Red Farmer's Biggest Win
Muldowney, who inspired the movie “Heart Like A Wheel,” was a drag racing champion who got her National Hot Rod Association license in 1965, match-raced for five years, then went on to take titles in NHRA Winston World, Top Fuel and International Hot Rod Association competition.
Muldowney is just the second woman to be inducted, joining early NASCAR driver Louise Smith in the hall.
Muncey is considered the greatest hydroplane race driver in history, claiming 62 checkers – more than any other competitor in the sport.
And Rahal, who retired from driving in 1998, won three Championship Auto Racing Teams titles, and also won the 1986 Indianapolis 500. Today he runs his own CART Series team along with David Letterman.
But at the announcement press conference, Farmer was the star of the show. And while retirement is out of the question, he admits he can now pick his battles.
“I really don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do these days,” says Farmer, who lives in Hueytown, Ala., with his wife of 53 years, Joan. “I work with ML Motorsports and help out Jason Jarrett and his (ARCA) team, and I try to make the most of his superspeedway races.
“But other than that, I either go fishing or race my dirt car.”
Farmer’s winter recreation includes meeting 2002 Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart to spend a few days together hunting. He also scheduled back surgery for his off-season. But he’ll be back early this year racing his dirt car.
“Racing is what I do, and I don’t have any plans to stop.”
Not Your Typical Driver’s Ed Teacher
Jeff Gordon takes his safety tips to tomorrow’s young drivers
From graphic eight-millimeter films such as “Blood on the Highway” to sobering speeches courtesy of law enforcement officials, high school drivers get plenty of exposure to the dangers of operating a motor vehicle.
Now they’re getting help from one of the greats of today’s NASCAR circuit.
Jeff Gordon, four-time champion of the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, takes his Get Real Behind the Wheel program to the teens for hands-on seminars. Sponsored by DuPont, this nationwide auto safety tour allows teenagers to test their skills in hazardous driving conditions using a simulator. They also have a chance to navigate an actual car through an obstacle course.
“This is a fun atmosphere for teenagers to come out, take a test drive and pick up some safety tips,” Gordon says. “A lot of the things you learn in drivers education are more important than you realize, and it’s the little details that can make a big difference. Some of the things you take for granted when you’re behind the wheel you shouldn’t.”
Gordon says when he got his license, he never had an accident moving forward.
“I did back into some stuff,” he says. “I’ve always had a little trouble going in reverse, which isn’t a big problem when you’re racing. But each year there are 4 million kids who get their licenses, and within the first 12 months half of them are going to get into accidents.
“It could be minor or major, but what this program is designed to do is prevent as many as possible.”
Gordon suggests that driving has become more dangerous today due to added distractions.
“When I got my license, we didn’t have cell phones,” Gordon says. “Cell phones are great and they’re fun, but you don’t need to be planning your weekend or cutting up and having a good time when you’re driving.