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Auto Racing / Local Sports News

Friday, 31 August, 2012 3:57 PM

Ricky Johnson, Ed Pink and Danny Sullivan inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

Vic Edelbrock, Sr., Neil Bonnett, Pop Dreyer and Derek Bell among the additional inductees at the ceremony

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Legendary engine builder Ed Pink was honored at the 2012 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremony on Aug. 29, 2012.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

|

DETROIT -- The 2012 Motorsports Hall of Fame Ceremony was held at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. David Hobbs delivered the introduction. He introduced the Honorary Chairman, Jim Campbell, the Vice President of Chevrolet's Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. Campbell is responsible for integrating the engineering and marketing of performance versions of current production models in addition to all motorsports activities. "We compete on the track and love to win," he said. "When we go to the track, fans are passionate about racing and passionate about automobiles.

"For us these are the must haves for motorsports," Campbell talked a little bit about the seven inductees of 2012. "Motorsports is filled with talented individuals. Tonight is about honoring these seven heroes of horsepower."

Danny Sullivan--In 1982 Sullivan started his Indy car career driving for Forsythe Racing. Autoweek Associate Publisher and Editorial Director Dutch Mandel accepted the award for Sullivan because he was in England making money.

"When he gets an offer to work, he grabs the gold," Mandel said. "Danny is trying to find the next generation of race car drivers in England." Sullivan offered a thank you via satellite: "I cannot begin to thank all the sponsors, crew chiefs, and engineers who played a very important part of my career. My apologies for not being in Detroit."

Vic Edelbrock, Sr.--opened a repair garage on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills in the early 30's. Vic Edelbrock Jr. accepted the award for his father. Vic Edelbrock Sr. was one of racing's greatest innovators. He knew what to do with an engine to make horsepower. He knew how to build engines, tune engines and race engines.

"I was an only child, and I created so much hell, they wouldn't dare to have another one," Edelbrock Jr. explained. "I was not allowed to go to the drag strip. But I went anyway. When my father found out my car sat for one month."

Neil Bonnett--Bobby Allison says he didn't know much about this Neil Bonnett guy. He helped me build cylinder heads says Allison. Bonnett excelled in everything he did. He did 80 events and won 62 of them. On behalf of Neil, to accept this award is Susan Bonnett, his wife.

"I want to thank Motorsports Hall of Fame for this award," Susan Bonnett said. She recalled her husband's first on-track experience. Neil's mom is 95 years old and still going. On Feb. 11, 1994, as Bonnett was practicing for the Daytona 500, his car went out of control and into the wall. He was dead at 47 years old.

Pop Dreyer--Pop's grandson, Dennis, says he was a champion side-car racer and a pioneer in so many things he did. His love of racing and high-performance engines found him getting involved in auto racing, both as an engine builder and developer of racing-related products. In 1937, he won 14 of 25 races.

"People in the industry would seek him out to fix problems," Dennis Dreyer explained. Floyd Dreyer Jr. helped Pop with cars and accepted the award for his father.

Ed Pink--joined in the post-World War II hot rod craze in Los Angeles at age 15. He could have worked in his dad's L.A. paint store or his uncle's famous Hollywood hot dog stand. Instead he took a job with hot rodder Lou Baney. Don the "Snake" Prudhomme presented the award to Ed Pink.

"Is this really happening to me?" Pink asked. "My parents taught me to treat people with respect. My wife, Sylvia, gave me support and she's my partner in life. I love you Sylvia," says Pink. He also thanked all the people in his life and says he is blessed.

Ricky Johnson--Jimmie Johnson presented the award to Ricky Johnson. Ricky was 125cc Rookie of the Year in 1982.

"He had a desire and passion for competition," Jimmie Johnson said. "He had a great work ethic. He had an amazing career on two wheels, then on four wheels when he founded the TORC truck racing series. His loyalty keeps our bond as strong as it is."

Ricky Johnson was a typical California kid motorcross prodigy, with his first race at seven years old. "As racers, we have to have faith in God and ourselves. I thank all the people who gave us faith and to my driving heroes and the Motorsports Hall of Fame for inducting me," says Ricky Johnson.

Derek Bell--the most successful endurance racing driver in the history of British Motorsports. His son, Justin Bell, says there has never been a bad thing said about my dad. Derek Bell, says as a racing driver, we're all very lucky, just the icing on the cake.

"Without the engine companies, we would be nothing," Derek Bell explained. "One must never forget the people that helped us. My first race was in the pouring rain in the middle of March. I'm gonna get out of here and enjoy the moment."

The event concluded at 9:30 p.m. with an afterglow.

For more information about the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, visit www.mshf.com.

Related Story: Dale Armstrong, Jeremy McGrath and Ken Squier among the inductees at the Motorsports Hall of Fame

 

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Don the "Snake" Prudhomme presented the award to Ed Pink.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Exterior of The Fillmore with the induction ceremony on the marquee.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Dennis Dreyer talked about his grandfather, Pop Dreyer, who was honored posthumously.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

24th Annual MSHF Induction Ceremony poster

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Floyd Dreyer Jr. accepted the award on behalf of his father, Pop.

 

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