21st NSCHoF Induction Banquet Another Success

(Knoxville, IA) – Emotion was felt at the 21st National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies as champion drivers Bobbie Adamson of Pennsylvania, Fred Linder of Ohio, master mechanic Don Shepherd of Indiana and Two-Time World of Outlaws car owner Casey Luna of New Mexico were present Saturday afternoon to accept their place of honor. As ever, emcee Dr. Pat Sullivan did a fantastic job and kept the presentations moving. An estimated crowd of almost 300 guests enjoyed the banquet and ceremony at the Dyer-Building on the Marion County Fairgrounds.

Bill and Jim Riddle accepted for their late father, driver Frank Riddle. An emotional Bill Riddle spoke fondly of his father and reminisced about how his father “took care of the family but also loved to drive racecars.” Bill mentioned how his father who worked for the railroad was sitting on the engine watching a local dirt track in the late-1940’s and said, “I can do that,” thus starting Frank’s incredible 30 plus year career. Lee Robson accepted for his deceased father, driver Hal Robson. Debbie Brownfield accepted for her late husband, promoter Fred Brownfield, and Rhoda Krasner received the plaque for her deceased father, promoter Ben Krasner. Frank McDaniel accepted on behalf of the family of his late friend, builder/driver Hank Arnold. McDaniel who worked with Arnold on the famed “Twister” Super-modified sprint car remembered that Arnold was the only driver smooth enough to drive the popular supercharged beast.

Emotion was felt when the aforementioned Shepherd and Luna accepted their awards. Shepherd proudly recollected to the audience, “One thing I’m most proud of is that I never got any of my drivers hurt.” Luna remembered when the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame was originally mentioned to him he responded, ‘who is going to come to a sprint car hall of fame in the middle of Iowa?” Thankfully Luna said, they didn’t listen to me. Adamson mentioned that “All the drivers I raced with, I don’t have an enemy among them.” Linder delighted the crowd when asked by Sullivan how are the drivers today? “Drivers want to pick your brain, but don’t listen much.”

Additionally, historian Larry Ball, Jr., car builder Jack Elam, and media member Allan Brown accepted on behalf of the families of deceased inductees Herman Schurch (driver), Clyde Adams (builder), and George Bentel (promoter), respectively.

National Sprint Car Hall of Famers who were present were Allan Brown, Shane Carson, Jerry “Scratch” Daniels, Lanny Edwards, Jack Elam, Ray Lee Goodwin, Harold Leep, Don Mack, Jack Miller, Jimmy Oskie, Lynn Paxton, “Speedy” Bill Smith, and Bob Trostle. John Gerber’s son Jim Gerber and Tommy Hinnershitz’s daughter/Bruce Craig’s widow Jeanne Hinnershitz Craig were also in attendance at the banquet. Additionally, past inductee Shane Carson represented his Hall of Fame father Bud Carson, and Earl Wagner’s widow Harriet Wagner was in attendance.

The program was dedicated to the memory of National Sprint Car Hall of Famers Clarence “Mutt” Anderson, Ken Coles, Walt James, Hal Minyard, Earl Wagner and Billy Wilkerson, and National Induction Committee members Palmer Berger, Stew Reamer and Jeff Sharpe. National Sprint Car Museum board president Mike Brooks, the 1980 track champion at Knoxville Raceway, presented the 2010 President’s Award to hard-working volunteer Jim Banks of Kansas. This year’s twenty-first NSCHoF induction banquet again featured dual large screens showing photo and film footage organized by videographer Kris Krohn.

Next year’s twenty-second NSCHoF induction weekend is tentatively scheduled for June 3-4-5, 2011. Tom Schmeh contributed to this story

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