August 17, 2005 | 2:59 P.M. EST
Current NBC/TNT broadcaster and former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons as well as Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva will be among a group of nine racing personalities inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Thursday in Detroit. Parsons won the 1973 Winston Cup championship as well as the 1975 Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and the final race at Ontario Motor Speedway, the 1980 L.A. Times 500. Other inductees: Hurley Haywood; Tommy Ivo; Danny Foster; Jay Springsteen; NASCAR's John Holman and Ralph Moody; Indy 500 winner Troy Ruttman. The nine will join 126 already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Novi, Mich.
NASCAR HALL ROLL CALL
NASCAR officials are touring the country this week listening to presentations for its new Hall of Fame. Atlanta, Charlotte, Daytona, Kansas City and Richmond are the five finalist cities and receive one day to show their proposals and local support. On Tuesday, Atlanta presented their proposal with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin leading a NASCAR cheer for a sweltering rally of more than 100 people at Centennial Olympic Park. Charlotte is next on the road trip.
WHEN IT RAINES.....
Tony Raines will get a shot at a full-time Busch Series ride for the remainder of 2005. The veteran driver will take over Kevin Harvick's No. 33 Chevy, where Raines has shared duties with Tony Stewart, most recently last Saturday at Watkins Glen. Raines will begin his primary driver tenure this weekend in the Domino's Pizza 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
"During June and July I was really starting to get in a rhythm when I drove those nine races in a row," Raines said. "As a racer you always want to be in the car, so it wasn't much fun sitting out the past two weeks."
Raines also landed a NEXTEL Cup ride when R&J Racing released Kevin Lepage from his duties for the No. 37 Dodge Charger. Lepage, who was with the team since late last year, was replaced by Raines who has 49 career Cup starts and one top-10 finish in four years of competition in the series.
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME..NASCAR?
Former NFL stars and Dallas Cowboy quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach have found sponsorship for their fledgling "Hall of Fame Racing" team, which plans on making its NEXTEL Cup debut in next February's Daytona 500.
Texas Instruments Inc. will be the primary sponsor and plans to use the car to promote its DLP, or digital light processing, technology used in high-definition televisions.
Aikman, Staubach and veteran Trans Am series driver Bill Saunders created the team, which has a deal with Joe Gibbs bbs Racing to provide cars, engines and personnel. No driver or crew chief has been named.
"We're going to have to fast-track it on some things, but we can put a team together and a competitive team," Aikman said. "Everything has come together in a positive way."
NEW MAN IN CHARGE
Officials at the Champ Car World Series announced a new president for the sanctioning body this week. Sports Car Club of America President and CEO Steve Johnson will replace Dick Eidswick as the President of Champ Car World Series LLC. Eidswick, who will remain with the company as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, had been drafted out of retirement by Champ Car co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerry Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi upon the trio's acquisition of CART's assets after the 2003 season.