Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame
Class of 2015
Marion Cooper, Vine Grove, KY
Dallas Jones, Beechmont, KY
Jim Ruth, Morehead, KY
Jerry Decker, Valley Station, KY
Pat Freels, Island, KY
Dickie Ogles, Bowling Green, KY
Pioneer Award Earl Hayden, Owensboro, KY
OWENSBORO, Ky. - A former boat racing world champion, the owner-operator of one of the nation's most iconic drag strips and the businessman who helped save a drag race sanctioning organization are among the members of the 2015 class of the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Marion Cooper of Vine Grove, Ky., enjoyed a three-decade career in boat racing, winning an American Power Boat Racing Association world championship. He was a three-time winner of the prestigious Calvert Trophy - claimed in competition on the Ohio River during the 1950s and 1960s - and was the first driver of the Miss Madison unlimited hydroplane from 1961-1963.
Dallas Jones of Beechmont, Ky., is best known as the long-time owner and promoter of Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, including Beech Bend Dragway and Raceway. Jones has operated that facility for more than 25 years and overseen an active schedule of national and regional racing events. The facility annually hosts the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, National Hot Rod Association Midwest series races and a variety of other events which pump millions of dollars into the region's economy. Jones began as a competitor and also previously promoted racing at the Windy Hollow racing complex in Owensboro.
Jim Ruth off Morehead, Ky., enjoyed some on-track success competing in Pro Stock drag racing as a hobby, But he is best remembered for helping purchase and resurrect the International Hot Rod Association after that sanctioning organization nearly closed down after the 1988 season. Before his death in 1990, Ruth owned and operated legendary Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, played an integral role in establishing Pro Modified as a professional category and helped launch the career of three-time drag racing world champion Darrell Alderman, also of Morehead.
Other members of the class of 2015 include Jerry Decker of Valley Station, Ky., a two-time drag racing world champion car owner and driver; Pat Freels, of Island, Ky., a former national champion tractor puller and drag racer; and Dickie Ogles of Bowling Green, Ky., who has enjoyed a 50-year career in drag racing. He remains active today after accumulating an astounding 75 NHRA national event class winner trophies.
This year's Pioneer Award will be presented to Earl Hayden of Owensboro, Ky., patriarch of the world champion Hayden brothers motorcycle racers. His son Nicky is a former Moto GP world champion, who has garnered numerous wins in the American Motorcyclist Association Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes. Eldest son Tommy is a former champion in the Supersport class and son Roger Lee has been active at all levels of racing, including Moto GP and Superbike.
The Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the accomplishments of Kentucky natives in all forms of motorsports competition.
Induction ceremonies for the organization's eighth class will be held October 24, 2015, at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History's Speedzeum.
2014 Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony is now available on DVD
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(This video was recorded, published and being sold by a 3rd party, not affiliated with the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame.)
|2013 KMHOF Video
Relive the emotion and the history as the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2013.
See the full induction ceremony plus interviews in a special commemorative DVD video.
The ceremony was held Oct. 26 at the Owensboro SpeedZeum, new home for the Hall of Fame. Inductees also share their thoughts and memories in brief interviews with host David McGee.
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The Speedzeum in Owensboro, KY is the new home for the Kentucky Motorsports Hall Of Fame. Located in the Owensboro Museum of Science & History.
The Speedzeum is a gallery dedicated to motorsports, local racing history and the amazing successes from Kentucky's racing athletes.
The Owensboro Museum of Science and History is located in downtown Owensboro, Kentucky at 122 East 2nd Street, just 300 feet from the beautiful Ohio River. Free parking is available on the surrounding streets or in the parking garage, located just a ½ block north of the museum on Daviess Street. Special arrangements will be made for bus parking.
The museum building stretches an entire city block on Daviess Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Daviess Street is 3 blocks east of Frederica Street, Owensboro's main north-south thoroughfare. The main entrance for the museum is on Second Street.
Attention All Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame Current, Past and Future Inductees. Collings Downes has made it possible for you to order your very own Hall of Fame ring if you are interested. Below are some pictures of Collings ring. For more information please contact :
Dunham Championship Rings ask for Fernando. His number is 866 545 1722.
DEDICATED TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE KENTUCKY MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME, BOBBY DAVIS AND P.O. BROWN. THANKS FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN!
KENTUCKY MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME
To honor, by public acknowledgement or commemoration, of an individual, family or team who has merited recognition and distinction. Their accomplishments and contributions in regard to Kentucky racing history will serve as an inspiration and an example of highest traditions and whose reputation has withstood the test of time.
Purpose of Nominations:
* To preserve the racing history of Kentucky and the region.
* To honor those, living or dead, who by achievement have produced a lasting contribution to Kentucky's racing heritage.
* Applications for citizens or groups may nominate an individual, family or team for induction.
* Nominees must be, but not limited to, have driven, owned, crewed or made a major contribution to the sport.
* The induction committee, through review and balloting, shall select select between 4-6 individuals, families and/or teams.
* Nominations will remain on file for 2 years and are the property of Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame Committee.
* Nomination forms will be available at events or may be requested from the committee.
* Born in Kentucky and/or lived in Kentucky for a period of time.
* Participated in and made a major contribution to motorsports in Kentucky.
* May be living or deceased.
* Participated in motorsports at least 5 years.
* Owned or operated a race facility for 10 years or more.
* Has been an official, a member of media or an individual who played a vital role in development and advancement of motorsports in Kentucky for at least 15 years.
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FUTURE INDUCTEES FOR THE HALL OF FAME CONSIDERATION:
We need your help. Nominate future Inductees. Send information on Racer and who to contact to the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame Committee.
Please contact our committee members with any questions or comments
Bottom Row left to right: Kathy Woosley, Joe Sils, Sue Huber
Middle Row left to right: Bridget Jeffries, Bob Rogers, Eddy Kannapel, David McGee, Tom McNutt
Back Row left to right: Bill Curl, Tom Huber, Dave Jeffries, Bryan Barger, Dave Huber
Not pictured: Bobby Davis, P.O. Brown, Army Armstrong, Spivey Williams, John Potts
Welcome new committee member Cooper Hayden.
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The Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame website is dedicated to provide you, the viewer, the opportunity to view pictures of past and present ky racers. These racers include: Ky Oval racers, Ky drag racers, Ky truck pullers, Ky tractor pullers, Ky watersports (boating, hydroplaning, etc) and Ky hot rodders. Also included is some of the history of the Ky motorsports thru the years as we receive the information. Please send us any suggestion to make this a better website.