KNOXVILLE, IOWA (May 31, 2009) - Champion drivers Lee Osborne of Bluff Point, New York, Roger Rager of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, Fred Rahmer of Salfordville, Pennsylvania, and Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, California; builder/manufacturersnics Jack Elam of McKenzie, Tennessee, and Louis Senter of Encino, California; and media members Allan Brown of Comstock Park, Michigan, and Jim Chini of Palm Springs, California, took center stage Saturday afternoon, May 30, as they were officially inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (NSCHoF) in Knoxville. Emcees Dave Argabright and Pat Sullivan, and a near-record crowd of 335 guests, enjoyed the three-hour ceremony, which honored the exceptional careers of thirteen inductees.
2007 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Jacobs accepted on behalf of good friend and champion driver Jac Haudenschild of Wooster, Ohio, who was racing with the World of Outlaws (WoO) in Michigan on Saturday. Additionally, 2002 inductee Jim McElreath, historian Larry Ball, Jr., ’07 inductee Ken Coles, and ’08 inductee Dick Jordan accepted on behalf of the families of deceased inductees Jackie Holmes (driver), Cavino “Kelly” Petillo (driver), Lee Elkins (owner), and Tommy Nicholson (sanctioning official), respectively.
National Sprint Car Hall of Famers who were present were Rollie Beale, Ralph Capitani, Shane Carson, Ken Coles, Jerry “Scratch” Daniels, Ray Lee Goodwin, Kenny Jacobs, Dick Jordan, Jim McElreath, Jimmy Oskie, Lynn Paxton, Newton “Buzz” Rose, “Speedy” Bill Smith, Steve Stapp, Bob Trostle, Bill Utz and Earl Wagner.
John Gerber's son Jim Gerber, Eddie Leavitt's daughter Vickie Agan, “Boston” Louie Seymour’s son Bobby Seymour, and Kenny Woodruff’s son Jeff “Woody” Woodruff were also in attendance at the banquet, which was held in the Dyer-Hudson Building on the Marion County Fairgrounds. In addition, past inductees Shane Carson and Steve Stapp represented their Hall of Fame fathers Bud Carson and Elbert “Babe” Stapp, respectively.
National Sprint Car Museum board president Mike Brooks, the 1980 track champion at Knoxville Raceway, presented the 2009 President's Award to hard-working volunteers Norm and Karan Wadle of nearby Milo. This year’s twentieth NSCHoF induction banquet, the first overseen by the non-profit museum foundation’s new executive director Bob Baker, featured dual large screens showing photo and film footage organized by videographer Kris Krohn.
Next year's twenty-first NSCHoF induction weekend is tentatively scheduled for June 4-5-6, 2010.