KNOXVILLE, IOWA (MAY 28, 2002) - Ever heard Tony
Stewart called an 'angel'?
This past Saturday afternoon, Tony Stewart and the
FOX Sports team proved that they are indeed angels, as they will be
providing the wings for pit reporter Dick Berggren to attend his induction
this Saturday afternoon into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in
Knoxville, Iowa, from the NASCAR Busch Series race in Dover, Del.
Another angel in the wings is Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc., who is flying
fellow inductee Jack Hewitt in-and-out of Knoxville so that Jack doesn't
miss Saturday night's United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown race in
Terre Haute, Ind.
Berggren, founder of the long-running Open
Wheel magazine and current executive editor of Speedway Illustrated,
was surprised on-camera Saturday afternoon at Charlotte when fellow NASCAR
on FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum and former USAC sprint car champion Tony
Stewart started talking about Dick's upcoming induction into the
Knoxville-based Hall of Fame. He was further floored when Tony
committed to loaning him his plane for this weekend, and Matt committed to
working with Steve Byrnes and getting by without Berggren this Saturday at
Dover. Other behind-the-scenes 'angels' at FOX Sports are pit producer
Pam Miller, main producer Neil Goldberg, and executive producer Richie
"Z" Zyontz. Interestingly, Tony Stewart will be honored at
Knoxville on Wednesday, August 7, during the Mopar Parts Knoxville Sprint
Car Nationals as he and
his Jimmy Carr-led WoO team will receive their 2001 National Sprint Car Poll
"Team of the Year" awards from the museum for their World of
Outlaws (WoO) title-winning efforts last season with driver Danny Lasoski.
Hewitt, one of the most versatile sprint car racing
veterans to ever don a helmet, is being flown to Knoxville by his angelic
friend Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc. "Dew It Hewitt" will be
inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon on
the second floor of the non-profit museum, and then he will be flown
immediately to that evening's USAC Silver Crown race at the Action Track in
Besides Berggren and Hewitt, other banquet honorees
include Jim McElreath, Galen Fox, Sam Traylor, Larry "Smokey"
Snellbaker, J. Gordon Betz and Joe Scalzo. Neither Traylor nor Scalzo
will be able to attend the dinner for personal reasons. Deceased
inductees include Maynard "Hungry" Clark, Lloyd Beckman, Everett
Saylor, John Bagley, and Ralph "Speedy" Helm. Past inductees
that will also be present are Tom Bigelow,
Willie Davis, Johnny Rutherford, Bob Trostle, Rollie Beale, Jerry Blundy,
Ray Lee Goodwin, Lynn Paxton, Walt James, Ralph Capitani, Harold Leep,
"Speedy Bill" Smith, and Eddie Leavitt. Snellbaker will be
competing in Friday night's Goodyear Masters Classic sprint car race, while
Knoxville will also host sixty midget cars and forty sprint cars on Saturday
Those seeking more information on the June 1st
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction banquet, to be co-hosted by Dave
Argabright and Pat Sullivan, are urged to call the museum at 641-842-6176.