INDIANAPOLIS (February 20, 2004) -- Recently retired Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach Sr. is as much a staple in the Champ Car World Series as the familiar howl of a turbocharged V8 engine that has defined the series for so many great years. For his efforts in the sport of Champ Car racing as a pioneer, a driver and a governing figure, the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey recently announced Dallenbach as one of eight sports legends to be honored in their 12th class of inductees this fall.
As a driver, the East Brunswick, New Jersey native raced Champ Cars for 14 years before retiring from the cockpit to become one of the series' first employees when the sanctioning body was formed in the late 1970s. He drove in 180 Champ Car races from 1965-1979, winning five times in his career.
Dallenbach joined Champ Car as Competition Director in 1980 then became Chief Steward in 1981. As the Chief Steward, he was considered to be among the top five officials in the sport of auto racing in the world.
He will be enshrined in the Hall with other Garden State greats from arenas spanning MLB, the NBA, the NFL and Olympic figure skating at a dinner and induction ceremony in September.
"The nominating committee and the Board are very grateful to have such a vast collection of outstanding athletes to choose from," said Acting Chairman of the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame Bart Oates. "The depth of athletic talent in the Garden State is staggering, from baseball to auto racing, from football to figure skating, New Jersey athletes have set records, raised the bar, and made their mark in virtually every corner of the world of sports. The wide range of talents displayed by this amazing class of athletes simply underscores New Jersey's outstanding sports legacy."
In addition, Dallenbach was responsible for bringing the safety team program to Champ Car-- now known as the industry standard for motorsports safety-- and established non-denominational church services for the families and teams involved in the series.
Since the first induction ceremony in 1993, the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey has enshrined 87 legends and 13 special events. Their plaques are on permanent display in the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex where millions of people can view them and pay homage. Visit the Hall of Fame's web site at www.sportshalloffamenj.org., or call (201) 507-8134 for ticket information.