Dawsonville, GA – The Class of 2012 inductees to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame boasts a Daytona 500 champion, one of Georgia’s great dirt track aces, the all-time NHRA Pro Stock win leader, a legendary short track ace, and one of the best sprint car racers to ever come out of the Peach State.
With sunny, blue skies overhead, the five new inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame were announced Saturday morning at the Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA.
The five new inductees include 1970 Daytona 500 champion Pete Hamilton, multi-time Dixie Speedway champion and NASCAR driver Bill Ingram, all-time NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing winner Warren Johnson, long time dirt track and asphalt ace Doug Kenimer, and sprint car champion Herman Wise.
The 2012 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Oct. 26, 2012 at 6 pm at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, Georgia.
A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information, call the Hall of Fame at (706) 216-RACE (7223) or go online to georgiaracinghof.com.
Here’s a closer look at the 2012 inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame:
Pete Hamilton – Newton, MA, relocated to Buford, GA – Won the 1970 Daytona 500 driving for Petty Enterprises, and won both Talladega races that year while driving for Petty. Was the 1965 Thompson World Series Twin 50s champion. Scored the title in the NASCAR National Sportsman division in 1967. Was the 1968 Rookie of the Year in NASCAR Sprint Cup. Won the 1969 NASCAR Grand American division title, winning 12 of 26 races that year. Won a qualifying race (then a points event) at Daytona in 1971 driving for Cotton Owens. Won the 1974 Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. Became a successful car builder in Georgia, operating out of Buford, building cars for several championship winning drivers, including Hall of Famers Charlie Mincey and Ronnie Sanders.
Bill Ingram – Woodstock, GA – Over 285 feature wins – Ran first race in 1967, at the age of 13, at Cherokee Motor Speedway in Canton, GA – Began racing regularly in 1973 – Won Hobby Championships at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock GA in 1978 & 1979 – Moved to Limited Sportsman in 1981, winning several races. Would win championship in 1982 – Won Georgia State Motocross Championship (for motorcycles) at Ballground, GA in 1982 – Won Dixie/Rome Rookie of the Year in Super Late Models, 1983 – Won National Late Model Rookie of the Year from Racing News Weekly, 1983 – Won Points Championship, Dixie Speedway, 1984 – Won Rome Boss 100 Late Model Points Championship at Rome Speedway, 1984 – Won Alabama Enduro Championship at Birmingham Speedway, 1985 – Won the Enduro 300 at Dixie Speedway, 1985 – Qualified ninth, finished sixth in ARCA series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1986 – Qualified at over 178 mph in ARCA competition at Talladega, AL, 1986 – Won Georgia State Demolition Derby championship, 1987 – Competed in ARCA competition at Daytona, Atlanta, 1987 – Won 18 Super Late Model features at Dixie and Rome Speedways, including several 100 & 200 lap events – Qualified for first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event driving for Henley Gray at Talladega in 1989 – Won features at North Georgia, Dixie and Rome – Won inaugural Hav-A-Tampa Shootout at Dixie in 1990 – Won Dixie track championship in 1994, with several major wins that year – Passed away on Jan. 10, 1999.
Warren Johnson – Buford, GA – NHRA Pro Stock racer, All Time Pro Stock winner, with 97 career wins, 151 career final round appearances. Six time NHRA Pro Stock champion (1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2001). Set a career best speed and time in Gainesville, FL in 2012 (212.46). Was the first Pro Stock driver to surpass 180 mph (Fremont in 1982) and 190 mph (Indianapolis in 1986). Scored five wins in 11 final round appearances in 1991. That same year, raced in Japan, beating American and Japanese Pro Stock races. Became the first Pro Stock driver in history to exceed 200 mph (Richmond, 1997). Became the first driver in NHRA history to make a sub 6.9 second pass (6.894 seconds, Richmond). Won 56 elimination rounds, recorded top speed in 21 of 22 events, both in 1998. No. 1 qualifier at 15 events.
Doug Kenimer – Dahlonega, GA – Famed dirt and asphalt driver, competed and beat such drivers as Buck Simmons and Bud Lunsford. Competed in coupes, Super Modifieds and Late Models all over the country, including Cumming Speedway, Atomic, Athens, Toccoa, and Lanier. Member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. Won the World 100 at Eldora in 1972.
Herman Wise – Toccoa, GA – Sprint Car Racer, car builder. Won the 1971 Little 500 in Anderson, IN. Won at Williams Grove and Sealinsgrove. Scored wins all over the southeast, including at the Peach Bowl, Athens Speedway, Jefco Speedway, and Toccoa in Sprints and Super Modifieds. Died in a traffic accident in Habersham County, GA in 2003.