Countdown to 2012: No. 1 — The next Hall of Fame class?

February 25, 2012 31 Comments

One of the pleasant surprises during the offseason has been the number of conversations I have found myself in regarding the second Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame class. Who will be inducted later this year to following the inaugural round of Mark Burgtorf, Steve Fraise, Hank DeLonjay, the Scott Family, Don Hummel and Refreshment Services Pepsi?

Judging from the names I most often hear, coupled with one or two I also feel deserve conversation, I would guess — and believe me, it is only a guess — the leading candidates would be (in alphabetical order) Lonnie Bailey, Steve Carlin, Eddie Dieker, Tony Dunker, Terry Gallaher and Denny Woodworth. There are at least another dozen-plus possibilities I have also included.

Let’s be honest. That 2011 class was a virtual slam dunk, but now we get into the start of the great debate(s), and that’s one of the pivotal reasons for a Hall of Fame like this. It stirs great interest.

Two names I have not included on the following list are Michael Long and Steven DeLonjay, for what I presume are obvious reasons. I kind of use the loose guideline of having had to race at least 10 full years at the track, unless there would be an obvious exception — which there is in the case of Dieker. He raced less than 10 years, but won four track championships. He was the Sandy Koufax of the bombers — he wasn’t around long, but he will never be forgotten.

The following list is also dealing primarily with drivers, for the exception of a couple of “families” and a car builder I have added to the discussion. I am not qualified to talk about longtime track employees or sponsors. I’ll leave that up to the track officials. Today I am simplky starting the discussion about the drivers.

I haven’t talked yet with Hall of Fame Executive Director Charlie Bryson, but I would guess there would again be three drivers selected. If that’s the case, the decision(s) will be mighty difficult.

I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts.

2012 HALL OF FAME POSSIBILITIES (listed alphabetically)

THE CASE FOR BAILEY

– No. 4 in all-time late model rankings (1975-2011).

Lonnie Bailey

– No. 2 in IMCA Era rankings (1998-2011), and one of only two drivers to win two or more tiles in that period. Burgtorf won 8, Bailey 2.
– One of 10 drivers in track history with three or more total championships. He also won a sportsman title before entering the late model series.
– Has finished second in track points six times in a late model career that started in 1988, including five runner-up finishes since 2002.
– No. 5 in all-time Deery Brothers Summer Series tour rankings at Quincy Raceways, trailing only Burgtorf, Denny Woodworth, Rob Toland and Boone McLaughlin.
– No. 5 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
– Ranks second in both late model total wins (98) and features won (23) since statistics started being tracked in 1999.
– No. 3 in track points during the IMCA Era behind Burgtorf and Woodworth.

THE CASE FOR CARLIN

– No. 1 in all-time (1987-2011) hobby stock/bomber rankings.
– No. 1 in hobby stock era (since 2007) rankings.
– Only non-late model/modified driver to win three or more consecutive track championships.
– His five track titles trail only Burgtorf (14), Hank DeLonjay (13) and Steve Fraise (9) in track history.
– Has won his five track titles since 2003, which is more than any other driver in that period.
– Is four victories shy of the 100 mark for his career.
– Holds class record for total races (23) and features (12) won in a season.
– No. 6 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.

Tony Dunker

THE CASE FOR DIEKER

– Won four track titles before the age of 26.
– No. 2 in all-time (1987-2011) hobby stock/bomber rankings.
– Remains the career leader for features won (39) in the hobby stock/bomber series since stats started being kept in 1999.
– Led the hobby stock/bomber series in races won five times in a seven-year span.
– Despite retiring in 2006, he is still third in all-time series career points for the hobby stock/bomber division.
– No. 11 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
– Won more Herald-Whig Performance Points titles (4) than any other hobby stock/bomber driver.

THE CASE FOR DUNKER

– No. 2 in all-time (since 1988) modified rankings.
– No. 4 in one-class (since 2006) modified rankings.
– Was No. 1 in “B” modidfied career rankings when they were retired following the 2005 season.
– One of six drivers in all classes in track history to finish in the top five in points nine or more consecutive seasons.
– No. 8 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
– Has a modified record 12 straight seasons in the top 10 in points.
– One of four drivers to win 100 or more races since 1999.

Terry Gallaher

THE CASE FOR GALLAHER

– No. 2 in all-time late model track rankings (1975-2011).
– His four late model track titles trail only 2011 Hall of Famers Mark Burgtorf (14) and Steve Fraise (9).
– One of seven drivers with four or more championships.
– One of three drivers to ever win two or more consecutive late model titles.
– Holds the track record for most consecutive top-five points finishes with 21, a streak that ended in 2000.
– Gallaher also had 21 straight years in the top 10 in points, second only to a 25-year streak by Burgtorf.
– No. 4 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.

THE CASE FOR WOODWORTH

– One of two drivers (Justin Reed being the other) to win a track title in both a late model and modified.
– No. 6 in all-time late model rankings (1975-2011).
– No. 3 in IMCA Era rankings (1998-2011)
– No. 2 in all-time Deery Brothers Summer Series tour rankings at Quincy Raceways, trailing only Burgtorf.
– No. 10 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
– Ranks third in both late model total wins (91) and features won (22) since statistics started being tracked in 1999.
– No. 2 in track points during the IMCA Era behind Burgtorf.
– Only driver besides Burgtorf to win more than one Herald-Whig Performance Points late model title. Burgtorf has nine, Woodworth two, Bailey one and Gallaher one.

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS WHO COULD BE CONSIDERED BY THE HALL OF FAME’S VETERANS COMMITTEE

– Dick Crane, late models
– Jim Swank, late models
– Sonny Findling, late models
– Brent Slocum, late models
– Sam Burgtorf, modifieds
– Lonnie Carter, modifieds
– Gary Dreyer, modifieds
– Greg Uppinghouse, modifieds
– Mike Karhoff, modifieds/late models, track owner
– Dave Wietholder, bombers/modifieds
– Bill Genenbacher, bombers
– Jerry Powers, car builder
– Wilson family racing
– Powell family racing

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Comments (31)

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  1. chuck ancell says:

    dont you think you should start with the guys that raced in the 1970`s you are going to run out of drivers in another 2 years . how about dick bloomfield, wild man kelly, ivan long , larry larson, tom long , jim swank, mike dyke there was a quincy raceways before stevie dirt you know.

  2. seighinger says:

    Chuck,

    I agree with you 100 percent, and have written several pieces here the last few years how important it is not to overlook the early days of the track. All of the people who served last year on the Hall of Fame committee went back to the 1970s, so I think they will do an excellent job in whoever they pick.

    Two of the three drivers selected last year (Fraise, DeLonjay) date to the early days of the track, and the other (Burgtorf) started in 1984.

    And this is only me talking, but I’d have to say Terry Gallaher would stand a pretty good shot at this year’s class and he, too, goes back to the first year of the track. Lonnie Bailey is almost a 30-year veteran … so I’m not sure what your complaint is. All of the drivers I was talking about were at least 10-year veterans (except one) with multiple track championships.

    Of the drivers you mentioned, I would think Larry Larson would get consideration at some point (he won a couple of titles) and Tom Long, while never winning a late model title, ranks among the top 15 all-time drivers in that class. Jim Swank also won a track title. Dick Bloomfield, Wild Man Kelly, Ivan Long and Mike Dyche, while all great guys, never won a track championship and simply don’t have the credentials for Hall of Fame consideration — at least in my mind.

    It shouldn’t matter when a driver’s career took place. If he is Hall of Fame worthy, he is worthy. If he isn’t, he isn’t. That’s what the committee is there for, to sort things out.

    I’m confident the committee will do another good job, and I’m sure they would welcome your input. Give Charlie (Bryson) a call.

  3. Mendon Fan says:

    Wow, looks like a great list of candidates. I think the hall of fame committee will have some tough decisions to make. My picks would be Gallaher, Bailey and Carlin.

  4. dirt clod says:

    glad to see you put dieker on this list. he didn’s race quite 10 years, but in my mind he’s still the class of that division.

  5. cheaterville says:

    Jerry Powers would be a great choice. Hope he gets some consideration.

  6. Left Turn says:

    can’t argue if gallaher gets in, he would very deserving. after that it’s not so easy. i think i would vote for carlin.

  7. lead foot says:

    Chuck I think you are right. I also think the drivers need to be retired. There are so many guys that have not even been named. Terry Schlipman,Jonny Juett,Jeff Klingle,Mike Benjerman,Mike Wallace,and the names could go on and on.Think about some of the familys that are 3,4 generations racing.

  8. QR fan says:

    chuck, i think i understand your thoughts, but the hall of fame is not supposed to be an old boys network or for old friends. it’s for those who truly deserve it.

  9. frankel fan says:

    If Jason Frankel had raced his whole career at QR I’m sure he would be on this list too!! What he accomplished in the 90s and what he did a a couple of years ago show he is one of the best to ever drive at Quincy. Hopefully we can see Jason and Ricky race on their “home” track for the next 10 or 15 years at QR. I can’t wait until the season starts!!

  10. Top row says:

    Great blog Stevie Dirt!!! This will give fans something to talk about for the next few weeks waiting for the season to start. I would vote for Gallaher, Carlin and maybe Dunker among those drivers. Would also like to see Jerry Powers and the Powell family get in the hall of fame.

  11. QR fan says:

    lead foot,

    are you serious? how can you mention some of those guys for a “hall of fame” against drivers who have won three and four track chanmpionships. the hall of fame should be reward for drivers who ACCOMPLISH things during their career. all drivers are nice guys and should be commended for the sacrifices they make, but not all drivers are hall of famers.

  12. seighinger says:

    Good job, race fans! Way to stir things up. I can tell the season is getting close!

  13. hannibal race fan says:

    Stevie Dirt,

    I like your mention of the Wilson and Powell Families. Maybe that should be a new hall of fame category, to induct a racing “family” each year, much like the “Scott family” last year.

  14. 18fan says:

    i have been a longtime fan at quincy raceway and i have to say the hall of fame was the best idea in a long time. reading all of these comments makes me think some fans just need to look at the facts and not just go with their heart. some of the names i have seen here by fans simply are not hall of famers.

    the hall of fame should be something special. burgtorf, delonjay and fraise were very special drivers and very deserving of being in the first class. who should follow them? i don’t know for sure, but i would say it should come from those drivers stevie dirt put out there. just because someone raced in the 1970s and didn’t win anything doesn’t make him a hall of fame driver. i was around in the 1970s and i don’t deserve to be in the hall of fame.

    i also like the idea of honoring a family each year.

  15. chuck ancell says:

    i just think a hall of fame should start with the older racers before you go to drivers in the 90`s there are some behind the senes guys like charlie alderton – charlie was always in the pits with a welder and would help anybody that asked , bill bair – build carbs for most of the quincy guys all i am saying is THINK OLD FIRST !! there may be more reasons that STATS to add someone to the hall of fame

  16. Michael Larsen says:

    Well Jim Powell was one of the ones from the 70′s and DID win a track championship in ’79.

  17. racefan27 says:

    I’m not sure some you are truely racefans!!! Just because someone does or doesn’t win a championship shouldn’t matter. Now i wasn’t around in the 70′s but you have to consider that if it wasn’t for some of those guys QR wouldn’t of ever made it. I have heard stories of people who would go and watch every week just to see Wild Man Kelly. so what if he never raced then those people wouldn’t of came and QR might not of made it! The first class was awesome and well deserving but now we should look at some of the people and drivers who helped make QR what it is! The Frankels, Baileys, Longs, Stevio Delonjays, and others are all worthly picks but lets let them finish there careers first! Without Wild Man kelly, Dick Crane, Terry Gallegher, Eddie Dieker, the Wilson family and others those previous guys mentioned wouldn’t have a place to race. The Hall of Fame shouldn’t be about who the favorites are but who helped make the track what it is. Just my thoughts!

  18. racefan27 says:

    Im not sure some of you are true racefans!!! Granted i wasnt around back in the 70′s but i know people who were and have heard stories of Wild Man Kelly. Most of them have said that they would go week to week just to watch him. I dont think that just because you have won a championship makes you Hall of Fame worthy. It should be what you have done for the sport and for QR. Now the Baileys, Frankels, Longs, Stevio Delonjay and Woodworth are all very good choices but why not wait for them to retire from racing before we put them in the Hall of Fame. Last years members were awesome and well deserving but now we need to go back and remember some of the people who help build QR. The Wild Man Kellys, Dick Crane, Terry Gallaher, Eddie Dieker, Tom Long guys who people came to watch lovem or hatem. I’m starting to think that the Hall of Fame is just becoming a thing that whoever gets to pick picks there favorite. why not let the group before pick the next class and so on? If every “Hall of Fame” only put players/drivers who have won championship in them then they wouldn’t be very big. I think the point is totally being missed on this one. Just my thoughts im sure alot of you will disagree but i dont really care!! just saying!

  19. Charlie Bryson says:

    Ok fans Steve got it started, so here is the deal. If you think someone should be inducted to the Quincy Raceway Hall of Fame, send me an email with a very good explanation of why. Not just because you happen to like the guy or family. Make your point and I assure you all applications will be looked at by the committee. Start sending them now so we can get a head start on it this year. Send all of your suggestions to QRHALLFAME@YAHOO.COM
    I will be looking forward to see how many that I receive.

    Charlie Bryson

  20. track guy says:

    I missed the start of this conversation, but am trying to get caught up. I have no dog in the fight, I’m not connected with any race team. I am just a fan who is out there every Sunday night. Here are my thoughts … I’m looking at who is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and for the life of me I don’t see any right rear tire changers or welders or guys who work at the shop …. I see the names of drivers who won the most championships and races — isn’t that the sport is all about?

    I have always heard Mark Burgtorf has had the same crew (or close to it) since he started racing. Does that mean those guys should be in the hall of fame before Burgtorf? That’s silly.

    And just because there were guys who raced back in the 1970s (and were all great guys, I’m sure), why does that make them more worthy than Terry Gallaher, Lonnie Bailey or whoever else has won enough track championships to deserve being in the hall of fame.

    Some of the names I have seen suggested in these comments are crazy. I’m glad the committee will have the necessary material in front of them to make the RIGHT decisions. Judging on they did in year one of the hall of fame, I’m pretty sure they will make the right calls.

    Hey, I think I’m a good guy and used to help my brother on his car. Maybe I’m a hall of famer and don’t know it!!!

  21. lead foot says:

    QR fan I was just putting some names out there that people might have forgot about. These were guys that might not have won a championship but made racen fun to watch. If you are talking about familys that should be in there how about the Uppinghouse family. I think they are 4 or 5 genaration racen.Think about who made QR fun and you wanted to come back the next week. If you remember back in the 70′s,80′s and 90′s it was who had the most money won and thats who has most of the championships.If you look and all the HALL OF FAMES in all sports all the peolpe are retired.

  22. QR fan says:

    lead foot,

    i agree, the uppinghouse family would be another good one and i like the idea of inducting a “family” each year — as long as there is one worthy … but i can’t agree with you about a person needing to be retired … racing is not like most sports because guys can drive into their 60s and it very well–look at johnny johnson and jerry poor, to name a couple … and drivers often “come out of retirement” … what would the hall of fame do then? take back his plaque and kick him out? if a guy has driven 10 or 15 years and is worthy, why should he or the fans have to wait? and why put in someone who is not as worthy just because he might be retired? looking at last year’s class, only burgtorf was not retired but he has raced for almost 30 years.

    lead foot, i did not mean to sound mad at you — everyone has a right to their opinion. it was just a couple of things that were said upset me as a fan, especially the comment about the “stats.” i think it’s awesome QR has a record book for what has happened and i love seeing who did what in the past and for his career. it helps eliminate the guess work. i don’t know of any other track that has “stats” like QR.

    just my 2 cents …. see you at the track!!!

  23. Terry Houston says:

    very well said lead foot, but nascar has inducted crew chief

  24. Michael Larsen says:

    If they are still racing then why induct them…. Should be for all the guys that made QR in the day what it is now.
    Jim Powell
    Larry Pipes
    Ivan Long
    Dick Crane
    Dick Vance
    Wild man Kelly
    Junior Tuggle
    Terry Gallaher
    Just some name on the top of my head. I mean remember names like Mike Wallace, Mike Hammerle ( yellow bear ). These guys used to travel from the St. Louis area and Mike still does for specials. Wallace of course is big time….

  25. Showstopper says:

    Get some ideas from the sprint car hall of fame in knoxville. Awesome place. Def. Terry Gallagher this year. Do 2 drivers. 1mechanic. 1media member. 1sponsor. U pick 4-5 drivers a year then before long wont be anyone worthy.

  26. Cory Walton says:

    What is a Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame without Zippee* (*Not sure on Spelling) The Chicken!!!

  27. just a fan says:

    I have to 2nd the zippee thing if we’re just going by fun and got people to come watch em.

  28. Bartman42 says:

    kelly bartz 23 years of racing b mod champ

  29. Jeff Hall says:

    Larry Pevine Pipes from Kirksville was Quincys first late model track champion that should mean something.

  30. Randy Rigg says:

    I agree with Chuck any Hall of Fame that I have ever known about normally pays homage to the pioneers of the sport. That is what a Hall Of Fame is about, to give respect to those that paved the way, not to those that are currently active. Start with the 1970′s and work your way up. Today’s racers are still making their mark at Quincy Raceways.

  31. Lisa says:

    I think that dedication is what the Hall of Fame commitee should consider very seriously, whether they are drivers or not. Those guys that are behind-the-scenes are incredibly dedicated to the drivers. Speaking as a family member of one of them, I know the sacrifice and dedication that they give. I cant think of one driver that wouldn’t want them to also be recognized. Just sayin.

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