The exterior of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
The exterior of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) is a hall of fame located adjacent to the 2.66 mi (4.28 km) Talladega Superspeedway (formerly Alabama International Motor Speedway) located in Talladega County, east central Alabama.[1][2] It enshrines those who have contributed the most to motorsports either as a developer, driver, engineer or owner.[3][4] The IMHOF was established in early 1970 following NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.'s decision to hire short track racing promoter Don Naman to build a museum and hall of fame in order "to preserve the history of motorsports and to enshrine forever the people who have been responsible for its growth."[2] George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, formed an 18-member observer commission in 1975 to choose a site and select a design.[1][5] Following the failure to pass a state-wide referendum on a state bond finance distribution to build the IMHOF,[5] France donated 35 acres (14 ha) of land from former race car driver Johnny Ray's family.[6][7] France opted to build the IMHOF in Alabama rather than in his hometown of Daytona Beach, Florida because Floridian politicians threatened to levy a tax on Daytona International Speedway.[8][9]

Construction was undertaken with private and federal funding released with new Alabama governor Fob James' approval.[10][11] The first phase of construction consisted of the building of three of the first six planned buildings on the IMHOF.[12] A groundbreaking ceremony occurred at the site on the afternoon of March 26, 1981, with approximately 100 individuals such as Wallace, Bill France Sr., and Bill France Jr. present.[4][13] The first half was opened on April 28, 1983,[8][9] and the second half on July 28, 1990.[14] Track owners International Speedway Corporation (ISC) rented office space from Alabama to run the IMHOF.[7] It has a museum containing racing vehicles,[1] banner, helmet, medals, posters and trophy displays,[2] the ISC offices, and ancillary spaces.[1][3] The Alabama Sports Writers Hall of Fame; the Automobile Racing Club of America Hall of National Champions; the International Motorsports Hall of Fame; the Quarter Midgets of America Hall of Fame; the Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame; and the World Karting Hall of Fame are the six halls of fame on-site.[1] The McCaig-Wellborn International Motorsports Research Library is also contained in the IMHOF.[2][3]

Naman had been appointed IMHOF director in 1988, and he began setting out his objective to establish a working hall of fame.[15] The first induction ceremony was broadcast live on The Nashville Network, and was hosted by country music record artist and car sponsor T. G. Sheppard at the Birmingham–Jefferson Civic Center Theater, in Birmingham, Alabama, on the evening of July 25, 1990.[14] Induction ceremonies were held on the Wednesday evening prior to the Winston 500 in October at Talladega before being moved to December for both 1993 and 1994.[16] After the Speedvision Dome was opened in 1996, all subsequent induction ceremonies took place there,[3] four days prior to the Winston Select 500 at Talladega in late April.[2][17]

Individuals were nominated and voted on by a panel of between 120 and 153 international motorsport writers as well as IMHOF inductees,[18][19] who selected one or two new members or "old timers" (living inductees) from the nominations list.[2] The nominations list was formed by candidate names sent by panel members, and 20 finalists were chosen, from which all panel members cast preference votes.[20] Until 1996, 10 or more motorsports individuals were inducted annually, before no more than 10 nominees qualified for the final ballot, and a limit of six inductees for every subsequent year was imposed.[17] All nominees had to be retired from participating in their respective categories for at least half a decade;[1][21] they could be active elsewhere in their respective series in a different capacity.[22] Some active racers could be inducted if they were over the age limit of 61.[23] Individuals had to wait 15 years before become eligible for induction, with a 51 percent vote share required for induction.[24] Unlike other sports halls of fame, waivers were not granted to major racing figures to enable their induction before the five-year waiting period had elapsed.[25]

A total of 145 individuals were inducted during the period the hall of fame was active in most years from 1990 to 2013.[26] The 20 inaugural members, Buck Baker, Jack Brabham, Malcolm Campbell, Jim Clark, Mark Donohue, Juan Manuel Fangio, France Sr., Graham Hill, Tony Hulman, Junior Johnson, Parnelli Jones, Stirling Moss, Barney Oldfield, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, Jackie Stewart, Mickey Thompson, Bobby Unser, and Smokey Yunick, were inducted in 1990.[14] There were three women who were added to the hall of fame.[26] In 1999, Louise Smith, a NASCAR driver during the 1940s and 1950s, became the first woman to be inducted into the hall of fame;[27] the two other female inductees were multiple NHRA Top Fuel dragster champion Shirley Muldowney in 2004,[28] and Janet Guthrie, who was inducted two years later.[29] Wendell Scott, the first African American driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series event in December 1963, was the first African American to be inducted into the hall of fame in 1999.[30] No one was added in each of 1995 and 2010 and nobody has been inducted since 2014.[a][26]

Inductees

Key
Posthumous induction Indicates posthumous induction
Juan Manuel Fangio, inducted in 1990
Juan Manuel Fangio, inducted in 1990
Graham Hill, inducted in 1990
Graham Hill, inducted in 1990
Ned Jarrett, inducted in 1991
Ned Jarrett, inducted in 1991
Alberto Ascari, inducted in 1992
Alberto Ascari, inducted in 1992
Henry Ford, inducted in 1993
Henry Ford, inducted in 1993
Colin Chapman, inducted in 1994
Colin Chapman, inducted in 1994
John Surtees, inducted in 1996
John Surtees, inducted in 1996
Richard Petty, inducted in 1997
Richard Petty, inducted in 1997
Ayrton Senna, inducted in 2000
Ayrton Senna, inducted in 2000
Alan Kulwicki, inducted in 2002
Alan Kulwicki, inducted in 2002
Shirley Muldowney, inducted in 2004
Shirley Muldowney, inducted in 2004
Dale Earnhardt, inducted in 2006
Dale Earnhardt, inducted in 2006
Wayne Rainey, inducted in 2007
Wayne Rainey, inducted in 2007
Donnie Allison, inducted in 2009
Donnie Allison, inducted in 2009
Richard Childress, inducted in 2012
Richard Childress, inducted in 2012
Inductees of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame[26]
Nationality Inductee Occupation Year Refs
 United States Buck Baker Stock car driver 1990 [31][32]

[33]

 Australia Jack Brabham Open-wheel driver 1990
 United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1990
 United Kingdom Jim Clark Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1990
 United States Mark Donohue Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1990
 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Open-wheel driver 1990
 United States Bill France Sr. Series executive 1990
 United States Dan Gurney Race car driver 1990
 United Kingdom Graham Hill Posthumous induction Race car driver 1990
 United States Tony Hulman Posthumous induction Track executive 1990
 United States Junior Johnson Stock car driver 1990
 United States Parnelli Jones Open-wheel driver 1990
 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Race car driver 1990
 United States Barney Oldfield Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1990
 United States Lee Petty Stock car driver 1990
 United States Fireball Roberts Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1990
 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Open-wheel driver 1990
 United States Mickey Thompson Posthumous induction Vehicle builder 1990
 United States Bobby Unser Open-wheel driver 1990
 United States Smokey Yunick Car engineer 1990
 United States Tony Bettenhausen Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1991 [34]

[19]

 United States Ralph DePalma Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1991
 United States Tim Flock Stock car driver 1991 [35][36]
 United States Phil Hill Open-wheel driver 1991 [34][19]
 United States Ned Jarrett Open-wheel driver/Broadcaster 1991 [35]

[36]

 United States Fred Lorenzen Stock car driver 1991
 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Posthumous induction Car builder/Race car driver 1991 [34]

[19]

 United States Wilbur Shaw Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1991
 United States Carroll Shelby Vehicle builder 1991
 United States Bill Vukovich Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1991
 Italy Alberto Ascari Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1992 [37]

[38]

 United States Louis Chevrolet Posthumous induction Car builder/Open-wheel driver 1992
 United States Andy Granatelli Motorsports contributor 1992
 United States Peter Gregg Posthumous induction Sports car driver 1992
 United States Louis Meyer Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1992
 United States Wally Parks Motorsports contributor 1992
 United States Eddie Rickenbacker Motorsports contributor 1992
 United States Kenny Roberts Motorcyclist 1992
 United States Curtis Turner Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1992
 United States Rodger Ward Open-wheel driver 1992
 United States Bobby Allison Stock car driver 1993 [39]

[40]

 United States George Bignotti Car mechanic 1993
 United States Henry Ford Posthumous induction Car builder 1993
 United States Al Holbert Posthumous induction Sports car driver 1993 [41]
 Austria Niki Lauda Open-wheel driver 1993 [39]

[40]

 United States Rex Mays Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1993
 United States David Pearson Stock car driver 1993
 United States Cale Yarborough Stock car driver 1993
 United Kingdom Colin Chapman Posthumous induction Car builder 1994 [42]
 Italy Enzo Ferrari Posthumous induction Car builder 1994
 United States Tiny Lund Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1994
 United States John Marcum Posthumous induction Motorsports contributor 1994 [43]
 United States Ralph Moody Stock car driver/Car owner 1994 [42]
 United States Benny Parsons Stock car driver 1994 [44]
 United States Mauri Rose Posthumous induction Open-wheel racer 1994 [42]
 United States Herb Thomas Stock car driver 1994
 United States Joe Weatherly Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1994
 United States Richie Evans Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1996 [45]
 United Kingdom Donald Healey Posthumous induction Car builder 1996 [46]

[47]

 United States Bobby Isaac Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1996
 Germany Ferdinand Porsche Posthumous induction Car builder 1996
 United States Johnny Rutherford Open-wheel driver 1996 [48]
 United Kingdom John Surtees Open-wheel driver/Motorcyclist 1996 [46][47]
 United States Buddy Baker Stock car driver 1997 [49]

[50]

 United States Ralph Earnhardt Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1997
 United States Don Garlits Dragster/Automotive engineer 1997
 United States Jim Hall Driver/Car owner 1997
 United States Rick Mears Open-wheel driver 1997
 United States Richard Petty Stock car driver 1997
 United States Davey Allison Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1998 [51]
 Germany Rudolf Caracciola Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1998
 United States Banjo Matthews Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1998
 Italy Tazio Nuvolari Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 1998
 United States Roger Penske Car builder 1998
 United States Al Unser Open-wheel driver 1998
 United States Harry Hyde Posthumous induction Crew chief 1999 [52]
 United States Gordon Johncock Open-wheel driver 1999
 France Alain Prost Open-wheel driver 1999 [53]
 United States Wendell Scott Posthumous induction Stock car driver 1999 [30]
 United States Louise Smith Stock car driver 1999 [27]
 United States Mario Andretti Race car driver 2000 [54]
 United States Craig Breedlove Land speed record holder 2000 [55]
 United States A. J. Foyt Open-wheel driver 2000
 Brazil Nelson Piquet Open-wheel driver 2000
 United States Don Prudhomme Dragster 2000
 Brazil Ayrton Senna Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 2000
 United States Neil Bonnett Posthumous induction Stock car driver 2001 [56]
 United States Jimmy Bryan Posthumous induction Open-wheel driver 2001 [57]
 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Posthumous induction Driver/motorcyclist 2001 [58]
 United States Fred Offenhauser Posthumous induction Car engineer 2001 [56]
 Italy Ettore Bugatti Posthumous induction Car builder 2002 [59]

[60]

 New Zealand Denny Hulme Posthumous induction Race car driver 2002
 Belgium Jacky Ickx Race car driver 2002
 United States Alan Kulwicki Posthumous induction Stock car driver 2002
 United States Tim Richmond Posthumous induction Race car driver 2002
 United States Glen Wood Car owner 2002
 United States Briggs Cunningham Sports car driver 2003 [61]
 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Open-wheel driver 2003
 United States Ray Fox Engine builder/Car owner 2003
 United States Mel Kenyon Midget car driver 2003
 United States A. J. Watson Car builder/Vehicle mechanic 2003
 United States Red Farmer Stock car driver 2004 [62]
 United States Bill France Jr. Series executive 2004
 United States Shirley Muldowney Dragster 2004 [28]
 United States Bill Muncey Posthumous induction Hydroplane racer 2004 [63]
 United States Bobby Rahal Open-wheel driver 2004 [64]
 United States Joe Amato Dragster 2005 [65]
 United States Bob Glidden Dragster 2005
 United States Chip Hanauer Hydroplane racer 2005 [66]
 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Open-wheel driver 2005 [67]
 United States Darrell Waltrip Stock car driver 2005
 United States Dale Earnhardt Posthumous induction Stock car driver 2006 [29]
 United States Harry Gant Stock car driver 2006
 United States Janet Guthrie Race car driver 2006
 United States Jack Roush Car owner 2006 [68]
 United States Humpy Wheeler Race promoter 2006 [29]
 United States Junie Donlavey Stock car driver 2007 [69]
 United States Ray Hendrick Posthumous induction Stock car driver 2007
 United States Jack Ingram Stock car driver 2007 [70]
 United States Warren Johnson Dragster 2007 [71]
 United States Wayne Rainey Motorcyclist 2007 [69]
 United States Bruton Smith Race promoter 2007
 United States Art Arfons Posthumous induction Land speed record holder 2008 [72]
 United States Red Byron Posthumous induction Stock car driver 2008
 United States Bill Jenkins Dragster/Engine builder 2008
 United States Frank Kurtis Posthumous induction Vehicle designer 2008
 United States Cotton Owens Stock car driver 2008
 United States Ralph Seagraves Posthumous induction Motorsports contributor 2008
 United States J. C. Agajanian Posthumous induction Promoter/Car owner 2009 [73]

[74]

 United States Donnie Allison Stock car driver 2009
 United States Jerry Cook Stock car driver 2009
 United States Bud Moore Car owner 2009
 United States Raymond Parks Car owner 2009
 United States John Holman Posthumous induction Car owner 2011 [75]

[76]

 United States Jan Opperman Posthumous induction Race car driver 2011
 United States Maurice Petty Crew chief/Engine builder 2011
 United Kingdom Brian Redman Race car driver 2011
 United States Rex White Stock car driver 2011
 United States Kenny Bernstein Dragster/Car owner 2012 [77]
 United States Richard Childress Car owner 2012
 United States John Force Dragster 2012
 United States Rick Hendrick Car owner 2013 [78]
 United States Dale Inman Crew chief 2013
 United States Don Schumacher Dragster builder 2013
 United States Rusty Wallace Stock car driver 2013

Statistics

Inductees by nationality[26]
Nationality Inductees
 United States 118
 United Kingdom 11
 Italy 4
 Brazil 3
 Germany 2
 New Zealand 2
 Argentina 1
 Australia 1
 Austria 1
 Belgium 1
 France 1

See also

Notes

References

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Coordinates: 33°34′41″N 86°04′19″W / 33.578°N 86.072°W / 33.578; -86.072