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2019 Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame Press Release
2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

22nd Annual Induction Ceremonies Held In Lincoln

(Lincoln, NE) Nearly 400 racing enthusiasts attended the 22nd annual Induction Ceremonies of the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame, held at Courtside Banquet Hall in Lincoln on Saturday, October 12. Seven new inductees were recognized during the festivities.

Following the invocation by Board Member Tony Glenn and the National Anthem, sung by fellow Board Member Stan Cisar, Omaha’s John Lajba was recognized as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Gordie Shuck Lifetime Achievement Award. Lajba has been doing sculpture work for NASCAR since the early 1990s. His works include the 9 foot tall statue of the late Dale Earnhardt, which stands in front of Daytona International Speedway, and a bronze sculpture of Bill and Anne France, the founders of NASCAR, which is displayed at the organization’s world headquarters in Daytona Beach Florida. Perhaps his most widely known racing work is the creation of the Harley J. Earl Trophy, which is awarded annually to the winner of the Daytona 500.

Following the presentation of the Gordie Shuck award, the seven new inductees were recognized. Those inductees include Wayne Huntley of Hastings, Ray Lipsey of Lincoln, Bob Mays of Lincoln, Kenny McCarty of North Platte, Terry Richards, Sr. of David City, Ed Smith of Lincoln, and Don Stephenson of Omaha.

Huntley began his driving career as a go-kart racer in Blue Hill, Nebraska before he and a group of high school classmates purchased a 1937 Chevrolet Stock Car in 1966. Over the next nine seasons, Huntley, known primarily as the driver of the burgundy #62 1955 Chevrolet, scored over 100 feature race wins and seven track championships at four Central Nebraska race tracks. As an instructor at Central Community College in Hastings, Huntley founded and coached the college Drag Race Team from 1994 through his retirement in 2010, mentoring over 200 students in building, maintaining, and driving drag cars. His career in motorsports spanned portions of five decades.

Ray Lipsey began his racing career in 1974, driving a Late Model Sportsman at Beatrice Speedway. After racing Late Models and Late Model Sportsmen at Beatrice, David City, Seward, Lincoln and Omaha, Lipsey turned his attention to Sprint Cars in 1982. Over the next 14 years, Lipsey scored six track championships in Sprint Cars, while capturing numerous special event victories. He competed at the Knoxville Nationals on numerous occasions and in 1989, qualified for his only Knoxville Nationals Championship A-Feature, finishing 22nd. Lipsey hung up his racing suit and driver’s helmet for the final time in 1996.

Bob Mays’ interest in automobile racing began as a three year old when his father took him to his first car race at Capital Beach Speedway in Lincoln. Mays wheeled Micro-Midgets, Mini-Sprints and Sprint Cars off and on through the mid 1990s, when he turned his attention to racing history and journalism. He has since authored or co-authored six hard cover titles including “High Plains Thunder, Supermodified Racing In The Midlands,” which resulted in four printings, and “Valley County Thunder, The History Of Racing In Ord, Nebraska,” which was selected by National Speed Sport News as the ‘best racing book of the year’ in 2004. Mays is currently a Research Technician at the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln.

Kenny McCarty began his auto racing career in 1968, and over the next several years, found himself behind the wheel of Stock Cars, Open-Wheeled Modifieds, and Sprint Cars, scoring track championships at North Platte, McCook and Doniphan, Nebraska and Rock Springs, Wyoming. He qualified for the A-Main at the Knoxville Nationals in 1974, eventually finishing 18th. McCarty finished out his racing career in the IMCA Modified Division, where he won several additional track championships and finished in the top five in IMCA national points. During his nearly six decade career, McCarty scored over 200 feature race wins, while racing at more than 100 race tracks in over 20 states and Canada.

Terry Richards, Sr. began his racing career in 1963, driving in the Jalopy Class at Skylark Raceway in Columbus. He is most notably remembered for the yellow 1970 Ford Mustang he wheeled to back-to-back Late Model track titles at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln in 1973 and 74. In 1985, when the IMCA Modified Division emerged in Nebraska, Richards built one of the first Modifieds in the state, and raced in the first IMCA Modified race in Nebraska, held at Eagle Raceway. Richards was involved in the building and promotion of Ymada Speedway in David City in the 1980s, and co-owned, built, and promoted Thunder Lake Speedway in Rising City in the early 1990s.

Ed Smith purchased his first Sprint Car from “Speedy” Bill Smith in 1966 and over the next 17 seasons 28 different drivers successfully piloted Smith-owned Sprint Cars. His cars qualified for the A-Main at the Knoxville Nationals four years in a row, with fourth and ninth place finishes by Eddie Leavitt, in 1972 and 1974, respectively, being his highest finishes. Smith-owned race cars raced successfully on the BCRA circuit in the early 1970s, securing top ten finishes in series points three consecutive seasons. His career included numerous major event victories including the National Short Track Championship in Topeka in 1973 with Lonnie Jensen in the cockpit, and the National Cheater’s Day Championship in Sioux Falls in 1974 with Eddie Leavitt handling the driving chores.

Using a “fake ID,” Don Stephenson began his drag racing career in 1959 at the airfield drag strip in Lincoln and Flightland Dragway in Omaha. In 1963, he put together the 1957 Chevrolet car that eventually became known as the “Tension Car.” Stephenson traveled across the country in the car, setting six national records and winning hundreds of trophies along the way. His biggest win came in 1969, when he captured the L/Stock Class Championship at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Following the 1970 season, Stephenson turned his attention to motorcycle racing, serving on both the Kawasaki and Suzuki factory race teams, with his son Denny as the rider. Stephenson’s career in motorsports spanned portions of five decades.

The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inducted its first class 1998 and since that time has enshrined over 150 members of the Nebraska racing community. The purpose of the organization is to perpetuate the memory of individuals who have brought lasting fame and positive recognition to the state of Nebraska through their achievements in the sport of auto racing.

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Banquet Information
The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame will enshrine six new inductees at the organization’s 22nd Annual Induction Ceremonies to be held this year on SATURDAY OCTOBER 12th, 2019 at Courtside Banquet Hall in Lincoln, a SAME LOCATION AS LAST YEAR!! Located at 333 SPEEDWAY CIRCLE #2, LINCOLN, NEBRASKA. Previously, the organization’s annual Induction Ceremonies had been held on a Friday evening at Lincoln Firefighter’s Hall through 2017, however timing and space issues prompted the change to a Saturday night at a larger venue.
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Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame