Augie Pabst Honored By RRDC

Wisconsin road racing icon Augie Pabst has won many awards in his legendary career, but none more important than the two that have come his way in 2011.

Pabst, a member of the famed Milwaukee brewing family, received the 2010 Bob Akin trophy at a dinner held prior to the recent running of the Rolex 24 endurance event in Daytona. The honor is presented annually by the Road Racing Drivers Club and is considered to be “the top award in motorsports for an amateur, vintage/historic or semi-professional driver.” Pabst is the eighth Akin trophy winner, joining such greats as Sam Posey, John Fitch and Jim Downing. The award was established after Akin, a top U.S. and international pilot, was killed in a 2002 racing accident. Pabst received the award (photo) from Akin’s son Bobby and current RRDC president Bobby Rahal.

“I feel honored and humble to receive the Akin award He loved the sport as much, if not more, than I did. He contributed so much in both professional and vintage racing,” Pabst noted at the RRDC dinner.

In addition to the Akin honor, Pabst will join some more illustrious company, when along with such luminaries as Roger McCluskey, Donnie Allison, Sid Collins and Ed “Ace” McCulloch, he will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. That ceremony will be held on August 23-24 in Detroit, MI.

Pabst was a road racing star in the 1950’s and 1960’s, having begun his career in regional SCCA events, and is especially remembered for his drives in Lance Reventlow’s blue Scarabs, one of which he drives today in vintage/historic events around the country. He was a three-time winner of the Road America 500, and drove for such famous owners as John Mecom Jr., Carroll Shelby and Luigi Chinetti. Pabst was also the 1959 USAC Road Racing Champion and captured a GT class win at Sebring in 1963. He retired from active competition in 1969, to spend more time with his duties at the brewery.

We remember Pabst not only for his road racing skills, but for trying on a USAC stock car at the Milwaukee Mile in the 1960’s. His diverse career also included a 1980’s event at the Badger Kart Club track in Dousman, WI where his son was running at the time. The media and other celebrities including Augie, were invited to compete in a series of heat races and a feature that Sunday. Writing for Midwest Racing News at the time, your reporter won the consy to progress to the feature, passing a gracious Pabst, who never would concede that he let me by. He even signed the checkered flag. To my memory, we both were collected in an incident in the feature that involved Gib Wiser.

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