News & Multimedia

Davidson, Travers, Coon Comprise 2010 Class For Auto Racing Hall

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson and Indianapolis 500 chief mechanics Jim Travers and Frank Coon are the 2010 inductees into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, officials announced April 29.

The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. An esteemed panel of nearly 150 electors, comprised of Hall of Fame members, leading auto racing participants, motorsports journalists and officials, votes annually for Hall of Fame inductees.

"We're honored to welcome Donald Davidson, Jim Travers and Frank Coon into the Hall of Fame," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "All three have made indelible contributions to the history and tradition of IMS and are very deserving of motor racing's highest honor."

Davidson developed a passionate interest in the Indianapolis 500 as a teenager in England. Arriving at IMS in 1964, he delighted the racing community with his ability to recite year-by-year accounts of participants' careers.

Returning permanently in 1965, he was invited by Sid Collins to join the worldwide IMS Radio Network and was hired by Henry Banks as USAC statistician, remaining at USAC for almost 32 years. He was named Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian in 1998, and in 2010, he will be heard on the Indianapolis 500 Race Day radio broadcast for the 47th consecutive year.

Along with numerous television and radio assignments, raconteur Davidson has played host to the popular call-in radio show "The Talk of Gasoline Alley" on 1070 AM in Indianapolis during the month of May continuously since 1971. His writing credits include countless historical articles and columns, a pair of "500" annuals in 1974 and '75 and co-authorship with Rick Shaffer of the acclaimed "Autocourse Official History of the Indianapolis 500," published in 2006.

Travers and Coon often are listed together because professionally, one could hardly be mentioned without the other. Known variously as "The Keck Kids" and "The Rich Kids," they jointly ran the ultra-successful racing team of sportsman Howard Keck.

Already a powerhouse in West Coast Midget racing, Travers and Coon arrived at Indianapolis in 1948 with an Emil Diedt-built front-drive car featuring several revolutionary innovations, such as magnesium wheels (Halibrand) and fuel injection developed by crew member Stu Hilborn. After top-10 finishes with Jimmy Jackson in 1948 and '49, the car placed third in the rain-shortened 1950 "500" with Mauri Rose behind the wheel.

Ever the innovators, Travers and Coon collaborated with Frank Kurtis on the building of the first of the so-called "roadsters," a nickname given by driver Bill Vukovich to their low-slung, offset creation. Vukovich dropped out with a steering failure while leading the 1952 "500" with nine laps to go before bouncing back to win in 1953 and 1954.

In 1957, two years after the untimely death of Vukovich, Travers and Coon formed Traco Engineering, a very successful business which enhanced the performance of Chevrolets for Sprint cars and sports car racing.

The Auto Racing Hall of Fame was established in 1952 by the American Automobile Association. It has been located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1962.

***

IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. In 2009, the Speedway began the three-year celebration of its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
IMS
 
Davidson, Travers, Coon Comprise 2010 Class For Auto Racing Hall
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson and Indianapolis 500 chief mechanics Jim Travers and Frank Coon are the 2010 inductees into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, officials announced April 29. The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Read More
Related Media
Simon Pagenaud
 
Pagenaud Drives to Dominant Sonoma Victory and 2016 Championship
With a dominating drive from the pole position, Simon Pagenaud won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Read More
Astor Cup
 
Pruett's Preview: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
The big question left to answer across 85 laps under the wine country sun in Northern California is whether Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud or Will Power will be celebrating into the night on Sunday with thousands of diehard open-wheel fans.
Read More
Simon Pagenaud
 
Sonoma Raceway Provides Perfect Setting to Decide Championship
Sonoma Raceway, with its challenging and undulating 2.385-mile permanent road circuit set against the backdrop of Northern California’s beautiful wine country, plays host this week to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. And as has been the case for more than a decade in the Verizon IndyCar Series, all the marbles are at stake.
Read More
Team Stop and Go
 
Racing World Awaits Hinchcliffe's 'Dancing With The Stars' Debut Tonight
Hinchcliffe is paired with professional dancer Sharna Burgess, appearing in her eighth DWTS season. Burgess’ best previous DWTS finish was runner-up with Nick Carter last fall in Season 21. Hinchcliffe, the sixth-year Verizon IndyCar Series veteran with four career wins, is competing against 12 other celebrities, ranging from Olympic gold-medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez to rapper Vanilla Ice to actress Marilu Henner.
Read More
Scott Dixon
 
Dixon Dominates to Win IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen
The No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driver capped off a perfect weekend, leading 50 of 60 laps in today’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen presented by Hitachi to collect his fourth win on the 3.37-mile permanent road course. Stretching his final tank of ethanol over the final 19 laps, Dixon cruised across the finish line 16.5308 seconds ahead of Josef Newgarden.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 375
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
IMS is becoming a certified Airport, race fans! One week from today @Redbullairrace pilots will take to the sky!… https://t.co/Na9irMO5MO
September 24