SPEEDWAY, Ind. — USAC’s recent social media poll to complete the list of inductees into the USAC Hall of Fame has resulted in inductions for drivers Chuck Gurney, Lloyd Ruby and Ken Schrader, and driver, car owner and car builder Bob East.
The four new inductees received the most votes from a select list of 16 candidates and will join eight previously announced inductees in the ceremony which accompanies the July 20 Rich Vogler Classic USAC Silver Crown race at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Previously announced inductees are Donald Davidson, Frankie DelRoy, Gene Hartley, Steve Lewis, Howard Linne, Robbie Stanley, Steve Stapp and Johnny Thomson.
East, of Brownsburg, Ind., virtually owned USAC’s open-wheel racing scene for a couple of decades, his Beast masterpieces capturing victories across the board in the Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget series. Among his 18 Silver Crown wins were 16 as a co-owner with Tony Stewart. His Silver Crown cars have won more than five times as many races as the second-ranking owner.
Under East’s leadership, the Nine Racing Team earned a dozen USAC National Midget Championships and more than 150 victories. In addition to his four Silver Crown titles, his cars also won titles with Ryan Newman, Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler and Bobby East, his son.
In 1988, East opened Beast Enterprises, producing one of the most accomplished chassis ever.
Gurney, of Livermore, Calif., was a stellar performer in USAC’s Silver Crown wars, earning 14 victories and the 1989 series championship. He scored a phenomenal seven victories in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield, Ill., three wins in the Ted Horn 100 at DuQuoin, Ill. and also added the 1982 and ’83 Hoosier Hundreds in Indianapolis.
He scored five USAC sprint car wins and his victories in the Midgets included the 1989 Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals and a pair of “Turkey Night” wins in 1988 and ’89, which sit among his nine USAC wins. Gurney also scored three wins in the popular Copper World Classic.
Ruby, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was quite possibly the greatest Indy Car driver never to win the Indianapolis 500. In 17 career starts he led five different years for a total of 126 laps and finished third in 1964, despite the fact that he appeared on more than one occasion to be headed for victory.
Although never a front-row starter at Indy, Ruby recorded seven top-10 finishes and led the race in five of six years between 1966 and ’71.
Ruby scored Indy Car victories at Milwaukee (3), Phoenix (2), Langhorne and Trenton and was also accomplished as a road racer, winning the 1965 Daytona Continental and the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1991, he was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, in 2008 he joined the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame and in 2015, he was inducted into the Motorsport Hall of Fame of America.
Schrader, of Fenton, Mo., is among the most accomplished race drivers of all time. The 1982 USAC Silver Crown Champion followed that in 1983 with the USAC National Sprint Car title. He scored 21 wins in the USAC Midgets and added six wins in the Silver Crown cars and four in the sprint cars.
His versatility spreads across numerous racing disciplines and he’s won in nearly every form of the sport on oval tracks.
A three-time pole winner for the Daytona 500, Schrader scored 23 poles overall in NASCAR’s premier series, as well as four victories driving for legendary car owner Rick Hendrick.
Schrader also won the non-points ‘Clash’ race, which spotlighted pole winners from the previous Cup season, in both 1989 and 1990.
CREDIT: USAC Media