USAC HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019: CAPELS, CLAUSON, JORDAN, STEELE
Story By: Richie Murray/USAC Racing
Photos By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
Speedway, Indiana (August 14, 2019)………USAC’s newest Hall of Fame class members have been named for 2019 with Johnny Capels, Bryan Clauson, Dick Jordan and Dave Steele receiving the votes to make up the eighth class of inductees, who will be formally inducted on Wednesday, September 4, during the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
New Mexico native Capels is a five-time National Championship-winning chief mechanic, winning back-to-back USAC National Championships with driver Joe Leonard in 1971-72, plus USAC Champ Dirt Car titles with Al Unser in 1973, Mario Andretti in 1974 and as a chief mechanic/car owner for Pancho Carter in 1978. He was also victorious as a USAC Sprint Car driver in 1968 and served in the roles of USAC Senior VP and Director of Competition in 1992, USAC President and COO from 1997 to 2001 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for USAC from 2002 to 2010.
Clauson, of Noblesville, Ind. won 112 USAC races as a driver between 2004 and his 2016 passing and is one of just six drivers to reach the 100-win mark during his career with the club. Clauson ranks seventh on both the USAC National Sprint Car and USAC National Midget wins list with 41 and 38 wins, respectively, in each division. He also scored two career USAC Silver Crown victories. He captured the overall USAC National Driver Championship in 2010-11-12, USAC National Midget championships in 2010-11 and USAC National Sprint Car titles in 2012 and 2013.
Jordan, of Brownsburg, Ind., was USAC’s public/media relations man for over half a century from 1968 until his death in 2019, and it’s safe to say, no individual has witnessed more USAC events than he. Jordan devoted his entire working life to publicizing the club’s drivers and events, working with the media, as well as preserving the club’s rich history with his thorough race reports, statistics and record-keeping. One of the most respected individuals in all racing media, the recognition Jordan received from around the racing world because of his contributions have been extensive.
Tampa, Fla. native Steele racked up one of the greatest careers in the history of USAC, ultimately becoming a two-time Silver Crown driving champion in 2004 and 2005 and one of the club’s most accomplished drivers in the decades of the 1990 and 200s. Steele earned 60 USAC National victories, all of which came on pavement, including 16 Silver Crown, 26 National Sprint Car and 18 Midget. A two-time Little 500 winner at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway where he earned his final USAC win in 2009, Steele passed away in 2017 following a crash on the opening lap of a Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series event at Florida’s Desoto Speedway.
The USAC Hall of Fame began in 2012 and has previously inducted 80 individuals over the past seven years: J.C. Agajanian, Mario Andretti, Earl Baltes, Henry Banks, Rollie Beale, Gary Bettenhausen, Tony Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, George Bignotti, Tom Binford, Don Branson, Clint Brawner, Steve Butler, Jimmy Bryan, Duane Carter, Pancho Carter, Jimmy Caruthers, Russ Clendenen, Donald Davidson, Jimmy Davies, Willie Davis, Frankie Delroy, Mike Devin, Larry Dickson, Bob East, Tony Elliott, A.J. Foyt, Paul Goldsmith, Chuck Gurney, Gene Hartley, Butch Hartman, Jack Hewitt, Bob Higman, Tommy Hinnershitz, Gus Hoffman, Lindsey Hopkins, Tony Hulman, Jim Hurtubise, Parnelli Jones, Don Kenyon, Mel Kenyon, Dick King, Sheldon Kinser, Jud Larson, Jason Leffler, Steve Lewis, Howard Linne, Bill Lipkey, Fred Lorenzen, Roger McCluskey, Rick Mears, Norm Nelson, Pat O’Connor, Kevin Olson, Roger Penske, Larry Rice, Lloyd Ruby, Johnny Rutherford, Troy Ruttman, Eddie Sachs, Ken Schrader, Bob & Gene Shannon, Jimmy Sills, Don Smith, Robbie Stanley, Steve Stapp, Tony Stewart, Bob Stroud, Bob Tattersall, Shorty Templeman, Johnny Thomson, Sleepy Tripp, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Rich Vogler, Rodger Ward, A.J. Watson, Bob Wente, Don White & Bob Wilke.