Byron, Carr, Clymer, Dallenbach, Hendrick, Ickx, Lund, Montgomery, Stewart in 32nd Induction Class
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) will induct its largest class in recent years March 16 – 17, 2020 during its 32nd annual Induction Celebration in Daytona Beach.
The Class of 2020 includes NASCAR’s first-ever champion Robert “Red” Byron (Historic), flat track impresario Chris Carr (Motorcycles), early motorcycle racer, promoter and publisher Floyd Clymer(At Large), driver, official and safety advocate Wally Dallenbach, Sr. (Open Wheel), Rick Hendrick, one of NASCAR’s most successful owners (Stock Cars), Daytona 500 champion Tiny Lund(Historic), Can-Am and Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Jacky Ickx (Sports Cars), quarter-mile racing legend “Ohio” George Montgomery (Drag Racing) and Baja 500 and 1,000 and SCORE World Champion Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (Off-Road Racing).
Next year marks the fifth consecutive induction ceremony in Daytona Beach since the MSHFA moved to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in 2016, from Novi, Mich. The Hall is housed in the speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building located in front of the famed 2.5-mile DIS tri-oval.
The MSHFA Class of 2020 was unveiled in a press conference at DIS – site of this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 – by Motorsports Hall of Fame of America President Ron Watson and Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile.
“We are delighted to welcome our largest class of inductees in recent years into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” Watson said. “We have expanded to two enshrines in the Historic category and are thrilled to introduce Off-Road Racing as its own category for the first time in 2020.”
The nine Class of 2020 honorees will be enshrined into the Hall on Tuesday, March 17 in the 32nd annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony presented by Firestone, the traditional black-tie gala that is the crowning event of the two-day, multi-function MSHFA Induction Celebration in Daytona Beach.
With the host venue expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, the 2020 MSHFA Induction Ceremony will be preceded on Monday, March 16 by the traditional “Heroes of Horsepower” reception and strolling dinner at the MSHFA.
Daytime events include the annual Inductee Luncheon on Monday at the DAYTONA 500 Club at DIS and annual Inductee Breakfast Presented by Toyota on Tuesday in the Rolex 24 Lounge in the DIS stadium grandstands.
Current plans call for 2020’s Historic inductees to be ushered into the MSHFA as a featured highlight of one of the Monday events or the Tuesday morning breakfast.
The MSHFA Class of 2020:
Robert “Red” Byron (Historic) – After his plane was shot up in World War II, the B-24 tail-gunner spent more than two years in the hospital before returning to racing. To do so, he had to bolt his leg brace to the clutch pedal. A sprint and midget driver before the hostilities, he concentrated on stock cars after. In 1948, he won NASCAR’s first ever championship, in the Modified Division. A year later, he became the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, propelled in part by victory in the inaugural Daytona Beach Road Course event. Fading health caused him to quit driving at the end of the 1951 season. Throughout the ‘50s he was a mechanic for a number of sports car teams, including those of MSHFA inductees Briggs Cunningham and Jim Hall. He also was the crew chief for the Meister Brauser team, which won multiple championships. Byron, who died of a heart attack in 1960, was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Chris Carr (Motorcycles) – Carr dominated AMA Grand National motorcycle racing at the beginning of the millennium, winning seven flat track titles (1992, 1999, 2001-5) and finishing second all-time in wins (78) behind 2009 MSHFA inductee Scott Parker and ahead of inductees Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham and Bubba Shobert. Carr also won seven AMA 600cc Dirt Track titles (1988–93, 1995), becoming the all-time leader in that category. Carr also ran in the AMA Superbike road racing series, finishing third in the 1995 standings and earning Rookie of the Year honors, and was twice the fastest man on two wheels. In 2006, he set a motorcycle land speed record of 350.8 mph, the first rider to exceed 350 mph, and regained the title in 2009 with a 367.3 mph average.
Floyd Clymer (At Large) – Clymer was one of America’s leading motorcycle racers in the 1910s and ‘20s, then spent the last half century of his life as a leader in automotive and motorcycle publishing. Many of the books he published have become valuable reference works, including Motorcycle Topics and Cycle magazines and his Indianapolis 500 annuals, which he began producing in 1946, supplementing the prewar Motor Age editions. Later he promoted dozens of AMA national races and sponsored the winner of the inaugural Daytona 200 in 1937.
Wally Dallenbach, Sr. (Open Wheel) – New Jersey-born Dallenbach had substantial success as a driver, then went on to become one of IndyCar racing’s most effective administrators. After competing in Championship Auto Racing Teams’ inaugural 1979 season, he became its first director of competition and remained as chief steward until retiring in 2004. It was Dallenbach’s idea to establish the CART/Champ Car Safety Team, which set new standards for at-track safety services and saved many lives.
Rick Hendrick (Stock Car) – One of NASCAR’s all-time most successful team owners, Hendrick Motorsports has won a record 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships (through 2018): 1995-98, 2001, 2006-10, 2013 and ‘16. As of Alex Bowman’s 2019 victory at Chicagoland, the Hendrick team had accumulated a total of 254 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup wins. They have also amassed over 50 wins in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Hendrick’s 100+ acre campus in Concord, NC is one of the premier motorsports construction and preparation facilities in the world. Hendrick Motorsports also has developed into one of the sport’s premier engine shops, supplying his own and other winning teams with Chevrolet-branded powerplants.
Jacky Ickx (Sports Cars) – This Belgian motorsports journalist’s son was a prominent F1 and sports car driver from the late ‘60s into the mid-1980s, including a then-record six victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the credentials that are the basis for his induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America are his triumphs in multiple series on North American soil: his 1979 SCCA Can-Am championship for Carl Haas, victories in the Mexican (1970) and Canadian (1969, 1970) GPs and multiple World Sportscar Championship (WSC) wins, including the 12 Hours of Sebring (1969, 1972), Rolex 24 at Daytona (1972), Mosport 1000k (1984) and Watkins Glen 6 Hour (1968, 1972, 1977) mainly in Ford GTs, Ferraris and Porsches..
DeWayne “Tiny” Lund (Historic) – At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, DeWayne Louis Lund was a big man with an ironic nickname. Lund won five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during a 21-year career, including the 1963 Daytona 500, and dominated the short-lived NASCAR Grand American Series, winning titles in three of its four seasons and 41 of 109 GA races. Lund might be best remembered for rescuing fellow driver Marvin Panch from his burning car during a practice session for the 1963 Daytona Continental, which led to his taking Panch’s place in the race. Lund, who was killed at the 1975 Talladega 500, was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
“Ohio” George Montgomery (Drag Racing) – The Dayton native went from working on tractors in his uncle’s Ford dealership to “King of the Gassers,” the initial name for a cluster of NHRA classes for prewar-bodied cars running on gasoline. He won eight NHRA national titles between 1959 and 1968, most of them in his supercharged Chevy-powered ‘33 Willys. He captured the prestigious U.S. Nationals four times and countless match races. Sponsorship from Ford in the mid-1960s led to even more success in the 8,800-rpm, SOHC 427-cubic-inch “Malco Gasser” Mustang. His George’s Speed Shop in Dayton may be the oldest such enterprise in continuous operation in the United States.
Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (Off-Road Racing) – Stewart didn’t start driving professionally until age 37 but became known as the “Ironman” for driving solo in marathon events like the Baja 1000 that others drove in pairs. Overall, Stewart captured 84 desert victories and 10 championships, including 17 Baja 500s, eight Mint 400s, four Parker 400s, three Baja 1000s and four SCORE World Championships, typically at the wheel of his distinctive, center-seat Toyota pickups. Stewart dominated Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing during its 12-year run, taking three Grand National Sport Trucks titles and 17 main-event victories, both records.