The first dual-celebration in the 33-year history of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) brings out an unprecedented gathering of motorsports legends, with both the postponed 2020 class and the newly selected 2021 class set for induction just days apart in a week-long celebration of motorsports in Pontiac, Mich., September 27-29.
The 32nd and 33rd annual MSHFA Induction Celebrations Presented by Firestone will be held in the brand-new Event Center at M1 Concourse in Michigan, an exclusive community of more than 250 secure private garages set along the 1.5-mile Champion Motor Speedway. The 2020 class will be inducted in a ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 27, while the 2021 class will officially join the MSHFA in a Wednesday, September 29 celebration that begins at 6 p.m. EDT. An epic Heroes of Horsepower event at The Henry Ford Museum takes place on the day between ceremonies.
“Because of COVID-19, we had to postpone the Class of 2020 induction originally scheduled for March 2020,” MSHFA President George Levy said. “So, we’re doing an induction ‘doubleheader’ this year honoring the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at M1 Concourse in Michigan in September.”
The MSHFA will return to its normal March induction schedule in Daytona Beach next year with the Class of 2022.
The MSHFA’s version of a Dual in Detroit, the two classes mean twice as many members of racing’s royalty will be descending on M1 Concourse during American Speed Festival Week. It will be one of the greatest concentrations of motorsports legends in one location in the history of the sport.
“All of us at M1 Concourse welcome the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and all the new Hall of Fame inductees to Michigan for these very special events,” Tim McGrane, CEO, M1 Concourse said. “We believe our new event center at M1 Concourse will be an ideal location for these induction ceremonies, and we can’t think of a more perfect way to launch the inaugural American Speed Festival than to welcome some of the greatest names in motorsport history to our facility.”
The MSHFA Class of 2020 includes NASCAR’s first-ever champion Robert “Red” Byron (Historic), 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, one of NASCAR’s most successful owners (Stock Cars), Daytona 500 champion Tiny Lund (Historic), 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).
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), 2006 MotoGP World Champion “Kentucky Kid” Nicky Hayden (Motorcycles), 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).
Each of the MSHFA’s inductees is elected by a straight vote among 200 motorsports experts — half of them inductees themselves. Regular voters include Mario Andretti, Tom D’Eath, Chip Ganassi, Don Garlits, Hurley Haywood, Parnelli Jones, Scott Parker, Richard Petty, the Unsers, Don Prudhomme and other titans of the sport.
In between the two induction ceremonies on Monday, Sept. 27 (Class of 2020) and Wednesday, Sept. 29 (Class of 2021) will be a combined Heroes of Horsepower event for both classes at The Henry Ford, where in addition to plaque unveilings and a strolling dinner, guests will get an exclusive tour of the acclaimed new exhibit Driven to Win: Racing in America Presented by General Motors.
The event will be held at M1 Concourse as part of American Speed Festival week after five straight induction ceremonies in the MSHFA’s new home in Daytona Beach, Fla. The MSHFA moved to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in 2016, from Novi, Mich. The Hall is housed in the Speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building located in front of the famed 2.5-mile DIS tri-oval. Induction ceremonies for the Class of 2022 will return to the MSHFA’s Daytona Beach home next March.
The week’s calendar also includes the annual Heritage Inductee Luncheon on Tuesday. The four Historic inductees, two from each class, will be ushered into the MSHFA as a featured highlight of the daytime celebration.
M1 Concourse is also the location later that week of the 1st Annual American Speed Festival, where Jim Hall (MSHFA class of 1994) is receiving the Speed Festival’s first Masters of Motorsports Award. More information on the American Speed Festival can be found at www.americanspeedfestival.com.
— Motorsports Hall of Fame of America —