Class Of 2005 Inducted

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TALLADEGA, Ala. - Three-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Darrell Waltrip heads the Class of 2005 that will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame April 28.

Joining Waltrip in being inducted are drag racing icons Joe Amato and Bob Glidden, powerboat champion Chip Hanauer, and Formula 1 and CART champion Nigel Mansell.

"This is a powerful class, one in which each member had a significant impact on the history of his particular form of racing. All five of them have won multiple championships. It is quite a group," said Hall of Fame Executive Director Jim Freeman.

Waltrip enjoyed a career that places him among the best ever in NEXTEL Cup history. His career 84 victories are good for a tie for third place with Bobby Allison on the all-time win list, and his three NEXTEL Cup championships are surpassed by only three others. In addition to his 84 wins, Waltrip captured 59 poles, good for fourth on the all-time list. He was named Driver of the Year three times and won the 1989 Daytona 500.

Waltrip was twice voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, and was also selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. He was the first driver to win $10 million, and finished his career with $20 million in winnings. Waltrip is now the owner of a Craftsman Truck Series team, is the national spokesperson for Toyota trucks, and is also the lead color analyst for Fox Sports on race telecasts.

Amato had 54 NHRA Top Fuel wins and five Top Fuel championships, both records. He also finished in the Top Ten in each of his 19 seasons. Amato was the first driver to top the 260 and 280 mph marks, and won the Bud Shootout All-Star race a record six times. He retired at the end of the 2000 season because of a detached retina, and now runs his own team with Morgan Lucas as the driver.

Glidden captured ten NHRA Pro Stock titles and another one in IHRA. When he retired, he was NHRA’s winningest driver in any class with 85 career victories. In 1979, he won nine straight national events, then enjoyed another incredible streak in 1987, in which he was the No. l qualifier in all 14 events, and won the last five in a row. In 1988 he extended his string of fastest qualifier to 23, and stretched his consecutive streak of rounds won to 50. In 1989, Glidden enjoyed his most dominant season ever, winning seven of the first 11 races, and leading the points all season. He is now working at Schumacher Racing in Indianapolis.

Mansell was one of the most determined and aggressive drivers ever to sit behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, and it was because he and his wife had sold their house to get his career started in 1979. Driving for Williams, Mansell first won at Brands Hatch in 1985, plus another one that year, then won 11 times in the next two years, and finished second in points both times. His first championship came in 1992, when he won nine races and 14 poles. Shocking much of the racing world, Mansell moved to the CART series the next year, and became the only driver to ever win back-to-back titles in these two series. For that, he was named Driver of the Year in 1993.

When the spray had settled after Hanauer’s career, he’d won seven Unlimited Hydroplane national and world titles, and 61 national events including a record 11 Gold Cup races.

This ultra-successful quintet will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 28, 2005. In addition, Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson will also be honored. Anderson was named the 2004 Driver of the Year.

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