Racing legends Derek Bell, Neil Bonnett, Pop Dreyer, Vic Edelbrock Sr., Ricky Johnson, Ed Pink and Danny Sullivan will be this year's inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization's 24th Annual Induction Ceremony that will be held on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. On the Tuesday, August 28, the inductees will see their bronze sculptures unveiled for the first time.
Sullivan and Pink were on site in Long Beach Friday to expand on their being inducted.
“It's a great honor to be among all these people in such a great class,” Sullivan said. “My only regret is wishing my dad could be here to see it. It's a nice exclamation point at the end of the career.”
Pink, who has nearly 50 years experience building engines across several disciplines of motorsports, described what it means to be a successful engine builder.
“As an engine builder, winning means everything, and losing is nothing,” he said. “You don't build engines to lose. A lot of times when you win, you get paid for the engine. The ones that don't blow up are my favorite engines.”
Sullivan, also the 1988 IndyCar series champion, recounted his most memorable win – the legendary 1985 “spin ‘n' win” en route to triumphing at the Indianapolis 500.
“I was saying some X-rated things at the time, as I was so angry at myself,” he recalled. “I just had taken the lead – if only for 100 feet – and I'd assumed I'd hit the wall. In those days, of a five-speed gearbox, three were to come out of the pits, with two top gears. So I wondered what gear should I pick?
“After I'd caught it, I'd almost lost it again. It still all timed out. I talked to Derrick Walker (team manager) on the radio, who said, ‘You were fine, but maybe a couple octaves higher than normal.' He didn't know what had happened at the time!”