Special from MMHoF (Sunday, June 13, 2021) - The Board of Directors met on June 9, 2021 to tally the votes of the past inductees and past and present Board Members to determine the 10 inductees to the Class of 2021 for the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame (MMSHoF).
Representing those members in the “Other than Driver” category are, Gary Howe, the famed promoter and owner of the Kalamazoo Speedway who has come up with many innovative racing programs and is the home of the prestigious “Kalamazoo Klash. Ed “Big Ed” Inloes, longtime announcer at various tracks in the state and radio show host joins Gary Howe. Ed has been instrumental in the formation of the MARFC/MSTRC Annual Bowling Tournament which raises funds for those less fortunate in the racing community. Ed is a Tom Carnegie Announcer of the Year winner as well a MMSHoF Mick Schuler Media Award winner and was the longtime partner in Race Talk Radio with the Late Larry Loynes.
Representing the “Drag Racing” category is Angelo Giampetroni, founder of the famous Gratiot Auto Supply and longtime sponsor of numerous winning Drag Racers and supplier to the custom car and hot rodding community. Joining Angelo is the Late, Robert “Poncho” Rendon who was the owner of the famed “Detroit Tiger”, “Frito Bandito”, and “Desperado” line of Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters that were driven by Hall of Fame drivers such as the Late Dick Lahaie, Connie Kalitta, and Shirley Muldowney. Incidentally, Poncho carried sponsorship from Gratiot Auto Supply.
Representing the “Other Motorsports” category are famed SCCA Pro Rally America Racer out of Plymouth, Michigan, Doug Shepherd who has won numerous titles and races. Joining Doug is Scott Harvey Sr. who himself is a member of the SCCA Hall of Fame and the Mopar Fame as well as being another extremely accomplished Rally driver who himself has made numerous contributions to the World Rally organization as well as the FIA.
Representing the “Oval Track Historical Era” for drivers who started their careers at least fifty years ago are the Late Joe Boyer Jr. who was the 1924 winner of the Indianapolis 500 and lost his life in Altoona, Pennsylvania in September of 1924 after sustaining injuries in a racing accident. At present we are working to locate family members or Ancestors of Joe Boyer. Joining Joe is Ben Snider from Brooklyn, Michigan. Ben was a standout driver at the Jackson Motor Speedway as well as Manchester, Spartan, Owosso, Butler, Crystal, and others in Michigan as well as Indiana and Ohio.
In the “Oval Track Modern Era” for drivers who started their careers at least 25 years ago the team of Gori11a Racing comprised of Chuck and Chris Silva. While both Silva brothers were drivers it was Chuck who excelled behind the wheel with Chris turning the wrenches and fine-tuning the set-ups. The duo has competed in and won Super Late Model races all over Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio with the Main Event Series as well as garnering multiple Modified Championships at Auto City Speedway and the Dixie Motor Speedway.
Joining the Silva boys will be second-generation driver and the third member of the Simmons Family in the MMSHoF with Billy joining his Mother Joan, and Father “Lil” Richard as Inductees. Billy got his start driving his Dad’s figure 8 car at the Jackson Motor Speedway and over the years has won three Red White and Blue championships in the Figure 8 series in Indiana as well as competing in and winning championships in, Super Sixes, and winding down his career in the mid 2,000’s with the Michigan Legends Series where he won numerous feature races and Championships in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. Billy also won the State Figure 8 Championship becoming only the first time a Father and Son have won that.
The induction ceremony for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for November 7, 2021, in Mt. Pleasant and will be combined with the induction ceremony for the Class of 2020 which due to Covid restrictions in 2020 forced a postponement of ceremonies until 2021.
Details regarding ticket sales and availability will be released in early July.
Story - Dave DeHem, Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame
Photo - Kalamazoo Speedway