This display gives fans a...
This display gives fans a close up look at some of the technology that goes into a dirt late-model.
To get into the Hall means one must first be nominated. Then, a hand-picked panel of 40 Board Members vote on the nominees. The Board Members for the Hall are made up of car builders, engine builders, series directors, and other personalities of the sport. Race fans can also get into the process by going to the Hall's web site at www.dirtlatemodelhalloffame.com and make a nomination for the future.
Hall of Fame member, and current racer, Chub Frank believes the Hall is a very good thing for the sport. "It is a great honor to be a member of the Hall of Fame," stated Frank. "I really think it probably means more to the guys from the old days who have retired. It was a great honor for me to be inducted; it is a great thing, although I am far from being ready to retire. Every year I am here for the induction process and it just seems to get better and better. Back in the day, you built your own car and if it was a good one, you were the only one that had it, that's where the old guys came from. These days, everyone has a good car, simply because of the availability, and that makes it a lot tougher to win."
For Holder, pride is a big part of the success. "I am proud of the efforts put forth by everyone involved. I am pleased with the progress, although I know that at some point and time a bigger building will become necessary. Just the simple fact that it has all been donated, including volunteer work by several individuals, means a lot and says something about Dirt Late Model Racing. We have done so much with so little."
The efforts of Holder's team came to a head in 2002 when the Hall held one of their most successful fund raisers. They gave away a complete car. Holder gained the participation of several Dirt Late Model parts companies to donate product while Warren Shingleton assembled the car. In the end, more than $50,000 was raised by selling raffle tickets.
Jeff Purvis' 1986 World 100...
Jeff Purvis' 1986 World 100 winning car.
Being a full-time motorsports writer for Stock Car Racing and Circle Track magazines certainly takes a lot of Holder's time. But the fact that he lives in Riverside, Ohio more than 70 miles from the Hall of Fame is the true testament to his dedication to the Hall as he takes care of its maintenance.
The Hall's location, adjacent to Florence Speedway is significant for four big reasons. First and foremost it is pretty much in the center of the Dirt Late Model world, a mere 10 miles off of Interstate 71/75, Florence has one of the best Dirt Late Model weekly divisions in the country and is home to one of the biggest Dirt Late Model Races in the country the Annual North-South 100, run every August. This helps give much needed exposure to the Hall.
Adding to that exposure this year was a visit from a very famous family. The Late Ralph Earnhardt was a member of the 2007 Induction class. There to accept the award for his induction into the Hall, all the way from North Carolina, was Ralph's widow, Martha, and his daughter, Cathy. Earnhardt is, of course, father to Dale Earnhardt Sr. and grandfather to Earnhardt Jr. During the induction Junior called from Watkins Glen International in New York to say a thank you on behalf of his Grandfather as well as to congratulate the other members and their families for being a part of such a very important moment in time.