Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson will retire Dec. 31 after serving as the famous track’s official historian for more than 20 years.
Davidson, who grew up in England and made his first visit to IMS in May 1964, had served in the role since January 1998.
“I have been blessed with a truly amazing career which has been jam-packed with hundreds upon hundreds of personally rewarding experiences, but the years have flown by at an alarming rate and never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that this magical ride would last as long as it has,” Davidson said in a release. “Over the last three or four years, I have begun contemplating other areas of my life for which I wish I had been able to spend more time, and this has only been further underscored with daily reminders during the challenging last few months of having to work from home.
“I have enjoyed an unbelievable rapport over the decades with the participants and their families, the media, my colleagues and superiors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the United States Auto Club, the Speedway’s magnificent Museum and the Radio Network, and, especially, that incredibly devoted legion of the most passionate fans in the world.
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“I hope that everyone will understand and respect that this basically private individual, who would really prefer to quietly take a little step back into the shadows without fanfare, has decided the time has come to retire from the official day-to-day duties.
“This was not an overnight decision, and we would like to sincerely thank the close-knit dedicated team that has been discretely working for several weeks on its implementation.”
After 55 years of service, #IMS Historian Donald Davidson has announced his retirement.
From the history you covered, to the history you made –
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) December 7, 2020
“No one has more knowledge or more appreciation of the heritage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than Donald Davidson,” Roger Penske said in a release. “I have always admired Donald’s passion and dedication to the Speedway and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’ His ability to seemingly recall every detail of IMS history is remarkable, and he is one of the greatest storytellers racing has ever seen.
“I want to thank Donald for all he has done for our sport and for helping to bring the personalities and the legends of IMS to life for more than 50 years. Donald will always have a place at the Speedway, and we wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”
Click here to read the extensive release on Davidson’s retirement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.