On November 4th I had the pleasure of being a part of a celebration recognizing the talents of individuals who have shaped the world of motorsports forever.
The Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame held their annual induction dinner at the Comfort Inn in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and hundreds were in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of the drag racing team of Ambrose, Argenta, and Huettman, Asphalt Super Late Model driver Dennis Berry, Aviator and Gyrocopter competitor Dick DeGraw, track safety pioneer and track owner Russ Densmore, Dirt Late Model driver Bob Flinn, the late Bill McGowan whose wife Carol accepted the award for his numerous accomplishments with a wrench, Sprint Car standout Tim Norman, Snowmobile savant Karl Schwartz, Late Model competitor Jim Terrill, and the Vakula Family who built and maintain Lapeer Dragway.
The most unique aspect of the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame is the way in which inductees are voted in. Although the board of directors put endless hours finding ways to honor deserving candidates, they are not the team that decides inductions; instead it is by the votes cast by the hundreds of former inductees.
To be elected into the Hall by your peers is an honor above any other and this year’s induction dinner was a showcase of amazingly talented individuals from various forms of motorsports who have made this great sport what it is today.
Also honored at this year’s induction ceremony were a few individuals who the board of directors chose to honor with specialty awards for their dedication to the sport. Jake Dickman was grated the Dick Beebe Award for his endless contributions to racing and his community. We lost Jake early in 2012 and his wife Debbie accepted on his behalf. Phil Collins was given the Lifetime Achievement Award which was accepted by his son Don, and Terry Fitzwater received the Mick Schuler Media Award for bringing local short track coverage back to the state of Michigan.