The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s annual induction ceremony is returning to the Detroit area after a five-year absence when it kicks off the inaugural American Speed Festival at the M1 Concourse’s new events center in Pontiac in September.
The MSHFA was based in Novi and conducted its induction ceremonies at The Fillmore Detroit theater for more than 25 years before moving to the Daytona International Speedway in Florida in 2016.
The induction events, which will take place Monday, Sept. 27 and Wednesday, Sept. 29, will attract some of the greatest names in auto racing history to the Detroit area and act as a prelude to the Sept. 30-Oct. 3 American Speed Festival at M1.
The 2020 induction class will be honored Sept. 27 and the 2021 class will be inducted Sept. 29. The organization’s 2020 induction ceremony in Daytona Beach was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We couldn’t be more honored that the team at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America has chosen M1 Concourse’s new event center to host these two prestigious events,” says Tim McGrane, CEO of M1 Concourse. “These induction ceremonies, featuring some of the racing greatest names, is the perfect bridge between Motor Bella the week before and the American Speed Festival right after. It couldn’t be a better way to kick-off a weekend celebration of automotive innovation, speed, and excellence: past, present, and future.”
Legendary IndyCar crew chief Jim Hall, a 1994 MSHFA inductee, will be honored as the American Speed Festival’s first Master of Motorsports.
“We’re delighted that our induction ceremonies will help kick off the start of the first American Speed Festival,” says George Levy, president of the MSHFA. “Before the Hall of Fame moved to Daytona, we were located in the Detroit area and hosted most of our induction ceremonies there, so it’s a little like coming home.
“It’s great to have the new event center at M1 Concourse available to host our two ceremonies within three days, and even better to be able to do it at a facility where we can showcase historic cars on a racetrack right outside the building. It’s a great setting and a great way to kick off the American Speed Festival.”
The 2020 MSHFA induction class includes NASCAR’s first-ever champion Robert “Red” Byron, flat-track motorcycle impresario Chris Carr, early motorcycle racer, promoter and publisher Floyd Clymer; driver, official, and safety advocate Wally Dallenbach Sr.; Rick Hendrick, one of NASCAR’s most successful owners; 1963 Daytona 500 champion Tiny Lund, Can-Am and Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Jacky Ickx, drag racing legend “Ohio” George Montgomery, and Baja 500 and 1,000 and SCORE World Champion Ivan “Ironman” Stewart.
The 2021 list of honorees includes one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, Davey Allison; three-time land speed record holder John Cobb, three-time NHRA Top Fuel drag racing champion Larry Dixon Jr., IndyCar and NASCAR trailblazer Janet Guthrie, 2006 MotoGP motorcycle world champion Nicky “Kentucky Kid” Hayden, IndyCar correspondent Robin Miller, seven consecutive APBA Gold Cup-winning owner Fran Muncey, multi-time USAC and NASCAR champion Ray Nichels, and sports car racing timer/scorer Judy Stropus. This induction class features three women for the first time.
It is expected that many of the legends being inducted, as well as past Motorsports Hall of Famers will remain in town for the American Speed Festival, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 30.
The ASF is expected to be a premier celebration of speed — past, present, and future — and will bring together the automotive world’s best elements into one place. The new event will showcase excellence in automotive engineering and design, and celebrate driving at speed, including the thrill of motorsport competition.
More than 200 distinguished automobiles drawn from OEMs and collections worldwide are expected at ASF, which will combine world-class auto exposition with live racing action on M1 Concourse’s 1.5-mile road course, Champion Motor Speedway.
Tickets and more information on the American Speed Festival are available here.
More information on the MSHFA and its inductees is available here.