Mario Andretti, the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship, will be adding one more accolade this coming January when he goes into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.
Andretti (pictured) is one of three prominent racing figures that make up the 2014 class for the NMPA Hall. Joining him will be former NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham and longtime motorsports journalist and publisher Steve Waid. The ceremony will take place Jan. 25, 2014 in Concord, North Carolina.
Naturally, Andretti, who also claimed four IndyCar championships (three under USAC sanction, one under CART), is the headliner of this group and he deserves to be so. But Evernham and Waid also made their own important impacts upon American racing.
Many NASCAR fans remember Evernham as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon back in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team’s days as the “Rainbow Warriors.” Together, Evernham and Gordon brought home three Sprint Cup championships and 47 Sprint Cup race wins.
Evernham also played a pivotal role in bringing Dodge back to NASCAR at the turn of the millennium, fielding cars as a team owner for drivers such as former Cup champion Bill Elliott and a then-rising star by the name of Kasey Kahne.
The Evernham Motorsports outfit earned 13 Cup victories before former Liverpool FC owner George Gillett bought a controlling interest in the team in 2007 to create Gillett Evernham Motorsports. GEM eventually merged with Petty Enterprises in 2009 to bring about the current Richard Petty Motorsports.
As for Waid, he has covered NASCAR in various capacities over the last four decades. Starting out as a newspaper writer, he eventually moved to Grand National Scene, where he would rise to the role of publisher.
He is an award-winning journalist, having won the NMPA’s own George Cunningham Award and the Henry T. McLemore Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in motorsports journalism.
The NMPA Hall of Fame is based at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.