Chapman, Kuzma, Mccluskey to be inducted in IMS Hall Of Fame. INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 6, 2003 -- Colin Chapman, Eddie Kuzma and Roger McCluskey will posthumously assume their place among the legends of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in the...
Chapman, Kuzma, Mccluskey to be inducted in IMS Hall Of Fame.
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 6, 2003 -- Colin Chapman, Eddie Kuzma and Roger McCluskey will posthumously assume their place among the legends of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in the Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies May 16.
The Auto Racing Hall of Fame honors drivers, car owners, mechanics and event officials who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of the sport of open-wheel racing.
The ceremonies will take place in conjunction with the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club Banquet/Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions in the Hall of Champions banquet room at the Adam's Mark Indianapolis Airport Hotel.
Chapman's tenure as a car owner at the Speedway was relatively short in comparison to other legends of the Speedway, but his influence was immeasurable and changed the sport of open-wheel racing forever.
London-born Chapman was a spectator at the 1962 Indianapolis 500 at the invitation of legendary driver/owner Dan Gurney but returned in 1963 with his own radical car: a light-weight, rear-engine Lotus chassis powered by a Ford engine. The car was based on Formula One technology of the day and featured F1 World Champion-to-be Jim Clark of Scotland as the driver.
Chapman and Clark had nearly unparalleled success at IMS in a span of three years by finishing second in the "500" in their first attempt in 1963, scoring the pole in 1964 and dominating "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 1965 by leading 190 laps and taking the victory. It was the first "500" win by a rear-engine car and the dawn of a new era in the annals of Speedway technology and history. Chapman passed away in December 1982.
Chassis builder Kuzma created two Indianapolis 500-winning cars, one for Troy Ruttman in 1952 and also for Mario Andretti in 1969. While there is no greater achievement in racing than winning the "500," Kuzma's car-building expertise produced 60 major AAA series and USAC Championship car race wins from 1951-69, including the Hoosier 100 eight times. Jimmy Bryan won three national titles in Kuzma-built cars.
Other drivers who won AAA or USAC races in Kuzma cars include "500" winners Bill Vukovich, Bob Sweikert, Pat O'Connor and Parnelli Jones, and also driving legends Tony Bettenhausen, Eddie Sachs and Jim Hurtubise.
McCluskey proved his motorsports mettle as a driver and racing official. He started his racing career in 1947 in Arizona stock-car racing but gained fame by winning the USAC national sprint car title twice (1963, 1966), the national stock car championship in consecutive years (1969-70) and the USAC National Championship in 1973.
McCluskey competed in every Indianapolis 500 from 1961-79 except for 1964, due to a sprint car-related injury, and scored a career-best finish of third in 1973.
He won five USAC national championship events, including the 1972 Ontario (Calif.) 500. After winning the 1979 Milwaukee 200, McCluskey retired from driving to become USAC's vice president and director of competition. He passed away in August 1993 at age 63.
The Oldtimers Club Banquet/Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. (EST). Dinner will be served at 7:30 with the program following immediately.