DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2015) – The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America announced today that Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC will serve as presenting sponsor of its annual induction ceremony for the next three years, beginning with the 28th annual ceremony on Wednesday, June 29 at Daytona International Speedway.
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.
"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."
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.
In 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.
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.
American 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.
MSHFA Class of 1990
4-time Top Fuel World Champion