1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Lyn St. James honored with Spirit of Ford Award


Lyn St. James was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award in a surprise ceremony, Saturday May 22, as part of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

‘Prestigious’ can be an abused adjective whose overuse has caused many to become tone deaf to the word. But if it was ever deserved, this is an instance. St. James is the 27th recipient of the Spirit of Ford prize that was first awarded in 1988 to Bill Stroppe, an early pioneer of auto racing, and has since been awarded to a legends of the sport that include Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Glen and Leonard Wood, Jack Roush, Bill Elliott, John Force and AJ Foyt.

St. James was honored as a pioneer and promoter of women and minorities in in the sport.

Her career began in the early 1980s in Trans-Am and IMSA. Among the highlights of her distinguished career are two class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, one in the 12 Hours of Sebring, and seven Indy 500 appearances. In 1992 she won the Indy 500 Rookie of Year honors.

Thanks in part to the efforts of St. James and other pioneers like Janet Guthrie, the 105th Running of the Indy 500 has the first-ever pairing of female car owner and driver with Beth Paretta and Simona de Silvestro.

The Spirit of Ford was presented to St. James by Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company.

“Lyn’s achievements on the track are special, but what she has done off the track is just as important to us in defining her legacy,” said Farley in a release. “Lyn, while racing for us, was also a consumer advisor to Ford on women’s issues, including educating women on the car-buying process and how to maintain their vehicles during their ownership.

“Today, she is channeling the same drive she had in breaking through barriers in her racing career to become a tireless promoter of opportunities for women and minorities in the racing world. And the sport and industry is better for it.”

St. James’ work for diversity continues through NASCAR’s Diversity Council, the ACCUS North American Representative on FIA Women in Motorsports Commission, and part of the ACCUS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel.

Spirit of Ford Award Winners

-Bill Stroppe, 1988
-Bob Glidden, 1989
-Chris Economaki, 1990
-Richard Petty, 1992
-Bob Bondurant, 1993
-Mario Andretti, 1994
-Jackie Stewart, 1994
-Bud Moore, 1995
-Parnelli Jones, 1996
-Jim Clark, 1997
-Phil Hill, 1998
-Stirling Moss, 1998
-Bill France, Sr., 1998
-Bill France Jr. 1998
-Junie Donlavey, Jr., 1999
-Glen Wood, 1999
-Leonard Wood, 1999
-Dan Gurney, 1999
-Denise McCluggage, 2000
-Bill Elliott, 2000
-Carroll Shelby, 2001
-Wally Parks, 2001
-Ned Jarrett, 2003
-Mose Nowland, 2005
-Jack Roush, 2006
-John Force, 2010
-Kevin Kennedy, 2011
-A.J. Foyt, 2017
-Lyn St. James 2021

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”