunick. The win, in the second 100-mile Daytona 500 qualifying race, made him one of the youngest drivers ever to win in NASCAR history, in a full points-paying NASCAR race. (Until 1971, the qualifying races were full points-paying races.) In 1981, Rutherford drove twelve races, the most he ever raced in a single NASCAR season. In addition, Rutherford competed in five runnings of the International Race of Champions – 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1984.

Rutherford's 24th and final start at Indianapolis would be 1988. By that time he was running only a part-time schedule, and was splitting time working as a television analyst on NBC, ABC, CBS and ESPN and radio analyst on Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. He also served as the pace car driver for the PPG Indycar series for most of that period. He failed to qualify at Indy in three attempts (1989, 1990, 1992) and was not able to find a ride in 1991 or 1993. Starting in 1989, Rutherford began serving as the driver analyst on the IMS Radio Network. He was never able to achieve his milestone 25th Indy start.

During the month of May 1994, Rutherford officially retired from racing. At its inception in 1996, Rutherford took a full-time position as an official with the IRL, serving as pace car driver and driver coach. Rutherford also served as a racing consultant for Team Pennzoil

Rutherford, who has been invited to The White House on behalf of Indy on multiple occasions, is considered a popular ambassador and spokesman for the sport of Indy car racing.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5b/JohnForce.jpg/220px-JohnForce.jpgJohn Force nhra champion

John Harold Force (born May 4, 1949 in Bell Gardens, California) is an American NHRA drag racer. He is a 16-time Funny Car champion driver and an 18-time champion car owner. Force owns and drives for John Force Racing. He is one of the most dominant drag racers in the sport with 144 career victories. He graduated from Bell Gardens High School and briefly attended Cerritos Junior College to play football. He is the father of drag racers Ashley Force Hood, Brittany Force, and Courtney Force. His oldest daughter Adria Hight is the CFO of John Force Racing [JFR].

Current drivers racing under him are son-in-law Robert Hight, and daughters Brittany and Courtney. Mike Neff was crew chief for John two separate times. Effective July 2013 Jimmy Prock replaced Mike Neff as crew chief, with Mike Neff becoming crew chief for Robert Hight. Neff, who was once the Crew chief for rival driver Gary Scelzi, raced in a 4th Funny Car for Team Force from October 26, 2007, following the death of Eric Medlen, until the end of the 2009 season. However, in 2010, after a 2009 season in which Force did not win a single race, Force parked his 4th car, and named Neff as his new crew chief instead. This decision resulted in Force winning his 15th NHRA Championship. His nickname among several of the drivers, as well as several announcers within the sport of drag racing is "Brute Force," a nickname he earned by his dominating wins during his run of ten straight NHRA championships. Force, his daughters, Courtney, Ashley, and Brittany, and son-in-law Robert Hight are collectively known as "The First Family of Drag Racing."

Force was born to Harold and Betty Ruth Force. As a child he lived in logging camps, Indian reservations, migrant farms, and trailer parks. He survived childhood polio with therapy and perseverance of his mother and family. He played football in high school and attended Cerritos College.

John is one of six children of Harold and Betty Ruth Force. John had five siblings. Walker, Louie, Tom (now deceased), and Cindy Hem (married to Skip Hem) were all older than John. Dana (Baby Force) Marino, is ten years younger than John. Walker and Cindy still live near John in Southern California. Walker Force and Louie Force have worked with John over the years, but Walker Force is the only sibling now working at JFR. Younger sister Dana (Marino) did not grow up in the same house or spend any time with the family in the early years of the Force Family Racing activities. Dana now attends some of the NHRA events as she is a part-time Intern-Journalist with "The Motorsports Report" based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and resides an hour south in Kingman, AZ. She is a realtor by trade, but is Aunt Dana to Adria, Ashley, Courtney and Brittany. Much of the family still attends NHRA National events to cheer on John, Robert Hight (Adria's husband), Courtney and Brittany when the events are closer to their homes in Pomona, Las Vegas, Sonoma, and Phoenix.In 1971, Force drove the Jack Chrisman-built Night Stalker Mustang, his first funny car. Early in his career, he drove a Corvette, a Monza and then in the 1980s switched to an Oldsmobile Cutlass through the end of the 1993 season. He drove a Chevrolet for 1994, quickly changing to a Pontiac in 1995 and 1996. Force was a Ford driver and team owner from 1997 until 2014, when he returned to Chevrolet.

Between 1987 and 1996, Force won sixty-seven of 203 NHRA national events, four of nine Big Bud Shootouts, and six World Championships.In 1996, with Austin Coil tuning, Force went to the final round in sixteen of nineteen national events, taking thirteen wins, one of the best records ever in Funny Car history. His domination would continue, with ten NHRA FC World Championship wins from 1993 to 2002, including six straight 1997-2002; his success was so amazing, he was accused of cheating (and was willing to strip off his firesuit to prove he was not). Between 1997 and 2006, Force went to the final in 105 of 228 events and took sixty-one tour wins, as well as qualifying for all ten Big Bud Shootouts, winning in 2000 and 2006.Between 1997 and 2006, Force went to the final in 105 of 228 events and took sixty-one tour wins. On top of that, he had ten of the quickest or fastest passes in Funny Car.

In 1992, the honor of putting Force on the trailer would go to Cruz Pedregon, driving the Larry Minor McDonald's-sponsored Olds to the championship.

Force's points finishes were 23rd, 8th, 26th, 16th, 20th, 4th, 13th, and 5th from 1978-1985. Force then had Castrol Motor Oil jump on as his main sponsor, and was even more successful. From 1986-1995, he finished 4th, 4th, 6th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 1st. He then had fellow driver and arch-rival Cruz Pedregon's younger brother, Tony, come aboard to drive John's 2nd car. From 1996-2000, John finished 1st all 5 years. In 2001, John had longtime friend and fellow drag racer Gary Densham drive a third car. In that same year, John once again finished as the champion, which he followed up with an astronomical 10th straight world title in 2002. In 2003, for the 1st time since 1992, John didn't win the title. It was not all lost however, because teammate Tony Pedregon won his 1st world title. At the end of the season, Tony Pedregon went on to join brother Cruz in their own racing organization, and Gary Densham went on to race independently. John found quick and personal talent in 2 young-guns. Eric Medlen, son of long-time JFR crewmember John Medlen, came on to race. John's other driver, Robert Hight, was his son-in-law and crewmember. Both had a lot of success in their season, but John topped both in 2004 with a 13th world title.

Since 2000, Force has been sponsored by BP's Castrol brand, continuing the relationship between Force and Castrol that began in 1985. After winning his fourth Funny Car title in 1994, Force earned the nickname of "Brute Force" from drivers, and even announcers such as Steve Evans. This nickname hearkens back to his early days on the track, when he drove his own unsponsored car, named "Brute Force". Force had a cameo in a 2004 episode of King of the Hill ("Dale Be Not Proud"), in which Dale Gribble donates a kidney to Force, after which it appears he does not need it.

In 2005, Force won 5 events, but only finished third in the championship standings, 32 points behind champion Gary Scelzi, and 24 points behind Ron Capps, both of Don Schumacher Racing [DSR].

In 2006, Force won his 14th NHRA World Funny Car Championship, defeating Capps in the quarter-finals of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals which mathematically eliminated Capps and teammate Robert Hight from the championship. Force went on to win the event, his third of the season and 122nd of his career.

After the death of Eric Medlen, and John Force's crash in Ennis, Texas at the 2007 O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals, Force started 2007 poorly, suffering a DNQ ending a 20+ year consecutive qualifying streak. He rebounded, winning the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee, then proceeded on to three more final rounds, winning another race in Sonoma, California, putting him fourth in points and allowing him to make the first cut in NHRA's new point system, the Countdown to the Championship aka the "Countdown to Eight". He stumbled again in the next two races but, again, rebounded until his crash.

On September 23, 2007, Force was injured in a crash at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas as he crossed the finish line against Kenny Bernstein. Bernstein's Funny Car drifted into Force's lane, clipping the final timing cone and a foam block which shot into Force's lane. Initially, it was thought that the block ruptured Force's left rear tire, causing it to come apart, violently shaking the chassis until it broke apart. However, it was determined by NHRA after thorough review, that the block went behind Force's tire and was not the cause of the wreck. Injuries sustained were a broken ankle, abrasion of his right knee, a dislocated left wrist, and badly mangled fingers and toes. Phil Burkart Jr. was added as Force's replacement for the remainder of the 2007 season, starting at Las Vegas.

2008 was a subpar season for Force who finished 7th, out of the top five for the first time since early in his career. However, after the death of driver Scott Kalitta, he was instrumental in the development of some of the safety precautions that were implemented throughout the rest of the season, and along with retired 6 time world champion Kenny Bernstein [4 Funny Car titles, 2 Top Fuel titles] and seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, with backing from NHRA's Track Safety Committee, assisted in developing a sensor that monitors the engines of Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars. Should the engine backfire at any time during a race, the fuel pump is automatically shut down, and the parachutes are deployed. The idea was to either minimize or eliminate the circumstances that led to Kalitta's death. This safety device became mandatory and was put into place at the start of the 2009 season. Also, a brake handle that, instead of needing to be pulled back toward the driver, was set up to be pushed away from the driver was made an optional setting for the Funny Car division. This change happened because when the 2008 season began, Force's right arm was still in a cast, due to broken fingers, and he needed a different way of using the brakes on the car, rather than the traditional handbrake that needed to be brought back toward the driver; also, in the 2007 accident in Texas, Force had lost some grip in his right hand, and had some problems putting enough pressure on the handbrake to unlock it from position to apply the brakes. This led to the development of the forward application handbrake, which has given several drivers in the Funny Car class quicker access to the brakes. Though Force only finished seventh in the points in 2008, he became influential within the NHRA for innovations in driver safety.

2009 once again saw Force finish outside of the top five. John finished 9th, daughter Ashley finished 2nd, and Mike Neff placing 10th. However, he would win his 16th overall championship as a car owner, with teammate Robert Hight's championship, placing Force as the winningest car owner in NHRA history.

The start of the 2010 season saw Force celebrate 25 years with the same sponsor, as well as 34 years in the NHRA. On February 14, Force won the season opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in the 50th Winternationals in California defeating Ron Capps. After 13 events, Force had 4 wins, and lead the Funny Car points standings with 933, 58 ahead of teammate Robert Hight.

Going into the Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona, CA on November 14, 2010, Force needed some help to win the championship. He started the day 38 points behind 28-year-old Matt Hagan, who ran for team rival Don Shumacher and his team. In order to capture the championship he needed to finish two rounds ahead of Hagan. With Bob Tasca III taking Hagan out in the first round, Force won his first round over Gary Densham and second round win over Bob Bode, securing the championship. He then went on to victory beating Melanie Troxel in the semi-finals and in the final, defeated Jeff Arend. John Force now has the distinction of being the oldest NHRA champion in history. Long time crew chief Austin Coil resigned from John Force Racing on November 16, 2010.

As of February 7, 2011, JFR has already flip-flopped cars between John, Robert, Ashley, and Mike. Ashley Force Hood announced that she was expecting her 1st child, and would sit out the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing Season. John Force would drive Force Hood's new Ford Mustang with Dean Antonelli and Ron Douglas tuning, sponsored by Castrol Motor Oil. Robert Hight will remain in the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang. Mike Neff, after co-crew chiefing John Force's car with Austin Coil, will drive Force's car from John's 2010 championship season. Neff's Ford Mustang will be sponsored by Castrol Oil. As of February 7, 2011, JFR started testing for the 2011 season. Out of the 11 testers so far, Force is 1st, Hight was 5th, and Neff was 6th. As of July 31, Force is 7th in the points standings, while teammate Mike Neff is leading, and Robert Hight is in second.

2012 saw John welcome a fourth driver to his stable, former Top Alcohol Dragster champion, and daughter Courtney, who was in the running for the Auto Club Rookie of the Year Award, she will be driving the Traxxas Ford Mustang in her rookie season, and she has done something that only sister Ashley has done, beat her father in the first meeting between the two, taking John out of the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix in just the first round. Although Force was unable to retain the championship, finishing in fifth, he saw Courtney win something he never did, the NHRA Road to the Future Rookie of the Year award, and Courtney's second-place finish in the season helped cement John Force Racing's legacy for several years to come.

During the start of the 2013 season, Ashley announced her retirement from full-time competition, this left the Force team short a driver. Rather than find another driver to take Ashley's place within the Castrol GTX Funny Car, John did something he had never done before, field a Top Fuel car, with daughter Brittany behind the wheel. On July 26, 2013 it was announced that after the 2014 racing season Ford Motor Company would no longer be a part of John Force Racing.[14] It was also announced that after the 2014 racing season, primary sponsor Castrol would be leaving JFR after a 29-year business relationship[15]

During the penultimate race of the 2013 season, Force beat his daughter Courtney in the final round to win the race and his 16th NHRA Funny Car Championship.

In 2015 John announced a partnership with Chevrolet. He competed in the 2015 racing season with a new sponsorship deal from Peak Antifreeze.

 Frank H. Wheeler*frank wheeler indianapolis motor speedway founder

frank wheeler A Auto Racing Pioneer. Born in Manchester, Iowa, at the turn of the 20th Century, he became the principle owner of the Wheeler-Schebler Carburetor Company. He later was a director of several firms, including the Stutz Fire Engine Company, when his passion for auto racing, led him to invest heavily in a 2-mile concrete speedway at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1909, together in partnership with Carl Fisher, Arthur Newby and James Allison, they founded the creation of Speedway City, Indiana. This race track was notable for being the premier auto race complex known as the Indianapolis 500 Speedway in 1911.

 

*John Marcum arca founder

John Marcum  was the co-founder of ARCA and a NASCAR official from Toledo, Ohio, United States. He raced in the 1930s and 1940s. He owned cars entered in two NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) races with one Top 10 finish. He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994. Marcum would be inducted into the Dayton Speedway Hall of Fame October, 2010.

Marcum's first raced as a 14-year-old in his family car after lying about his age.Marcum raced against NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. in the 1940s in open wheel roadsters. After France formed NASCAR in the late 1940s, he hired Marcum as an official, a position that he held from 1949 until 1952.

In 1953, Marcum created a Midwestern United States racing series called "Midwest Association for Race Cars" (MARC) with his wife Mildred in his hometown Toledo, Ohio. It was a regional stock car racing series, a Northern counterpart to the Southern stock car series of the day, Bill France's NASCAR. The first MARC race was at Dayton Speedway, in Dayton Ohio, on May 10, 1953. The series race slightly modified street cars.John Marcum, Blair Rattliff and Tom Cushman would be parts owner of Dayton Speedway in 1958.

The series was renamed "Automobile Racing Club of America" (ARCA) in 1964 when it began to race on superspeedways. France had contacted Marcum wondering if ARCA would want a race at the Daytona Speedweeks. Marcum jumped at the chance for national exposure. The ARCA/NASCAR relationship continues today. The series frequently schedule events at the same track on the same weekend. The ARCA event is frequently the Saturday support race to the Sunday NASCAR Cup event. For several decades, ARCA used older NASCAR Cup racecars at their events. Today ARCA's President is the late John Marcum's grandson Ron Drager. John's wife, Mildred Marcum, was an integral part of the organization and worked both in the ARCA office on a regular basis until her death at 98 in 2012.

 Arthur Calvin Newby*Arthur C. Newby indianapolis motor speedway founder

Indianapolis 500 Speedway co-founder. Arthur C. Newby was born on a small farm in rural Indiana and went to Indianapolis in 1881 seeking employment. He was hired as the office boy by the Nordyke and Marmon Company, where he worked his way into management. He was captured by the cycling craze in the late 19th century and helped found the Zig-Zag Cycling Club. In the 1890s, he and others started the Indianapolis Chain and Stamping Company, which became the Diamond Chain Company. Their mainstay product at the time was bicycle chains, supplying about 60 percent of the American market. He was also associated for several years with Hay and Wilts Manufacturing Company, makers of Outing bicycles. In 1898 he spearheaded construction of a quarter-mile wooden bicycle race track in Indianapolis, which was named the Newby Oval. Two of his partners on that racing track venture were James Allison and Carl Fisher, whom he later joined in founding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. It was then he turned his focus to automobile racing and he partnered with others to form the National Motor Vehicle Company, which started out building electric, then gasoline-drive cars. Newby never married, and in his later years became a philanthropist, never seeking recognition. His favorite recipients for his support were hospitals and higher education.

2016 INDUCTEES

Bryan Clauson GREAT OPEN WHEEL RACER

Bryan Clauson  was an American auto racing driver. Best known for his achievements in dirt track open-wheel racing, Clauson also competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Indy Lights, and IndyCar Series and was a former development driver for Chip Ganassi Racing.

In 2016, Clauson attempted to compete in 200 races including the Indianapolis 500, World of Outlaws sprint cars, wingless sprint cars, and midget cars. On August 6, 2016, Clauson was involved in a midget car crash at Belleville High-Banks Speedway in Belleville, Kansas, and died the following night.

Born in Sacramento, California, Clauson made his USAC National Sprint Series debut just two days after his 16th birthday on June 17, 2005 at Limaland Motorsports Park, Ohio garnering a third place podium finish. On October 8, 2005, Clauson won the Open Wheel Oktoberfest Midget race at Columbus Motor Speedway, Ohio, becoming the youngest driver in USAC history to win a National feature event, aged 16 years, 3 months and 23 days. On August 12, 2006, Clauson recorded a historic USAC Sprint/Midget doubleheader "sweep" at Salem Speedway, Indiana winning both the 30-lap Midget race and 50-lap Sprint race held the same night, only the 24th such sweep in USAC history.

On August 31, Clauson scored his first career ARCA win at the Gateway International Raceway. Two months later he began competing in the NASCAR Busch Series, driving the No. 41 Memorex Dodge Charger for Chip Ganassi. He competed full-time during the 2007 season in the USAC National Sprint and Midget Series as part of the Keith Kunz Motorsports stable.

Despite his move to NASCAR, Clauson returned to his dirt-track roots on January 12, racing in the Chili Bowl, an indoor Midget race in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featuring some of the top names in racing, such as Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler, Gary Scelzi, Cruz Pedregon, Bobby Santos III, Brett Hearn and Tim McCreadie. After starting the feature mid-pack, he finished fourth overall.

In 2008, Clauson started the season in the No. 41 Polaroid/Texaco Havoline Dodge for Ganassi in the Nationwide Series, but was replaced by Kyle Krisiloff. He then drove the No. 40 Fastenal entry for Ganassi, filling in for Dario Franchitti in select races. He won his 1st pole at Daytona in July, but was replaced full-time by Franchitti the week after.

He was set to make his Cup debut at the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway driving the No. 40 Target/MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Dodge but qualifying was rained out and the team, which did not have enough owner points, did not qualify. His second attempt at his Cup Series debut ended the same way at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Qualifying was rained out for the race on October 26, 2008; he would have driven the No. 40 Guitar Hero World Tour Dodge. In his first actual attempt at Texas, Clauson failed to qualify.

Clauson was supposed to drive the No. 40 in the Nationwide Series full-time in 2009, but the team shut down after Fastenal left the team. He won the Turkey Night Grand Prix in November.

Clauson joined the Tony Stewart Racing Silver Crown team in USAC 2010. During this season he was successful in winning the USAC National Midget championship for his own team, as well as the first-ever USAC National Drivers championship. Clauson earned a $300,000 scholarship to compete in all 6 Indy Lights oval races in 2011.

Clauson ran the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, but finished 30th with mechanical problems.

Clauson won the USAC Sprint Car Championship in 2012, and repeated in 2013.

Following the 2013 season, Clauson replaced Jerry Coons Jr. in the Joe Dooling/Rusty Kunz number 63 Westin Packaged Meats Esslinger powered Midget. On January 18, 2014, he won the Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Center,[4] while teammate Michael Pickens, driving the number 63 Dooling Machine, Esslinger powered midget, flipped with 11 to go. Later that year, the Gold Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway were postponed after a 5-hour rain delay, the next day they resumed racing and he led all 25 laps of the race for his first Gold Crown Midget win, holding off Christopher Bell in the No. 71 KKM midget.

Clauson returned to the Indy 500 in 2015, driving for the KV Racing Technology/Jonathan Byrd's Racing team, finishing 31st after an accident while moving out of the way for a faster car He also competed in the "Kokomo Classic" at Kokomo Speedway later that evening, where he finished 2nd to Kevin Thomas, Jr. in a photo finish

Clauson was attempting to compete in 200 races in 2016 which is being billed as "The Chasing 200 Tour, Circular Insanity". The tour included the 100th Indianapolis 500, USAC Midget and Sprint cars, World of Outlaws (WoO) sprint cars, and wingless sprint cars He normally ran about 150 shows per year; he hoped to double up by racing some 360 wingless sprint car class cars at 410 (WoO / USAC) winged sprint car events Clauson traveled the country living out of a mobile home.

On August 6, 2016, Clauson was competing in the Belleville Nationals midget race – his 116th race of the year – when he was involved in an accident in which he flipped his car after making contact with a lapped car and was hit by another. He was taken to Bryan Medical Center West and was in critical condition upon arrival. Clauson died at the hospital the following evening.

Tony Stewart remarked, "It sucks when it’s anybody in racing. It’s hard when you lose them, but it’s even worse when they’re somebody as close to you as Bryan was. I feel for Lauren today and Bryan’s parents and his sister, and I hope to be able to see them soon, but just thinking about them more than anything right now

Peter  Revson   car driver who had successes in Formula One and the Indianapolis 500.

 

Peter Revson was born in New York City, the son of Julie (née Phelps) (1914–2000) and Martin Revson (1910–2016).

The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson (1906–1975), Revson was an heir to his father Martin's fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion). He was a young, handsome bachelor who was described as a "free spirit" who passed up an easy life for one of speed and danger. Off the track, he led his life at the same accelerated pace. Revson piloted a 32-foot (9.8 m) ChrisCraft and courted some of the most beautiful women in the world, including fashion model and 1973 Miss World, Marjorie Wallace. He had met Wallace at the Indianapolis 500; she was an Indianapolis native who was referred to as the "Hoosier Hotshot." He also fathered an illegitimate child, Adam,[citation needed] whom he predeceased and was the subject of a paternity action which was amicably resolved in 1977. He is believed to be living unassumingly in Chicago, Illinois, and is considered the last male heir to the Revlon empire.

Revson began racing in 1960 while at the University of Hawaii. He previously attended both Columbia University and Cornell University, although he never graduated from college. Revson finished second in a local club event, driving a Plus Four Morgan. He proceeded in his racing career, becoming experienced in Formula cars, Trans-Am sedans, Can-Am Group 7 racers, GTs, and Indianapolis racers.

 

In 1963 Revson raced professionally while barnstorming Europe, driving a Formula Junior which was towed behind a beaten up British bread van.[2] In 1968 he was part of the new Javelin racing program established by American Motors (AMC).[3] At the first Trans-Am Series attempt, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Revson and Skip Scott drove to a 12th overall and took 5th in their class.

 

In the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Revson was the top rookie finisher, placing fifth in the event. He drove a Brabham-Repco which experienced carburetor problems. During a post-race election, he was selected as runner-up for rookie of the year. For the year Revson achieved seven top five finishes in the TransAm series, driving a Mustang.

In 1970 he teamed with Steve McQueen to place second in the 12 Hours of Sebring. The same year Revson drove with Mark Donohue in the Penske Racing AMC factory-team Javelins, in the SCCA Trans Am. He piloted an L&M Lola Cars special and became a top contender in the Can-Am racing series.[2] Revson joined McLaren in 1971, becoming the first American to win the Can-Am Championship. That same season he finished second in the Indianapolis 500 after posting the fastest qualifying time.

He competed in the Indy 500 each year from 1969–1973. In 1972, Revson was named to the McLaren Formula One team. He remained with the team for two years, winning the 1973 British Grand Prix and the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix. He moved to Shadow in 1974. He is the last American born driver to win a Formula One race (Mario Andretti, who won in later years, is a naturalized American). His British Grand Prix victory made him the 50th World Championship Grand Prix winner.

Revson was killed during a test session on 22 March 1974, before the 1974 South African Grand Prix in Kyalami. While driving the Ford UOP Shadow-Ford DN3, he suffered a front suspension failure and crashed heavily into the Armco barrier on the outside of "Barbecue Bend". The car stood on its nose, wrapped itself around the barrier and caught fire, and although safety workers and other drivers managed to pull Revson from the wreckage, he was already dead.

Alberto Ascari (Italian pronunciation: [alˈbɛrto asˈkari]; 13 July 1918 – 26 May 1955) was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He was a multitalented racer who completed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. Back to back World titles in 1952 and 1953 sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari also won the legendary Mille Miglia in 1954. When Alberto was a child, his father, Antonio, who was also a famous racing driver, died in an accident at the 1925 French Grand Prix. Alberto once admitted that he warned his children not to become extremely close to him because of the risk involved in his profession. So this proved when he was killed during a test session for Scuderia Ferrari at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. He was preparing for the Supercortemaggiore 1000 kilometre race that he was to have run with his protégé Eugenio Castellotti on the weekend that followed the accident.

The son of one of Italy's great pre-war drivers, Alberto Ascari went on to become one of Formula One racing's most dominant and best-loved champions. Noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era, he was also notoriously superstitious and took great pains to avoid tempting fate. But his unexplained fatal accident - at exactly the same age as his father’s, on the same day of the month and in eerily similar circumstances - remains one of Formula One racing’s great unsolved mysteries.

 

ALBERTO ASCARI TWO TIME WORLD CHAMPION

Following the end of World War II Alberto Ascari began racing in Grands Prix with Maserati 4CLT. His team-mate was Villoresi, who would become a mentor, team mate and friend to Ascari. The pair were successful on the circuits in the North of Italy. Soon he was bestowed with the nickname Ciccio, meaning “Tubby”. Formula One regulations were introduced by the FIA in 1946, with the aim of eventually replacing the pre-war Grand Prix structure. During the next four transitional years, Ascari was at the top of his game, winning numerous events around Europe. He won his first Grand Prix, the Gran Premio di San Remo in 1948 and took second place in the RAC International Grand Prix the same year, at Silverstone. Ascari won another race with the team the following year, Gran Premio del General Juan Perón de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. His biggest success came when he and Villoresi signed for Scuderia Ferrari. The team boss, Enzo Ferrari, had been a great friend and team mate to Antonio Ascari, and had taking a keen interest in Alberto’s successes. That year, 1949 with Ferrari team and won three more races that year.

The first Formula One World Championship season took place in 1950, and the Ferrari team made its World Championship debut at Monte Carlo with Ascari, Villoresi and the famous French driver Raymond Sommer on the team.The team had a mixed year - their supercharged Tipo 125 was too slow to challenge the dominant Alfa Romeo team so instead Ferrari began working on an unblown 4.5l car. Much of the year was lost as the team's 2-litre Formula Two engine was progressively enlarged, though when the full 4.5l Tipo 375 arrived for the Gran Premio d’Italia (the final round of the championship) Ascari gave Alfa Romeo their sternest challenge of the year before retiring; he then took over team mate Dorino Serafini's car to finish second. The new Ferrari then won the non-championship Gran Premio do Penya Rhin.

Throughout 1951, Ascari was a threat to the Alfa Romeo team though initially he was undone by reliability. However, after winning at the Nürburgring  and Monza  he was only two points behind Fangio in the championship standings ahead of the climactic Gran Premio de España. Ascari took pole position, but a disastrous tyre choice for the race saw the Ferraris unable to challenge, Ascari coming home 4th while Juan Manuel Fangio won the race and the title.

For 1952 the World Championship season switched to using the 2-litre Formula Two regulations, with Ascari driving Ferrari's Tipo 500 car. He missed the first race of the championship season as he was qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, at the time a World Championship event. He was the only European driver to race at Indy in its 11 years on the World Championship schedule, but his race ended after 40 laps without having made much of an impression, as a result of a wheel collapse. Returning to Europe he then won the remaining six rounds of the series to clinch the world title (also taking five non-championship wins) and recording the fastest lap in each race. He scored the maximum amount of points a driver could earn since only the best four of eight scores counted towards the World Championship. Fangio missed most of the season after a crash in the Gran Premio dell’Autodromo di Monza in June.

He won three more consecutive races to start the 1953 season, giving him nine straight championship wins (not counting Indy) before his streak ended when he finished fourth in France, although it was a close fourth as the race was highly competitive. He earned two more wins later in the year to give himself a second consecutive World Championship.

Following a dispute over his salary, Ascari left Ferrari at the end of the season and switched to Lancia for the 1954 campaign. However, as their car was not eventually ready for the final race of the season, Gianni Lancia allowed him to drive twice for Maserati (sharing fastest lap at the RAC British Grand Prix)  and once for Ferrari. Ascari did at least get to win the Mille Miglia driving a Lancia sportscar survivor the dreadful weather, and a throttle spring failure which was temporarily replaced with a rubber band.When the Lancia D50 was ready, Ascari took pole position on its debut and led impressively early on (and set fastest lap) before retiring with a clutch problem, meaning a full season of competing against Fangio's previously dominant Mercedes was much anticipated.

His 1955 season started promisingly, the Lancia taking victories at the non-championship races in Turin and Naples, where the Lancias took on and beat the hitherto all-conquering Mercedes. though in world championship event, he retired in Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina.[

22 May 1955, the Grand Prix Automobiles de Monaco, it was late in the race when he crashed into the harbour, through hay bales and sandbags after missing a chicane while leading, reportedly distracted by either the crowd's reaction to Stirling Moss' retirement or the close attentions of the lapped Cesare Perdisa behind. Whatever distracted him, he approached the chicane too fast, and chose the only way out and took his D50 clean through the barriers into the sea, narrowly missing a small barrel-sized iron bollard by about 30 cm.[His car disappeared into the Mediterranean Sea and sank, marked only an oil slick and stream of bubbles and steam. It was an agonizing three seconds before Ascari’s pale blue helmet appeared bobbing on the surface. He was hauled into a boat before the frogmen could get to him. He escaped with a nothing worse than a broken nose, bruises and shock.

Just four days later, on 26 May, he went to Monza to watch his friend Eugenio Castellotti test a Ferrari 750 Monza sports car, which they were to co-race in the Supercortemaggiore 1000 km race (having been given special dispensation by Lancia). Ascari was not supposed to drive that day but decided to try a few laps. In his jacket and tie, shirt sleeves, ordinary trousers and Castellotti's white helmet he set off. As he emerged from a fast curve on the third lap the car inexplicably skidded, turned on its nose and somersaulted twice. Thrown out onto the track, Ascari suffered multiple injuries and died a few minutes later The crash occurred on the Curva del Vialone, one of the track's challenging high-speed corners. The corner where the accident happened, renamed in his honour, has been subsequently replaced with a chicane, now called Variante Ascari.

There were several similarities between the deaths of Alberto and his father. Alberto Ascari died on 26 May 1955, at the age of 36. Antonio Ascari was also 36 when he died, on 26 July 1925 (Alberto was only four days older). Both were killed four days after surviving serious accidents and on the 26th day of the month. Both had crashed fatally at the exit of fast left-hand corners and both left behind a wife and two children. Also, both had won 13 championship Grands Prix.[4] Another curiosity related to Alberto's death is that the only other driver to crash into the harbour at Monaco in the circuit's history, Paul Hawkins, also died on 26 May. Hawkins crashed into the harbour 10 years after Ascari, before dying when his Lola crashed into a tree at a Tourist Trophy race at Oulton Park in 1969.

Motor racing fans from all over mourned as Alberto Ascari was laid to rest next to the grave of his father in the Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, to be forever remembered as one of the greatest racers of all time. His distraught wife Mietta Ascari told Enzo Ferrari that "were it not for their children she would gladly have joined her beloved Alberto in heaven". His death is often considered to be a contributing factor to the withdrawal of Lancia from motor racing in 1955, just three days after his funeral (though the company was also in considerable financial trouble, needing a government subsidy to survive), handing his team, drivers, cars and spare parts over to Enzo Ferrari.

Daniel Clive Wheldon 2 time Indianapolis 500  winner

Daniel Clive Wheldon was born in Emberton, near Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, on 22 June 1978. He took up karting at the age of 4 with funding

In 2002, Wheldon moved up to the IRL IndyCar Series for two events with Panther Racing as teammate to Sam Hornish, Jr. Wheldon joined Andretti Green Racing the following year, taking the spot of Michael Andretti following his retirement, and collected league Rookie of the Year honours. In 2004, he won his first IRL race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan; ultimately finishing as runner-up to teammate Tony Kanaan in the championship with three wins.

He won the Indianapolis 500, and the IndyCar Series championship, in the 2005 season. His six victories in 2005 also broke the record for most victories in one season (under IRL sanction), previously held by Sam Hornish, Jr. with five. His win at Indy was the first for an Englishman since Graham Hill's victory in 1966. In November 2005, it was announced that he would be driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series in 2006. Shortly after his first test with Ganassi, in February 2006, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance sports car race with Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Casey Mears.

He began the 2006 season by beating Hélio Castroneves by 0.0147 seconds in the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway; a sombre race due to the earlier death of Paul Dana in a practice session. Wheldon retired from the Honda Grand Prix due to contact with Sam Hornish, Jr. during a caution period. At the end of the season, Wheldon and Hornish were tied for the lead with each driver having 475 points. In the event of a tie, the driver with the most wins for that particular season is declared the champion. Hornish had four wins for the 2006 season to Wheldon's two; therefore Hornish was declared the 2006 IndyCar champion.

During the 2006 season, he was offered a place in the BMW Sauber Formula One team, but declined on discovering he would not be assured a regular drive. "I do want to race in F1. When my contract expires with Chip, I'll take a serious look at Formula One."

Commenting in 2007 on the perception of him as 'difficult', Wheldon said "I put everything into my racing, and I expect the same back. If I see people who aren't giving it I'm not afraid to say so but that sometimes comes out a little brash. That could be improved a little bit."[

He won the opening race at Homestead, dominating the event from the pole. He won again at Kansas. The season is most notable for his run in with Danica Patrick after a racing incident at Milwaukee left with a skirmish. He said of Danica, being 'feisty'.

On 22 June 2008 (his 30th birthday), Wheldon took his 15th career victory in the IndyCar Series after winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 over Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti. He donated his winnings to help the victims of the recent tornadoes and flooding which had occurred in Iowa.

Wheldon was released from his drive at Ganassi on 2 September 2008.[6] He was replaced by Dario Franchitti. "I have enjoyed these last three seasons with Target Chip Ganassi Racing but will be moving on to pursue a very exciting opportunity for 2009", Wheldon said. This would later turn out to be a return to former team Panther Racing.[7] Wheldon drove the Panther car to a second-place finish in the 2009 Indianapolis 500; the second Indy 500 runner-up finish in a row for the team. However, his strong start to the season faded and Wheldon failed to crack the top 10 in 7 of the last 8 races. The following year, Wheldon finished second again, this time to good friend Dario Franchitti of his former team, Chip Ganassi Racing; his second-place finish and Franchitti's win was overshadowed by Mike Conway's horrific crash. This gave Panther its third straight runner-up finish at Indy. Wheldon remained competitive all year; challenging for wins on the oval tracks. Despite strong showings with Panther Racing, Wheldon still failed to win a race during his time with the team which frustrated his bosses. This led to his sudden firing from Panther Racing and was replaced by rookie J. R. Hildebrand; leaving Wheldon without a full-time ride for the 2011 season.

Wheldon attempted and won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with Bryan Herta Autosport during the weekend of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after Hildebrand hit the wall in the fourth and final turn on the final lap after trying to pass the decelerating Charlie Kimball, and slowly slid towards the finish; allowing Wheldon to pass en route to his second Indy 500 victory. This race was the fourth straight runner up for Panther Racing in the Indy 500 (Vitor Meira was runner-up in 2008). With the win, Wheldon became the first driver in Indy 500 history to win the race by leading a single lap.

The National Guard pit team for Hildebrand congratulated Wheldon on his win but when Wheldon was celebrating in victory lane he heard Panther Racing's staff say that he made an illegal pass under yellow. IndyCar denied this and said that the yellow was not thrown until after Wheldon had won the race and even if it was thrown before the pass Hildebrand's car was wounded and therefore was allowed to be passed in the race. Wheldon was very emotional after the win, due to his not having a ride for the rest of the season and the news that his mother had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. It was Wheldon's first series win in three seasons, his 16th win in the IndyCar Series and what would turn out to be the final win of his racing career.

Over the rest of the 2011 season, Wheldon helped IndyCar and Dallara test the new IndyCar chassis that was to debut in 2012.During the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, Wheldon was involved in a 15-car accident on the 11th lap, in which his car flew approximately 325 feet (99 m) into the catchfence cockpit-first and landed back on the racing surface after his head hit a pole lining the track The carnage and ensuing debris led race officials to almost instantly throw a red flag. Wheldon was extricated from his car by the Holmatro Safety Team and their Las Vegas-based colleagues and was airlifted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for his critical injuries. After interviewing the championship contenders, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced to the media that Wheldon was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 33 years old

Officials, after input from drivers and team owners, declared that they would abandon the race and that a five-lap, three-wide formation salute would be held in Wheldon's honour, along with his #77 displayed alone at the top of the scoring pylon. Wheldon had been the only racing driver participating in Go Daddy's IndyCar Challenge where he and a randomly selected fan would have been eligible for US$2.5 million each if he had won the race starting from last place.

An autopsy conducted on 17 October 2011 concluded that Wheldon died from blunt force trauma to his head. His head suffered two distinct impacts when his vehicle was airborne; the second impact with the fence post was fatal.

Wheldon's funeral was held on 22 October 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Fellow drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, and Tony Kanaan attended it and served as pall-bearers along with Wheldon's brothers.[23] A day later, IndyCar held a public memorial service for Wheldon at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Gordon Johncock 2 time Indianapolis 500  winner

 Johncock's first USAC victory was scored at the Milwaukee Mile in August 1965. He won six further races before winning the Indy 500 in 1973.

At the 1973 Indianapolis 500, Johncock was racing for STP/Patrick Racing. A major accident at the start involving Salt Walther, coupled with two days of rain, postponed the race until late Wednesday afternoon. When the race was held, Johncock's teammate Swede Savage was severely injured in a fiery crash on lap 58. A moment later, Armando Teran, a pit crew member on the same STP/Patrick team, was struck by a fire truck going northbound in the pits, and was fatally injured at the scene. When the race resumed, Johncock who had led the most laps, was leading when rain fell again on the 133rd lap. Nearing 6 p.m. in the evening, the race was red flagged and declared over. After a short and muted victory lane celebration, Johncock went to visit Savage at the hospital. Afterward, the celebratory victory banquet was cancelled. Instead, Johncock and his crew went to a local fast-food joint for hamburgers. About a month later, Savage died from his injuries.

In the 1975 Indianapolis 500, he started the race on the front row but retired with ignition problems on the 11th lap. Johncock won the USAC national title in 1976, snatching the title from Johnny Rutherford in the final race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway. In 1976 and 1978 he finished third at Indianapolis, and in 1977 he was leading A. J. Foyt when the car's crankshaft broke with sixteen laps to go.

Johncock took a second Indianapolis 500 victory in 1982, winning by 0.16 second over Rick Mears. This remains the fourth-closest Indy 500 finish in history. (Al Unser Jr.'s 0.043-second victory over Scott Goodyear in 1992 was the closest, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay's 0.0600-second[1] victory ahead of Helio Castroneves in 2014, and Sam Hornish Jr's 0.0635-second victory ahead of Marco Andretti in 2006.) Mears was rapidly closing on Johncock in the final laps. In Mears' final pit stop, Mears' team made a miscalculation and filled his car with more fuel than it needed to finish the race. As a consequence Mears had to catch up a significant distance on Johncock, and on the 197th and 198th laps came from 3 seconds back to within car lengths. Johncock's tires were deteriorating by the lap, and with each turn the car understeered more severely. On the final lap, just after the white flag waved, Mears tried to pass Johncock for the win, with Johncock making a decisive defense of first place in Turn One, and Johncock began pulling away. In turn 4, Mears reeled him in and made a pass, but lost by 16-hundredths of a second (25 feet), which was at that time, the closest finish in Indy 500 history (now the 4th closest).

Mears would later joke about watching the tape over and over to see if 'this time I get around Gordy'. Johncock, during a live interview on ABC years later, offered that if the dramatic duel had occurred two or three years later—when Mears had additional experience—the Californian would probably have pulled off the winning pass.

Johncock took another three Indycar races, including the 1982 Michigan 500 to complete two legs of what was then known as the Triple Crown before retiring from racing in 1985 (the three 500-mile (800 km) races on the USAC Marlboro Championship Trail were known as such from 1970 until 1989, and again since 2014 (there was a Triple Crown of Indianapolis, Pocono, and Fontana in 2013, but Pocono was a 400-mile race in 2013)). Legend holds that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway held off resurfacing the bumpy concrete pit lane until Johncock retired, as he was known for his high-speed trips through the pit lane. He returned for occasional appearances in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991 and retired for good after the 1992 Indianapolis 500.

Johncock's last Indycar win was in the opening round of the 1983 CART PPG Indy Car World Series at the Atlanta Motor Speedway driving a Cosworth powered Patrick Wildcat. Johncock, who started 3rd on the grid, won the 200 mile, 132 lap race at an average of 146.133 mph from the Penske-Cosworth of Al Unser and John Paul, Jr. in a 1982 model Penske-Cosworth.

Johncock competed in twenty-one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in his career. He earned three top-fives and four top-tens in his limited schedules. The best of those finishes were a pair of fourths in 1973 at Daytona and 1966 at Rockingham.

 

Johncock abruptly retired from Indycar racing during the first week of practice for the 1985 Indianapolis 500, just before qualifications. He served on the IMS Radio Network in 1985, but decided to return to racing in 1986. He planned to enter the 1986 Indianapolis 500, but his funding for a car fell through. He wound up sitting out the race. He attempted another return in 1987. During the first week of time trials, Jim Crawford suffered serious injuries to his feet. Johncock was hired to drive in replacement, and qualified for the race.

 

Johncock completed a sixth-place finish in the 1991 Indy 500, despite having flu-like symptoms the morning of the race. His final race was the 1992 Indy 500, where he dropped out with engine failure. Since his retirement, Johncock has distanced himself from motorsports, and focuses on his timber business in Michigan. He participated in a 2004 interview on ESPN Classic's "Big Ticket" review of the 1982 Indy 500. In the interview, he admitted that his interests in racing were now limited, and was no longer his daily focus. In discussing the 1973 race, Johncock appeared to have made peace with the circumstances. While most discredit the race as being rain-shortened, and for its overall miserable memories, Johncock insisted that his car was undoubtedly the fastest on the track, led easily, and was not simply in front at the time of the red flag by chance.

Johncock chose not to attend the 2011 Indianapolis 500, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first race. Despite the fact that all living former participants, and particularly living former winners, were invited, Johncock did not attend any of the festivities, seemingly by choice. A year later, Speedway officials again invited him to attend, and he did return to the Speedway and participated in pre-race festivities at the 2012 race.

 

Tom Sneva USAC NATIONAL CHAMPION INDIANAPOLIS 500 winnER

 

 

At Indianapolis in 1977, Sneva drove his famed Norton Spirit McLaren M24/Cosworth racer for car owner Roger Penske, and became the first driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 at a speed at 200 mph (321.9 km/h) or more. His one-lap track record on May 14 was 200.535 mph (322.7 km/h).

Sneva won 2 races in 1977 and became the first driver in Team Penske history to win a championship. In 1978, Sneva didn't win a race but with 5 second place finishes and 16 top fives, Sneva still won the championship. Despite this, Sneva was released by Penske after the 1978 season.

In 1984, Sneva became the first to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 over 210 mph (338.0 km/h) in his Texaco Star March 84C/Cosworth driving for the new Mayer Motor Racing team. His one and four lap track records on May 12 were 210.689 mph (339.1 km/h) and 210.029 mph (338.0 k/h).

Sneva's career at the Indianapolis 500 was known for fast qualifying, second-place finishes, near misses and several crashesThree times (1977, 1978, 1980) Sneva ended up the bridesmaid by finishing second. Finally, Sneva broke through in dramatic fashion in 1983 after a thrilling late race duel with Penske driver Al Unser, Sr. and the lapped car of Unser's rookie son, Al Jr. It was Sneva's 1983 win in his Texaco Star March 83C/Cosworth for Bignotti-Cotter Racing that led to his nickname of "The Gas Man." That win was also famous for it being the last of George Bignotti's record seven Indianapolis 500 wins as a chief mechanic. For Sneva, the victory was sweet revenge, as he had been fired by Roger Penske in 1978 despite having won back-to-back USAC championships.

Sneva's second-place finish in 1980 is notable as it is one of only two occasions of such a finish by a driver starting last. It is also the only time the driver who started last (33rd) led laps during the race. Several other times Sneva was in contention for the win, but did not make it to the end of the race. In 1981, Sneva charged hard from his 20th starting position to lead early in the race, but his untested Blue Poly March 81-C/Cosworth was fragile and his clutch failed early on.

One year later, Sneva was in a duel with eventual winner Gordon Johncock and eventual runner-up Rick Mears when his engine in his Texaco Star March 82-C/Cosworth began losing power and eventually failed near the end of the race. In 1983, Sneva captured his first Indianapolis 500 win, engaging in a duel with Al Unser and his son in the final 20 laps. Al Unser Jr. was widely criticized after the race for trying to mess Sneva up to help his dad win, as well as having passed several cars under caution, and jumping the final restart. Unser was issued no penalties.

As defending champion in 1984, Sneva dueled with Mears only 32 laps from the finish, but his CV joint failed, enabling Mears to win. The 1985 race was a testament to Sneva's ability as he drove an ill-handling Skoal Bandit Eagle/Cosworth to second place before exiting in a crash with the lapped car of Rich Vogler. It was this series of near misses combined with second-place finishes and hard-charging qualifying and racing style that made Sneva a fan favorite at Indianapolis.

He suffered one of the most famous crashes at Indianapolis during the 1975 race, his second. After touching wheels with Eldon Rasmussen, 26-year-old Sneva flipped up into the catch fence and tore his car in half, but suffered mostly minor burns on 15% of his body in the fiery crash. He walked to the ambulance but was placed in the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital, mainly for lung issues due to the fire retardant Describing the crash years later Sneva quipped, "In a situation like that it's important to talk to yourself: 'Faint, you coward, faint!'"

In 1986, he was warming up his car during the pace lap, but lost control and crashed before the race started. In 1987, Sneva crashed three cars, two in practice, and one during the race. He crashed during the Indianapolis 500 in 1975, 1979, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1992, a record for crashes during the race.

After Sneva's Indy victory in 1983, he never finished the race again. He dropped out of the race in 1984-1990, failed to qualify in 1991, and dropped out of the 1992 race as well. Some observers have attributed his decline in success to the switch to radial tires (the series transitioned to radials over a period from 1985–1987). His driving style was more apropos to bias ply tires.

Sneva showed his versatility by competing in eight NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup Series) events in his career, spanning from 1977 to 1987. He earned one top-ten, a 7th in the 1983 Daytona 500.

Sneva's final start was the 1992 Indy 500. He arrived at Indy without a ride for 1993, and was unsuccessful in landing a car for the race. He retired with 13 career Indy car wins and 14 pole positions. 

2015 INDUCTEES

Bradley "Buzz" Calkins winner 1st indy racing league event

Bradley "Buzz" Calkins  was a  Indy Racing League driver. After a successful run in Indy Lights from 1993 to 1995 where he finished 11th, 10th, and 6th in his three seasons, he and his Bradley Motorsports team purchased a 1995 Reynard chassis to compete in the inaugural season of the IRL. He won the series' inaugural race, the 1996 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World ahead of Tony Stewart and was that year's league co-champion with Scott Sharp. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 six times, with a best finish of 10th in 1998 His win in the series' first race would end up to be his only IRL win. He drove until 2001 when he retired and ventured into the business world today he is president of denver based bradley gas company

Ralph  Liguori USAC AND NASCAR DRIVER

He competed in the USAC Championship Car series from 1957 to 1971 making 61 starts. His best finish was 2nd place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Speedway in 1970. 1966 was his most active year, when he made 7 starts and finished 28th in the National Championship. He attempted the Indianapolis 500 six times (1959, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, and 1968) but he failed to make the field each time. Liguori continued racing well into his 70's and won a minor race in 2000 at 73 years old.

Liguori competed in 76 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup Series) races in his career.[2] He had 30 Top 10 and 5 Top 5 finishes in his career.[2] His best finish was a third place finish at Wilson Speedway in Wilson, North Carolina. He finished tenth in the 1954 season points.[2] Liguori made one start in the NASCAR Convertible Series during 1956.[

Bobby Allison Nascar Champion

When the phrase "Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat" was first coined, the author must have had Robert Arthur Allison in mind. "If I had kept a business chart of my racing career, it would have more peaks and valleys than the State of Arizona," he said.

He started his Winston Cup career in 1966 with a homemade Chevelle. "Somebody told me my chances of winning a race were about the same as Twiggy winning the heavyweight boxing championship. That made me mad" Allison recalls. Bobby Allison didn't win one race -- he won three. His fast start was accompanied by controversy, a years-long feud with Richard Petty and an ongoing war with the media.

Through it all, Allison became one of the winningest drivers on the circuit. He's fourth in wins, 84; fifth in poles, 57; fifth in prize money won, $7.2 million; led at least one lap for 39 consecutive races, a record; and third in miles led, 29,205.2 Allison won 38 races after his 40th birthday. Only 12 other drivers have won that many races in a career. Over a twenty-two year career that was interrupted by near tragedy on June 19, 1988, Allison was six times voted Most Popular Driver by the fans, twice honored as American Driver of the Year, and three times the National Motorsports Press Associations' Driver of the Year. He won the 1983 Winston Cup Championship after being a runner-up five times.

"Winning the championship is still my biggest thrill. It's the biggest of any one thing I've ever accomplished. But it's also that I'm on par with the Parsons, Yarboroughs, Pettys and Jarretts. It was an effort that really had started years and years before and had gone through trial after trial to get that far," said Allison.

One of 12 offspring born into the family of Edmund and Kitty Allison, Bobby was born on December 3, 1937. At age nine, he decided he was going to race cars. He started racing in 1955 at Hialeah, Florida. He had already moved to Hueytown, Alabama, when he launched his Winston Cup career. The former Judy Bjorkman and bobby were married on February 20, 1960, when Allison was still living in Florida. They had four children and it was son Davey who ran second to his father in the 1988 Daytona 500 and carried on the winning tradition of the "Alabama Gang" until his tragic death.

Allison, a perfectionist who won the Daytona 500, Winston 500 and World 600 three times each, and the Southern 500 on four occasions, has earned a place in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Racing has exacted a tremendous price for Bobby Allison, and it is immeasurably better because of him.

Sir John Young Jackie" Stewart three time world champion

Sir John Young "Jackie" Stewart,  the "Flying Scot", he competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships, and twice runner-up, over those nine seasons. He also competed in Can-Am. In 2009 he was ranked fifth of the fifty greatest Formula One drivers of all time by journalist Kevin Eason who wrote: "He has not only emerged as a great driver, but one of the greatest figures of motor racing."

He is well known in the United States as a color commentator (pundit) of racing television broadcasts having worked in that role in the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix from 1971 to 1986. In 1976 Stewart became the play-by-play announcer for the 1976 Winter and 1976 Summer Olympics, and he served as host of the Indianapolis 500 coverage for ABC's Wide World of Sports and ABC Sports, from 1982 to 1984. He has also been a spokesman for Ford, Rolex and Moët.

Between 1997 and 1999, in partnership with his son, Paul, he was team principal of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One racing team.

Michael Schumacher 7 time world driving champion

Michael Schumacher a German racing driver. He is a seven-time Formula One World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time[ He was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year twice. He won two titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995. After his second title he moved to Ferrari for which he drove eleven years. His time with Ferrari yielded five consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004.

He holds many of Formula One's driver records, including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004 (the last of these records was equalled by fellow German Sebastian Vettel nine years later). In 2002, he became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. According to the official Formula One website, he is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen".

After beginning with karting, Schumacher won the German drivers' championships in Formula König and Formula Three before joining Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. After one Mercedes-funded race for the Jordan Formula One team, Schumacher signed as a driver for the Benetton Formula One team in 1991. Establishing himself as a top driver, finishing third in 1992 and fourth in 1993, Schumacher became the first German World Drivers' Champion in 1994 by one point over Damon Hill. In 1995 he repeated the success, this time with a greater margin. Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996. Schumacher came close to winning the 1997 and 1998 titles, before breaking his leg at the 1999 British Grand Prix, ending another title run. Things then came good for Schumacher who won another five consecutive drivers' titles from 2000 to 2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor. He came close to an eighth title that year, but due to technical problems in the final two races he fell short to Fernando Alonso. Schumacher agreed to return for Ferrari part-way through 2009, as cover for the badly injured Felipe Massa, but was prevented by a neck injury. Schumacher returned to Formula One on a permanent basis from 2010 with the Mercedes team before retiring for a second time at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

His career was not without controversy, including being twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the World Championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez.Off the track Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and a spokesman for driver safety. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity.[Schumacher and his younger brother, Ralf, are the only brothers to win races in Formula One, and they were the first brothers to finish 1st and 2nd in the same race, a feat they repeated in four subsequent races.

In December 2013, Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing. He was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, having suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in the coma for six months from 29 December 2013 until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital in Grenoble for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital (CHUV) in Lausanne On 9 September 2014, Schumacher was brought back to his home for further rehabilitation.] In November 2014, Schumacher was reported to be paralysed and wheelchair-bound as a result of the accident.

 Ayrton Senna f-1 racing legend

Ayrton Senna da Silva was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships. He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He was among the most dominant and successful Formula One drivers of the modern era and is considered by many as the greatest racing driver of all time

Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula Three championship in 1983. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year and Senna claimed his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.

Senna has often been voted as the best and most influential Formula One driver of all time in various motorsport polls. He was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was also acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He holds a record six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, and is the fourth-most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. In the Japanese Grands Prix of 1989 and 1990, each of which decided the championship of that year, collisions between Senna and Prost determined the eventual winner.

On Friday, Senna placed the car on the pole for a then-record 65th and final time, but he was upset by events unfolding that race weekend. Senna complained about the FW16's handling and reported that the car's performance was generally worse after the engineers' latest adjustments.] During the afternoon qualifying session, Senna's compatriot and protégé Rubens Barrichello was involved in a serious accident when his Jordan became airborne at the Variante Bassa chicane and hit the tyre-wall and fence. Barrichello suffered a broken nose and arm, and withdrew from the event. Barrichello reported that Senna was the first person he saw upon regaining consciousness

During Saturday qualifying, Austrian rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed after the front wing of his Simtek-Ford broke entering the 310 km/h (190 mph) Villeneuve corner, sending the car into a concrete wall. Senna immediately visited the accident scene and medical centre. There he was met by FIA Medical Chief Professor Sid Watkins, who suggested to a tearful Senna to retire from racing and go fishing (a hobby they both shared), to which Senna replied that he could not stop racing. Senna was later called in front of the stewards for commandeering an official car and climbing the medical centre fence, and a row ensued, although Senna was not punished.

Senna spent his final morning on the Sunday talking to former team mate and rival Alain Prost to discuss the re-establishment of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, with the aim of improving safety in Formula One. Prost had retired from the sport at the end of the 1993 season, and was now a media presenter. As the most senior driver in competition, Senna offered to take the role of leader, starting from the next race in Monaco. During the drivers' briefing, concerns had been raised about the mainly promotional use of a Porsche 911 lead car for the warm-up lap, with organizers agreeing to abandon the practice It is said that Williams Chief Engineer Patrick Head had pranked Senna on the grid by advising him that the lead car would not be excluded from the warm-up lap after all.

At the start of the Grand Prix, Senna retained the lead from Schumacher, but proceedings soon became interrupted by a startline accident. JJ Lehto's Benetton-Ford had stalled and was hit by the Lotus-Mugen Honda of Pedro Lamy. A wheel and debris landed in the main grandstand, injuring eight fans and a police officer. The safety car, a sporty version of the Opel Vectra medium family saloon, was deployed for several laps. The Vectra's slow pace was later questioned because of the consequential drop in tyre pressures on the Formula One cars. Senna had pulled alongside the Vectra and gestured to the driver, Max Angelelli, to increase his speed.On lap 6, the race resumed and Senna immediately set a quick pace with the third-quickest lap of the race, followed by Schumacher.

As Senna rounded the high-speed Tamburello corner on lap 7, his car left the racing line at around 307 km/h (191 mph), ran in a straight line off the track, and hit the concrete retaining wall at around 233 km/h (145 mph), after what telemetry showed to be an application of the brakes for around two seconds. The red flag was shown as a consequence of the accident. Within two minutes of crashing, Senna was extracted from his race car by Professor Watkins and his medical team, including intensive care anaesthetist Giovanni Gordini. Initial treatment took place by the side of the car, with Senna having a weak heartbeat and significant blood loss (around 4.5 l). Because of Senna's poor neurological condition, Professor Watkins performed an on-site tracheotomy and requested the immediate airlifting of Senna to Bologna's Maggiore Hospital under the supervision of Dr Gordini. At 18:40, the head of the hospital's emergency department, Dr Fiandri[120] made the announcement that Senna had died, but said the official time of death under Italian law was 14:17, which is when he impacted the wall and his brain stopped working.[118] Professor Watkins later said that as soon as he saw Senna's fully dilated pupils, he knew that his brainstem was inactive and that he would not survive.

 

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2014 INDUCTEES

 Arie Luyendyk 2 time indianapolis 500 winner

Arie Luyendyk, anglicised form of Arie Luijendijk  is a Dutch auto racing driver, and two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. In 2014, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He is also known as "The Flying Dutchman".

Luyendyk started racing in the early 1970s, winning a number of Dutch national titles. In 1977, he won the EuropeanSuper Vee championship, and switched to Formula Three. Success continued to elude him until he moved to theUnited States in 1984, where he immediately won the Super Vee championship.

With the help of sponsor Provimi Veal, Luyendyk ran his first full Champ Car in 1985, winning the rookie of the year title both for the season and the Indianapolis 500. His first win in the series came five years later in 1990, at the most important race of the series, with a record average speed of 185.981 mph (299.307 km/h). Luyendyk won the 1990 Indianapolis 500 for Doug Shierson Racing. His average speed record which stood for 23 years, was finally broken in the2013 97th Indianapolis 500 by Tony Kanaan with an average speed of 187.433 mph (301.644 km/h).

Luyendyk continued to perform well at Indianapolis, scoring pole positions in 1993, 1997 and 1999, and retiring from the race while leading on three occasions. In 1996, he set the qualifying lap record at 237.498 mph (382.216 km/h), although he did not start on the pole because he qualified on the second day of time trials. He won the 1997 Indianapolis 500 from the pole over Treadway Racing teammate Scott Goodyear. It came under severe controversy when on the final restart the white & green flag waved to end a caution but the yellow lights stayed on with Arie Luyendyk pulling away to the win while the other competitors were confused. A similar finish involving a similar mistake almost took away a win from Luyendyk two weeks later. As a result USAC was removed of scoring the races.

Luyendyk also was selected to participate in the 1992, 1993, and 1998 editions of the International Race of Champions.

He retired from racing after the 1999 season, and for a short time, joined ABC Sports as a color commentator. He returned to the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he entered at Indianapolis for the final time. He suffered a crash during practice, and did not make an attempt to qualify.

Other Luyendyk victories include the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. His son, Arie Jr., is an Indy Lights racer.

The last corner of the Zandvoort track in the Netherlands carries his name. In 1999, he was presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash award, reflecting upon his Indy 500 career

 

Mark Martin   nascar legend

Mark Martin is the only driver from Arkansas competing in the top circuit of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). He ranks tenth on the all-time win list and sixth on the all-time pole position list.

Martin was born on January 9, 1959, in Batesville (Independence County) to Julian Martin and Jackie Estes Martin. Martin’s father was a truck driver who started a successful Batesville-based trucking company, Julian Martin, Inc., in 1960. As a hobby, Julian also sponsored a race team that competed on the numerous small local race tracks. Martin’s father instilled a passion for driving in him when he was very young. Before Martin was big enough to reach the brake and accelerator, his father would put him on his lap and let him steer the car on the crooked roads of north Arkansas.

Martin persuaded his father to build him a race car in the fall of 1973. On April 12, 1974, at the age of only fifteen, Martin drove it in his first stock car race at a small dirt track in Locust Grove (Independence County). He won on his third start and completed the season by winning the most significant race in his division in 1974, the Arkansas State Championship held at the Benton Speedbowl in Benton (Saline County).

In 1977, Martin received his diploma from Batesville High School, but while his classmates were participating in graduation ceremonies, he was busy setting a new track record at a race in Springfield, Missouri. With high school behind him, Martin moved to Springfield and began competing in races throughout the Midwest in the more organized American Speed Association (ASA). He was named the 1977 ASA Rookie of the Year before winning the series championship in three consecutive years from 1978 through 1980.

Martin made his first attempt at the elite NASCAR Winston Cup series in 1981, with moderate success. Martin would run a full season in 1982 and attempt to win the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. He finished fourteenth in the final point standings but finished second for Rookie of the Year. In 1983, his racing career then went sour. Having exhausted most of his personal resources the previous year, and suffering through a failed sponsorship, Martin was forced to sell his race team. He would spend most of the season bouncing around between several teams.

Martin swallowed his pride and took a step back from NASCAR racing, returning to the ASA. He won another ASA series championship in 1986. In 1988, Martin helped develop a stock car racing program for Jack Roush, a sports car team owner. Martin earned his first Winston Cup victory on October 22, 1989, at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Since joining with Roush, Martin has won thirty-five victories in the NASCAR Nextel Cup (formerly Winston Cup) division and finished second in the point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002). As of 2008, he has managed 395 top-ten finishes in over 700 career starts in NASCAR’s top division and holds the record for most wins, with forty-seven in NASCAR’s secondary Busch series. Martin has captured five championships (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2005) in the International Race of Champions series and is the series all-time winner with thirteen victories.

In 2004, Martin announced that the 2005 season would be his last in the Nextel Cup Series, but he later agreed to postpone his departure when his long-time friend and car owner, Jack Roush, asked him to stay for an additional year while the team found a suitable replacement. However, he kept racing, tying a record with his fifth second-place finish in 2009. (He shares this record with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.) Martin is signed  with Hendrick Motorsports through the end of the 2011 season. Despite having spent most of his adult life living in North Carolina and Florida, he has built a home in Batesville, where he owns an auto dealership, Mark Martin Ford, opened a museum to house his racing memorabilia. Martin and his wife, Arlene, have five children: Amy, Rachel, Heather, Stacy, and Matt, who is following his father into auto racing.

 

Emerson Fittipaldi 2 Time Indianapolis 500 winner and F-1 Champion

"Emmo" as he is known by legions of fans in America began his rise to fame in Europe. The son of well know Brazilian motor racing journalist Wilson Fittipaldi started racing motor bikes but soon moved to karts. In 1967, Fittipaldi with his older brother Wilson Jr. built their own karts and won everything in sight. Knowing that any future in motorsport led through England, Fittipaldi traveled to the distant shore in 1969 and came under the wing of legendary racing school owner Jim Russell, the first in a trio of great Brazilian drivers who were yet to come. Driving a Lotus Formula 3 car he won the Lombank F3 championship. His driving was smooth and controlled, trademarks that would continue throughout his career.

In 1970 he graduated to Formula 2, again driving a Lotus. In May of that year he was invited to a Formula 1 test drive by Colin Chapman. Duly impressed Chapman signed the young Brazilian to become the third team member after Jochen Rindt and John miles. Fittipaldi made his debut at Brands Hatch driving an old Lotus 49 in which he scored an 8th place. His second race in Germany saw him score his first points for fourth place. Later after the tragic death of team leader Jochen Rindt, he won the United States Grand Prix clinching the World Championship for his stricken teammate. This young well-mannered driver seemly appeared out of nowhere to rescue the devastated team.

 

Fittipaldi's 1971 season was interrupted by a road accident on his way home. His injuries while not life-threatening contributed to his lack of form that year but the following season saw him rise to the top, becoming the youngest World Champion in history. In 1973 he started the season as World Champion destined for another title. He seemed to have the measure of his competitors all save one, his teammate. Colin Chapman hoping to duplicate the super team of Clark and Hill added the Swede Ronnie Peterson. At first Fittipaldi seemed to take this challenge in stride when he won both the Argentine and Brazilian Grands Prix. But the strain of developing the car, only to be out-qualified by Peterson, soon told on the usually calm Brazilian. In France he made an uncharacteristic error in trying to pass South African Jody Scheckter, causing a collision that ended the race for both cars. Fittipaldi would finish the title chase in second that year and soon left for McLaren.

More than the threat of his fast teammate Fittipaldi might have surmised that Lotus was entering one of their down periods after the racing life of their superb Lotus 72 had reached its end. Three wins and numerous points scoring finishes allowed him to claim his second World Championship in 1974. The next year was a year of turmoil which included a half-hearted Brands Hatch Race of Champions and a walkout at the Spanish Grand Prix. Disgusted with the political machinations he found in Formula 1 he turned inward. Helped by sponsorship from the Brazilian sugar combine, Copersucar he formed his own team with his elder brother Wilson Jr. but try as they might they could not reproduce the magic of a decade earlier and it was a sad sight to see the double World Champion at the blunt end of the grid. Frustrated with the lack of success Fittipaldi retired to his native Brazil heavily in debt but through his many contacts and hard work he was able to rebuild his fortune.

His career while ending in disappointment had shown a driver of great talent, whose smooth style was best described in the title of his autobiography; Flying on the Ground. All could have ended there but the racer's heart still beat in his chest and.

In 1984 he made a remarkable comeback, not in Formula 1 but in the Indy Car series. He soon became a crowd favorite with his open love of racing and his gracious attitude to his fellow drivers, one of whom, Al Unser Jr. who would become his rival, teammate and friend something not exactly the norm in Formula 1. His smooth style and experience would result in two Indianapolis 500 victories on that fearsome track. He finally retired for good after suffering neck injuries in a crash at the start of the US 500 in Michigan in 1996 and later back injuries in a small airplane crash. Today he continues his involvement in motor sport on multiple levels loved by fans on two continents.

 *wilbur shaw  3 time indianapolis 500 winner

Warren Wilbur Shaw (October 31, 1902 – October 30, 1954) was an American racing driver. He was president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1945 until his death in 1954. Shaw was the automotive test evaluator for Popular Science magazine

He was born in Shelbyville, Indiana on October 31, 1902. He participated in the 1927 Indianapolis 500

Wilbur Shaw won the Indianapolis 500 race three times, in 1937, 1939 and 1940. Shaw was the second person to win the 500 three times, and the first to win it twice in a row.In the 1941 race, Shaw was injured when his car crashed; it was later discovered that a defective wheel had been placed on his car.

During World War II, Shaw was hired by the tire manufacturer Firestone Tire and Rubber Company to test a synthetic rubber automobile tire at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which had been closed due to the war. He was dismayed at the dilapidated condition of the racetrack and quickly contacted then-owner Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I flying ace and president and founder of Eastern Air Lines. When the United States entered World War II, ending racing at Indianapolis and elsewhere for the duration, Rickenbacker padlocked the gates and let the race course slowly begin to disintegrate.

During a meeting soon after the tire test, Rickenbacker informed Shaw that what was left of the track would be demolished and the land turned into a housing subdivision. Shaw sent out letters to the major car manufacturers trying to find a backer to buy the speedway. However, all indicated that should they buy the IMS they would turn it into a private testing facility for their own cars only.

Shaw then met Terre Haute businessman Tony Hulman who had inherited his family's business, Hulman & Company, a wholesale grocer and producer of coffee and baking powder, Clabber Girl.

A lifelong fan of automobile racing in general and the "500" in particular, Hulman listened with great interest to what Shaw had to say. Despite what Hulman saw amongst the weeds and deterioration when Shaw took him to Indianapolis, he purchased the Speedway from Rickenbacker in November 1945 for the sum of $750,000.

As a reward for his efforts to revive the Speedway, Shaw was appointed as its president, where he would have complete day-to-day control over the track. To this job, Shaw brought his extensive knowledge of the business of auto racing, something Hulman would admit that he himself didn't have, and Shaw's hard work only cemented the reputation of the "500" as the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

It seemed as though Shaw and Hulman had a "Midas touch" at the Speedway. Hulman poured money into improvements, and Shaw delivered the world's greatest automobile race to enthusiastic crowds, which grew in number by the year. The Indianapolis "500" of the late Forties and early Fifties was a very special event through the work of Hulman and Shaw, although Hulman was always sure to point out that it was Wilbur putting it all together.

Shaw was killed in an airplane crash near Decatur, Indiana, on October 30, 1954, one day before his fifty-second birthday. The pilot, Ray Grimes, and artist Ernest Roose were also killed.

 Rusty Wallace nascar champion

Russell William "Rusty" Wallace was born on August 14, 1956 in Fenton, Missouri. Rusty and his two brothers (Kenny and Mike) were raised by their parents Russ and Judy Wallace. His dad was a champion racer in Missouri and the boys weren't far behind, with all three making careers in motorsports.

 Rusty Wallace made his stock car racing debut in 1973 at Lakehill Speedway near Valley Park, Missouri. Between 1974 and 1978 he won over 200 races around the Mid-West and was a budding star when he joined the USAC's (United States Auto Club) stock car division in 1979. His racing success continued as Wallace won USAC Rookie of the Year Award in 1979. Rusty Wallace began racing in a handful of NASCAR Winston Cup races by 1980, driving the #16 Chevrolet for Roger Penske. In 1983 he went on to win an ASA AC Delco Challenge Series championship add to his already glowing resume.

Rusty Wallace made his official Winston Cup debut in 1984. That season he participated in all 30 races and bagged two top 5 and four top 10 finishes on the way to 14th place in points and Rookie of the Year honors. He won his first Winston Cup race driving the Alugard/Blue Max Pontiac in 1986 at the Bristol Motor Speedway in the Valleydale 500. Rusty earned his first pole position about a year later at the Miller 400 at Michigan International Speedway. He really began catching everyone's eye in the 1988 Winston Cup season, racking up 6 wins along woth nineteen top 5s and twenty three top 10s. He finished second in total points to Bill Elliott.

 After coming close to winning the championship, Rusty Wallace would come back with a bang for the 1989 Winston Cup season. He raced in all twenty nine races and added 6 more victories along with thirteen top 5s and twenty top 10s. This was enough to win him the championship series that year, beating arch rival Dale Earnhardt by just 12 points for the honor. That year, he also started racing in the IROC series and was its champion in 1991. Throughout the 1990s, Rusty was a top performer in NASCAR's Winston Cup circuit winning 33 races, including a combined 18 in 1993 and 1994. Surprisingly, he did not win another Winston/Nextel Cup championship, finishing second to Dale Earnhardt in 1993. He won the 1993 Food City 500 at Bristol Speedway the same weekend that his good friend Alan Kulwicki died in a plane crash. Rusty dedicated the emotional win to Alan by doing Kulwicki's trademark reverse "Polish Victory Lap" after his win.

 Rusty had an amazing streak going up until 2002. He had one atleast one race every year from 1986. This winning streak though was broken in 2002 and was the best amongst all active drivers. His last Nextel Cup victory came in 2004 as Rusty Wallace won the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. On August 30, 2004 the then 47 year old Wallace announced that the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season would be his last as a full-time driver though he would run in some races on a part-time basis. To date he has 55 NASCAR wins, good enough for 8th place on NASCAR's all-time wins list. At the time of his retirement, he drove the Penske Racing's #2 Dodge that was sponsored by Miller Lite.

Rusty Wallace raced for over 25 years so one could not just expect him to walk away from the sport after his retirement. That is quite the case as he is still involved in various aspects of stock car racing. Rusty owns and operated Rusty Wallace, Inc. (RWI) which fields the #64 NASCAR Busch Series car driven by Jamie McMurray. He is also part owner (along with Roger Penske) of the Penske Racing South team that features Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman in the Nextel Cup series.

Rusty also has a huge passion for flying. He's a jet-rated pilot who would have flown for a career had it not been for stock car racing. He owns several airplanes (including a Learjet 31A) and a Bell 427 helicopter. He is also a fan of NHRA drag racing and golf. Rusty is married to his wife Patti, they have three kids (Greg, Katie, Steve) and live in a ranch outside Charlotte, North Carolina. Rusty Wallace has become the first on-air hire by ESPN and ABC Sports after being named lead auto racing analyst for their Nextel Cup coverage starting in 2007. He also owns five car dealerships in Tennessee.

    Joe Amato  NHRA CHAMPION

During the heyday of his very successful Top Fuel career in the late 80s and early 90s, they called his legions of fans "Joe's Army." While his stellar performances attracted the attention of many, it was his easygoing personality and accessibility that ultimately proved to be his best "recruiting" tool. Far from being an aloof "commanding general," Amato was, and continues to be today, just one of the guys. That, as much as anything else, endeared him to the fans and media.

Before his retirement following the 2000 National Hot Rod Association season, Amato had amassed a record the likes of which is unlikely to be surpassed in the future. In some respects Amato's standards may have the longevity of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, or Richard Petty's 200 NASCAR victories.

The number five plays a prominent role in this exceptional competitor's records. For but one example, Amato's 52 race wins are 19 more than his closest still-active competitor, with the level of competition being such that it's going to be extremely difficult to close the gap.

In terms of total professional victories, Amato is fifth – and sixth overall when his five sportsman wins are added. He's also fifth on the all-time Number 1 qualifiers list and the only five-time points champion in NHRA Top Fuel history. When he wasn't winning the championship outright, Amato was easily finishing in the Top 10, a consistency he maintained for 18 consecutive seasons. And let's not forget that Amato notched six impressive wins in the Budweiser Top Fuel Classic along the way.

Following his victory in the Mile-High Nationals in 2000, word leaked out that Amato had suffered what appeared to be a career-ending eye injury. Despite the setback, he completed the season fourth in the standings – winning again at the Keystone Nationals on his home track in Reading, PA. Sensing that the end of his career was coming, Amato was convinced to make the '01 season a retirement tour, but within hours wisely decided to hang up his helmet and concentrate on being a team owner.

From the ever-present Snoopy cartoon character that decorated his race cars to his effervescent personality, Amato was, and continues to be, a media and fan magnet. His interviews, often hilarious in delivery and content, effectively kept his business acumen from the public as Amato always made an effort to separate his business and racing lives despite the fact that they were irrevocably intertwined. Amato and his family were the founders of Keystone Automotive, which eventually morphed into Key Parts. Regardless of the name, it ultimately became the largest chain store operation in the eastern half of the country, with Amato personally responsible for a great deal of that growth. Amato eventually served on the SEMA Board of Directors, a position from which he had considerable influence on national legislation affecting the legality of high performance hardware for street-driven vehicles.

Unlike some former drivers, Amato has taken to the role of team owner with the same level of enthusiasm that he brought to his driving and business careers. He remains open, friendly and a fan favorite. Small wonder he's been elected to the Motorsports Hall of Fame. His "army" wouldn't have it any other way!

When the phrase "Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat" was first coined, the author must have had Robert Arthur Allison in mind. "If I had kept a business chart of my racing career, it would have more peaks and valleys than the State of Arizona," he said.

2013 INDUCTEES

 *Joe Leonard AMA and USAC National Champion

Joe Leonard born August 4, 1932 in San Diego, California, is a retired American motorcycle racer and racecar driver.

Leonard won the first A.M.A. Grand National Championship Series in 1954 and won it again in 1956 and 1957.His record totals 27 wins, including the 1957 and 1958 Daytona 200.He retired from motorcycle racing at the completion of the 1961 season and turned his attention to auto racing.

Leonard raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1964–1974 seasons, with 98 career starts, including the 1965–1973 Indianapolis 500, sitting on the pole in 1968 in the Lotus 56 turbine car. He finished in the top ten 60 times, including 6 wins: 3 times at Milwaukee (1965, 1970, 1972), and once each at Ontario (1971), Brooklyn (1972), and Pocono (1972). His victories propelled him to the 1971 and 1972 USAC Championship Car Season Championship.

Joe Leonard has won multiple National Championships in both automobile and motorcycle racing back-to-back. In 1991

Charlie Patterson car owner "mr. racing everything"

Over fifty years of winning experience and hard work have earned Charlie Patterson the distinction of being recognized as an expert in the field of auto-racing. Charlie began his motorsports career back in 1958, at age twenty, as a crewman for an Indy Racing team. He spent the next thirty years mastering a variety of skills from lead fuel man to crew chief.

During this same period, from 1969 to 1989, Charlie also joined the ranks of car ownership fielding his own USAC Silver Crown and Midget racing teams with such notable drivers as Johnny Rutherford, Kenny Jacobs and Johnny Parsons behind the wheel. From time to time you could even find Charlie piloting one of his midget cars out on the open wheel circuit. Another early career highlight came when Charlie was hired as motorsports consultant and provided race cars for use in the filming of Paul Newman’s motion picture WINNING.

The latest chapter on Charlie’s colorful career comes with the formation of NEX• GEN Motorsports – a new driver search and placement program designed specifically to fulfill the growing sponsor demand that NASCAR and its teams provide a younger, more camera-friendly driver image as representative of the sport. In the world of product marketing, perception is reality and the consumer demographic being targeted is increasingly getting younger.

To the benefit of our industry, Mr. Patterson has the proven ability to single out those young men and women who possess the rarest combination of natural talent, star image and the personal dedication necessary to achieve championship status – both on and off the track. With “motorsports veterans” like Charlie Patterson watching the road, the Next Generation of auto racing has a very bright future ahead!

 

 Bruce McLaren race-car designer, driver, engineer and inventor

Bruce Leslie McLaren 30 August 1937 – 2 June 1970 was a New Zealander race-car designer, driver, engineer and inventor.

His name lives on in the McLaren team which has been one of the most successful in Formula One championship history, with McLaren cars and drivers winning a total of 20 world championships. McLaren cars totally dominated CanAm sports car racing with 56 wins, a considerable number of them with him behind the wheel, between 1967 and 1972 (and five constructors’ championships), and have won three Indianapolis 500 races, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring.

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Bruce McLaren attended Meadowbank Primary School. As a nine-year-old, he contracted Perthes disease in his hip that left his left leg shorter than the right.

His parents, Les and Ruth McLaren, owned a service station and workshop in Remuera Rd, Remuera, Auckland.[2] Bruce spent all of his free hours hanging around the workshop and developed his passion during his formative years.

Les McLaren restored an aging Austin 7 Ulster which 14-year-old Bruce used in 1952 when he entered his first competition, a hillclimb. Two years later he took part in his first real race and showed promise. He moved up from the Austin to a Ford 10 special and an Austin-Healey, then an F2 Cooper-Climax sports. He immediately began to modify and improve — and master - it, so much so that he was runner-up in the 1957–8 New Zealand championship series.

His performance in the New Zealand Grand Prix in 1958 was noted by Australian driver Jack Brabham (who would later invite McLaren to drive for him). Because of his obvious potential the New Zealand International Grand Prix organisation selected him for its 'Driver to Europe' scheme designed to give a promising Kiwi driver year-round experience with the best in the world. McLaren was the first recipient, to be followed by others later including Denny Hulme.

McLaren went to Cooper and stayed seven years. He raced in F2 and was entered in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in which F2 and F1 cars competed together. He astounded the motor racing fraternity by being first F2, and fifth overall, in a field of the best drivers in the world.

McLaren joined the Cooper factory F1 team alongside Jack Brabham in 1959 and won the 1959 United States Grand Prix at age 22 years 80 days, becoming the youngest ever GP winner up to that time. He followed that with a win in the Argentine Grand Prix, the first race of the 1960 Formula One season, and he would finish runner-up that season to Brabham.

McLaren won the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix, eventually finishing a fine third in the championship that year. The next year he founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, which remains in the Formula One championship simply as Team McLaren. McLaren continued to race and win in Coopers (including the New Zealand GP in 1964).

McLaren left Cooper at the end of 1965, and announced his own GP racing team, with co-driver and fellow Kiwi Chris Amon. Amon left in 1967 to drive for Ferrari. In 1968, McLaren was joined by another fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme, who had become world champion in 1967 with Brabham. McLaren took his fourth career win racing his own McLaren car at Spa in 1968, achieving the team's first Grand Prix win. Hulme won twice in the McLaren-Ford.

The 1969 championship was also a success, with McLaren finishing 3rd in the standings despite taking no wins. In tribute to his homeland, McLaren's cars featured the "speedy Kiwi" logo.

It was in powerful sports car racing where McLaren's design flair and ingenuity were graphically demonstrated. Just as the Can-Am began to become very popular with fans in Canada and the U.S., the new McLaren cars finished second twice, and third twice, in six races.

In 1967 they won five of six races and in 1968, four of six. The following year McLarens proved unbeatable, winning 11 of 11 races. In two races, they finished 1-2-3. (McLaren, Hulme and Mark Donohue).

In 1966 he and co-driver Chris Amon won the prestigious 24 Hour race at Le Mans in a Ford GT40.

Bruce was a competitive driver but in many ways his legacy, the McLaren Racing Team, is testimony to his abilities as an analyst, engineer and manager that contributed much to the success of the cars that bore his name. In the early days of the McLaren sports cars Bruce was testing and as he drove out of the pits he noticed the fuel filler access door was flapping up and down as he drove. The current aerodynamic thinking was that it should have been pressed more firmly in place as the speed of the car increased. Instead, it bounced more vigorously as the speed increased. Instantly his frustration at the sloppy work changed and he had an insight. Stopping in the pits he jumped from the car, ran to a mechanics tool box, grabbed a pair of shears and started cutting the bodywork away behind the radiator. Climbing back in the car he immediately began turning lap times faster than before.

From that session came the "nostrils" that have been a key McLaren design feature, even in the McLaren F1 road car, since that day.

Bruce McLaren noted that his team's cars were marginally less innovative than the Chaparral Cars of rival driver/designer Jim Hall but their superior reliability was rewarded by race and championship victories. Long after his death that culture prevailed and when Ron Dennis bought the team was reinforced by the lessons learned in his early career as a race mechanic.

Bruce McLaren died (aged 32) when his Can-Am car crashed on the Lavant Straight just before Woodcote corner at Goodwood Circuit in England on 2 June 1970. He had been testing his new M8D when the rear bodywork came adrift at speed. The loss of aerodynamic downforce destabilized the car, which spun, left the track and hit a bunker used as a flag station.

Conrad "Connie" Kalitta Drag Racing Driver

Conrad "Connie" Kalitta born February 24, 1938, in Michigan is the CEO of Kalitta Air and a retired American drag racing driver, once known as "The Bounty Hunter".

He grew up in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and was a 1957 graduate of Mount Clemens High School.

He raced from the 1950s through the 1990s. He was the first driver to hit 200 mph in an NHRA sanctioned event. He also helped Shirley Muldowney get started (in the "Bounty Huntress" car). Kalitta won 10 NHRA national events between 1967 and 1994.

Connie has won the U.S. Nationals in 1994 after losing in two prior finals to Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney. He defeated Eddie Hill in the final round.

He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992. On the 2001 National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers, 1951-2000, Kalitta was ranked #21. He was played by Beau Bridges in the Muldowney biography film Heart Like a Wheel.

He is the father of racer Scott Kalitta, killed in a fiery crash in Old Bridge Township, N.J.[2][3] in 2008, and uncle of racer Doug Kalitta. His step-daughter is Commander Shanti Sethi of the United States Navy, former commander of the USS Decatur

 Rich Vogler * USAC National Sprint Car and Midget champion

Rich Vogler July 26, 1950, Chicago, Illinois – July 21, 1990, Salem, Indiana was a champion sprint car and midget car driver. He was nicknamed "Rapid Rich". He competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, his best finish was eighth in 1989.

Vogler was the National Alliance of Midget Auto Racing (NAMAR) midget champion in 1973. He won the midget car track championships at the Indianapolis Speedrome in 1984 and 1985. He won the Fireman Nationals midget car race at Angell Park Speedway in 1985. Vogler became the first driver to win the USAC Sprint Car and Midget championships in the same year (1980). He won USAC National Sprint Car Series championships in 1980 and 1989, USAC National Midget Series championships in 1978, 1980, 1983, 1986, and 1988.

He won numerous major national events: the Hut Hundred eight times, the 4-Crown Nationals midget car event four times, the Copper Classic twice, the Hoosierdome Invitational twice, the WWRA Florida Winter Nationals in 1983, and the Night Before the 500 once. In 1987 he won the inaugural Chili Bowl Midget Nationals race.

Vogler finished seventeenth in his only NASCAR Busch Series start at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham in 1988.

His 134 wins (95 Midget, 35 Sprint, and four Silver Crown wins) in national events is second only to A. J. Foyt's 169.[3] Vogler had 170 total USAC wins, and won over 200 "outlaw" (non-USAC) midget races.

Days before his 40th birthday, Vogler was competing in a nationally broadcast ESPN Thunder Joe James / Pat O'Connor Memorial sprint car event at Salem Speedway. He was leading the race at the time, when his car crashed with just over a lap to go. Vogler was de-helmeted in the accident, and as a result was fatally injured. Because of USAC rules on a red flag reverting to the previous completed lap, he was declared the winner of the event following his death, which was his 170th win. He was scheduled to make his NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) series debut at Pocono Raceway the day after his fatal crash. He was awarded a 40th place finish (as a "Did Not Start").

The Pocono race was not his first attempted NASCAR Winston Cup start: two weeks before, he entered the Michigan race but failed to qualify.

His mother Eleanor started a college scholarship fund for aspiring Indiana students as part of Rich's concern over his sons, and the fund was started by USAC officials and sponsor Valvoline.

The first major fund-raiser for the fund has been a Daytona 500 viewing party in Indianapolis, today well-attended with a silent auction and notable names in auto racing in the state as guests. Usually, his mother and his sons appear at the annual fund-raiser. In 2008, the viewing party was moved to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where 1996 scholarship recipient Ryan Newman won the aforementioned race.

In April 1991, Winchester Speedway began the annual season-opening Rich Vogler Classic sprint car race, usually the first race at the track each year.

There is also a Team Vogler classic at the Indianapolis Speedrome. His father Donald Vogler died in a midget car accident at the Indianapolis Speedrome on May 1, 1981.

 Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson NASCAR Superstar

Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson, Jr. born June 28, 1931 better known as Junior Johnson, is one of the early superstars of NASCAR in the 1950s and 1960s. He won 50 NASCAR races in his career before retiring in 1966. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became a NASCAR racing team owner; he sponsored such NASCAR champions as Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. He now produces a line of fried pork skins and country ham. He is credited as the first to use the drafting technique in stock car racing. He is nicknamed "The Last American Hero" and his autobiography is of the same name.

Johnson was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, the fourth of seven children of Lora Belle Money and Robert Glenn Johnson, Sr. His father, a lifelong bootlegger, spent nearly twenty of his sixty-three years in prison, as their house was frequently raided by revenue agents. Junior spent one year in prison in Ohio for having an illegal still, although he was never caught in his many years of transporting bootleg liquor at high speed.

In 1955, Johnson began his career as a NASCAR driver. In his first full season, he won five races and finished sixth in the 1955 NASCAR Grand National points standings.

In 1958 he won six races. In 1959, he won five more NASCAR Grand National races (including a win from the pole position at the 1959 Hickory 250); by this time he was regarded as one of the best short-track racers in the sport.

His first win at a "superspeedway" came at the Daytona 500 in 1960. Johnson and his crew chief Ray Fox were practicing for the race, trying to figure out how to increase their speed, which was 22 miles per hour (35 km/h) slower than the top cars in the race. During a test run a faster car passed Johnson. He noticed that when he moved behind the faster car his own speed increased due to the faster car's slipstream. Johnson was then able to stay close behind the faster car until the final lap of the test run, when he used the "slipstream" effect to slingshot past the other car. By using this technique Johnson went on to win the 1960 Daytona 500, despite the fact that his car was slower than others in the field. Johnson's technique was quickly adopted by other drivers, and his practice of "drafting" has become a common tactic in NASCAR races

In 1963 he had a two-lap lead in the World 600 at Charlotte before a spectator threw a bottle onto the track and caused Junior to crash; he suffered only minor injuries.

He retired in 1966. In his career, he claimed 50 victories as a driver, and 11 of these wins were at major speedway races. He retired as the winningest driver never to have a championship.

Johnson was a master of dirt track racing. "The two best drivers I've ever competed against on dirt are Junior Johnson and Dick Hutcherson," said two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett.

As a team owner, he worked with some of the legendary drivers in NASCAR history, including Darel Dieringer, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Terry Labonte, Geoffrey Bodine, Sterling Marlin, Jimmy Spencer and Bill Elliott. In all, his drivers won 139 races, which is third to Petty Enterprises and Hendrick Motorsports. His drivers won six Winston Cup Championships—three with Yarborough (1976–1978) and Waltrip (1981–82, 1985).

In 2011, Johnson announced that he would restart a race team with son Robert as driver. Junior Johnson Racing will be located in Hamptonville, North Carolina. Robert, the 2010 UARA Rookie of the Year, plans to run a 28–30 race schedule in 2011, which includes the entire K&N East Series schedule and some races in the UARA and Whelen All-American Series.

His first marriage ended in divorce in 1992. His marriage to his current wife Lisa in 1994 has resulted in two children, daughter Meredith Suzanne, and son Robert Glenn Johnson III, who is a sophomore at Duke University. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson is referenced in the Bruce Springsteen song "Cadillac Ranch".

On December 26, 1986, President Ronald Reagan granted Johnson a presidential pardon for his 1956 moonshining conviction. In response to the pardon, which restored his right to vote, Johnson said, "I could not have imagined anything better."

 

2012 INDUCTEES

Tom Bigelow Open Wheel Racer

Tom Bigelow born October 31, 1939, in Whitewater, Wisconsin), USA, is a former driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series.

He began his racing career at the Badger Midget Racing Association at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. His first attempt at the National Championship was in 1967, and he finished eighteenth. He had 1968 midget wins at Hales Corners Speedway in Hales Corners, Wisconsin and at the Sycamore, Illinois track. He won the first Astro Grand Prix in the Houston Astrodome in 1969. His come back in Midgets started in 1981 driving for Sandy Racing. In 1984 he was National USAC Midget Champion, two years in a roll, 1982 and 1983 he was USAC Spreedrome Champ.

He raced in USAC and CART in 17 seasons (1968–1983 and 1985), with 104 combined career starts, and started in the Indianapolis 500 every year during 1974-1982. He finished in the top ten 39 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in consecutive races in 1978 at Texas World Speedway and Milwaukee.

Bigelow was also the 1978 USAC Sprint Car Series Champion. He became the leader in USAC Sprint car wins with 52

He returned to his roots won the 1984 USAC National Midget Series Champion. He finished fourth, third, and ninth in the following three season. He also won the 1982 USAC Midwest Regional midget car title. His car (number 16) was owned by Carl Sandy, husband of Carol Sandy and father of Duane, Mathew, and Troy Sandy.

Tom made a single NASCAR start at the 1986 Atlanta Journal 500 at the Atlanta International Raceway, and he finished 40th with engine problems.

 *Gary Lee Racing Broadcaster

A lifelong resident of Indianapolis and a graduate from Thomas Carr Howe High School Gary attended  Vincennes University with a degree in broadcasting
 Gary worked in the local Television Market for over 20 years and was hired by ESPN in 1981 and was part of the very first race telecast on ESPN...the Tony Bettenhausen 200 from the Milwaukee Mile.
 Public address announcing was a big part of his career.  Gary has done PA at more than 300 races including more than 100 Silver Crown races.  Gary was on the PA for 30 consecutive years for The Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 25 years at DuQuoin and 18 at Springfield and has done over 1100 auto racing events  including banquets and MCing events
 
From 1977-1984 Gary was on the PA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Gary  spent 9 years on the IMS Radio Network and was the anchor for the first 3 years of the Indy Racing League.

 

What was to become known as Thursday Night Thunder had it's beginning at the Speedrome with Gary at the mike.  He remained on the Thursday show from 1985 until 2000 and will always be linked with Larry Rice for the Larry and Gary racing broadcasts Gary did the the international broadcast for ESPN for 8 years on the IndyCar circuit. 

Gary owned  Whiteland Raceway Park in Whieland Indiana for over 10 years

 Larry Rice Open Wheel Racing Legend*

Larry was an American racing driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series.He was the 1973 USAC National midget driver's champion and won the USAC Silver Crown series in 1977 and 1981. He was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993.]

Larry's father Bob got him started in racing. Bob purchased Larry's first race car, a Kurtis Craft Half Midget from Bob Cunningham in Covington, Indiana prior to turning twelve years old. Larry went to Modified