Press Releases

Carmichael, Evans, Johnson, Kendall, Martin, Nalon and Ruby To Join Racing Elite as Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductees

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.

Class of 2015"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."

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Finalists for MSHFA Class of 2015

Finalists for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 2015 class have been determined.  The Hall will unveil its seven new members on Friday, January 23, at Daytona International Speedway prior to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  The racing legends will join the Hall of Fame during the 27th Annual Induction Ceremony on June 18, 2015 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit.

Open Wheel 15 300wdIn the Open Wheel category, the nominees are veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach, nine-time Indycar Series winning owner Chip Ganassi, championship owner Carl Haas, innovative designer and safety pioneer Ted Halibrand, three-time Indy winning owner Pat Patrick and Indy 500 veteran Lloyd Ruby.

Quarter-milers on the ballot are father of the Chrysler 426 Hemi Tom Hoover, six-time NHRA Pro Stock Champion Warren Johnson, golden-voiced announcer Dave McClelland, pioneer Paula Murphy, one of the first Funny Car drivers Gene Snow and Strange Engineering's boss Bob Stange.

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A Special Message from Shirley Muldowney

Dear Friends & Fans,

Sometimes I ask myself, could my story have happened in any other country?  A teenage mother from Schenectady who goes on to become a 4-time Top Fuel World Champion and be recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Shirley MuldowneyAmerican motorsports is full of inspiring stories like mine.  Which is why I've always supported the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.  As one of its earliest inductees, I've watched it grow from a fledgling operation 26 years ago to the American motorsports Hall of Fame.  The only one that honors every form of motorsports – open wheel, stock cars, sports cars, motorcycles, planes, powerboats and yes, drag racing.

But as successful as the Hall of Fame has become, it still depends on your support to keep doing the important work it does.  So I'm asking you to make a donation now to keep the Hall going for another year.

The Hall is a non-profit organization, so your donation is 100% tax deductible.  And giving takes just seconds – which a drag racer like me especially appreciates.  Click the red "Donate to MSHFA" button on the left and donate what you can.  Even $10 or $20 will make a difference, and everyone who donates $500 or more will receive a hand-signed thank-you from me.

If you're reading this, it's because you love our sport.  Giving to the Hall is a great way to support the sport and give it the respect and acknowledgement it deserves.

Yours truly,

Shirley sign - 300px

Shirley Muldowney
MSHFA Class of 1990
4-time Top Fuel World Champion

Raymond Beadle: Beyond the Blue Max

by Jon Asher

courtesy of CompetitionPlus.com

Shortly after the New Year I was asked by the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America if I'd write a short biography for the induction of Raymond Beadle. The ceremony was slated for August, so I had plenty of time, and while I was honored to have been asked, there was a problem. The copy had to be no more than 500 words due to space limitations. How do you compress an individual's stellar career in racing into so few words, particularly when that person's fingerprints are all over the history of not only drag racing, but stock car racing as well? And how can you possibly capture the essence of a personality as gregarious and outrageous as was Beadle's in just a few paragraphs?

Raymond BeadleRaymond's career demanded more than 500 words if for no other reason than the man himself was bigger than that. He had a major impact on drag racing, one that went far beyond mere statistics. Yes, he was an NHRA champion (three times consecutively!) and a two-time winner of the U.S. Nationals (among many other victories), but those are just numbers, and Beadle was more than that, too. That he would also prove successful in NASCAR racing surprised many, but he knew talent when he spotted it, and together with driver Rusty Wallace (another 2014 Hall of Fame inductee) they won the '89 Cup championship. Less than a handful of owner/drivers can claim such lofty accomplishments on their resumes.

There's a somewhat regional aspect to the history of drag racing, and while these might be generalities, there's nevertheless some truth to the theory that California and the West Coast was where Top Fuel grew up. At the same time the East Coast was the breeding ground for Funny Cars and hot doorslammers, while the Midwest was Gasser country. And then there was that whole separate universe of Texas drag racing. Some of the cars were as crude as the oil bubbling up out of the ground, but you knew a Texas racer the moment you saw him. From the top of his Stetson to the tips of his razor-pointed Justins, you knew what you were looking at. But here's the thing. Beadle rarely fit within that comfortable frame. Sure, he wore his share of hats and boots, but when the moment demanded it he could be as urbane as the slickest New York bond trader or Washington Beltway insider. And where's the evidence for that? Just look at the sponsor names his cars carried over the years.

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MSHFA 26th Induction Class Enshrined

DETROIT (August 6, 2014) – An enthusiastic and at times humbled audience of family, friends, fans and motorsports insiders gathered Wednesday evening in downtown Detroit to usher in an equally impressive and accomplished group of 2014 inductees at the 26th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony at the historic Fillmore Theater.

Wallace  Luyendyk

The 2014 class included event attendees Rusty Wallace (Stock Cars) and Arie Luyendyk (Open Wheel) in addition to sports car racing visionaries Jim France and Dr. Don Panoz who jointly accepted the Hall's Bob Russo Heritage Award for outstanding contributions to the motorsports industry.

Wallace, inducted by his former NASCAR team owner Roger Penske, was ushered into the Hall in the final presentation of the night.

"I see some of the world's greatest drivers and champions here tonight and it has humbled me to be here," said Wallace, who won the 1989 NASCAR Cup Championship. "It's an incredible honor. Thank you very much for inducting me into the Motorsport Hall of Fame."

Luyendyk shared with the crowd how he feels his induction is the crowning moment of an outstanding career that saw him win two Indianapolis 500s in 1990 and 1997.

"It is a great honor to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame," Luyendyk said. "It is something that almost closes a chapter in my life. I am obviously retired from racing. This is probably one of the last victories I will have in racing. Thank you very much."

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