AARWBA Legends in Racing announced

Two of the most renown car owners at the Indianapolis 500, one of Indy's most popular drivers, and a drag racing legend have been elected to the Class of 2000 in Legends in Racing, the hall of fame of the American Auto Racing Writers and ...

Two of the most renown car owners at the Indianapolis 500, one of Indy's most popular drivers, and a drag racing legend have been elected to the Class of 2000 in Legends in Racing, the hall of fame of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Topping all candidates in the voting was Eddie Sachs, who was followed in the totals by John Zink, Roger Penske and Don Prudhomme, although each was elected from a separate category. This year's balloting increased the number of individuals enshrined in Legends in Racing to 116. Each of the four so dominated his category in the 2000 vote, completed August 17, that "Rule Two" of the balloting procedure was never invoked. "Rule Two" provides for one top candidate to be elected when the balloting is so even that no nominee achieves the required vote minimum (provided that individual exceeds a specified lesser percentage). Eddie Sachs, elected from the Historic Era (last active more than 30 years ago, 1969 and earlier), surpassed the 60% vote requirement by 24 votes in his first ballot appearance. The affable Eddie put himself in the middle of the front row as a rookie in 1957, started No. 2 again in 1959, then won the pole for the 1960 and 1961 runnings of the Brickyard classic. He looked to have the '61 race won when he had to pit with three laps to go to replace a tire worn to the cord. Sachs won eight races in his Champcar career, including four at the old Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. He also was the 1958 Midwest Sprint Car Champion. Sachs died in a fiery crash on the second lap of the 1964 Indy 500. John Zink's career straddled the transition from the American Automobile Association to the U.S. Auto Club as the sanctioning body for Champcars. Also making his first appearance on the ballot, Zink was elected in the Historic Era/Non-Driver category by a margin almost double that of any other candidate. His John Zink Specials won Indy in 1955 with Bob Sweikert, the last year of AAA sanction, and again in 1956 with Pat Flaherty, USAC's first year as a sanctioning body. With Sweikert, the Zink team also won the 1955 National Championship, and another was won in 1958 with Tony Bettenhausen. Others who drove for him included Jud Larson, Troy Ruttman, Jack Brabham, Dan Gurney, Jim McElreath, Lloyd Ruby, and Jim Rathmann, who drove the John Zink Special to victory in the 1958 Race of Two Worlds at Monza, Italy. Zink also had a brief career as an off-road driver in the '70s, winning the Mexican 500, Cobra 300 and Parker 400. Roger Penske's career as a car owner is still ongoing - he achieved his 100th Champcar victory this year, the winningest car owner in Champcar history - but his involvement has reached far beyond that. Elected in the Modern Era/Non-Driver category, he was the only candidate of 10 to exceed the 70 percent requirement, in just his second ballot appearance. Penske began as a fine driver in his own right, a four-time SCCA National Champion and Sports Illustrated's 1961 Driver of the Year. With Mark Donohue and George Follmer driving, his teams won four Trans-Am and two Can-Am championships. Donohue gave him the first of 10 Indy 500 triumphs. In NASCAR Winston Cup he ran an AMC Matador for Bobby Allison (when the series was known as Grand National) and presently co-owns the Rusty Wallace team. Penske was a prime mover in the creation of both the International Race of Champions and Champion Auto Racing Teams. His drivers also have included John Watson, Rick Mears, Bobby and Al Unser, Tom Sneva, Danny Sullivan, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., and this year Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves. They have won him nine USAC or CART championships. He also has or had ownership interests in several major tracks including Michigan, Nazareth, Homestead and the new California Speedway in Fontana. Don Prudhomme won four consecutive NHRA Funny Car championships from 1975 to 1978, and retired in 1994 with 49 NHRA National victories - 35 in Funny Cars and 14 in Top Fuel. "The Snake" was elected in the Modern Era driver category by just two votes over the 70 percent minimum in his 12th time on the ballot. It would have been his last regular ballot appearance had he not won election this year. Prudhomme was a multi-time winner of all of NHRA's premier races, including seven times at the U.S. Nationals - four in Funny Car and three in Top Fuel. Retirement has not meant any less involvement in the sport, as today he is the owner of winning Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. Nobody was elected from the Active Driver category, which imposes the most stringent percentage requirement of 80 percent. The top vote-getter in the category was Darrell Waltrip, but he still was several votes shy of induction even under Rule Two.

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Series Automotive
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Rusty Wallace , Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Dan Gurney , George Follmer , Rick Mears , Tom Sneva , Danny Sullivan , John Watson , Don Prudhomme , Pat Flaherty , Emerson Fittipaldi , Jack Brabham , Bobby Allison , Lloyd Ruby , Jim McElreath , Roger Penske , Tony Bettenhausen , Mark Donohue , Al Unser