The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) has an ambitious goal: To honor the greats from every form of racing, and to celebrate and instill the American core values of leadership, creativity, originality, teamwork and the spirit of competition embodied in motorsports. Next March, the institution – now housed at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida – will induct nine new members, including stock car champion Tiny Lund, sport car great Jacky Ickx, and off-road legend Ivan “Ironman” Stewart.
Off-Road Racing becomes its own category for 2020, joining the existing Historic, Motorcycle, At-Large, Stock Car, Open Wheel, Sport Cars, Aviation and Drag Racing classes. While a typical class includes seven inductees, the nine named as the MSHFA Class of 2020 represent one of the largest groups in recent years. Honorees and their respective classes are:
Red Byron. Photo courtesy NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Robert “Red” Byron (Historic) – Before his service as a B-24 tail gunner in World War II, Byron was a midget and sprint car driver who amassed just one win in a stock car. A bullet wound to his left leg kept him hospitalized for two years, and when he returned to racing in 1946, Byron used a setup that bolted his leg brace to the clutch pedal. In 1948, he became NASCAR’s first champion, winning the Modified Division, and repeated in 1949 as the champion of the Strictly Stock series, forerunner to today’s NASCAR Cup series. Failing health ended his career as a driver in 1951, but Byron put his skills to use as a mechanic and crew chief for Briggs Cunningham, Jim Hall, and Harry Heuer, founder of the Meister Brauser Racing Team. Byron died of a heart attack in November 1960.
Chris Carr (Motorcycles) – From 1992 – 2005, Carr collected seven AMA Grand National flat track championships, including five back-to-back from 2001-’05. His 78 career wins put him second overall, behind record holder (and 2009 MSHFA inductee) Scott Parker but ahead of notables like Bubba Shobert and Jay Springsteen. He’s the all-time leader in AMA 600cc Dirt Track racing, with seven championships, and also ran in the AMA Superbike road racing series, where he was named Rookie of the Year in 1995. In 2006, Carr became the first person to top 350 mph on a bike, setting a motorcycle land speed record of 350.8 mph. He beat this in 2009 to regain the title, this time averaging a speed of 367.3 mph.
Floyd Clymer (At Large) – Before he became a giant in publishing, known for his repair manuals, magazines (Motorcycle Topics and Cycle) and postwar Indianapolis 500 annuals, Clymer was an accomplished motorcycle racer, running at venues coast-to-coast in the 1910s – ‘20s. By then he was also famous for being the youngest Ford dealer in the country, a testament to his entrepreneurial drive. His lengthy resume also includes time as a race promoter and sponsor, and he championed the Munch Mammoth motorcycle along with a failed attempt to revive the Indian motorcycle brand. Clymer died of a heart attack in January, 1970.
Wally Dallenbach, Sr. at Indianapolis in 1975. Photo courtesy IMS.
Wally Dallenbach, Sr. (Open Wheel) – Perhaps best known for his role as competition director and chief steward of CART, Dallenbach also had a successful career as a driver, running 180 races, earning five wins and finishing second in points during the 1973 season. His efforts to improve safety led to the creation of the CART/Champ Car Safety Team (now the AMR Indycar Safety Team), a squad of doctors, paramedics, and firefighters that travel to each IndyCar race with specially equipped response vehicles.
Rick Hendrick (Stock Car) – Since establishing All Star Racing (later, Hendrick Motorsports) in 1984, Rick Hendrick has become one of the most successful team owners in the sport of stock car racing. Through the 2018 season, Hendrick Motorsport has earned a dozen NASCAR Cup series championships, plus three Truck Series championships and a Nationwide series driver championship. The team has amassed 254 Cup series wins (as of this writing), thanks in part to their meticulous preparation and now, impressive resources. Hendrick Motorsport currently occupies a 100-plus acre site in Concord, North Carolina, and also builds top-spec Chevrolet engines for other NASCAR teams. Hendrick even tried his hand at racing stock cars, running four NASCAR events (and a single ARCA race) from 1987-‘95.
Jacky Ickx. Photo by Bill Warner.
Jacky Ickx (Sports Cars) – Known for his versatility as a racer, Ickx has successfully campaigned everything from trials motorcycles to Formula 1 cars. Over his impressive career, the Belgian driver racked up eight wins and another 25 podiums in Formula 1, six wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a Can-Am championship (in 1979, for owner Carl Haas) and a victory in the 1983 Paris-Dakar Rally. Ickx has also won the 12 Hours of Sebring twice, in 1969 and ’72; the 24 hours of Daytona, in 1972; the Mosport 1000km, in 1984; and is a three-time victor in the Watkins Glen 6 Hour (1968, ’72, and ’77).
DeWayne “Tiny” Lund (Historic) – Over a 20-year career in stock car racing, “Tiny” Lund amassed five wins, six pole positions and 119 top-ten finishes. Known as a gun-for-hire, Lund drove for a variety of teams, and in 1963 sat in for an injured Marvin Panch at Wood Brothers Racing during the Daytona 500, after rescuing Panch from his burning car during the Daytona Continental sports car race. A sound fuel management strategy and careful driving from the six-foot-five, 275-pound Lund delivered an unexpected victory for the Wood Brothers at Daytona, and reinvigorated Lund’s racing career. Driving for A.J. King, Lund was killed in a crash during the 1975 Talladega 500.
“Ohio” George Montgomery (Drag Racing) – “King of the Gassers,” Montgomery won eight NHRA national titles between 1959-’68, primarily behind the wheel of his ’33 Willys coupe. No brand loyalist, Montgomery ran Cadillac and supercharged Chevy engines before Ford stepped up with sponsorship and a Mustang powered by a supercharged SOHC 427 V-8. The “Malco Gasser” Mustang was a fan favorite, and Montgomery was, too. His business, George’s Speed Shop (described as “The Nation’s Oldest Speed Shop – Since 1950”) still offers engine-building services today.
Ivan Stewart. Photo courtesy IvanStewart.com.
Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (Off-Road Racing) – Over his professional racing career, Stewart has won 84 desert races (including 17 Baja 500s and three Baja 1000s) and collected 10 championships, a remarkable feat for a driver who didn’t turn pro until age 37. He dominated the Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing series, too, earning a record-setting 17 main event wins and three Grand National Sport Trucks championships. Retired from driving since 2000, Stewart was inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
The 32nd-annual induction ceremony will take place on March 17, 2020, at a yet-to-be-named venue in Daytona Beach, Florida. The awards are preceded by a “Heroes of Horsepower” reception on March 16; for more information, visit MSHF.com.