Thursday, July 25, 2024

35th annual MSHFA induction ceremony attracts a luminous lineup of legends

The stars will be out and shining brightly at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) 35th Annual Induction Ceremony presented by Toyota Racing at the Shores Resort & Spa on March 7. The black-tie gala is the crowning event of a two-day celebration that will formally usher the Class of 2023 into the only all-motorsport Hall of Fame.

This year’s honorees include the Father of the Corvette and Corvette racing Zora Arkus-Duntov (Sports Cars), national champion driver and trailblazing USAC official Henry Banks (Historic), America’s most successful enduro rider, Dick Burleson (Motorcycles), air racing superstar Art Chester (Aviation), one of NASCAR’s most innovative crew chiefs, Ray Evernham (Stock Cars), early NASCAR fan favorite Fonty Flock (Historic), one of the NHRA’s 50 Greatest All-Time Drivers, Darrell Gwynn (Drag Racing), prolific land speed record-setter Ab Jenkins (Speed Records) and two men who revolutionized racetrack emergency services, saving countless lives and careers, Drs. Stephen Olvey and Terry Trammell (Open Wheel).

The Class of ‘23 luminaries will be ushered into the MSHFA by other notables, including Master of Ceremonies David Hobbs (MSHFA Class of 2009) and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti (MSHFA Class of 2019), traveling to Daytona to induct motorsports safety pioneers Olvey and Trammell who cared for him after more than one injury accident in his accomplished career.

Gwynn will be presented by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, the very first MSHFA inductee in the Drag Racing category as part of the inaugural 1989 Class, while Evernham will be presented for induction by his friend and longtime colleague and popular motorsports television pit reporter and host Matt Yocum.

Among other Hall of Famers who have already confirmed plans to attend are a member of NASCAR’s “Alabama Gang” who won more than 500 career races, Donnie Allison (MSHFA Class of 2011), three-time SCCA Formula 5000 champion Brian Redman (MSHFA Class of 2002), 11-time APBA Gold Cup winner Chip Hanauer (MSHFA Class of 1995), nine-time Baja 1000 winner Walker Evans (MSHFA Class of 2015), four-time NHRA Funny Car Champion Don “The Snake” Prudhomme (MSHFA Class of 1991), the only rider ever to win 250cc and 500cc World Championships in the same season, Freddie Spencer (MSHFA Class of 2001) Buddy Martin, half of the multi-time All-Star Drag Racing Team duo Sox & Martin (MSHFA Class of 2007), nine-time Grand National Flat Track Champion Scott Parker (MSHFA Class of 2009) and iconic motorsports ambassador and the “First Lady of Motorsports” Linda Vaughn (MSHFA Class of 2019).

The MSHFA Induction Ceremony presented by Toyota Racing, which was sold out for the Class of 2022 celebration, will be preceded on Monday, March 6, by the traditional “Heroes of Horsepower” presented by Firestone reception and strolling dinner at the MSHFA Museum on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway.

The main daytime event is the annual Inductee Breakfast on Tuesday morning, March 7, that features the formal induction of each year’s Historic inductees, which in 2023 includes Banks and Flock.

The MSHFA is housed in Daytona International Speedway’s Ticket & Tours Building located in front of the famed 2.5-mile DIS tri-oval. Access to the MSFHA museum is included with every Daytona International Speedway tour, which run throughout each day, or as a museum-only ticket. The museum is open daily 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. nearly year-round except major holidays, and is visited by more than 100,000 guests each year from every state in America and countries all over the world.

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