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NASCAR | NOTES

Elliott is among eight to enter Hall

February 22, 2007|Mike Kupper

Former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, Indy car mechanic-team manager Jim McGee, 1960 Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann, and Goodyear and Indy Racing League executive Leo Mehl will lead a class of eight auto racing stars into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization conducts its annual induction ceremony Aug. 15 at the State Theater in Detroit.

They, along with the pro stock drag racing team of Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin, America's first national sports car champion John Fitch, and dirt track and pavement motorcycle racer Bubba Shobert will join the 160 racers already enshrined.

"From Daytona, to Indianapolis, to Sebring -- the members of this class have visited victory circle in every significant race the nation has to offer," said Ron Watson, president of the hall. "And they've done it as drivers, mechanics, team managers and executives."

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Staff Sgt. Quinton Martin of Gulfport, Miss., will be riding with Casey Mears in the No. 25 National Guard car Sunday in the Auto Club 500 Nextel Cup race at California Speedway.

More correctly, an image of Martin will be featured on the hood of Mears' Chevrolet.

Martin was chosen for the honor through a national campaign to find Guard heroes and was selected from among 10 monthly honorees.

Martin began serving with the Mississippi Army National Guard 24 years ago, and has been on active duty for the last four years. He has served abroad in Germany, South Korea, Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica and Kuwait. Stateside, he assisted in hurricane relief in the gulf area.

His selection is part of a yearlong program developed by the Army National Guard and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services called the "Heroes of the Year," an initiative that showcases men and women serving in the Guard in their communities and around the world.

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The third annual "Fontana Racefest," featuring more than 20 NASCAR drivers, is scheduled for 5 tonight at California Speedway.

The free event in the new Opportunity, California FanZone, will feature a drivers' autograph session with, among others, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle; musical entertainment; a live auction; and activities for children.

-- Mike Kupper

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