Driver Dan Gurney, Team Leader Herb Nab and Team Promoter / Owner Richard Howard have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, NMPA President Reid Spencer announced on Tuesday.
The three members of the 2022 class received more than 65% of the votes cast by the members of the NMPA, as prescribed by the statutes of the organization. Biographies of the inductees, all of whom are deceased, can be found below.
The induction of the three new members will take place on Sunday, January 23, 2022 during a dinner and ceremony at the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, North Carolina. At the same time, Class of 2021 laureates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Kinser will be inducted. .
There was no induction ceremony in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NMPA Hall of Fame inductions follow the January 23 convention and the NMPA annual meeting. NMPA award winners will be recognized at an awards lunch that day.
Rules and registration information for the Writing, Video and Radio Broadcasting, Photography and Podcast contests will be distributed to members at the end of October. All contests will include entries from 2020 and 2021, again due to the pandemic.
NMPA Hall of Fame Class of 2022
Dan Gurney – Dan Gurney has had a busy racing career that included roles as a driver, team owner and automaker. Gurney could lead – and be successful – in anything. Early in his career, he competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Formula 1, then won four consecutive NASCAR races at Riverside Raceway in the 1960s. His resume also includes victories in USAC Champ Car races and the SCCA Trans-Am events. Gurney was the first driver to achieve victories in the four major motorsports: F1, International Sports Cars, IndyCar and NASCAR. Its sports car victories have taken place at classic venues such as the Nürburgring, Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans. Gurney was considered an off-road innovator, as he was the first rider to use a full-face helmet in Grand Prix. He was also instrumental in the rear engine revolution at Indianapolis in 1963. Gurney started the tradition of pilots splashing champagne on the podium.
Grass Nab – Considered one of NASCAR’s greatest team leaders, Herb Nab guided a legion of drivers to Victory Lane in the first series, a group that included Hall of Fame drivers such as Fred Lorenzen, Junior Johnson, Bobby Allison and Buddy Baker. But Neb reached his peak with Cale Yarborough. The duo finished second in the NASCAR Championship in 1973 and 1974 before winning back-to-back titles in 1976 and 1977. In their four seasons together, the two won 23 races. Over the course of his career, Neb has won two victories in the sport’s biggest race, the Daytona 500, with Leeroy Yarbrough in 1969 and Cale Yarborough in 1977. Neb’s numbers are impressive: 74 victories (with nine different drivers) and 64 poles in 338 races.
Richard Howard – Richard Howard will be remembered as the man who saved Charlotte Motor Speedway. The trail was on the verge of bankruptcy in the early 1960s when Howard, a local furniture salesman, stepped in and helped turn things around and keep the trail open. His leadership also made the facility a racing destination, as he upgraded fan gear and became known for his promotional flair. Under Howard’s supervision, the surrounding area also underwent changes, with the widening of US Route 29, the addition of new access roads, and the construction of halls around the track for fans. However, that was only part of Howard’s influence. During his tenure with speedway he held other positions such as vice president, general manager and chairman. In the 1970s, Howard partnered with Junior Johnson’s team and was recognized as the team owner with 21 wins in the first series.