Eligibility for induction into
the Motorsports Hall of Fame is extended to any person who has
driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained,
prepared or promoted motorized vehicles in pursuit of speed,
distance or other records. An inductee must have been retired
for at least three years or must have been engaged at the top
level of his or her area of motorsports for at least 20 years.
Inductees are characterized by their desire to win, mastery of
their field and the courage to innovate.
A panel of historians, retired
competitors, journalists, and prior living inductees vote for
the final selections. Each inductee receives the Hall of Fame's
prestigious "Horsepower" award -- an original bronze
statuette created by Ann Arbor, Michigan sculptor Michael Curtis.
Hurley Haywood, three-time
winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, five-time winner of the Daytona
24-Hour race and the first to win Le Mans and Daytona in the
same year. He joins his long-time racing partner, Peter Gregg,
who was inducted in 2000.
Tommy Ivo played a major
role in drag racings formative years. He set the early
standard for showmanship in the straight-line sport with his
glass-enclosed transporter and multiple-engine dragsters. A fierce
and skilled competitor, Ivo focused his career not on sanctioned
series, but upon the mainstay of the era one-on-one challenges
with the sports biggest names. He went on to become one
of the most popular and successful match racers in history. He
first attracted attention because of his role as Haywood Botts,
the boyfriend in the "Margie" television series.
Danny Foster, unlimited
powerboat racing's first post-World War II superstar and winner
of the 1947 and 1948 Gold Cup races. Driving Miss Pepsi IV and
Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII, he won 14 races and two national championships.
Jay Springsteen, motorcycle
racing's youngest grand national champion in 1976 at 19 and still
competing today. Springsteen also won AMA titles in 1977 and
John Holman and Ralph
Moody, car owners and builders associated with Ford. Their cars
won 93 NASCAR races in 366 starts between 1957 and 1973.
Troy Ruttman, the 1965
Indianapolis 500 winner at 22, still the youngest winner. He
also won the 1951 and '52 Pacific Coast sprint car titles and
the 1947 and '48 CRA roadster championships.
The nine will join 126 already
enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Novi, Mich.
Tom in front of the State Theater
before the ceremony with 30 years of racing history.
The theater and dias
were equally impressive.
Don Garlits, a sitting
member, inducted Tom.
Lot's of waving the arms
around when you getting a Ivo war story!
Tom - doing what Tom
does best - "Ivo'izing the audience".
Boy that was a WOW'er! I wish
something like could happen to everyone once in their life time.
I thought I had some pretty good experiences before this. But
there just isn't any words to explain what it means to me. AND
--- it was Murphy's law deal from start to finish. But when all's
well that end's well. How sweet it is!
I had laryngitis for several
weeks before the event and they tried everything including steroids
with little success. I was actually still a little horse right
up to the point that I started talking at the podium. But a lot
of adrenaline and a little horse power behind my voice did the
trick. It really didn't help that every time they would announce
a different CEO or Andretti type person was in the audience ---
the lump in my throat got bigger as well. <grin>
I opened up my shoe sack for the tux, it had one round toed shoe
and one pointed type and it went down hill from there. Benny
Parsons father passed away the night Before the event and so
he didn't attend. That put me in place for the last speaker.
A nice honor, but I'm no NASCAR commentator. So instead of giving
a speech, I gave a "performance". Really risky -- but
it worked! They'll remember TV Tom!
Plus Big Daddy was really kind
to me and did a great job of inducting me ----- yupp ----- Big
Daddy actually said nice things about me. Well --- he was talking
about my acting, and said I was "All right" with a
question mark. But he's right, so what can I say!!! Here are
a few photos from the program, and they made a poster of the
cover! Also a few random shots.
With the one of me at the front
glass door of the HOF, it's kind of hard to see because of it
being the same color as the wall. But if you look close right
above the door you can see my name --- nice placement, huh? That
wall if about 300 feet long and 30 feet high and full of "Hero's
of Horsepower" as they call them, names. The second inside
wall is photos and bio's of the inductees. Jim Kelly who went
with me on tour on year, to England in 64, and Hawaii when we
match raced McEwen fly in to meet me there and added a lot of
fun to it. Anyone who knows him, knows he got a great since of
humor. Plus he's a Photographer ---- I mean ---- how bad is that?
I just can't tell you how special
this is to me ---- especially at my age now --- it means just
so much more! It just doubled all the fun times of my life to
have this happen.
The five living 2005
Past and new inductees
And then came Linda!
Garlits and Ivo post
Tom, Ned Jarrett and
Tom and Mario Andretti
famed motorsports photographer, Jim Kelly.
Hall of Fame
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