Pruett, 6 others to be inducted in Motorsports Hall of Fame
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Scott Pruett was one of seven people selected for induction in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Thursday.
The 2017 class was announced at Daytona International Speedway.
The other inductees are sprint car great Steve Kinser, three-time Daytona 200 motorcycle champion Dick Klamfoth, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Terry Labonte, drag racing and land-speed record pioneer Paula Murphy, two-time NASCAR champ Herb Thomas and longtime commentator Brock Yates.
The class will be inducted June 28 in Daytona Beach.
Pruett shares the record for Rolex 24 championships with Hurley Haywood. Pruett is racing in this year's sports car classic that starts Saturday afternoon, driving a new Lexus entry in the production-based GT Daytona class.
''I'm honored. I'm overwhelmed,'' Pruett said. ''I've been blessed with this incredible career, and these sort of unexpected achievements are humbling.''
A rundown of the 2017 class:
-Kinser, nicknamed the ''king of the outlaws,'' is one of the most successful sprint car drivers in history. He has 577 World of Outlaw feature victories, 20 World of Outlaw championships and 12 Knoxville Nationals championships. In five decades, Kinser has 876 sprint car feature victories.
-Klamfoth burst onto the motorcycle racing scene in March 1949 at age 20 when he rode to a surprise victory in the Daytona 200 on his first attempt. Klamfoth won the beach-road classic again in 1951 and `52 to become the first three-time winner of America's most prestigious motorcycle race.
-Labonte finished in the top five in the Cup Series standings seven times in 25 full seasons - including championships in 1984 and `96. He broke Richard Petty's record of 513 consecutive starts in 1996 and continued his ''Iron Man'' streak until Aug. 5, 2000.
-Murphy played a pivotal role in drag racing's formative years, becoming the first woman licensed to drive a Funny Car. In 1963, ''Miss STP'' set the women's land-speed record (161 mph) in a Studebaker Avanti. She later boosted her record to 243.44 mph in Walt Arfons' ''Avenger'' jet car.
-Pruett has 11 major sports car titles. He also was the 1989 Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year and won two Indy Car races. He had six top 10s in 40 NASCAR starts. Pruett dominated the Rolex Series with 41 wins in 132 starts. His record-tying five Rolex 24 victories came in 1994, 2007, `08, `11 and `13.
-Thomas was NASCAR's first two-time champion (1951 and `53) and has the highest career winning percentage in NASCAR's top series (21.053 percent). Thomas, who died in 2000, was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013.
-Yates was the longtime executive editor of Car and Driver magazine. He also established the cross-continental road race known as the Cannonball Run. He also was a pit reporter for CBS and a commentator on TNN and the Speed Channel.
More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org