By Bob Baker
Knoxville, IA, December 16, 2022 – The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the names of its thirteen inductees for 2023. Those that will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 3, during the 33rd induction ceremonies in Knoxville, Iowa, are:
Ken Hamilton – Ken and the Grant King built “Pink Lady” sprint car marveled fans in the west and northwest for almost 50 years. In his first year in the car, Ken won 19 out of 22 races, and the successes kept coming. Ken is a two-time winner of the Copper World Classic, won on tracks in the west from Ascot to Skagit, and promoted the Meridian Speedway in Idaho for 20 years.
Chad Kemenah – Chad has been successful on the dirt tracks across the country for some time. He’s a six-time All Star Circuit of Champions titlist, holds two Ohio Speedweek championships, is fourth with the series in A main starts, and is third in top five finishes and podium finishes. In addition to his All Star exploits, he was the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year with the World of Outlaws and holds six wins with them.
Cory Kruseman – Cory’s success in sprint cars branched from his native California across the country. The 1999 Non-Winged World Champion is also a two-time SCRA/USAC-CRA champion, a two-time Indiana Sprintweek Champ, and a Western States Dirt Track Champion amongst other accomplishments. Not counting unsanctioned wins and his midget prowess, he has accumulated 123 sprint car wins under a sanction (67 with SCRA, 37 with USAC-CRA, 15 with USAC, three with Sprint Bandits, and one with MSCS).
Bobby Marshall – Before he was asked by Ted Johnson to be an original traveling member of the World of Outlaws, Bobby had already been named 1972 Texas Sprint Association Rookie of the Year, had racked up numerous wins with NCRA, won four of six races driving “Speedy” Bill Smith’s #4x, and won the first two Devil’s Bowl Winternationals. He would later be a two-time Devil’s Bowl track champion before an early retirement. He is credited with 108 career sprint car victories.
Joey Saldana – Following his father Joe as an inductee, Joey’s storied career behind the wheel sees him third all-time in All Star wins with 74. Eighteen of those wins came in 1995, and is still a single season record with the series. He would go on to a seventeen year career with the World of Outlaws, winning 105 times, seventh on the all-time list. Joey is a two-time King’s Royal winner, two-time Gold Cup titlist, and has wins at the Brad Doty Classic, the Ironman 55, and many huge races overseas.
Johnny Capels – Johnny saw sprint car racing from every angle. Starting as a driver, he was the New Mexico Racing Association champion. He followed fellow New Mexican drivers Bobby and Al Unser to Indiana. He won his first USAC feature in 1968 and competed in 1969 and 1970 before turning wrenches. He was a three-time USAC champion as a chief mechanic and once as an owner. He became USAC senior vice president and director of competition in 1992, and was the chairman of the USAC Board of Directors from 2002 to 2010.
Paul Hazen – A staple as an Indiana sprint car owner since 1967, Paul’s list of drivers is very impressive. His best runs have come with Jim (three track championships) and Tony Elliott (75 wins and nine track championships and Jon Stanbrough (37 wins). Just a few others to succeed in Paul’s #57 have been Kevin Thomas, Robbie Stanley, Tracy Hines, Jay Drake, Dave Darland, Jeff Gordon and Bryan Clauson.
Tommy Sanders – Tommy’s origins as a mechanic came in central Pennsylvania. After helping Gene Goodling to five championships at Lincoln, Susquehanna and Williams Grove, he joined Bobby Allen to build cars and accumulate 65 wins over nine years. Tommy’s run on the road included Sammy Swindell’s WoO championships with LaVerne Nance, Brad Doty’s Rookie of the Year in 1982, many of Doug Wolfgang’s wins, and Keith Kauffman’s dominance with car owner Al Hamilton. He also built Sammy’s 1997 WoO championship car among many other winners and titlists.
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Max Dolder – An Iowa native, Max moved to the Tampa, Florida area in his early twenties and took his camera with him. He became the track photographer at East Bay, and at the new fairgrounds track. He shot for National Speed Sport News at sprint car races across country, creating makeshift dark rooms along the way. Max has contributed not only to NSSN, but countless other publications including Open Wheel, Circle Track and Sprint Car & Midget. He is also an inductee in the Little 500 Hall of Fame.
Alan Kreitzer – Alan has been one of the most recognized personalities in the Central PA sprint car scene for over 40 years. Alan was promoter and owner of Silver Springs Speedway from 1980-2005, was promoter and owner at Susquehanna (1990-93), was co-promoter at Williams Grove (1993-2003), was co-promoter at Selinsgrove (2016-20), and is co-promoter and co-owner at Lincoln (1993-Present). Alan is the founder of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek and has been the owner and promoter since 1991. Alan also was a major contributor and founder and still serves on the Board for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR). He holds countless awards in the region.
Ralph Sheheen – A native of California, Ralph has been a champion of sprint car racing for over 30 years through a number of media outlets. Ralph’s play-by-play work on TNN’s live coverage of the Knoxville Nationals and at Eldora ushered in a new era for attendance at the Knoxville Nationals and the King’s Royal. Ralph has also worked for the Speed Channel, and currently is employed by Speed Sport. His promotion of sprint cars has gone beyond the booth, to his news magazine features on TV, and his columns in print.
Johnny Vance – Johnny follows his Hall of Fame father to induction. By the early 1960’s, he was a USAC technical chairman. In 1981, he would take over Don Siebert’s championship USAC team and become a car owner. In his role as a USAC official, he was instrumental in convincing Earl Baltes to start the Four Crown. Drivers for Johnny over three decades included Jim Mahoney, Gene Lee Gibson, Joe Saldana, Tracy Hines, Steve Butler, Dave Steele, Steve Kinser, Jack Hewitt, Tony Elliott, Jac Haudenschild, Ryan Newman, Damion Gardner and many more. His cars won 44 USAC sprint car events, and eight Silver Crown scores. Championships came with Butler in 1990 and Elliott in 1998.
Joie Ray – Joie had a decorated 17-year career as a driver. He was the first black driver to compete in a sanctioned race when he took the MDTRA in Mitchell, Indiana April 6, 1947. His first win came later that year in Logansport. Joie’s groundbreaking career included racing with not only the MDTRA, but also the IMCA, CSRA and AAA (the first black to race in all four classes). His first AAA race saw him finish eighth on the high banks of Salem. Joie’s success has seen him inducted into a number of Hall of Fames, including HARF, the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Midget Auto Racing, High Banks Hall of Fame.
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 National Induction Committee! We are really looking forward to our 33rd induction banquet on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa on Saturday, June 3!”
For more information on the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and the special events happening here, visit www.SprintCarHoF.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum
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