namars: Indianapolis Speedrome Hall of Fame induction

A time for old friends and new heroes this past weekend as the Indianapolis Speedrome inducted former news director Al Stilley as our 20th member of the Speedrome Hall of Fame. Thursday, July 19 - The NAMARS Midget program has become the ...

A time for old friends and new heroes this past weekend as the Indianapolis Speedrome inducted former news director Al Stilley as our 20th member of the Speedrome Hall of Fame.

Thursday, July 19 - The NAMARS Midget program has become the premier site for the young lions of open wheel racing to shine. Noblesville's Bobby East and Billy Wease and Donnellsville, Ohio's Teddy Beach went 1-2-3 for the Feature event over a 24-car field. None of the three is yet legal to vote for anything more than prom queen.

Friday, July 20 - Indianapolis's Billy George proved there's plenty of life in the 40-year veteran by besting a full track of 18 Modifieds in the 50-Lap Main. Points leader Jim Begley of Greenwood suffered suspension damage just past halfway and wrestled the car for 20 laps finally surrendering to the inevitable and dropping out with three laps left to go. Begley's boggle dropped him to third in a tight points battle and elevated Indy's Billy Boyer to the top spot. A strong run from Mooresville's Ed Black held points leader Doug Greig at bay for most of the race but the former Legend Car champ is due to his title in the class. The Roadrunner features went to Bill Fortner and Jerry Givens with James Robertson claiming the Bandolero main and Oza Hoosier winning in the Bomber Figure-8 class.

Saturday, July 21 - The 20th Annual Speedrome Hall of Fame ceremonies and Sonny Thompson Memorial Figure-8 were almost a wash as Mother Nature cut loose with a downpour about 30 minutes into the program. Good drainage and a lot of help from the Roadrunner drivers got the show on the road after scratching the preliminaries. New Whiteland's Steve Prine captured a fan favorite win in the 25-lap oval feature for the Late Models. The hearing-impaired driver has consistently been one of the most popular at the track especially with his competitors and Prine received a standing ovation from the pit stands. Bruce Tunny displayed his mastery of the figure-8 as he took the 100-Lap Sonny Thompson Memorial Figure-8 over a hard-charging R. J. Norton, Jr. Chris "Ol Pappy" Shrum claimed his career first win in the Stock division after a season of hard runs and tough luck. Jerry Givens and newlywed Casey Victery snagged wins in the Roadrunners.

Longtime News Director Al Stilley was inducted to the Indianapolis Speedrome hall of Fame in a mid-event ceremony with 2000 recipient Bob Clark, Ronnie Thompson, son of inaugural inductee Sonny Thompson, and the Stilley family. Stilley was honored for his 20+ years of service to the Speedrome and his 30+ years to the racing community.

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INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDROME HALL OF FAME MEMBERS 1982 - Sonny Thompson (posthumously) - Driver; 5-time track champion 1983 - Sexson Brothers (posthumously) - original builders/owners of the Speedrome; Burl, Earl and Troy Sexson 1984 - Darel Dieringer (dec) - Driver; Speedrome regular in the '50's with 11 NASCAR Grand National wins 1985 - Frank Emberton (dec) - Driver; 18-year veteran; 4-time track champion 1986 - Jack Lee - Driver; 3-time champion; 10 years in top 5 1987 - Forrest Halliburton - Driver; 20-year veteran; winner of the 1966 National Figure-8 Championship in Islip, NY 1988 - C.J. Rigdon (dec) - Driver & Chief Steward; 27-year veteran 1989 - Kenny St. John - Driver; 5-time World Champion in the 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race; two track championships 1990 - Billy Arnold (dec) - Driver; 39-year veteran and arguably one of the best-known Speedrome drivers of all-time 1991 - Harold Bennett (dec) - Driver; 18-year veteran 1992 - Jake Cohen - Sponsor & Car owner; 40-year veteran 1993 - Leroy Wariner - Track owner & Midget driver 1994 - Dewey and Thelma (dec) Burgess - Track officials/employees; 40-year veterans 1995 - Wayne Arnold - Driver; 5-time track champion; 3-time World Figure-8 Champion 1996 - Joe Simpson - Car owner, sponsor, driver; 30-year veteran 1997 - Bobby Long (posthumously) & Carl Hall - Track officials 1998 - Marshall Emberton Sr.(dec) - Driver; 2-time track champion 1999 - Jim Fox - Driver; 1977 track champion and winner of the Inaugural World Championship 3-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race 2000 - Bob Clark - Mechanic/crew chief - 20-year veteran 2001 - Al Stilley - News Director - 20-year veteran

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About this article
Series Midget , Stock car
Drivers Teddy Beach , Billy Wease