International Drag Racing Hall of Fame

International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Honoring the legends of the sport of Drag Racing who have made the sport the success it is today.

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The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame is honored to announce the 2022 Inductees. These individuals contribution to ...
09/12/2021

The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame is honored to announce the 2022 Inductees. These individuals contribution to Drag Racing have made the sport what it is today. Congratulations!!

The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame is honored to announce the 2022 Inductees. These individuals contribution to Drag Racing have made the sport what it is today. Congratulations!!

08/07/2021

Ballots for the 2022 Inductees have gone out. We look forward to announcing, in September, the next group of drag racing legends to be inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

05/29/2021
2021 IDRHoF Ceremony

On March 11, 2021 the Thirty-First Annual International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Ceremony and Banquet was held at the Wyndham Garden, in Gainesville, Florida.

The Board of Selectors were: Harry Hibler, Ted Jones, Steve Gibbs, Greg Sharp.

The 2021 Inductees were: John Austin, Bret Kepner, Ron & Gene Logghe, Frank Manzo, Bob & Shirley Sullivan, and John Winterburn.

The Founders Award was presented to: Terry Cook

The Pat Garlits Memorial Award was presented to: Laura South

Below is the television version of the event which aired on CBS Sports on May 23, 2021. The program was produced by Masters Entertainment Group.

John "Tarzan" AustinJohn ‘Tarzan’ Austin grew up as a typical Southern California boy in the 1950’s. He was interested i...
05/29/2021

John "Tarzan" Austin

John ‘Tarzan’ Austin grew up as a typical Southern California boy in the 1950’s. He was interested in cars and speed long before he was able to obtain a driver’s license but when he did get his license, his first car was a 1937 Chevy four door sedan. At the age of 16 John was able to join one of the more recognized car clubs in So Cals San Fernando Valley, the Throttle Merchants. Most of the club’s members, including John, were to be found at the local drag strip every weekend, competing for trophies, and learning how to build and drive a modified car. John was no different and if you really wanted to find him, just show up at one of the racetracks on a Saturday or Sunday.

In 1960 John got his first ride in a true race car when Ted Worby, another Throttle Merchants member, let him drive his supercharged Chrysler Hemi powered AA/Gas dragster. However, unlike most of his fellow club members, John was not employed in the automotive arena but as a bouncer at a local Valley bar. This along with his physical appearance, strength and his unique voice earned him the nickname “Tarzan” that has stayed with him over the years.

Over the years, two of the major car clubs headquartered in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley were the Road Kings and the Throttle Merchants but John bridged the gap between the two when Road King member, Tommy Ivo sold his 4-engine powered dragster to another Road King member, Tom McCorry. At the beginning of the 1963 racing season, McCorry asked John to go on tour with him as his crew chief but Ivo learned about the arrangement and managed to talk John into going on tour with him instead. This was the start of a long time “touring team” arrangement between John and Ivo with both of them working on the car. Ivo was team owner and driver, but John took over responsibility for maintaining the car and sharing the driving chores of the tow rig.

In 1971, John teamed up with Arnie Behling who was campaigning a AA/Fuel dragster known as ‘The Sprite Team’ as his crew chief. As crew chief and tuner, John helped tune the car into the winner’s circle at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, NJ. In 1972 John moved to Greg Scheigert’s Hot Tuna AA/Fuel dragster camp and fulfilled his longtime dream of driving a nitro burning dragster as well as assuming the Crew Chief position for the team. John held that job until 1974 when the car’s engine exploded during a qualifying run and he crashed the dragster at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL and Scheigert retired from racing.

In 1975 John not only moved to another team, he also moved from the AA/Fuel dragster class to the controls of a AA/Fuel Funny Car, the supercharged Chrysler Hemi powered Vega that was being campaigned as the Bluegrass Shaker. The team was able to finish second in the NHRA Division 3 championship points that year but a massive engine explosion and fire near the end of the season left John with his hands burned and no ride and, which helped him decide to retire as a driver and stay involved as a crew member for various teams.

After that, John went to work at Raymond Beadles Chaparral Trailers in Dallas, TX where he learned to build trailers for a lot of his racer friends. Over the years John has stayed in touch with most of his racer buddies and helped bring a lot of laughs to their “social gatherings” but he also helped bring a lot of new ideals and great publicity to the sport.

John "Tarzan" Austin

John ‘Tarzan’ Austin grew up as a typical Southern California boy in the 1950’s. He was interested in cars and speed long before he was able to obtain a driver’s license but when he did get his license, his first car was a 1937 Chevy four door sedan. At the age of 16 John was able to join one of the more recognized car clubs in So Cals San Fernando Valley, the Throttle Merchants. Most of the club’s members, including John, were to be found at the local drag strip every weekend, competing for trophies, and learning how to build and drive a modified car. John was no different and if you really wanted to find him, just show up at one of the racetracks on a Saturday or Sunday.

In 1960 John got his first ride in a true race car when Ted Worby, another Throttle Merchants member, let him drive his supercharged Chrysler Hemi powered AA/Gas dragster. However, unlike most of his fellow club members, John was not employed in the automotive arena but as a bouncer at a local Valley bar. This along with his physical appearance, strength and his unique voice earned him the nickname “Tarzan” that has stayed with him over the years.

Over the years, two of the major car clubs headquartered in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley were the Road Kings and the Throttle Merchants but John bridged the gap between the two when Road King member, Tommy Ivo sold his 4-engine powered dragster to another Road King member, Tom McCorry. At the beginning of the 1963 racing season, McCorry asked John to go on tour with him as his crew chief but Ivo learned about the arrangement and managed to talk John into going on tour with him instead. This was the start of a long time “touring team” arrangement between John and Ivo with both of them working on the car. Ivo was team owner and driver, but John took over responsibility for maintaining the car and sharing the driving chores of the tow rig.

In 1971, John teamed up with Arnie Behling who was campaigning a AA/Fuel dragster known as ‘The Sprite Team’ as his crew chief. As crew chief and tuner, John helped tune the car into the winner’s circle at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, NJ. In 1972 John moved to Greg Scheigert’s Hot Tuna AA/Fuel dragster camp and fulfilled his longtime dream of driving a nitro burning dragster as well as assuming the Crew Chief position for the team. John held that job until 1974 when the car’s engine exploded during a qualifying run and he crashed the dragster at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL and Scheigert retired from racing.

In 1975 John not only moved to another team, he also moved from the AA/Fuel dragster class to the controls of a AA/Fuel Funny Car, the supercharged Chrysler Hemi powered Vega that was being campaigned as the Bluegrass Shaker. The team was able to finish second in the NHRA Division 3 championship points that year but a massive engine explosion and fire near the end of the season left John with his hands burned and no ride and, which helped him decide to retire as a driver and stay involved as a crew member for various teams.

After that, John went to work at Raymond Beadles Chaparral Trailers in Dallas, TX where he learned to build trailers for a lot of his racer friends. Over the years John has stayed in touch with most of his racer buddies and helped bring a lot of laughs to their “social gatherings” but he also helped bring a lot of new ideals and great publicity to the sport.

Bret KepnerLike most of the people participating in the sport of racing and especially drag racing, Bret became interest...
05/29/2021

Bret Kepner

Like most of the people participating in the sport of racing and especially drag racing, Bret became interested in cars and the sport itself at an early stage of his life. However, unlike most of those involved, he has not believed it necessary to compete in a modified vehicle. His first race car was a stock 1966 Plymouth Barracuda entered into bracket racing. Since that start, he has competed in everything from roadsters, coupes, and dragsters to stock rental cars and has an impressive collection of trophies to show for it. One of his favorite forms of racing is to enter competition at a local track with rent a car and use driving skill to win the class.

While the racing itself is fun and interesting, Bret has not confined himself to that side of the sport. As a young enthusiast, he attended the University at St Louis majoring in Journalism and graduated with high honors. Since that beginning, Bret has had over 2,100 manuscripts published in magazines such as Super Stock Magazine and Super Stock & Drag Illustrated Magazine to name a couple. What is truly impressive is the fact that his works have appeared in a total of 57 major publications.

Next on his bucked list was to become a nationally recognized racing announcer where he has announced for NHRA, AHRA, IHRA, UDRA, NMCA, NMRA and ADRL at over 152 racetracks around the country. As if track announcing was not enough, Bret took on the job of TV host for IHRA in 1986 and continued with his TV participation, working for ESPN, FOX, NBC and CBS covering racing from the “inside” for 16 years.

In 1979 Bret continued to add to his expanding “job list” in racing by assuming the position of manager of Dragway 42 in West Salem, OH and in 1981 moving into the same position at St. Louis International Raceway. Still looking to add more ways to be involved, in 1989 he was named Director of the United States Super Circuit series and from 2003 through 2010 he promoted both the weekly Street Car Shootout Series and the monthly Outlaw All Star Series.

Still more levels of participation to be noted, in 1995 Bret opened the doors to his Bret Kepner School of Drag Racing that has graduated over 750 students. He has also researched and chronicled every drag racing facility ever built in a document to be placed in the National Archives for future historians.

Bret is a member of the Society of Land Speed Historians, was inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Henderson, NC in 2007 and the St. Louis International Raceway/Gateway International Raceway Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bret Kepner

Like most of the people participating in the sport of racing and especially drag racing, Bret became interested in cars and the sport itself at an early stage of his life. However, unlike most of those involved, he has not believed it necessary to compete in a modified vehicle. His first race car was a stock 1966 Plymouth Barracuda entered into bracket racing. Since that start, he has competed in everything from roadsters, coupes, and dragsters to stock rental cars and has an impressive collection of trophies to show for it. One of his favorite forms of racing is to enter competition at a local track with rent a car and use driving skill to win the class.

While the racing itself is fun and interesting, Bret has not confined himself to that side of the sport. As a young enthusiast, he attended the University at St Louis majoring in Journalism and graduated with high honors. Since that beginning, Bret has had over 2,100 manuscripts published in magazines such as Super Stock Magazine and Super Stock & Drag Illustrated Magazine to name a couple. What is truly impressive is the fact that his works have appeared in a total of 57 major publications.

Next on his bucked list was to become a nationally recognized racing announcer where he has announced for NHRA, AHRA, IHRA, UDRA, NMCA, NMRA and ADRL at over 152 racetracks around the country. As if track announcing was not enough, Bret took on the job of TV host for IHRA in 1986 and continued with his TV participation, working for ESPN, FOX, NBC and CBS covering racing from the “inside” for 16 years.

In 1979 Bret continued to add to his expanding “job list” in racing by assuming the position of manager of Dragway 42 in West Salem, OH and in 1981 moving into the same position at St. Louis International Raceway. Still looking to add more ways to be involved, in 1989 he was named Director of the United States Super Circuit series and from 2003 through 2010 he promoted both the weekly Street Car Shootout Series and the monthly Outlaw All Star Series.

Still more levels of participation to be noted, in 1995 Bret opened the doors to his Bret Kepner School of Drag Racing that has graduated over 750 students. He has also researched and chronicled every drag racing facility ever built in a document to be placed in the National Archives for future historians.

Bret is a member of the Society of Land Speed Historians, was inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Henderson, NC in 2007 and the St. Louis International Raceway/Gateway International Raceway Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ron & Gene LoggheGene and Ron Logghe were like most of their generation; they loved cars and racing. One thing Gene and ...
05/29/2021

Ron & Gene Logghe

Gene and Ron Logghe were like most of their generation; they loved cars and racing. One thing Gene and Ron had over most other car enthusiasts, their father, Morris Logghe, owned the Logghe Stamping Company. Both Gene and Ron worked at Logghe Stamping, a company that produced products for the auto industry. Since they worked at the stamping company, both Gene and Ron became skilled with their hands as well as their minds.

Both brothers wanted to start racing. Ron designed and built a sports car for road racing and they soon realized road racing was above their budget. But, in 1958 they attended their first drag race and were instantly captured by what it offered, and it was affordable.

Soon, they revamped the sports car for Ron to drag race and built a tube chassis roadster for Gene. In 1961 a local racer named Connie Kalitta asked if the Logghe brothers would build him a dragster chassis. Since the Logghe’s had the equipment and the knowledge, they built thier first Logghe dragster chassis. Connie had great success with this car, and others began to ask if they could purchase one of these chassis. With the chassis business taking off, the Logghe’s expanded into clutch cans, steering components, and axles to go with their chassis. Ron had come up with a new chassis design, small and ultra-lightweight dragster. While testing the car, Gene got burned and their father forbid the brothers to drive a dragster anymore.

Jim Marsh and Roy Steffey, employees at the Logghe Stamping, were having great success in their nitro injected chevy Logghe dragster. The four paired up, forming the Logghe, Marsh & Steffey team with Jim Marsh as driver. In 1963 and 64, the four began to win events and set records wherever they showed up. They beat so many top contending AA fuel dragsters at the time, the car earned the name “the giant killer.” Orders for the Logghe dragsters began to pour in, and soon the Logghe Competiton Products division was formed for the sole purpose of building racing cars and race-related products. The Logghe’s started work on another new design, “the Streamliner,” a sleek streamline body covering a Logghe chassis to cut through the wind. The streamliner did not prove to work out, and in 1965 the Logghes return with “the Prussian,” a blown Chrysler dragster driven by Maynard Rupp and tuned by Roy Steffey. The team went on to win the first NHRA points championship.

This caught the attention of Fran Hernandez and Al Turner with Lincoln-Mercury, who approached the Logghes to build a series of cars to beat the Chrysler altered wheelbase funny cars in the factory experimental class for 1966 (aka the funny car). Logghes came up with a tube chassis with coil-over shocks and featured a one-piece flip top body. The new Ford 427 SOHC would power the cars. The flip-top funny cars had instant success. This led to a stampede of new customers wanting a logghe funny car.

By 1967 drag racing had become a big business for Logghes, and it was not uncommon for at least one newly built dragster and one completed funny car to leave the Logghe shop in a week. Racers at heart, Gene and Ron Logghe promoted both Dragsters and Funny Cars though out their carreers. Many Great names in drag racing won with Logghe race cars such as Tom Prock, Jay Howell, Chuck Kurzawa, Connie Kaliita, Gene Snow, Al Bergler, Shirley Muldowney, Poncho Rendon, Arnie Beswick, Bob Pasccito, Roland Relong, Willie Borsch,” Jungle Jim” Leiberman, and Jack Chrisman, to name a few.
The Logghe Stamping Company turned out over 600 race cars, including Pro Stocks, Altereds, Dragsters, Funny Cars, Motorcycles, Cars and Motorcyles for Bonneville, and even Go-Carts.

With countless wins over the years for Logghe’s, The Logghe Stamping Company was named Car Craft Magazines Funny Car Chassis Builder of the Year in 1967, 68, 69, and 70. In 2006 the Brothers were Honored by the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion, and in 2010 they were inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The doors closed on the famous Logghe Stamping Company in 2013. Gene Logghe still resides in Michigan; Ron Logghe passed away on May 27, 2020.

Ron & Gene Logghe

Gene and Ron Logghe were like most of their generation; they loved cars and racing. One thing Gene and Ron had over most other car enthusiasts, their father, Morris Logghe, owned the Logghe Stamping Company. Both Gene and Ron worked at Logghe Stamping, a company that produced products for the auto industry. Since they worked at the stamping company, both Gene and Ron became skilled with their hands as well as their minds.

Both brothers wanted to start racing. Ron designed and built a sports car for road racing and they soon realized road racing was above their budget. But, in 1958 they attended their first drag race and were instantly captured by what it offered, and it was affordable.

Soon, they revamped the sports car for Ron to drag race and built a tube chassis roadster for Gene. In 1961 a local racer named Connie Kalitta asked if the Logghe brothers would build him a dragster chassis. Since the Logghe’s had the equipment and the knowledge, they built thier first Logghe dragster chassis. Connie had great success with this car, and others began to ask if they could purchase one of these chassis. With the chassis business taking off, the Logghe’s expanded into clutch cans, steering components, and axles to go with their chassis. Ron had come up with a new chassis design, small and ultra-lightweight dragster. While testing the car, Gene got burned and their father forbid the brothers to drive a dragster anymore.

Jim Marsh and Roy Steffey, employees at the Logghe Stamping, were having great success in their nitro injected chevy Logghe dragster. The four paired up, forming the Logghe, Marsh & Steffey team with Jim Marsh as driver. In 1963 and 64, the four began to win events and set records wherever they showed up. They beat so many top contending AA fuel dragsters at the time, the car earned the name “the giant killer.” Orders for the Logghe dragsters began to pour in, and soon the Logghe Competiton Products division was formed for the sole purpose of building racing cars and race-related products. The Logghe’s started work on another new design, “the Streamliner,” a sleek streamline body covering a Logghe chassis to cut through the wind. The streamliner did not prove to work out, and in 1965 the Logghes return with “the Prussian,” a blown Chrysler dragster driven by Maynard Rupp and tuned by Roy Steffey. The team went on to win the first NHRA points championship.

This caught the attention of Fran Hernandez and Al Turner with Lincoln-Mercury, who approached the Logghes to build a series of cars to beat the Chrysler altered wheelbase funny cars in the factory experimental class for 1966 (aka the funny car). Logghes came up with a tube chassis with coil-over shocks and featured a one-piece flip top body. The new Ford 427 SOHC would power the cars. The flip-top funny cars had instant success. This led to a stampede of new customers wanting a logghe funny car.

By 1967 drag racing had become a big business for Logghes, and it was not uncommon for at least one newly built dragster and one completed funny car to leave the Logghe shop in a week. Racers at heart, Gene and Ron Logghe promoted both Dragsters and Funny Cars though out their carreers. Many Great names in drag racing won with Logghe race cars such as Tom Prock, Jay Howell, Chuck Kurzawa, Connie Kaliita, Gene Snow, Al Bergler, Shirley Muldowney, Poncho Rendon, Arnie Beswick, Bob Pasccito, Roland Relong, Willie Borsch,” Jungle Jim” Leiberman, and Jack Chrisman, to name a few.
The Logghe Stamping Company turned out over 600 race cars, including Pro Stocks, Altereds, Dragsters, Funny Cars, Motorcycles, Cars and Motorcyles for Bonneville, and even Go-Carts.

With countless wins over the years for Logghe’s, The Logghe Stamping Company was named Car Craft Magazines Funny Car Chassis Builder of the Year in 1967, 68, 69, and 70. In 2006 the Brothers were Honored by the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion, and in 2010 they were inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The doors closed on the famous Logghe Stamping Company in 2013. Gene Logghe still resides in Michigan; Ron Logghe passed away on May 27, 2020.

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International Drag Racing Hall of Fame

The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 by Don Garltis and late wife Patricia Garlits. The IDRHoF is part of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. The mission of the IDRHoF is to honor individuals who have pioneered or made an impact on the great sport of drag racing. These individuals could be racers, mechanics, or individuals who have produced items that have impacted performance or greatly improved the safety for the sport. To this date the IDRHoF have honored approximately 246 individuals.

The current Board of Selectors for the IDRHoF are Steve Gibbs, Harry Hibler, Ted Jones, and Greg Sharp. The museum maintains a file of individuals who have been recommended to the hall of fame. The selectors every year review the names on file and vote on individuals from the file to be inducted into the hall of fame.

Since 1991 individuals inducted into the hall of fame have been honored at a banquet. The banquet is held every March on the Thursday before the weekend of the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. The inductees are presented with trophies, and receive a hall of fame rings. The banquet is recorded by Masters Entertainment; which then puts together a thirty minute television program which is aired on national television.

If you would like to recommend someone for the IDRHoF please send their name and any background information to the museum.

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Comments

Herb McCandless is NOT in the International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame. Please contact them and see if we can make it happen. He deserves to be.
HE SHOULD BE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DRAG RACING HALL OF FAME. Herb McCandless is an American Pro Stock drag racer. With a long career in racing, McCandless won NHRA's Modified Eliminator title at the 1970 Gatornationals in a Plymouth Barracuda. McCandless also won the 1970 NHRA US Nationals in Pro Stock driving a 1970 Plymouth Duster for Sox and Martin. From 1970 through 1974, McCandless drove a 426 cu in (6.98 l) hemi-powered Plymouth Duster for Sox and Martin After retiring from driving, McCandless became a respected engine builder.
Art Arfons and walt Arfons dragster
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Please read your messages. Thank you
Kuhl and Olson at 1972 PHR Meet.
Who are the 2019 inductees?
Great info!!!!!
This site is (JA) JAck Approved!
AWESOME! THIS IS A GREAT PAGE!