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Frequently Asked Questions:

This Frequently-Asked-Questions section has been added to our website on September 14, 2008 to provide thorough and detailed answers to questions most commonly posed to our Board of Directors members. We are also providing this section to dispel some myths and misconceptions about the MI Motorsports Hall of Fame that seem to persist amongst some in the Motorsports community. This section may have other items of concern added to the content at future dates.


Who can attend the banquet and induction ceremonies?

Anyone and everyone in the Motorsports community is allowed to attend the induction ceremonies and are encouraged to do so.


When are the meetings of the Board of Directors held?

Generally, the meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month in April, May, June, September, and October with the induction ceremony the First Sunday afternoon of November. Our meetings are open to the public and begin at 6:45 PM. They are normally held at a restaurant with a meeting room in the Lansing area. This enables Board Members to purchase dinner prior to the meeting as most of our Board members travel at least an hour and up to three hours to attend the meetings. Notices of the upcoming meetings are posted either on the home page of the website or in the news section. Attendance at the meetings is free although refreshments and food are at the attendee’s expense (this includes all board members). Tickets to the induction ceremony are at a cost of $40.00 each.


Where is the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame located?

From 1994 through late-November 2006, the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame had a small, but very professional public exhibit located within the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in downtown Lansing, MI. After a great 12-year relationship with the R.E. Olds Museum’s Board of Directors, circumstances changed, and available floor space had become a major and critical issue for the museum. Due to this situation, they asked us to vacate our display space. All of our memorabilia, signage, photos, and artifacts are currently in safe storage. We have had meetings with several venues to try and obtain a new home for the Hall of Fame where we can also have a larger exhibit area and at this point in 2019 have not been successful. We are still actively working towards this goal.


When and where was the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame started?

It was conceived and founded in the Grand Rapids area in 1980 and was legally incorporated with the State of Michigan in 1982 as a 501c3 non-profit. It was headquartered and operated out of Comstock Park, MI, a northwest suburb of Grand Rapids. For many years and is now headquartered and operated out of Harrison Twp., Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The address being 28047 Maple Forest Blvd. E., Harrison Twp., Mi. 48045 586-465-7046


Who started the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame?

It was conceived and started by a dedicated and all-volunteer group of racers, car owners, racing writers and historians, racing photographers, etc. They were people from varying areas of the state who just very simply realized the desire for such a Hall of Fame to exist. They were also visionary enough to realize from the beginning, that it would always be a stronger and more diverse organization to include and induct racing personalities from ALL types of legitimately recognized and sanctioned motorsports. Racing writer and historian Dick Lee of Grand Rapids is the Founder, and was the first President. He is retired from the operations of the Hall of Fame and is the Executive Director, Emeritus.


Who are the current Board of Directors, and how many board members are allowed within the Hall of Fame by-laws?

Like the people who started the MMSHOF, the current board is made up of much the same. Racers, track owners/promoters, racing publication editors, car owners, series promoters, crew chiefs, track announcers, racing writers, flagmen, racing historians, engine builders/machinists, vintage racecar restorers, etc. Some of the current board members are past inductees themselves. Everyone on the board brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the meetings. As in the beginning and as it remains yet today, ALL board member positions are elected upon by the entire board, but are also on a VOLUNTEER-only basis and are totally uncompensated. The by-laws provide for 25 Board of Directors members, maximum. The current board is a dedicated and devoted group who understands that this is just very simply all about honoring inductees, and no one comes to the table with a self-serving personal agenda. They all “get the big picture” of what this Hall of Fame is supposed to represent, which is NOT “what’s in it for me? The ages vary in the current board of directors from members in their thirties to those in their eighties. Our Board Members come from all over the State of Michigan and reside in the Greater Lansing area, Metropolitan Detroit, the Grand Rapids area, Mt. Pleasant, the Saginaw area as well as Gaylord, Charlotte, and many others. Board members areas of Motorsport interests vary and we have representatives of not only the various forms of oval track racing but also snowmobiles, rallying, tractor pulling, boat racing, drag racing, street rodding, go karts, quarter midgets, sprint cars, and stock cars.


Who are the eligible voters that are allowed to vote for nominated candidates?

Prior to approximately 1995, only the board of director members and some select historians were eligible to vote in the elections. Realizing at that time (1995), that an adequate number of past inductees now existed, then-newly elected President Dan Van Koevering, and longtime Treasurer Allan Brown made the motion for a board vote to allow voting rights to all past inductees. The motion was carried, and the voting system was changed. To summarize, the eligible voters are: All living inductees and all Board Members past and present. The overwhelming majority of the eligible voters are those that have been past inducted themselves. So, in essence, new inductees, for the most part are chosen by the votes of their motorsport’s peers.


What is the process by which the Ballot is assembled?

All new submissions and updates must be received by March 1 of the year in which the voting is to take place. The President of the MMSHoF will send all new and updated submissions to each member of the Board of Directors for review. The President will then condense, if necessary, each submission to one page in length. A separate file is kept of biographies as submitted and another file of as condensed. In March, the President will prepare the Preliminary Ballot that is presented at the April Board meeting for approval. It is then that the Board of Directors will have completed their review of all biographies/submissions and can then decide if a prospective candidate for induction truly has a career in Motorsports worthy of induction. The President, after making any Board requested changes will prepare the Preliminary Ballot containing the names of all prospective inductees and send it to all present members of the Board.
The ballots are counted at the May Board of Directors meeting and the top ten in each category are then placed on the final ballot which is sent out along with the written biography/submission of each person on the final ballot that has been assembled and approved by the Board of Directors. This is the ballot voted on by all living inductees and all Board Members, past and present and the results of which determine those who will be inducted in that Calendar year.


Do ALL eligible voters exercise their voting rights?

Sadly, NO. While we wish that all whom are eligible to vote would all chose to do so, we certainly cannot force the issue, as it is their clear prerogative to vote, or not. Does it alter the potential outcome of induction elections if voters abstain? Absolutely it does, as it would in any election. But this is the USA. They have the right to abstain, or vote. Also, on this subject, it has been our longtime policy that if an eligible voter requests a biography and ballot package to be sent to them on a routine yearly basis, and then DOES NOT return a marked ballot envelope for three consecutive years, they are subject to being dropped off the mailing lists. We will send them a postcard to have them reply to us as to their desire and intent to continue to vote, or not. If we hear nothing in return, they are dropped from the lists, as the bio/ballot packets are quite expensive to print and mail. If at a later time, those eligible persons express renewed interest to return to active voting, they are most certainly welcomed back.


What are the various voting categories?

To some degree, this has been a work-in-progress over the years, but it has been fine-tuned at this point to have been stabilized for more than 10 years. The nomination categories are as follows:
1. “Other than driver / officials / media”. This covers all persons who had a non-driver role in motorsports, which of course encompasses many aspects.
2. “Other than driver / car owners / etc.”. This covers all persons who had a non-driver role in motorsports, which of course encompasses many aspects.
3. “Drag Racing” This covers any and all roles within drag racing.
4. “Other Motorsports” This covers all legitimate motorsports other than car oval track racing, and drag racing.
5. “Oval track driver—Legend era” This covers car oval track drivers who began their career 50 years or more prior to the current voting year.
6. “Oval track driver---Modern era” This covers car oval track drivers who began their career from 25 up to 49 years prior to the current voting year.
**Note: 2 names from each category as voted are taken to be inducted each year with the exception that the two Other Than Driver categories are actually one category with one person taken from each of those to be inducted. The names selected for induction represent those who received the top number of votes in each category. In the event of a tie for second in each of the four categories 3-6 then more than two will be selected. This same provision applies to any ties for first in categories 1 and 2. : As is specified in the Nominations section in this website under the Guidelines and Requirements, no one in any category can be nominated until reaching their twenty-fifth (25) year after the legitimate start of their racing career. Contrary to a myth that seems to persist, a candidate can still be actively competing or be otherwise involved while being nominated. The people who have cultivated this totally erroneous myth and have even repeated it to our board members, just very simply must have our policies mixed up with some other Hall of Fame’s rules. Period.


How many names are on each year’s ballot for voters to consider, and how many persons are typically elected in a given year?

Much like as mentioned above, this also has been a work-in-progress over the years, occasionally being fine-tuned due to the variables in the amount of new biographies we receive and also have on permanent file, as well as other factors. We have come to realize over time and long-accumulated experience that expecting our voters to read, process, and decide on any more than about 50 bios per voting cycle is just very simply out of the question. After all, there are generally no more than about four to six candidates to have to choose from in a national presidential election, when you add the candidates from the less-publicized parties. That gets us to the math where we strive to pare down our yearly Hall of Fame voting categories to no more than 10 names per each category, of which TWO are elected from each, making for 10 total inductees per year. ALL voting ties are carried, which will on occasion; create extra inductees in a given year.


After a bio is initially submitted, does it have to be resubmitted yearly until which time the voters may eventually elect the candidate for induction?

To correct yet another very common misconception, all submitted bios remain on permanent file, and are automatically resubmitted yearly for consideration. How long can it take for a nominated candidate to be voted-in for induction? There is just absolutely no predicting as to how the voting results will elect given candidates in a given year. Therefore, a candidate could be elected in their first year on the ballot, or it can and has taken up to ten years or more. The voters just very simply decide this.


When does the yearly voting take place, and how are the returned ballots processed and counted?

The voting packets are mailed out a few days after the May monthly board meeting. The voters are informed that they must return the marked ballots in the pre-addressed and postage-paid envelopes that are supplied by us to them. They are given a deadline date as to when we require the ballots to be returned and in our possession. They have nearly a month to mark and return their ballots to the home office address listed on the return envelope. We most certainly make this process as voter-friendly as possible! The total number of ballots that we have in our possession at that very moment is all that is counted. Any ballots returned late are NOT considered. Thankfully, that is never much of an issue. At the June meeting, one person sits at one end of the board meeting room table and opens the ballot envelopes with the envelopes in an address side-down position. The anonymous ballots are separated while still folded from the envelopes without comparing them. The empty envelopes are then used to only determine who voted by the return address. The ballot results are initially counted in groups of thirds, and then are recounted two more times by trading the counted groups off to different board members. This insures total accuracy and the comparability of the vote count.

A press release announcing the new yearly inductee-elects is written and released ASAP after the June meeting’s conclusion and once each inductee or their family in the case of posthumous selections have been notified and the President of the MMSHoF is assured that all inductees know. This is to alleviate any inductee or their family from finding out from the internet and not from a representative of the MMSHoF.


“How come John or Jane Doe have never been nominated? (That as according to the opinion of the person posing the question.)

In most cases of presumed situations of potential candidates being “slighted”, as has been “suggested” to us by a small number of folks from time to time, nothing could be further from the truth, and we often have already “been there-done that” in trying to secure a bio for a potential candidate. The people out there making issue and passing judgment without knowing the full facts regarding some of these situations, would probably be totally surprised to know any or all the following:
1. Some totally deserving, as well as hands-down obvious, and even statewide or nationally-famous potential candidates that we have approached, sometimes just do not want to be nominated or be involved in the process at all. As hard as that might be for some to understand, that’s just the way it is sometimes. We have had this situation arise in nearly ALL the types of motorsport that we consider for induction, so the circumstance knows no boundaries. Regarding bios that we as the board directly choose to pursue, we have had a longstanding privacy policy that if a potential candidate wishes to not be involved, we do not pursue the matter. We respect their right to privacy, as we require both cooperation and permission from the person. They have their private and personal reasons in not wanting to be involved, and we ALL have to respect that fact.
2. In some situations, candidates whom have been considered for nomination will have a direct family member, other relative, close family friend, etc., who requests to be the one who authors and produces the bio. Sometimes, this is also requested as a surprise situation, unknown and not revealed to the prospective candidate. We certainly welcome all outside participation such as this, and we always have. However, there have been some past circumstances where we waited for a very long time for a person to complete a bio, years in one recalled instance, while they still continued to insist that it had to be done in their manner and time. So, we certainly try to be all-accommodating. However, as was the circumstance in a recent situation, we will just eventually take the bull by the horns and our board members will try to get it done and make it happen that a bio is submitted.
3. For those small number of particular people who have made issue with the situation that their favorite driver, etc., has not yet been nominated, and they have ridiculously and absurdly perceived this as a deliberate slighting on our part, heed the following: If those persons have possibly attended our banquets, talked to our board members, attended our meetings as guests, and have generally been, or certainly should have been aware of our longstanding policies, they just very simply have not been paying attention. It has been long stated in the Nominations section of this website, and has been very simply, longtime, well-publicized Common Knowledge, that ANYONE can submit a bio to us on a deserving candidate who has had a legitimately successful career. Even with all the experience within our current board, or even our board member rosters of the past, we cannot now, nor should we ever have been expected to know of every last single person who might be a legitimate candidate for consideration. That is exactly why we have ALWAYS had an open-door policy for the public to attend our meetings and banquet to help us fill in the gaps.

4. In some limited cases where either the board itself generated a name that was considered as a legitimate candidate, or agreed with an outside source’s suggestion regarding a named candidate, we sometimes have not been able to readily find the prospective candidate! People will have moved out of state, or even possibly out of the country, or they are not in common phone lists because they have only cell or satellite phones, sold their home and became full-time RV’ers, have sadly passed away without it being of general knowledge, and then we cannot always track down remaining family, or, the potential candidates have just otherwise done a great job of “falling off the grid”. Even with all the resources within the Internet, it can still be difficult to find them, “short of hiring a private detective”. We WILL eventually find them or their relatives, but it can and has taken some time in certain situations.
5. In only the rarest of occasions, we have had biographies submitted to us by outside sources that we have initially rejected for reasons like the ones explained below: A. Even though apparently written by well-meaning relatives, fans, etc., about a deceased potential candidate, the authors were more than a little fuzzy regarding the true and mathematically-likely facts, and most certainly had just “winged it”. Such was the case regarding a bio received some years ago, which stated that in a 20-year career, racing exclusively at only two oval tracks in his home region, the racer in consideration “had won in excess of 500 features”.
6. Do the probable percentage math regarding a typical and realistic Michigan racing season. With rainouts, maybe even some unseasonable “snow outs”, bad windstorms, tornado warnings/sightings, track electrical/lighting failures, blown engines-transmissions-tires, car/driver-disabling crashes, and etcetera calculated in, well, you get the picture. That bio was sent back for “rethink”, but then we ultimately had to properly research it and correct it ourselves in order to finally submit it. B. In recalling one other long past bio submittal of a candidate whom was also deceased, the author just very simply fabricated some facts regarding the suggested candidate’s racing career and subsequent accomplishments. The information in the bio did not ring as being particularly true with the available knowledge within our board members on staff at that time, and then the author finally admitted to having “greatly embellished” the facts, mainly because it came to light that he did not really know what the true facts were. That bio was rejected and returned to the author for proper research and corrections. Interestingly, it was never returned to us.

To the current year, (2019) what is the total number of inductions since the MMSHOF began inducting candidates in 1982?

Including the 2019 inductee-elects, there have been/will be a total of 450 inductions into the MI Motorsports Hall of Fame, as of the 2018 induction ceremony. That represents an average of 12 inductions per year over the 37-year period.


When does the annual MMSHOF Induction Banquet and Ceremony traditionally take place?

Since about 2000, it has been held on the first Sunday in November as a daytime event. It has generally always been held in early November, but in prior years, it was held on Saturday late-afternoons and on into the evening. The desire to no longer conflict with Saturday night racetrack banquets implemented the change, which has been a total success. It is NOT likely that we will ever go back to an evening event.


Where does the induction banquet take place?

Over the past years, it has been held in varying areas of the state. It was held twice in Clio, once in Flint. It has also been held in Lansing, Marshall, Jackson, Comstock Park, and Grand Rapids. Starting in 2000, we had found a yearly repeating home for the banquet in our quest to find a more centrally located, but yet suitable location in regards to the quality of the facility. We have found that in the University Comfort Inn Banquet Center in Mt. Pleasant, MI, and it is likely that our ceremony may continue to be held there for some years into the future. Note: In the earliest years of the Hall of Fame, there were no induction banquet ceremonies, as they simply had not been thought of and developed yet. Inductions took place at race tracks, inductees’ homes, etc.