NOVI, Mich. (Jan. 23, 2015) – The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America announced its 27th class of inductees today at Daytona International Speedway, a list of legends representing a variety of racing disciplines. Ricky Carmichael, Walker Evans, Warren Johnson, Tommy Kendall, Mark Martin, Duke Nalon, and Lloyd Ruby will be inducted Thursday, June 18 at Detroit's historic Fillmore Theater. Click here to listen to the press conference.
"This year's class truly reflects the wide range of American motorsports – which has always been the foundation for our facility," said Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. "These gentlemen achieved success on two wheels and four, on dirt and pavement, on every kind of track – plus off the road entirely."
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is racing's Cooperstown, memorializing achievement in all forms of motorized competition. Over the years, 216 motorsports luminaries have been inducted. The 99-person nominating panel itself reads like a "who's who" of racing, with stars such as Mario Andretti, Don Garlits, Craig Breedlove and Richard Petty involved in the process.
Friday's announcement was made in the Daytona International Speedway media center as part of the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, with domestic and international media in attendance.
"I am overwhelmed by the news that I'm getting into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, especially with this 2015 class of inductees," said Martin, who retired from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition last year. "I have a lot of respect for each [of the other inductees]."
Kendall, along with Carmichael, was present for Friday's announcement.
"A lot of the names on this year's hall of fame are heroes of mine," said Kendall, one of America's greatest sports car racers. "[Being on the same list] doesn't really compute. I've been lucky to have good things happen during my career. To be mentioned with names like that ... at the end of the day it's nice to be recognized for the work you did."
Added Motocross/Supercross legend Carmichael:
"I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. As a kid growing up racing dirt bikes I never would have thought something like this was possible for me. To be in the company of some of the greatest names in motorsports is surreal. As you look at all of the great athletes and people that are in the Hall of Fame, it is hard for me to believe that I will be included among names like Ward, Hannah, Earnhardt, Petty or Garlits. This recognition is truly an honor."