Three Indy 500 Legends to be Inducted Into Hall of Fame Collins, Granatelli, Penske to be honored at banquet May 17 INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 - Three icons of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will assume their place among the legends...
Three Indy 500 Legends to be Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Collins, Granatelli, Penske to be honored at banquet May 17
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 - Three icons of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will assume their place among the legends of the Brickyard in the Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. (EST) May 17.
Longtime "Voice of the 500," the late Sid Collins, and winning car owners Andy Granatelli and Roger Penske will become the newest members of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which honors drivers, car owners, mechanics and event officials who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of the sport.
The event will take place in conjunction with the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club Banquet/Hall of Fame Inductions at the Adam's Mark Indianapolis Airport hotel in the Hall of Champions banquet room.
Collins covered the Indianapolis 500 from 1948-76, first as a turn reporter for WIBC, his longtime employer, and the Mutual Radio Network. When the IMS Radio Network was formed in 1952, Collins assumed the role of chief announcer, and his articulate commentary conveyed the excitement of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" to a worldwide audience for the next 25 years.
In fact, it was Collins who popularized the theme "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" starting in 1955, a phrase that is synonymous with the grandeur of the Indianapolis 500. His work made him an in-demand public speaker, and he won numerous awards for the "500" broadcasts and work in other sports.
Granatelli arguably is one of the most flamboyant, entertaining and innovative personalities in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had a tremendous impact on the sport of open-wheel racing as both a car owner and sponsor during his tenure as president of STP Corporation.
Granatelli's first stint as a car owner took place from 1946-54 and was highlighted by a second-place finish with Jim Rathmann in 1952. He returned in 1961 with an updated fleet of Novis, but added his name to a long list of innovators by entering fast and controversial turbine-powered cars in 1967 and 1968.
Parnelli Jones and Joe Leonard dominated the race both years in 1967 and 1968, respectively, but late-race mechanical woes took victory from Granatelli's grasp each year. He won as car owner/sponsor with Mario Andretti in 1969 and as sponsor with Gordon Johncock in 1973.
Penske has the record for the most Indianapolis 500 wins by a car owner, with 11, including a win in 2001 with driver Helio Castroneves.
Penske began his career in the racing industry as an accomplished driver. After graduating from Lehigh University in 1959, Penske worked as a sales engineer for the Alcoa aluminum company while honing his skills in road racing. He won the USAC Road Racing Championship in 1962 and twice competed in the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Penske retired from driving in 1964, and in the last 38 years he has built a remarkable business empire and set numerous records in the racing world. Penske Racing has recorded 110 victories in Indy-style racing. The team's 11 victories at Indy and those elsewhere have come with world-class drivers such as Mark Donohue, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Danny Sullivan, Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr.
The Oldtimers Club Banquet/Hall of Fame Inductions will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. (EST). Dinner will be served at 7:30 with the program following immediately. Tickets are still available. For information, call (317) 852-0431.