ARMSTRONG, CHITWOOD, KULWICKI, McGRATH, SQUIER, TITUS & VOGLER TO BE INDUCTED INTO MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME DETROIT, MI -- Racing luminaries Dale Armstrong, Joie Chitwood, Alan Kulwicki, Jeremy McGrath, Ken Squier, Jerry Titus and Rich Vogler...
ARMSTRONG, CHITWOOD, KULWICKI, McGRATH, SQUIER, TITUS & VOGLER TO BE INDUCTED INTO MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME
DETROIT, MI -- Racing luminaries Dale Armstrong, Joie Chitwood, Alan Kulwicki, Jeremy McGrath, Ken Squier, Jerry Titus and Rich Vogler will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Aug.25, 2010 at The Fillmore Detroit.
"The Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 features champion drivers who doubled as an innovative crew chief, a showman and stunt man, a race team owner and a magazine editor. Joining them are an all-time win leader in sprint cars and midgets, a ground breaking broadcaster and a legendary Supercross rider whose nickname was 'Showtime'. Their exploits on and around the race tracks of America make them true hall of famers," said Ron Watson, president of the Hall of Fame.
Dale Armstrong Credited with numerous innovations in drag racing technology, Armstrong was the first crew chief to use wind tunnels for improved aerodynamics. This mechanical genius tuned Kenny Bernstein to four consecutive Funny Car championships in 1985-1988, plus a total of 28 national event wins. Later, with Bernstein in the Top Fuel division, he became the first crew chief to break the 300 MPH barrier. The 1996 Top Fuel title placed Armstrong among the elite crew chiefs to have won championships in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. Armstrong had an outstanding driving career himself, winning 12 NHRA National events in the 1970s.
Joie Chitwood - Known as "The Chief," Chitwood had two successful careers; one as a racer and another as a world-renowned stuntman. He was the AAA East Coast Sprint Car Champion in 1939 and 1940. He was the CSRA Sprint Car Champion in 1942. He raced at Indianapolis seven times, placing 5th on three occasions. He was the first driver to wear a seat belt at the Brickyard. His popular and long-running Joie Chitwood Thrill Show led to stunt work in motion pictures and television. Chitwood died in 1988.
Alan Kulwicki - Hard working and fiercely independent, he worked his way up from the short tracks of the Midwest to become the first owner/driver since Richard Petty in 1979 to win the NASCAR Cup championship when he dramatically captured the title in 1992. The NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1986, Kulwicki inaugurated the "Polish Victory Lap" when he celebrated by circling the track clockwise after he won for the first time at Phoenix in 1988. Kulwicki died in April 1993, during his reign as NASCAR champion, when his plane crashed en route to a race in Bristol, Tenn. Jeremy McGrath - This native Californian became the most popular motorcycle racer of the 1990s and perhaps all time. From 1993 until his retirement in 2002, McGrath obliterated every record in AMA Supercross racing en route to eight national championships. His unique crowd pleasing riding maneuvers, while leaping the high-flying jumps of Supercross, helped launch the sport of freestyle motocross. His tremendous fan appeal gave impetus to the rapid growth of Supercross, but his popularity transcended the sport. McGrath appeared regularly on national television shows and commercials, along with starring in video games that topped the sales charts during his reign as the "King of Supercross."
Ken Squier - The owner of the voice that introduced millions to stock car racing began his career as a track announcer in the 1950s. While owning radio stations that formed the Radio Vermont Group, he acquired the Thunder Road track in Barre, Vt., and later became the lead voice of the Motor Racing Network providing NASCAR coverage on national radio. He was one an ABC motorsports announcer in 1964 before moving to CBS for the first flag-to-flag live coverage of the Daytona 500 in 1979. His call of that historic event is credited by many to have been a major contributor to a significant growth spurt for the phenomenal popularity of NASCAR. He still plies his trade as a commentator on the FOX Network.
Jerry Titus - During the 1960s, the glory days of Trans Am racing, Titus was one of the series dominant drivers. His five wins in 1967 won the championship and the manufacturers trophy for Ford. He placed third in points in 1968 and 1969. An accomplished writer and editor of Sports Car Graphic Magazine, Titus was killed in a racing crash at Road America in 1970. Titus' name is remembered annually by the America Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association when it presents its choice for driver of the year with the "Jerry Titus Memorial Award."
Rich Vogler - In 1980, Vogler became the first driver to capture both the USAC sprint and midget titles in the same season. He also won the midget crown in 1978, 1983, 1986 and 1988. He won additional sprint car titles in 1980 and 1989. A five-time Indy 500 qualifier, Voglers best showing was an 8th place finish in 1989. His record of 134 national event wins in various divisions of United States Auto Club competition ranks second behind only Inaugural Hall of Fame inductee A.J. Foyt. Vogler's last victory came when, at age 39, he lost his life in an accident on the final lap while in the lead of a sprint car race at Salem Speedway in his home state of Indiana.
Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased online at www.mshf.com or by calling 248-349- RACE (7223).
The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. Currently housed in the Detroit Science Center in the Motor Citys Museum District, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America features the sculptures and stories of 181 Heroes of Horsepower along with racing and high performance vehicles representing the broad spectrum of America motorsports. The constantly changing collection features racers from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, motorcycles, drag racing, Can Am, sprint cars, powerboats, truck racing, karts, aviation and even snowmobiles.
About the Detroit Science Center
The Detroit Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires its visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering, technology and science. The Science Center features five theaters, including Michigans only Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre, the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium, the Toyota Engineering Theater, the DTE Energy Sparks Theater and the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,000 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; the United States Steel Fun Factory; an exhibit gallery just for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby. For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website, www.detroitsciencecenter.org.
-source: Motorsports Hall of Fame of America