Star-Studded MSHFA Induction Celebration Adds Nine to ‘Heroes of HP’ Shrine

Star-Studded MSHFA Induction Celebration Adds Nine to ‘Heroes of HP’ Shrine

Museum/Concours

Star-Studded MSHFA Induction Celebration Adds Nine to ‘Heroes of HP’ Shrine

By

A sold-out Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 34th Induction Ceremony presented by Toyota Racing brought two full days of celebrating the Class of 2022 to a grand conclusion Tuesday night with the formal induction of the MSHFA’s nine newest members in the black tie gala at the Shores Resort & Spa.

The star power and amazing achievements of the Class of 2022 were matched only by the equally accomplished gathering of fellow racing champions, motorsports industry leaders and family and friends that came from all corners to laud and celebrate with them

The MSHFA Class of 2022 includes:

  • The designer of the 1965 World Champion Cobra Daytona Coupes, Peter Brock (Sports Cars)
  • Record-equalling four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (Open Wheel);
  • The only person in history to win NHRA Top Fuel championships as a driver and crew chief, Dick LaHaie (Drag Racing)
  • The Davidsons & Harley, founders of Harley-Davidson (Historic)
  • “The Henry Ford of race cars”—NASCAR builder Banjo Matthews (Business)
  • The first woman to receive the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, Autoweek cofounder Denise McCluggage (At Large)
  • NASCAR cofounder and championship-winning team owner Raymond Parks (Historic)
  • “The Cat in the Hat” who has masterminded more than 300 NASCAR wins, Jack Roush (Stock Cars)
  • Motorcycle racing innovators who have won NHRA, AMA Supersport and Superbike titles, two Daytona 200s and more, Terry Vance & Byron Hines (Motorcycles)

The addition of the Class of 2022’s nine inductees brings the total number of “Heroes of Horsepower” enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America to 279. Nearly two dozen previously inducted motorsports legends were among the evening’s guests while several others were proudly represented by family members.

Roger Penske (MSHFA Class of 1995) inducted his former driver Castroneves; Donnie Allison (MSHFA Class of 2011) presented his friend and teammate Matthews; and Larry Dixon, Jr. (MSHFA Class of 2021) introduced his fellow NHRA Top Fuel Champion LaHaie.

Another MSHFA inductee to take to the podium was Al Unser Jr. (MSHFA Class of 2009), the event’s Honorary Chair, who set the tone for the evening with his opening address. After asking guests to join him in a moment of silence for his father Al Unser (MSHFA Class of 1991) and his Uncle Bobby Unser (MSHFA Class of 1994), who both passed last year, Unser spoke about the pride and unique honor that comes with being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

“This Hall of Fame, in my opinion, is the most prestigious Hall of Fame in America, bar none,” Unser Jr. said. “The reason, what makes it the most prestigious in all of America, is that its not just about automobiles and motorcycles but boats and airplanes, all of it. To be elected into this Hall of Fame is a true honor, so congratulations to the Class of 2022.”

Penske pointed out one area where Castroneves stood out from the nearly 150 other drivers that have been part of Team Penske for the last 56 years.

“Thinking back, of all of our great drivers in history, none of them had as much fun, or enjoyed racing and competing at the top level in our sport (more) than Helio,” Penske said.

Similar joy was clear in nearly every presentation and acceptance speech throughout the evening and was expressed not just through laughter and humor but sometimes tears of gratitude and appreciation.

Hines, one half of the 2022 Motorcycles inductee duo with his lifelong friend and business partner Vance, emotionally thanked at the onset of his acceptance speech someone who rarely came first in his career.

“I think I told Terry last week, ‘really, our wives should be up here instead of us,'” Hines said as he acknowledged his wife of 50 years to open his comments.

Family was a theme throughout the evening. Brock was presented for induction by his wife Gayle Brock while other immediate family members that took to the stage to accept honors included Jeff LaHaie and Jody Matthews, the respective sons of posthumous inductees Dick LaHaie and Banjo Matthews. Roush was inducted by his children Susan Roush McClenaghan and Jack Roush Jr.

Additional presenters at Tuesday night’s gala included winning sports car driver and 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James for McCluggage and the longtime voice of the NHRA Alan Reinhart for Vance & Hines.

Historic inductees Parks and the Harley-Davidson founders were formally enshrined in the MSHFA in Tuesday morning’s Inductee Breakfast presented by American Honda. Three descendants of the H-D founders – Bill Davidson, Jean Davidson and Margo Blankenship – presented and accepted the honors on behalf of their ancestors.

Mike Helton, NASCAR’s Vice Chairman, presented NASCAR pioneer Parks for induction at the breakfast, an honor that was accepted by Park’s stepson Steve White.

David Hobbs (MSHFA Class of 2009) once again shined as the 34th Induction Ceremony Master of Ceremonies and was ably assisted by longtime motorsports broadcasting pro Marty Reid throughout the two-day celebration.

The MSHFA Museum at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) was the site of Monday night’s Heroes of Horsepower Reception presented by Firestone. Another sold-out event, this more casual get together was highlighted by the unveiling of the nine new inductees’ bronze plaques that will be displayed permanently in the Hall.

Additionally, this year’s packed schedule included three optional but can’t-miss events for induction guests. Monday afternoon featured a special 1985 Indianapolis 500 “Spin to Win” discussion and Q&A with race winner and 2012 MSHFA Inductee Danny Sullivan and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles. The dialogue recapped Sullivan’s 1985 victory and shared some never-before-told stories on the famous spin that didn’t stop him from winning that year’s race.

Tuesday’s added events included a visit with Donnie Allison at Daytona International Speedway that looked back on the legendary brawl in Turn 3 involving Allison, his brother Bobby Allison (MSHFA Class of 1992) and Cale Yarborough (MSHFA Class of 1994) at the end of the 1979 Daytona 500. With Hobbs hosting and guests asked to not record or video the session, Donnie Allison shared his memories and offered some private insight on the famous fight. The tour was preceded by a private visit to the NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images just outside of DIS.

Tuesday afternoon’s other highlight was a two-wheel panel discussion with some of motorcycle racing’s greatest riders in the MSHFA Induction Hospitality Suite on the top floor of the Shores. Hall of Famers Jay Springsteen (MSHFA Class of 2005), Scott Parker (MSHFA Class of 2009), Kevin Schwantz (MSHFA Class of 2019) and Chris Carr (MSHFA Class of 2020) entertained an enthusiastic and engaged crowd with numerous stories of what it was like competing back in the day.

Presented by Autoweek, a record of the complete livestream broadcast of the 34th MSHFA Induction Ceremony, including special backstage interviews, is available here:

 

For more information on the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, click HERE.

More Vintage Motorsport