Class of 2019 Announced for National Sprint Car Hall of Fame

 

(Special to Bill Wright)

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 class. The upcoming inductees include drivers, car owners, chassis builders and media members.

According to National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation executive director Bob Baker, “This year’s inductee group is another testament to the hard work put in by our 72-member National Induction Committee. We are really looking forward to our thirtieth induction banquet on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa on Saturday, June 1.”

The 2019 inductees are as follow:

Richard Griffin.

Richard Griffin
“The Gas Man” from Silver City, New Mexico was a legend in CRA and SCRA competition. He compiled over 50 wins with those series alone.  He was the 1984 Sprint Cars of Arizona (SCOA) champion and a five-time SCRA champion.

The Jason Johnson family (Chuck Stowe photo)

Jason Johnson
The champion of the 2016 Knoxville Nationals from Eunice, Louisiana racked up 256 career wins.  Jason was a five-time ASCS National champion and a six-time North American Sprint Car Poll 360 Driver of the Year.  He was the 2015 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year.

Stevie Smith
The son of fellow Hall of Fame inductee Steve Smith, Stevie notched well over 200 wins in his career while racing against the best in the business.  He is ninth on the all-time World of Outlaws win list with 84.  The New Oxford, Pennsylvania now Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native won the Williams Grove National Open three times, Chico’s Gold Cup, and qualified for 21 Knoxville Nationals finales.

Mose Andy “M.A.” Brown
The famous owner from McKenzie, Tennessee, frequently found his cars built by Les Hill and a young Jack Elam in Victory Lane across the country.  His famous #44 car with Bruce Cogle Ford sponsorship saw the likes of Sammy and Sam Swindell, Chuck Amati, Bubby Jones, Hooker and Rickey Hood, Bobby Ward and Joe Saldana behind the wheel.

C.K. Spurlock Jr.
The Gallatin, Tennessee car owner turned car builder started in racing in the mid-1960’s. He would field cars named “The Loretta Lynn Special” and “The Kenny Rogers Special.”  After years fielding other’s cars, he decided to build his cars in-house and Gambler chassis was born.  The cars went on to win thousands of races and countless track and series championships across the country.  C.K.’s Gambler cars were safe, fast and serviceable and changed the landscape of the sport in the 1980’s.

Thomas J. Schmeh
Living in Milwaukee in 1985, Tom volunteered to help bring the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum project to life.  In 1989, he was hired as the Executive Director, and from 2008 to 2017 was curator.  During his tenure, he also organized events such as the Brodix Tournament of Champions, the World Challenge, the Masters Classic and other events.  Tom’s accomplishments and contributions to the growth of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum are immeasurable.  He is retired and living in Owego, New York.

Greg Stephens (Chuck Stowe photo)

Greg Stephens
For over two decades, Greg could be seen in his van, traveling the World of Outlaws circuit. He captured the series’ history through video, and getting it to media outlets around the world.  He played a key support role as sprint car racing found its way to homes through TNN, ESPN, SPEED and regional cable outlets.  The Taylorville, Illinois resident has shot plenty of races outside the sprint car world as well, and he has over 3,000 hours of footage on file.  He has also produced well over 200 videos of his events.

“Wild” Bill Endicott
From Indianapolis, “Wild” Bill was one of the true pioneers and superstars of dirt track racing.  Though he had a few runs at Indy, his love and success came on the dirt.  He was at times a showman in promotions with his pig as mascot, but he also set 5, 10, 25, 75 and 100-mile records at Los Angeles Speedway.  He drove in fellow Hall of Fame inductee, J. Alex Sloan’s IMCA promotions at the age of 41 as the “Dean of Dirt Track Drivers.”  Starting in 1915, Bill won over two dozen times with IMCA in the U.S. and Canada before his retirement.

About the author

Ben Shelton

Ben got his start at historic Riverside International Speedway. His accomplished motorsports media career includes journalist, race announcer, and on-air personality.
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