Motorsports Hall of Fame announces 2001 inductees

Novi, MI - Nine Heroes of Horsepower have been elected to join the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHF). The 2001 Class of inductees will be honored at the 13th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony on June 6, 2001 at the State...

Novi, MI - Nine Heroes of Horsepower have been elected to join the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHF). The 2001 Class of inductees will be honored at the 13th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony on June 6, 2001 at the State Theatre in Detroit. "Innovation, ability and courage are demonstrated to the utmost degree by this outstanding group of heroes," said MSHF President Ron Watson. "Each of them is deserving of the title legend."

The newest class of inductees is as follows (category in parentheses):

* Emerson Fittipaldi (Open Wheel Racing), two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, 1989 CART champion, and winner of two Formula 1 World Driving Championships.

* Andy Granatelli (At-Large), charismatic car owner and flamboyant promoter of STP, known for championing the Novi's in the early 60's, bringing the turbine engine to Indianapolis and winning the 500 in 1969 and 1973. In NASCAR, he is remembered for his long time sponsorship of Richard Petty.

* Fred Lorenzen (Stock Car Racing), in his brief career, he became NASCAR's leader in superspeedway and major race wins. Lorenzen only ran the big events and was amazingly successful at them, in 1964 he won eight of the 16 NASCAR races he entered. From just 158 NASCAR starts he won 26 races, 33 poles, and led more than 8,000 laps.

* Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen (Drag Racing), pioneer drag racer whose legendary rivalry with fellow Hall-of Famer Don "The Snake" Prudhomme brought widespread recognition to the sport.

* Freddie Spencer (Motorcycle Racing), winner of the 1983 and 1985 500cc FIM World Road Racing Championship, the 1985 250cc FIM World Championship, and 15 AMA Superbike race wins including the 1985 Daytona 200,

* Ken Miles (Sports Car Racing), the late Miles won the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and many other sports car races in a variety of machines. Much of the development of the Ford GT40 was led by Miles contributions.

* Mira Slovak (Powerboat Racing), winner of the Unlimited Hydroplane National Championship in 1958 and 1966. Also an accomplished pilot, his true love was airplane aerobatics.

* Tony Levier (Air Racing), a successful air racer before and after World War II, the late Lockheed test pilot was responsible for numerous first flights of the creations of the Lockheed "Skunk Works" including the famed U-2 spyplane.

* Earl Cooper (Historic Racing, Pre WW-II), the late winner of the AAA National Championship which he won three times in 1913, 1915 and 1917 and was the all-time points leader in Championship racing until the early 1960's.

In addition, many returning inductees are also expected to be on hand at the Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony.

Eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained, prepared or promoted motorized vehicles in the pursuit of speed, distance or other records; or in racing, endurance or other competition. An inductee must have been retired for at least three years or must have been engaged at the top level of his or her area of motorsports for at least 20 years. A panel of historians, retired competitors, journalists and prior inductees vote for the final selection. Each inductee receives the Hall of Fame's prestigious "Horsepower" award - an original bronze statuette created by Ann Arbor, Michigan sculptor Michael Curtis.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame houses numerous racing and high performance vehicles. The continually changing collection showcases racers and vehicles from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, Can Am, Trans-Am, sprint cars, powerboats, airplanes, truck racing and motorcycles. Among the highlights is the last ever Novi Special Indy car, namesake of the city of Novi, Michigan.

The museum and gift shop are open by special arrangements for group tours, catered receptions and special events. Plans are underway to move the Museum and Hall of Fame to a permanent home in the near future. For more information on the inductees, or how to purchase tickets to the black-tie Induction Ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2001, please call the Motorsports Hall of Fame at (800) 250-RACE, (800) 250-7223.

-MHoF

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series History , General
Drivers Ken Miles , Emerson Fittipaldi , Freddie Spencer , Fred Lorenzen , Michael Curtis