2014 Hall of Fame class announced

August 17, 2014 0 Comments

quincy-web-logoThe Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame will soon grow by six members.

Three former drivers and three friends of the sport will make up the fourth class of inductees Aug. 31. Their names were to be revealed to Sunday night’s crowd, but the rainout ruined that plan.

So here are the details.

The track’s Hall of Fame Committee, chaired by Charlie Bryson, continued its trend of honoring drivers and friends of the sport from different eras of Quincy Raceways’ 40-year history.

This year’s cast of drivers to be inducted will include former modified champion Sam Burgtorf, late model standout Leonard “Sonny” Findling and early sportsman star Charlie Milligan.

The friends of the sport include former flagman Steve Blickhan, longtime sponsor Blick’s Construction (John Blickhan) and Bob Rhinberger, who was a key figure in both the track’s early days and later served as a co-owner.

Sam Burgtorf

Sam Burgtorf

Here’s a quick look at this year’s class:

– Burgtorf was the first modified driver to win three straight track titles, ruling the “A” modified class 1998-2000 and enjoying a scintillating rivalry with fellow Hall of Famer Hank DeLonjay. Burgtorf retired following the 2001 season, but is still No. 11 in the The Herald-Whig Ultimate Rankings of all  drivers in track history, a system that measures each individual driver’s success across all series.

Sonny Findling

Sonny Findling

– Findling is the No. 8-ranked late model driver in track history and the only member of the top 10 to not win a track championship. Always a contender and one of the most popular hotshoes in Bullring history, Findling, who raced out of Kirksville, Mo., finished second in points twice and on eight occasions landed top-five points finishes — all during the track’s halcyon days as a NASCAR weekly series facility. Findling raced full-time at Quincy 1978-89.

– Milligan was one of the early stars at the track, helping establish Quincy as a major player in the regional dirt-track scene. He twice finished second in points in the old sportsman division (1977-78).

Steve Blickhan, right, with 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Dick Crane "back in the day."

Steve Blickhan, right, with 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Dick Crane “back in the day.”

– Blickhan was a longtime flagman and arguably the most popular figure at that position in track history. One of the “faces” of the track for many years, Blickhan still attends many of the Sunday night events during the season.

– Blick Construction has long been a major backer of the track. Many of the facility’s major projects over the years would not have been possible without the firm’s assistance.

– Rhinberger worked with the late Albert Scott, track founder and patriarch, in the early days at 8000 Broadway. He later shared ownership with Paul Holtschlag in an effort to make sure racing survived in Quincy. Rhinberger stepped down after the 2013 season.

halloffameThis year’s inductees will join the three previous Hall of Fame classes:

2013: Dick Crane, Tom Long, Lonnie Carter, Maroline Long, Bill Bair, Joe Gower, Gem City Ford.

2012: Terry Gallaher, Eddie Dieker, Francis “Wild Man” Kelly, Gary Dreyer, Charlie Alderton, Glenda and Paul Altgilbers, Roger and Dorothy Yeager, Rinella Inc.

2011: Mark Burgtorf, Hank DeLonjay, Steve Fraise, Scott family, Don Hummel, Refreshment Services Pepsi.

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