By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR team owners Richard Childress and Chip Ganassi were among the inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Wednesday evening during a ceremony held at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla. Other inductees in the class of 2016 included NHRA announcer Dave McClelland, racer and broadcaster Sam Posey, AMA dirt-track racer Everett Brashear, land-speed racer Gary Gabelich and 1955 Indianaplolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert.
Ganassi, also a car owner in other forms of motorsport, is the only car owner to have wins in the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolix 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, the Brickyard 400 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He scored a “Grand Slam” of American auto racing between February 2010 and January 2011, claiming wins in the Daytona 400, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Rolex 24 at Daytona in a year’s time. Overall, Ganassi-owned teams have won 18 major motorsport championships and 175 races.
“Chip is a great businessman, and he is the definition of a racer,” retired NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon said. “It doesn’t matter what series, whether it’s the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400, whether it’s the Daytona 500 or the 24 Hours of Daytona, or Le Mans, Chip’s teams will be battling for the win. It takes a great leader to accomplish the impressive victory resume he has. Chip is a very deserving honoree.”
Childress, meanwhile, has focused his motorsport team ownership efforts on NASCAR and has accumulated over 200 wins across NASCAR’s three national tourning divisions, including more than 100 at the Sprint Cup level. He holds six championships as a car owner, coming between 1986 and 1994 with Dale Earnhardt as driver. He also is a championship team owner in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series.
“It gives me chills being amongst legends of not only stock car racing, but other forms of motorsports tonight,” Childress said upon accepting his honor. “It is a great honor to be inducted into a hall of fame that honors some of my heroes, such as Louis Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt and the France family. I want to thank my family, my second family — the 525-plus employees at RCR (Richard Childress Racing) and ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) Engines — and all of our great partners along the way. I could not have done it without them.”
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