INDIANAPOLIS – Eight additional inductees into the USAC Hall of Fame have been announced, joining the 12 inaugural inductees announced in 2012.
The new class includes four drivers, one car owner, one mechanic, one official and one race organizer. An additional four inductees will be selected by popular vote from a list of 16 released this week through social media.
The second annual USAC Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held May 18 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind., in conjunction with the annual USAC Hall of Fame Classic Traxxas Silver Crown Series race.
The eight-member class of inductees announced today include (alphabetically) Earl Baltes, Henry Banks, Pancho Carter, Al and Bobby Unser, A.J. Watson, Don White and Bob Wilke.
Earl Baltes built the famed Eldora Speedway in 1954 and in 2003 hosted the richest Sprint car race in the world – the “Mopar Million” – the USAC event which offered a total purse of one million dollars. Serving as a race organizer at seven different race tracks in Ohio and Indiana, Baltes presented a remarkable 287 USAC races and was twice honored as the USAC “Race Organizer of the Year.”
Henry Banks, who passed away in 1994, left a significant legacy with the United States Auto Club. He served as USAC’s Competition Director during the formative years between 1959 and 1969. His driving career began in 1932 and he earned the 1941 ARDC Midget title before winning the 1950 AAA National Driving Championships.
He was a six-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 and the 1962 winner of the prestigious Eddie Edenburn Award made a cameo appearance in the racing classic Roar of the Crowd. He is also a member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.