Many of racing’s greatest names were on hand at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s (MSHFA) recent opening at Daytona International Speedway.
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) is the only hall of fame that encompasses the full spectrum of American motorsports: cars, motorcycles, off-road, powerboats and airplanes. Holding its first induction ceremony in 1989, the facility was headquartered in Novi, Michigan from 1989-2015 and relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida in 2016.
JRA (Jack Rouse Associates) provided complete planning, design, project management and art direction for MSHFA’s nearly 23,000 square feet of refreshed exhibit space, with exhibit fabrication by The Nassal Company, audiovisual integration by Electrosonic, and lighting design by Abernathy Lighting Design. The new and renovated exhibits reflect the MSHFA’s mission to celebrate and instill the core values of leadership, creativity, originality, teamwork and spirit of competition embodied in motorsports.
Artifacts and graphics honor the pioneers and master racers of America’s motorsports heritage, as well as drag racing, aviation, motorcycles, powerboats, sports cars, stock cars, open wheel racing and the racing world at large.
At the end of the Hall of Heroes – a dramatic display populated with legendary motor speed vehicles cutting the full height of the building – is a circular pavilion that houses plaques honoring the most recent inductees to the Hall of Fame. After a year, these inductees will join their fellow heroes in their respective fields.
Standing next to this open gazebo is a tribute to one of the icons of the racing industry, Robert E. Petersen. His fame and success as a publisher is only matched by his profound love of motorsports. Noticing an absence of hot-rod specific media, he founded Hot Rod Magazine, and eventually built his empire on automotive publications. A towering marquee leads visitors to a large theater that celebrates Petersen’s accomplishments and features other racing films. The Petersen Theatre serves as a testament to the passion that motorsports have inspired in fans the world over.
As part of the long-awaited opening ceremony, the MSHFA held a formal ribbon cutting, featuring the unveiling and dedication of the Petersen Theatre. Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Bobby Allison, Kurt Busch, Richard Childress, Tom D’Eath, Hurley Haywood, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip and Humpy Wheeler.
“The racing immortals who were with us helped us usher in a new era for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” said MSHFA President Ron Watson. “The compelling stories of all of our inductees – our ‘Heroes of Horsepower’ – collectively form the foundation of our new facility. Combine those individual histories with our many classic racing vehicles and our other exhibits, and you have a hall of fame that is truly a ‘must-see’.”
The 29th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony will be held in Daytona Beach on Wednesday, June 28. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is located at 1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona, Florida, USA. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.mshf.com/museum. The MSHFA is operated by the nonprofit Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation, Inc.