LINCOLN, Neb.—The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame has named Bob O’Neill its Gordie Shuck Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2016. This award is to recognizes a Nebraskan who has been an asset to auto racing in the state of Nebraska by showing effort, courage, a passion and a dedication to making auto racing better in Nebraska.
Bob O’Neill always pushed for safer race cars and he was among the first to carry a fire extinguisher in his race car. O’Neill made a huge impact on racing in Central Nebraska through mentoring new racers along with his tireless work with several racing organizations. He always had numerous race cars in his driveway and would readily help others. It was not uncommon to find Bob working on someone else’s car at the track and unselfishly sharing information.
On June 21, 1969, O’Neill saved the life of fellow racer, Pete Peterson. During a heat race, Peterson’s car lost a wheel and crashed, bursting into flames. O’Neill, stopped his car and ran to Peterson just as he was crawling from his car. Bob put out the fire on Peterson and to quote one of the fire crew on hand, “Don’t give us any credit, give it to Bob O’Neill. His quick action saved Pete’s life.”
Previous winners of the Gordie Shuck award include Joe Kosiski; Tom Baumgardner; Ruth and Don Hagan; Dave Doll; Ray Valasek; Tami Thurn; Mike Cacak; Willie Ideen and Joyce Smith.
The 19th Annual Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Lincoln firefighter’s Reception Hall at 241 Victory Lane in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday, October 14, 2016. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased after July 1. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.