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
IMS
 
ABC, VERSUS, IMS Radio Network To Provide Complete Indy 500 Coverage
ABC and VERSUS will provide comprehensive live coverage of the 2010 Indianapolis 500, with ABC broadcasting "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the 46th consecutive year and exclusive cable partner VERSUS offering nearly 20 hours of practice and qualifying action.
Read More
IMS
 
Daily Trackside Report - Sunday, May 16
Daily Trackside Report of notes and quotes from Sunday, May 16.
Read More
Helio Reaches 227; All Rookies Pass Test
 
Helio Reaches 227; All Rookies Pass Test
Seven rookies passed muster and another half-dozen breezed through their refresher programs. Soon afterward – on a cloudy and cool afternoon – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway came to life with 33 drivers getting the green flag to seek the speed necessary to pocket the $175,000 pole prize and the consistency to attain a bigger payday May 30. Day 2 of practice for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 16 was interrupted a few times for moisture on the mammoth racing surface, but it didn't drench lap speeds. For the second day in a row, Helio Castroneves paced the field with a lap of 227.046 mph (39.6395 seconds), and six topped 225 mph.
Read More
A Conversation With ... Bobby and Graham Rahal
 
A Conversation With ... Bobby and Graham Rahal
A conversation with Bobby and Graham Rahal, who appeared Saturday, May 15 for a press conference announcing primary sponsor Quick Trim for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
Read More
IMS
 
Daily Trackside Report - Saturday, May 15
Daily Trackside Report of notes and quotes from Saturday, May 15.
Read More
Items 1,509 - 1,513 of 1,571
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21