2020 Hall of Fame Inductees to be Announced on “100 Days Out” from 104th Indy 500
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame nominating committee has added two accomplished drivers and a broadcast legend to the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot: racing pioneer Janet Guthrie, 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, and longtime broadcaster and former “Voice of the 500” Paul Page.
Ballots for the 2020 IMS Hall of Fame class have been mailed to the Selection Committee, which is comprised of more than 140 distinguished media and racing officials. The 2020 IMS Hall of Fame class will be announced the morning of Friday, February 14 – the “100 Days Out” milestone leading up to the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The inductees will be honored at the annual IMS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Special Recognition Dinner presented by Firestone on Thursday, May 21.
Guthrie’s resume is full of accomplishments in racing and aerospace, but she is most well known for being the first female driver to be entered in the Indianapolis 500 (1976) and to qualify for and compete in the race (1977).
After starting 26th in the 1977 “500,” only to see her Bryant Heating & Cooling entry drop out after 29 laps with engine problems, Guthrie showed her grit in 1978, starting in 15th position in Texaco Star Wildcat and finishing ninth. Her result became even more remarkable when it was later learned that she had cracked her wrist several days before the race, secretly wore a cast and essentially drove one-handed for 500 miles.
Guthrie’s finish was the best by a woman until Danica Patrick finished fourth as a rookie in 2005.
Guthrie started racing sports cars as an amateur in 1963 and turned professional in 1972, but not before finishing first in class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1967 and 1970. She earned her pilot’s license at age 17 and worked as an aeronautical engineer before racing full-time.
De Ferran’s hard-fought 2003 Indianapolis 500 win was notable for its close finish, in which the Brazilian denied Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves an unprecedented third-consecutive “500” victory. His other career highlights behind the wheel include consecutive Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series season championships in 2000 and 2001, finishing second and third, respectively, in the IndyCar Series season championships in 2002 and 2003.
Aside from getting caught up in the Lap 1 accident at the 1995 Indianapolis 500, his finishes (from 2001-03, all with Team Penske) were second, 10th and first.
After retiring from IndyCar Series driving in 2003, de Ferran served as sporting director for the BAR Honda Formula One team, then drove for his own team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and fielded his own IndyCar Series team. In 2018, de Ferran was named sporting director for the McLaren IndyCar effort.
Page’s distinctive voice presented the traditions, pageantry and intensity of the Indianapolis 500 as the play-by-play announcer on radio and television for more than a quarter-century.
Having joined the on-air staff of Indianapolis radio station WIBC-AM in 1968, Page’s mentor was none other than Sid Collins, the IMS Radio Network lead announcer and beloved “Voice of the 500” since 1952. Page joined the “500” race day broadcast team in 1974 and took the position of lead announcer upon Collins’ death in 1977.
Page served as “Voice of the 500” on radio until 1987, then joined veteran drivers Bobby Unser and Sam Posey in what would be a popular broadcast team for the ABC television network’s Indianapolis 500 coverage. Page covered thousands of events for ABC and ESPN until 2012, then returned to the IMS Radio Network anchor position for 2014-15.
The IMS Hall of Fame, which is permanently enshrined in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, honors and celebrates individuals for their contributions to motorsports, with emphasis on achievement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was founded in 1952 under the auspices of the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Hall of Fame was moved to the original IMS Museum in 1962 under the direction of then-Speedway president Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr.
About the IMS Museum: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is home to one of the world’s premier motorsports and automobile collections, with interpretive emphasis on the Indianapolis 500 and its role as an American icon of sporting tradition and innovation.
Located inside the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, the Museum is open 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which relies on support from admissions, tours, sponsorships, annual memberships and planned-giving for its operations, educational programming, restoration and preservation efforts, and special exhibits and events.
For more information on the IMS Museum, please visit www.indyracingmuseum.org, contact the Museum at (317) 492-6784, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.