Motorsports Hall of Fame of America reveals finalists for 2016 Class



The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Wednesday announced the finalists for the 2016 induction class.

A number of motorsports luminaries are under consideration, including from the worlds of open-wheel racing, drag racing, stock car racing, the historic category and motorcycle racing.

The seven inductees will be named Friday. The museum has previously been based in Novi and Detroit, Michigan, but has relocated and is slated to open near Daytona International Speedway in central Florida in the near future.

Here’s a breakdown of those who are in the running for the prestigious inclusion into the Hall:

Open-wheel racing: two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever, veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach Sr., 11-time IndyCar Series winning owner Chip Ganassi, innovative designer and safety pioneer Ted Halibrand and 3-time Indy 500 winning owner Pat Patrick.

Drag racing: Funny Car designer John Buttera, veteran NHRA announcer Dave McClelland, pioneer Paula Murphy, Pro Stock legend Lee Shepherd and Top Fuel innovators The Surfers.

Stock car racing: the late Davey Allison, six-time NASCAR championship owner Richard Childress, two-time NASCAR champ and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Terry Labonte, legendary car builder Banjo Matthews, “King of the Modifieds” Cotton Owens and 1969 Daytona 500 winner LeeRoy Yarbrough.

Motorcycle racing: 15-time AMA Grand National race winner Everett Brashear, two-time flat track national champion Randy Goss, three-time Daytona 200 winner Dick Klamfoth, two-time world Superbike champion Fred Merkel, two-time Baja 1000 winner J.N. Roberts and 13-time national champion mechanic Bill Werner.

Historic category: NACAR’s first champion Red Byron, 1963 Daytona 500 winner Tiny Lund, mechanic and builder Ray Nichels, midget / sprint car king Bob Sweikert, first two-time NASCAR champ Herb Thomas and short track specialist Rex White.

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.