The City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach honored KV Racing Technology – Lotus co-owner Jimmy Vasser today by inducting him into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame at the sixth annual ceremony in Long Beach, Calif. Vasser, along with Target Chip Ganassi Racing which was also honored today, join an illustrious list of drivers and teams which includes Mario and Michael Andretti, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Newman Haas Racing, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman and Al Unser Jr.
“This is fantastic…a great honor (and) a great surprise – I am humbled,” said Vasser. “I want to thank the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach for this honor. To be inducted with all of these great names in motorsports is tremendous and my first reaction was that I was not worthy. I think it was my last win here, in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race last year that pushed me over the top and got me inducted.
“I looked out from the podium today and I think it is a little serendipitous. The guy who gave me my first ride at age six, my dad (Jim Vasser Sr.) is here. The guy who ran my first IndyCar team, Mike Hull is here. The guy whose team I had most of my success with, Chip Ganassi is here. And, the guy who gave me my last IndyCar ride and got me started in my new career as a team owner, Kevin Kalkhoven is here. I think that is very special.”
Vasser, who won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 1996 en route to the CART IndyCar crown, began attending the event in 1983 as a spectator and has not missed a race in Long Beach since. His last open-wheel start came at Long Beach on April 20, 2008 with KV Racing Technology and last year he won the Pro category of the 2010 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. As a team owner he won at Long Beach in 2008 with Will Power driving.