The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) added an impressive list of new inductees to its renowned all-star racing roster in Monday’s 32nd annual Induction Celebration presented by Firestone inside Pontiac, Michigan’s M1 Concourse.
The Class of 2020 induction in the brand new M1 Event Center was postponed from March 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic, but those in attendance agreed it was well worth the wait. The Class of 2021, meanwhile, was inducted Wednesday, Sept. 29, night in another gala celebration presented by Firestone at the same facility.
On Monday, Master of Ceremonies David Hobbs (MSHFA Class of 2009) kicked off the induction celebration, introducing flat-track impresario Chris Carr (Motorcycles); early motorcycle racer, promoter and publisher Floyd Clymer (At Large); driver, official and safety advocate Wally Dallenbach, Sr. (Open Wheel); Rick Hendrick, NASCAR’s winningest car owner (Stock Cars); Can-Am and Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Jacky Ickx (Sports Cars); quarter-mile racing legend “Ohio George” Montgomery (Drag Racing); and multi-time Baja 1000 and SCORE Champion Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (Off Road).
In addition, NASCAR’s first-ever champion Robert “Red” Byron (Historic) and Daytona 500 champion Tiny Lund (Historic) were enshrined into the MSHFA Class of 2020 during Tuesday’s Inductee Heritage Brunch. Hershel McGriff (MSHFA Class of 2006) accepted on behalf of both men.
“The motorsports community is an unbelievable family,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles, who presented Clymer on Monday. “These are awesome moments to be with such awesome people.”
Among the other presenters were Linda Vaughn (MSHFA Class of 2019) for Montgomery, car owner Chip Ganassi (MSHFA Class of 2016) for Dallenbach and Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson for Stewart. Hurley Haywood (MSHFA Class of 2005) presented and accepted for Ickx.
“What a special night,” Wilson said. “I believe other than the Armed Services, there may be no other vocation that bonds colleagues and teammates like racing does. The parallels are obvious – high expectations, enormous pressure, immense physical and mental stress, and of course, the element of danger.”
This was the first induction ceremony without Founding President Ron Watson, who was a driving force behind the establishment of the MSHFA. Watson passed away on Oct. 27, 2019 and was remembered in a memorial video tribute at the opening of the evening’s program.
On Wednesday night, drag racer Leah Pruett presided, with Hobbs again the award ceremony emcee assisted by Marty Reid.
The MSHFA Class of 2021 includes one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Davey Allison (Stock Cars); three-time land speed record holder John Cobb (Historic); three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion, Larry Dixon Jr. (Drag Racing); Indy and NASCAR trailblazer Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel); and 2006 MotoGP World Champion “Kentucky Kid” Nicky Hayden (Motorcycles).
In addition the MSHFA will immortalize legendary Indy correspondent Robin Miller (Media); seven consecutive APBA Gold Cup winner Fran Muncey (Powerboats); multi-time USAC and NASCAR champion Ray Nichels (Historic); and world class timer/scorer Judy Stropus (Sports Cars).
Veteran journalist Miller was presented his award during an August racing weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sadly, he passed away two weeks later after a battle with cancer.
For more information, including ticket purchases, log onto www.mshf.com.