MEMBER NEWS – MAY 31, 2016


RRDC members Chip Ganassi and Sam Posey will join the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Class of 2016 at the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on June 29 at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach.

Chip Ganassi is the only car owner to have won the DAYTONA 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Brickyard 400. Between February 2010 and January 2011, his drivers swept those four events, giving him an unprecedented “Grand Slam” in America’s major auto races.

Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and more than 170 races. His open-wheel teams have amassed 11 championships and more than 100 victories – including five in the Indianapolis 500. His NASCAR teams have scored 17 victories including one DAYTONA 500 and have twice qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. His sports car teams have a record six Rolex 24 At Daytona victories to complement their seven Rolex Sports Car Series championships.

160531+Chip Ganassi2Chip Ganassi with the goods.

Before becoming one of the most successful team owners in American racing history, Ganassi himself raced, competing in the Indianapolis 500 five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983.

“Without a doubt, Chip Ganassi is among the premier car owners in the history of racing,” said Ron Watson, president of the MSHFA. “His successes across the wide spectrum of motorsports are striking examples of innovation, leadership and teamwork. And … it’s what our hall of fame is all about.”

“Many of the hall’s inductees are my heroes,” Ganassi said. “To have my name listed alongside theirs is something I will always cherish. But the fact of the matter is, everybody who has ever participated in any win within our organization should be [inducted] with me. I’ve said many times that I don’t change the tires; I don’t change the engines; I don’t do the hard work. That’s what this is all about – the people in the trenches. Those people are half of fame inductees, I think, as well.”

Sam Posey has excelled both on the race track and in the broadcast booth, in the process becoming one of this country’s most recognizable and respected motorsports personalities. Posey raced successfully in Can-Am, Trans-Am, IndyCar, sports cars, Formula One and NASCAR competition. He ran the 24 Hours of Le Mans 10 times, finishing in the top 10 five times with a best finish of third in 1971.

After retiring from active competition, he became an ABC commentator in 1974. His on-air exchanges with Bobby Unser during Indy 500 telecasts are legend. He was a member of the Speedvision announce team for years and now works for NBC Sports Network on Formula One coverage.

Sam Posey in his studio.

Sam Posey in his studio.

Posey is an accomplished artist and has written numerous well-regarded books and magazine articles on motorsports subjects.

In addition to RRDC members Ganassi and Posey, other 2016 inductees include Richard Childress, Bob Sweikert, Dave McClelland, Everett Brashear and Gary Gabelich.

RRDC member John Mecom, Jr. will receive the Bob Russo Heritage Award that evening.

RRDC members already in the MSHFA are Mario and Michael Andretti, Derek Bell, John Bishop, Bob Bondurant, Geoff Brabham, Joie Chitwood, Briggs Cunningham, Mark Donohue, Chris Economaki, John Fitch, Emerson Fittipaldi, George Follmer, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Richie Ginther, Peter Gregg, Masten Gregory, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Hurley Haywood, Phil Hill, David Hobbs, Al Holbert, Denny Hulme, Parnelli Jones, Arie Luyendyk, Hershel McGriff, Bruce McLaren, Rick Mears, Leo Mehl, Ken Miles, Augie Pabst, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman, Peter Revson, Johnny Rutherford, Carroll Shelby, Ken Squier, Danny Sullivan, Jerry Titus, Rodger Ward and Alex Zanardi.

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Tickets for the 2016 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 248-349-7223 or through the MSHFA website.



Indianapolis, IN, May 29, 2016 – Three Team USA Scholarship Alumni placed in the top-six in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with team owner alum Bryan Herta orchestrating victory for his rookie driver.

Having merged his Bryan Herta Autosport team with Andretti Autosport this year, Herta kept young Alexander Rossi in the hunt for the most of the race before going into economy mode down the stretch and securing victory by avoiding a final splash-and-go fuel stop the other contenders had to make. The strategy was similar to the one Herta employed in guiding the late Dan Wheldon to victory lane in 2011. Herta was the second Team USA Scholarship winner in 1991.

Team USA Scholarship alumni competing in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 (left to right): Matthew Brabham, Conor Daly, Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot, J.R. Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball. [Team USA Scholarship image]

Team USA Scholarship alumni competing in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 (left to right): Matthew Brabham, Conor Daly, Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot, J.R. Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball. [Team USA Scholarship image]

Josef Newgarden, a Team USA Scholarship winner in 2008, started from the front row and was in the hunt all race, scoring his best Indy 500 finish – third for Ed Carpenter Racing. 2003 Team USA grad Charlie Kimball was Chip Ganassi Racing’s top runner, posting a fifth place finish after starting 16th. 2005 Alum J.R. Hildebrand qualified one spot better than Kimball and finished one spot behind the Ganassi driver also for Ed Carpenter Racing.

A 2008 Grad with Newgarden, Conor Daly driving for Dale Coyne Racing was caught up in a lap-115 crash and was scored 29th in his third Indy 500. Indy rookies Matthew Brabham (2012 Alum driving for PIRTEK Team Murray) and Spencer Pigot (2010-11 Grad driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) placed 22nd and 25th respectively.

Team USA Scholarship’s inaugural winner, Jimmy Vasser (1990) fielded cars for Sebastien Bourdais (ninth overall) and Stefan Wilson (28th).


SIR JACKIE STEWARD HONORED BY ROLEX AT MONACO160531+Stewart at monacoMonaco, Monte Carlo, May 27, 2016 – Three-time Formula One™ Drivers’ World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart was honored by Rolex at Monaco to mark the 50th Anniversary of his first of three Grand Prix victories at the famed Circuit de Monaco in 1966. It was Stewart’s second career victory and came a week and a day before a failed scavenger pump cost him a sure win in the Indianapolis 500 – quite a week.



Indianapolis, IN, May 27, 2016 – T.E. McHale, who represents Honda’s various racing programs, was awarded the prestigious Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations for 2016. McHale was co-recipient with fellow Honda PR man Dan Layton.

T.E. McHale (right) with Dario Franchitti. [ image]

T.E. McHale (right) with Dario Franchitti. [ image]

The Award has been deemed the motorsports industry’s highest honor in the field of public relations since its inception in 1991. Named in memory of Jim Chapman, named IndyCar racing’s most influential man for the 1980s for his brilliant, innovative representation of PPG Industries as primary sponsor for the series.

Marking what would have been Chapman’s 100th birthday this year, a new Award was unveiled and will be on permanent display in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s media center. Judy Stropus was the 2008 Chapman honoree. Tamy Valkosky of Team USA Scholarship and co-organizer with Jeremy Shaw of the annual RRDC Long Beach “Evening” fetes received the Chapman Award in 1998.


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