On June 20 the United States Auto Club (USAC) announced their Hall of Fame Inductees. The class of 8 five drivers, two officials and a car owner-chief mechanic. Alphabetically Russ Clendenen, Jimmy Davies, Bob Higman, Tommy Hinnershitz, Dick King, Pat O’Connor, Tony Stewart and Bob Tattersall.
It’s that 3-Time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart that caught my attention. USAC’s announcement profiles each of their inductees. All 8 have overcome challenges, persevered through trials, set backs and hardships. And all of them have lived their dream and triumphed.
Tony Stewart, of Columbus, Ind., became the first driver ever to claim all three of USAC’s National championships in a single season (in 1995) and is one of only six USAC “Triple Crown Champions.” He won the 1994 USAC National Midget title, then added the Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown honors the next season. Proficient in virtually every form of motorsports, he has earned three NASCAR Cup championships (2002, 2005 and 2011) and a 1997 Indy Racing League title. He has 27 USAC National Midget wins to his credit, as well as 10 wins in the Sprint cars and three in the Silver Crown series. A member of the National Midget Hall of Fame (2001), his list of impressive motorsports awards and accolades continues to grow. In five Indianapolis 500 appearances, he started first in 1996, finished fifth from the front row in 1997, was ninth in 1999 and sixth in 2001. His charitable contributions through his Tony Stewart Foundation are endless. In addition to his USAC driving titles, he also has seven Sprint Car Owner championships as well as seven in the Silver Crown Series as an owner.
He’s also part owner in Stewart-Haas Racing. Another title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.
Online voting for the final four 2016 inductees into the USAC Hall of Fame will be available on the USAC website Monday (June 20) at www.usacracing.com.