Odd couple: Jeff Gordon, Howard Hughes join motorsports hall

Four-time and late NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon was an apparent choice for a Motorsports Hall of Fame. One of his associate inductees seemed like a totally pointless selection.

Some competence even consider his name was plucked out of skinny air.

Gordon and record-setting commander and individualist billionaire Howard Hughes were among 7 people comparison for a Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

The 2018 category was announced Friday during Daytona International Speedway.

The other inductees are dragster builder John Buttera, Indianapolis Motor Speedway owners Carl G. Fisher, motorcycle good Fred Merkel, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion owners U.E. Pat Patrick and sports-car group creator Bob Tullius.

They will be inducted Mar 13 in Daytona Beach.

Hall of Fame President Ron Watson called a corner preference of Hughes and Gordon “probably a best instance we’ve ever had to illustrate a extent of a inductee roll.”

“Some of these aviators were a Babe Ruths of their day,” Watson said. “So Hughes, with his colorful life, was a extensive flier and set records, and this is totally deserved.”

More information on a inductees:

—Buttera: Known as “Lil John,” a late Buttera built championship-winning dragsters, humorous cars and pro bonds for a biggest names in a competition in a 1960s and ’70s, including Danny Ongais, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Tom “Mongoose” McEwen and Don Schumacher. He was inducted into a International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.

—Fisher: The late Fisher helped popularize a vehicle by competing in a array of exhibitions on Midwest fairground marks commencement in 1902. After unwell regularly to convince automakers to support skeleton for speedways, he swayed 3 business associates to join him in a 1909 construction of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He served as lane boss until 1923.

—Gordon: The late motorist and stream Fox Sports ranks third all-time in Cup Series wins (93) behind Richard Petty and David Pearson. Gordon’s 4 championships (1995, ’97, ’98, 2001) route Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson. Gordon won 3 Daytona 500s, 5 Brickyard 400s and 6 Southern 500s.

—Hughes: Founded Hughes Aircraft in 1932 and became one of a world’s richest men. He set countless annals and built some of a world’s many modernized planes. He was inducted into a National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1973.

—Merkel: “Flying Fred” is an American road-racing legend, winning dual FIM Superbike World Championships (1988-89), 3 AMA Superbike Championships (1984-86) and environment mixed annals along a way. He late during a finish of a 1995 deteriorate after a pile-up during Firebird International Raceway. He was inducted into a AMA Hall of Fame in 2001.

—Patrick: Made his happening as a wildcat oilman and afterwards became a group partner in 1970. His 3 Indianapolis 500 victories came with Gordon Johncock (1973, ’82) and Emerson Fittipaldi (1989). The same twin brought him dual championships, with Johncock in 1976 and Fittipaldi in 1989. Patrick also served as initial boss of opposition Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. He was inducted into a Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2016.

—Tullius: Created a indication for a complicated American pledge sports-car group with Group 44. He was inducted into a SCCA Hall of Fame in 2014.


More AP automobile racing: www.racing.ap.org

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