Monday, January 21, 2013

Mattioli, Squier, Hunter Enter NMPA Hall Of Fame

NMPA Hall Of Famer Ken Squier
Track owner Dr. Joseph Mattioli, broadcast pioneer Ken Squier and NASCAR official Jim Hunter were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame during ceremonies Saturday night in Charlotte, NC.

Mattioli, the founder of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, gave NASCAR a formidable presence in the Northeast when he built the unique, three-turn, 2.5-mile speedway. The track hosted its first 500-mile NASCAR event in 1974, and it has been a staple on the series’ schedule ever since.  He cut an imposing figure, yet was warm and caring, seeking not only what was best for his facility, but for the surrounding region, as well. Those traits made him a beloved and respected figure, both inside and outside the sport. His award was accepted by his grandson, Pocono Raceway President Brandon Igdalski.

Squier, who began his broadcast career at just 14 years of age, continues his work behind the microphone today. One of the founding fathers of the Motor Racing Network, Squier eventually made the transition to television, where he became a fixture in the broadcast booth for telecasts of the Daytona 500. To this day, he has maintained his ties to his Northeastern roots through ownership of radio stations and the popular Thunder Road race facility in his native Vermont.

Hunter began his career in the sport as a journalist, but soon found himself working for the sanctioning body in a number of different capacities, including president of Darlington Raceway. With a keen understanding of the inner workings of the sport, Hunter helped craft decisions that impacted its growth in a variety of areas. In his later years, he became a guidance counselor of sorts for drivers as well as members of the media, often providing advice and friendship in equal doses. His award as accepted by his son, Scott, and wife, Ann.

The National Motorsports Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame was founded in 1965 to recognize excellence and leadership in the sport of auto racing. To date, there are 94 members in the Hall. It is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Members, with date of induction in parenthesis, include:

Bobby Allison (1993); Davey Allison* (1996); Sam Ard (1999)

Buck Baker* (1982); Buddy Baker (1997); Cannonball Baker* (1966); Neil Bonnett* (1997); Harold Brasington* (1992); Red Byron* (1966)

Bob Colvin* (1969); Jerry Cook (1989); Richard Childress (2012)

Darel Dieringer* (1988); W.C. “Junie” Donlavey (2009)

H. Clay Earles* (2000); Dale Earnhardt* (2001); Ralph Earnhardt* (1989); Chris Economaki* (2009); Richie Evans* (1986)

Bob Flock* (1981); Fonty Flock* (1965); Tim Flock* (1973); Ray Fox (1985); A.J. Foyt (2001); Bill France Sr.* (1976); Bill France Jr.* (2001)

Harry Gant (2003)

Barney Hall (2007); Ray Hendrick* (1993); Tom Higgins (2011); John Holman* (1980); Tommy Houston (2008); Jim Hunter* (2013); Harry Hyde* (2004)

Jack Ingram (1997); Dale Inman (2002); Bobby Isaac* (1979)

Dale Jarrett (2011); Ned Jarrett (1973); Junior Johnson (1973)

Carl Keikhaefer* (1980); Alan Kulwicki* (1999)

Houston Lawing* (1987); Butch Lindley* (2006); Joe Littlejohn* (1975); Fred Lorenzen (1978)

Edwin “Banjo” Matthews* (1996); Dr. Joseph Mattioli* (2013); Paul McDuffie* (1965); Ralph Moody* (1990); Bud Moore (2002); Billy Myers* (1968)

Ed Otto* (2002); Cotton Owens* (1970)

Marvin Panch (1987); Raymond Parks* (1995); Benny Parsons* (1995); Jim Paschal* (1977); David Pearson (1991); Roger Penske (2010); Lee Petty* (1969); Maurice Petty (2007); Richard Petty (1998); Pat Purcell* (1967)

Tim Richmond* (2004); Glenn “Fireball” Roberts* (1965); T. Wayne Robertson* (2000); Jack Roush (2010); Ricky Rudd (2012)

Paul Sawyer* (2006); Wendell Scott* (2000); Ralph Seagraves* (1992); Jack Smith* (1981); O. Bruton Smith (2006); Ken Squier (2013)

Marshall Teague* (1968); Herb Thomas* (1965); Speedy Thompson* (1984); Curtis Turner* (1971)

Red Vogt* (1979)

Rusty Wallace (2010); Darrell Waltrip (2003); T. Taylor Warren* (2009); Joe Weatherly* (1965); Bob Welborn* (1982); H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler (2004); Rex White (1974); Waddell Wilson (2011); Glen Wood (2001); Leonard Wood (2002)

Cale Yarborough (1994); LeeRoy Yarbrough* (1990); Robert Yates (2010); Smokey Yunick* (1984)


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