Helio Castroneves Heads Impressive 8-Member 2022 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Class08/13/2021
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves heads yet another impressive class of racing royalty as the 2002 Class of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America was unveiled today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Eight members of the nine-member Hall class was introduced, while a ninth member in the historic category will be announced later this month.
The Class of 2022 includes the designer of the 1965 World Champion Cobra Daytona Coupes, Pete Brock (Sports Cars), the first foreign-born four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Helio Castroneves (Open Wheel), the only person in history to win NHRA Top Fuel championships as a driver and crew chief, Dick LaHaie (Drag Racing), “The Henry Ford of race cars,” NASCAR builder Banjo Matthews (Business), the only woman to receive the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, Denise McCluggage (Media), NASCAR cofounder and championship-winning team owner Raymond Parks (Historic), “The Cat in the Hat” who has masterminded more than 300 NASCAR wins, Jack Roush (Stock Cars) and motorcycle racing innovators who have won NHRA drag racing titles, AMA Supersport and Superbike titles, two Daytona 200s and more, Terry Vance & Byron Hines (Motorcycles).
“Many of the members of the Motorsports Hall of Fame are people that I grew up idolizing and to now be invited to join this group, I just can’t believe it,” Castroneves said. “I’m so honored to have the opportunity to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame and I feel so lucky to be included with these legends.” n the Hall one day. It is going to be a great night for motorsports, and I am grateful for this opportunity.”
Each year, MSHFA classes are formally inducted in a celebration featuring motorsports legends and fellow Hall of Fame members at a black-tie gala. The Class of 2022 induction will be in Daytona Beach on March 7-8, 2022.
Including the Class of 2022, 278 racing pioneers and legends are in the MSHFA.
Here’s a look at the newest class:
Few fueled the rise of sports car racing in the U.S. more than Denise McCluggage. Without her, there would’ve been no Autoweek, the sport’s bible in the ‘60s and ’70s.
She, more than perhaps anyone associated with Autoweek, was the heart and soul of the publication. When it started out more than 60 years ago, she was its editor and she remained a contributor until her death in 2015.
She also was a trailblazing female driver, winning her class at Sebring in 1961 and at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. (She was famously denied entry at Le Mans because of her gender.) Joining the New York Herald Tribune in the ‘50s, she became the first female sports reporter for a major daily.
In 1985, she became the only woman to receive the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism for her piece on F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio.
The Brazilian has one of the greatest records in Indianapolis 500 history, winning four times (2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021) (joining fellow inductees A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears), taking pole four times and finishing second three times.
Castroneves is a four-time runner-up for the IndyCar championship and 12th all time in IndyCar wins with 30. He was dubbed “Spider-Man” for his victory fence-climbs and gained broad attention after winning the 2007 edition of Dancing with the Stars. Castroneves also won the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The only person in NHRA history to win Top Fuel championships as a driver and crew chief, LaHaie captured the 1987 Top Fuel championship in the cockpit and four more as crew chief for Scott Kalitta (1994, 1995) and Larry Dixon (2002, 2003).
LaHaie’s first major victory came at the 1980 SummerNationals. In the early days, he’d sometimes dig through trashcans for parts the top teams had thrown away, then beat them with their discards. His 1987 Top Fuel title was won with daughter Kim as crew chief. LaHaie was No. 31 on NHRA’s 2001 list of its 50 Greatest Drivers.
LaHaie died in 2018.
Smokey Yunick called him “the Henry Ford of race cars.” The cars Edwin Keith Matthews built dominated NASCAR for more than a decade. From 1974 to 1985, he produced about 400 chassis and rebuilt about 200.
Of the 362 races in this period, his cars won 262 — over 70% — including all 30 1978 contests. For years, the Akron, Ohio native was more proud that no driver was killed in a Matthews-built car. As an owner, he entered 160 Cup races, capturing 14 poles and nine victories, including three Firecracker 400s at Daytona with fellow inductees Fireball Roberts, A.J. Foyt and Donnie Allison.
Without Parks, there might not have been a NASCAR. He was a key member of the group that met with Bill France at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach in 1947 to create NASCAR and helped keep the sanctioning organization afloat during its early years.
Considered its first team owner, his entries set a standard for excellence. The former moonshine runner’s cars won the first NASCAR (Modified) championship in 1948 and the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Cup Series) title in 1949. When he died in 2010, he was the last surviving member of the sport’s founders.
Roush has succeeded in more forms of motorsports than almost anyone. In NASCAR, his teams have captured more than 300 races and eight championships across all three major series, including back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series titles (2003-4).
“The Cat in the Hat” left an engineering job at Ford in 1970 to team with Wayne Gapp. Over the next five years they won NHRA, IHRA and AHRA Pro Stock titles. In the ‘80s, Roush’s incredible domination of SCCA and IMSA included 24 national championships. His two Daytona 500 trophies came with Matt Kenseth (2009, 2012).
Few rider/tuner pairings have dominated like Terry Vance and Byron Hines. From the early ‘70s until Vance retired from riding in 1988, they captured 14 Pro Stock and Top Fuel titles. Their popularity prompted NHRA to add motorcycle racing to its national series.
Since 1980 they’ve made Vance & Hines a world-leading aftermarket parts supplier. Their road racing teams have won AMA Supersport and Superbike titles and two Daytona 200s. More recently, they’ve run the successful Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock drag team. Vance was No. 35 on NHRA’s 2001 list of its 50 Greatest Drivers.
Brock is best known for designing the 1965 World Champion Cobra Daytona Coupes and for his multi-time national champion Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) Datsun 240Zs and 510s.
At GM in the 1950s, Brock helped conceive the shape of the groundbreaking 1959 Corvette Stingray race car and 1963 production model. As Shelby American’s first employee, he ran the Carroll Shelby driving school, penned the Daytona and worked on the Mustang GT-350 street and race cars. After the Datsun years, Brock became a photojournalist and wrote award-winning books on his Daytonas and the Corvette Sting Ray.
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