Seven For ‘16: Brashear, Childress, Gabelich, Ganassi, McClelland, Posey, Sweikert to be Inducted Into Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America on Wednesday Night
A monumental week for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) is on tap, highlighted by Wednesday night’s 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone at The Shores Resort & Spa.
Wednesday will mark the first induction ceremony in Daytona Beach for the MSHFA, which has relocated to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) from Novi, Michigan. The new hall facility, located in the Speedway’s expansive Ticket and Tours Building, will host the annual “Heroes of Horsepower Reception” on Tuesday night; this year’s seven new inductees will be honored with the unveiling of their respective bronze busts to be displayed perpetually in the hall.
Also on Wednesday, the Inductee Lunch Hosted By Toyota will be held in the Toyota Injector area in the Speedway’s new motorsports stadium design resulting from the $400 million DAYTONA Rising renovation project completed prior to this racing season.
All three events have been sold out.
On Sunday, the MSHFA will open to the public for the first time, with hall visits included as part of all Daytona International Speedway fan tours.
The events are all part of the annual Independence Day weekend celebration in the community and at the Speedway that includes Saturday night’s tradition-rich NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
2016 MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented By Bridgestone
The 230-person MSHFA inductee role honors all forms of motorsports: motorcycles, stock cars, sports cars, open-wheel, drag racing, land speed records, powerboating, off-road and aviation racing. This year’s class reflects that philosophy. The lineup:
- Everett Brashear – One of the top AMA dirt-track motorcycle racers of all-time, Brashear won a total of 15 AMA nationals between1952-1960. … After exiting from competition, Brashear immersed himself in other areas of the motorcycle industry, working for Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Yamaha and Kawasaki. … In all, he spent 47 years in the industry. … Brashear was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Richard Childress – Childress’ remarkable career evolved from being a struggling stock car racer to becoming one of the premier owners in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, winning six championships with 2002 MSHFA inductee Dale Earnhardt (1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93, ’94). … Has 14 championships in NASCAR national series competition, second-best all time. … His drivers have won the DAYTONA 500 twice and the Brickyard 400 three times.
- Gary Gabelich – Gabelich chased speed records on both land and water during a brief but mercurial competitive career for the former Apollo test astronaut. … In 1969, Gabelich established a quarter-mile Drag Boat record of 200.44 mph (323 km/h). … A year later, driving the “Blue Flame” he set FIA Land Speed Records of 622.407 mph (1,001.667 km/h) over a flying mile and 630.388 mph (1,014.511 km/h) over a flying kilometer at the Bonneville Salt Flats. … His competitive career ended after a 1972 accident in an experimental Funny Car. ... He died in 1984 due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
- Chip Ganassi – Ganassi is the only car owner to have won the DAYTONA 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Brickyard 400. Between February 2010 and January 2011, his drivers swept those four events, giving him an unprecedented “Grand Slam” in America’s major auto races. … Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and more than 170 races. His open-wheel teams have amassed 11 championships and more than 100 victories – including five in the Indianapolis 500. His NASCAR teams have 17 victories including a DAYTONA 500 victory, and have twice qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. His sports car teams have a record six Rolex 24 At Daytona victories to complement their seven Rolex Sports Car Series championships. … Earlier this month, he added a LMGTE Pro class championship at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. … Before becoming one of the most successful team owners in American racing history, Ganassi raced himself, competing in the Indianapolis 500 five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983.
- Dave McClelland – Known as “The Voice of the NHRA”, McClelland is one of the most legendary voices in all of motorsports and certainly the most legendary in the history of drag racing. But his face is very recognizable, too, thanks to his years of NHRA-related work on ESPN, SPEED and The Nashville Network. … His background also includes a stint as a race track executive followed by a successful run as NHRA publicity and public relations director. … He has been recognized with a number of awards during his career including the 2013 Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented annually to pioneers in the hot rod and restoration industry.
- Sam Posey – Posey has excelled both on the race track and in the broadcast booth, in the process becoming one of this country’s most recognizable and respected motorsports personalities. … Posey raced in Can-Am, Trans-Am, Indy Car, sports cars, Formula One and NASCAR competition. … He raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 10 times, finishing in the top 10 five times, with a best finish of third in 1971. … After leaving competition he became an ABC commentator in 1974 and now works for NBC Sports Network on Formula One coverage and has written numerous well-regarded books and magazine articles on motorsports subjects.
- Bob Sweikert – Los Angeles native Sweikert had a season for the ages in 1955, winning the Indianapolis 500, the AAA “Big Car” National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Championship, becoming the first driver to sweep all three honors in a single season. … Sweikert was the first driver to exceed 100 mph on a one-mile oval track. … His career was halted at the age of 30, his full potential unrealized, when he died in June 1956 after a Sprint Car accident at Salem (Indiana) Speedway. … He was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1994 and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1995.
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.