New Hall of Fame inductees
New Hall of Fame inductees
With the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America set to move to Daytona International Speedway, the latest round of inductees was announced today at the Rolex 24.
Currently located in Detroit, the facility will relocate to Daytona in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The move coincides with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the speedway’s $400 million frontstretch renovation project currently underway. The Hall of Fame will occupy the facility formerly known as the “Daytona 500 Experience.”
The new inductees announced today include 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.
“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.
“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.”
Vehicles and artifacts representative of the diversity of motorized competition celebrated by the Hall of Fame, including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats, will be exhibited as a regular part of the tours admission at Daytona International Speedway all year long.
“I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” Carmichael said.
“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.”