Jeff Gordon, Howard Hughes selected to Motorsports Hall of Fame

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s latest inductees are a diverse group, typified by the inclusion of NASCAR great Jeff Gordon and late billionaire Howard Hughes.

The honorees revealed Friday also include Carl G. Fisher, the founder of Indianapolis Motor Speedway; U.E. “Pat” Patrick, a team owner who won the Indianapolis 500 three times; John Buttera, who built title-winning drag race vehicles; Bob Tullius, a sports-car driver and team owner; and Fred Merkel, a motorcycle-riding legend.

“Our inductee classes are always intriguing but this year is even more so,” MSHFA president Ron Watson said. “Howard Hughes and Jeff Gordon in the same class — that is probably the best example we’ve ever had to illustrate the breadth of our inductee roll.”

The announcement was made at Daytona International Speedway, with Tullis, 87, on hand.

“To be here at Daytona makes it even more special,” Tullis said, according to “My first race at Daytona was in 1962. … The honor to be selected by your peers is far and above other kinds of awards.”

Gordon captured NASCAR’s top-series title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001, the fourth-highest total in history. His 93 Cup Series wins rank third as part of a career that included starts in 797 consecutive events.

The eccentric Hughes founded Hughes Aircraft, built the “Spruce Goose” aircraft and set many air speed records in the 1930s.

–Field Level Media

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