Irwindale hosts HoF induction ceremonies

Irwindale, Calif. - - "We consider it a great honor to be asked to host the 2000 induction ceremonies for the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame," said Irwindale Speedway's VP/COO Bob DeFazio, "It's a great privilege for Irwindale Speedway...

Irwindale, Calif. - - "We consider it a great honor to be asked to host the 2000 induction ceremonies for the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame," said Irwindale Speedway's VP/COO Bob DeFazio, "It's a great privilege for Irwindale Speedway to take part in such a worthy activity. The people who have been recognized by the Hall of Fame are heroes to all of us. It's particularly appropriate that the induction ceremonies take place here at the Speedway on the afternoon of the sixtieth running of the classic Turkey Night Grand Prix, an event that virtually all of the NMR Hall of Fame members competed in."

The Home Depot will be the sponsor of the traditional 100-lap, USAC-sanctioned race; the nationwide home improvement chain lending its name to the event's title. Arguably the most prestigious of all midget auto racing events, and the longest-running; its list of winners and top five finishers reads like a "Who's Who?" of American racing greatness.

Being honored at Irwindale with Hall of Fame membership are: drivers Ken Brenneman, Johnny Baldwin, Roy Russing, and car owner Jack London. All of the honorees were Californians so it's particularly fitting that their induction ceremonies be staged in the Golden State. The late Roy Russing is a double Turkey Night Grand Prix winner with wins in 1940 and 41 at the legendary Gilmore Stadium in Hollywood.

A special luncheon, set to honor all Turkey Night champions, had already been in the works at Irwindale Speedway for the afternoon of November 23. "We felt that the sixtieth running would be an excellent time to gather all of the winners together here at Irwindale to honor their contribution to the sport," DeFazio explained. "Adding the 2000 National Midget Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies to the pre-race festivities brings additional prestige to this enduring event."

This also marks the first time ever that the Turkey Night Grand Prix will be seen on national television. ESPN2 will be on site on Thanksgiving night to capture all the racing action and present the race to fans on the following Sunday evening (Nov. 26).

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