MSHFA Riding Momentum of 2018 Induction Ceremony
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 27, 2018) – The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA), still basking in the success of its milestone 30th Annual Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone, is approaching the rest of the year riding considerable momentum with support from the motorsports industry, the Daytona Beach area and the media.
The March 13 ceremony, held for the third consecutive year at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach – but for the first time, in the spring – attracted a near-capacity crowd which witnessed the expansion of the MSHFA inductee list to 244. The ceremony started and ended in style – the incomparable Mario Andretti, a 1990 MSHFA inductee, gave the evening’s keynote address as the Hall’s Honorary Chairman; four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon was the seventh and final inductee and gave an enthusiastic acceptance speech, noting that “getting to sit next to Mario Andretti” at the head table during the night was a special thrill.
“The whole evening was a thrill,” said MSHFA President Ron Watson, talking about the program that also inducted drag racing car builder John Buttera, Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl Fisher, aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, motorcycle great Fred Merkel, legendary IndyCar team owner U.E. “Pat” Patrick and sports car great Bob Tullius.
The MSHFA induction committee is recommending to the organization’s board of directors that the 2019 induction ceremony events will be held on March 11-12, with the ceremony itself on March 12 at a site still to be determined. The induction ceremony has been held in Daytona Beach since 2016 following the hall’s relocation from Novi, Michigan.
This year’s induction ceremony moved from its previous midsummer date, with great success – and great synergy with the motorsports industry. The ceremony was part of a busy motorsports schedule in Central Florida in early March. In addition to the Bike Week At DAYTONA activities, there were IndyCars in St. Petersburg, IMSA sports cars at Sebring, the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville and the Concours D-Elegance in Amelia Island.
Media turnout reflected that synergy. The induction ceremony was covered by both regional and national outlets, including WOFL-FOX in Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Grassroots Motorsports magazine, NASCAR Wire Service, IMSA Wire Service and Autoweek magazine.
“Since our move, both timings for the ceremony have worked out very well,” Watson said. “That gives us some flexibility as we look to the future, but we have considerable momentum within our organization to stick with the spring dates. In addition, the Shores has been a fantastic host, but we are exploring other possible venues for the ceremony, as we always do.”
In addition to the induction ceremony, there were three ancillary events this year: on March 12, the Inductee Luncheon Presented by Chevrolet at the DAYTONA 500 Club in the Daytona International Speedway infield and that night’s Heroes of Horsepower Reception Presented by Pirelli at the MSHFA facility located in speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building; and on the morning of March 13, the Inductee Luncheon Presented by Toyota was held in the Rolex 24 Lounge in the speedway’s stadium.
“The bottom line is that this year’s 30th Annual Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone lived up to billing, and has given us a nice boost in visibility, both locally and nationally,” Watson said. “We eagerly look to what the rest of 2018 will bring for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.”
About the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America:
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) held its first induction ceremony in 1989; the facility was headquartered in Novi, Michigan from 1989-2015 and relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida in 2016. The MSHFA is the only hall of fame that encompasses the full spectrum of American motorsports: cars, motorcycles, off-road, powerboats and airplanes. The overriding mission of the MSHFA is to celebrate and instill the American core values of leadership, creativity, originality, teamwork and spirit of competition embodied in motorsports. The MSHFA is operated by the nonprofit Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc.