Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) is the only institution to recognize achievements in the sports of auto, motorcycle, off-road, powerboat, and airplane racing. This tends to create an eclectic mix of inductees, and the class of 2019 – which consists of August Duesenberg, Dario Franchitti, Phil Remington, Don Schumacher, Kevin Schwantz, Tony Stewart, and Linda Vaughn – is no exception to the rule.
Though perhaps not as well-known as his brother Frederick (inducted into the MSHFA Class of 1997), August “Augie” Duesenberg also played a key role in the company’s contributions to racing. Tasked with overseeing the company’s manufacturing efforts – and bringing his brother’s designs into life – Augie Duesenberg also served as head mechanic for the company’s racing team, helping deliver victory in the 1924, 1925, and 1927 Indianapolis 500s. He joins the class of 2019 in the Historic category.
Dario Franchitti at the Indianapolis 500 in 2015. Photo by Sarah Stierch.
In 1998, his sophomore year of American open-wheel competition, Scottish driver Dario Franchitti delivered three race wins and five pole positions for Team Green, finishing third in the championship. In 2007 (with Andretti Green Racing), and again from 2009-’11 (with Chip Ganassi Racing), Franchitti dominated the series, amassing four IndyCar championships and a pair of wins in the Indy 500 (followed by a third in 2012). Sidelined by injuries suffered in a late-season 2013 crash, Franchitti remains active in motorsports, serving as a driver development coach for Ganassi Racing. He joins the class of 2019 in the Open Wheel category.
From hot-rodding to racing on the world stage, Phil Remington was a master fabricator who had a hand in the development of Lujie Lesovsky’s Indy cars, Lance Reventlow’s Scarabs, Carroll Shelby’s Cobras, Ford’s GT40s, and Dan Gurney’s AAR Eagles. A flight engineer in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Remington’s own racing career was cut short by a postwar motorcycle accident, but his real talent was figuring out how to make cars go faster. He continued to work with All American Racers until 2012, the year before his death at age 92, contributing to the design of the radical DeltaWing racing car. He joins the class of 2019 in the Sports Car category.
Don Schumacher. Photo courtesy Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
When Don Schumacher retired from racing Funny Cars in 1974, he’d already won five NHRA national events, the 1973 AHRA World Championships, and roughly 70 percent of his 560 match races. For the next two-plus decades, Schumacher focused on his business and family, but the lure of the sport proved too great and he returned as a team owner in 1997. In the two decades since, Don Schumacher Racing has earned more than 300 wins and 16 NHRA world championships, becoming the first team to win Top Fuel and Funny Car crowns in the same season (a feat it’s accomplished four times – thus far). He joins the class of 2019 in the Drag Racing category.
Kevin Schwantz in 2010. Photo by Craig Morey.
Kevin Schwantz grew up around motorcycles and began riding them at age four. Progressing from observed trials (a sport that requires seemingly superhuman balance and motorcycle control) to motocross, the Texan became increasingly more competitive until a 1983 crash shifted his focus to road racing. From 1986-’95, Schwantz earned 25 wins in 105 starts, capturing the 500cc World Championship in 1993 for the Lucky Strike Suzuki team. Injuries and age began to catch up with him, and three races into the 1995 season, after a dialogue with former arch rival Wayne Rainey (paralyzed from the chest down in a 1993 crash), Schwantz announced his retirement from the sport. The FIM later retired his number (34), and in 2000 the international sanctioning body named him a Grand Prix Legend. He joins the class of 2019 in the Motorcycle category.
Tony Stewart in 2015. Photo by Sarah Stierch.
Tony Stewart has demonstrated his versatility as a driver by capturing championships in NASCAR (2002, 2005, and 2011, the last as a driver and team owner), Indy Racing League (1997), the USAC Midget Series (1994), the USAC Triple Crown (1995), and the IROC series (2006). His championships as a team owner extend to 2014, when Stewart Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick took the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. The team remains a competitive force in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He joins the class of 2019 in the Stock Car category.
Linda Vaughn at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015. Photo by Sarah Stierch.
Known as the “First Lady of Motorsports,” Linda Vaughn has served as a goodwill ambassador for American racing for decades. Born in Dalton, Georgia, in 1943, Hurst was named “Miss Queen of Speed at Atlanta International Raceway” at age 18, followed by “Miss Pure Firebird,” but it was her tenure with Hurst Industries, as “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter,” for which she is best known. Presented with the Bob Russo Heritage Award by the MSHFA in 2004, she joins the class of 2019 in the At-Large category.
Next year’s honorees were chosen from a pool of 43 nominees, and the 2019 MSHFA induction ceremony is set to take place on March 11-12 at a yet-to-be-named venue in Daytona Beach. For additional information, visit MSHF.com.