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Hall of Fame

2010 URC Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Inductee #1 – Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson from Philadelphia, PA was the true founding father of the United Racing Club. Harry recognized that working class competitors could not be competitive against the purpose built racing engines in the AAA sprint car sanction. Johnson convinced AAA that a need did exist for the weekend racer and in 1947 URC was born. For the first two seasons, URC was part of the AAA as a “B” division, but fate would add a pleasant twist for Johnson. The wheel-to-wheel racing provided by the “B” division began to outdraw the superstars of the AAA. In 1949, Harry Johnson teamed Sam Nunis, a successful entrepreneur known for his ability to organize auto racing at local, country and state fairgrounds. Johnson finally achieved his dream of making URC an independent sprint car organization and introduced the idea of “tow money” and insurance for racers. Johnson ruled URC for 15 seasons, and today we recognize him as the first person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #2 – Mike Magill

“Iron” Mike Magill earned his nickname before 39,000 spectators at the famed Langhorne Speedway on August 6, 1951. Mike was leading the URC feature event when a flat tire forced him to the pits. Mike returned to the raceway with 12 laps remaining in the feature with a huge disadvantage….he was one lap down to the field. Talk about an amazing comeback, Mike not only got himself back on the lead lap, but also set a blistering pace to claim the sprint car victory. After his remarkable comeback, the announcer dubbed him “Iron” Mike Magill. Mike also ran the midget and stock car portions of the triple header that day at Langhorne Speedway. Hailing from Haddonfield, NJ, the hard charger was a charter member of URC and won eight out of seventeen events in 1950 en route to the coveted URC Championship. The personable racer also won the URC championship in 1951 and 1953. Mike Magill became the first “star” born out of URC and he is the second person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #3 – Earl Halaquist

Perhaps the most consistent racer in URC’s lucrative history. Earl Halaquist competed for 11 consecutive years, never finishing lower than fourth in the season long point chase. The quiet racer from Sydney, NY, tallied six URC championships, all aboard the George Nestler #8. One championship in particular attracted controversy in 1962. Two months after being declared the champion , Halaquist was informed that a point tally error occurred during the season and Bobby Courtwright actually earned the exact same number of points as he did. He then shared the URC title with Bobby Courtwright at the annual awards banquet. Among Halaquist’s most notable teammates was Indianapolis racer Larry Dickson. Halaquist captured 52 career wins with URC and was the Club’s leading feature winner upon his retirement from racing in 1970. Halaquist’s rim riding ability defied the fact that he rarely found himself caught up in accidents. Halaquist was the first URC racer to be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. His actions on and off the track make Earl Halaquist the third person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #4 – Bill Bauer

If ever a person earned the title of “Mr URC” it was a likeable man from Woodbury Heights, NJ named Bill Bauer. He entered URC as a car owner and exited URC as one of the Club’s greatest leaders. Bill’s name never appeared on the list of Club presidents; however everyone involved knew that Bill Bauer ruled the URC roost. He did so with an iron fist at times, but was always fair and had the best interest of URC and it’s competitors at heart. URC Presidents would come and go, but Bill Bauer was never contested for the Secretary-Treasurer position. Bill’s motto of “Progress with Stability” remains a standard for URC today. Bill was a very successful car owner, finishing as high as second in the point standings in 1978 with driver Ed Wylie and gave many different drivers including Jimmy Horton an opportunity to drive his familiar #75 to victory lane. Bill embraced the challenge of balancing his role as a car owner, URC manager, businessman, and family man. I was Bill’s commitment and love for URC that earns him the distinction as the fourth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #5 – Glenn Fitzcharles

Glenn Fitzcharles exemplifies all the qualities of a true champion. He is devoted to his fans, admired by his competition, and always speaks with positive words and pride when asked about URC. Glenn won five URC championships and holds the distinction as URC’s all-time leading feature winner, a mark that may never be broken. In one season alone , URC’s perpetual champion won 21 feature events. His electrifying performances came aboard the Don & Darlene Kerr #26. No one can be sure which Glenn Fitzcharles was more revered; the Glenn Fitzcharles on the track or the Glenn Fitcharles off the track. The Pottstown, PA driver could always be seen helping rookie drivers, thanking race fans and sponsors in Victory lane, and doing everything in his power to promote URC. Glenn understood that in order to be considered great, the organization you race for must also be great. Glenn even served several years as the URC president. History has reflected Glenn Fitzcharles as one of the greatest URC champions ever. Always an ambassador for URC, Glenn Fitzcharles becomes the fifth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductee #6 – Bob Mermuys

One cannot associate the word “success” with URC without associating the name Bob Mermuys, President of Bars Products in Holly, Michigan. Bob Mermuys has been instrumental in the success of URC for the past 15 years as the Tour Sponsor of the nation’s oldest traveling sprint car organization. Manhandling a six- second dragster in national events, Bob is no stranger to speed. Bob’s company manufactures the nationally known stop leak “Bars Leaks” which has become synonymous with URC racing throughout the northeast. As URC began to grow with a prestigious corporate sponsor, so did Bars Products. Acquiring the Rislone brand of oil additives a few years ago, URC changed it’s Tour Sponsor label to “The Rislone URC Sprint Car Series”. Bars Products and the United Racing Club also share the same birthday, both celebrating their 63rd year in business. Bars Products with the backing of Bob Mermuys has made URC the nation’s premiere 360 sprint car organization. An avid Red Wings fan, Bob is not considered a sponsor of URC, he is also considered a friend of URC. His loyalty and tremendous support of URC over the years makes Bob Mermuys the sixth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #7 – Kramer Williamson

Kramer Williamson is undoubtedly the most popular and recognizable driver in URC aboard his classic “Pink Panther” #73 sprint car. If it has been accomplished in a sprint car , Kramer Williamson has don it. His list of accomplishments boast several Central Pennsylvania championships, including championships at the famed Williams Grove Speedway. Kramer has over 100 sprint car wins, including some with the World of Outlaws and he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa. Kramer currently is the leading feature winner in the URC challenge events dating back to 1994. Whether it’s Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, or Kasey Kahne they know him simply as Kramer. At 50 plus years of age, Kramer never stops promoting URC in a positive manner and continues to maintain his personable, professional image with his many fans. Kramer Williamson earns the distinction as the seventh person and the first active driver inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

2011 URC Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Inductee #8 – Dave Kelly

Dave Kelly won five URC championships and was an accomplished modified racer before he came on the URC scene. Dave broke Buck Buckley’s career win record of 53 feature wins. Dave piled up an amazing 76 career URC feature wins during his time with URC. Kelly’s first win came at his inaugural sprint car race with URC at Bridgeport Speedway on August 4, 1979. Dave Kelly helped earn URC a newfound respect and credibility among fans and promoters alike, as he and Glenn Fitzcharles put on a modern day face on URC. To this day, Dave, Glenn, and Earl Halaquist are considered the greatest URC champions in the 65 year history of URC. Dave Kelly becomes the eighth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #9 – Bert Brooks

Few people have had such a sudden and significant impact on URC, as did driver Bert Brooks. The Canadian born resident of Connecticut came to URC as an unheralded midget driver on opening day April 24, 1954 at Manassas, Virginia. Although Brooks never sat in a sprint car, he went out and dominated the feature event. Bert proved it was not a fluke as he won again at the same track three weeks later. Brooks destroyed the URC competition over the next 5 years, winning 4 championships and 37 career feature wins. Bert Brooks becomes the ninth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #10- Buck Buckley

Buck Buckley burst onto the URC scene as a 19 year old teenager in 1970. Buck came within a whisker of winning the URC championship in 1971, but Buck was not a points racer; he raced for wins….and win he did! Buckley’s claim to fame was his dominating performances each time URC visited the lightning fast and tricky Flemington Speedway. When Buck finally retired, he was URC’s all-time leading feature winner, breaking Earl Halaquist’s mark of 53 career wins. Along the way, Buck became an accomplished sprint car chassis builder. Having a Buckley Chassis was the hot ticket in URC and Central PA sprint car racing for over two decades. Buck Buckley becomes the tenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #11 – Louis Kunz

Louis Kunz was with URC literally from day one. Louis and Harry Johnson are credited for creating URC in 1947. Louis served as Vice President and URC publicist under Johnson. In 1963, a rift developed between Harry Johnson and several of the top URC car owners, Louis Kunz was then elected President, a position he held through 1978. Louis, along with his wife Florence, worked tirelessly promoting URC….he was truly the heart of URC. Louis stepped down as President in the Fall of 1978 and he passed away on Nov. 11, 1989. Louis Kunz becomes the eleventh person inducted to the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #12 – Frank “Scats” Anfuso

Scats was elected the third President of URC and served two terms as Commander in Chief. Scats was also a charter member of URC. Scats earned five championships in his URC tenure as an owner with drivers Bert Brooks, Lou Johnson (2), Bobby Courtwright, and John Draucker. His genuine love for URC was infectious and his kindness filled the pits. Scats always presented one of the finest looking cars on the URC circuit with the familiar yellow and blue paint scheme highlighted by his Highway Auto Body logo. Scats raced with URC for over four decades, but after the tragic accident of John Draucker in 1979, his heart remained very heavy and he retired a few years later. Scats Anfuso becomes the twelfth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #13 – Buzz Rose

Buzz Rose is the only person inducted to the URC Hall of Fame that never competed, officiated, or held office in URC, but his contribution to URC was just as instrumental to it’s success. Buzz Rose resides in Glendale, Arizona and raced USAC sprint cars along with champ cars in the fifties and sixties with and against the best racers of all time to include Foyt, Parnelli, Hurtibise, Branson, Rutherford, and McCluskey. Buzz was recently elected to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame for his role as publisher, editor, and journalist. Buzz has written many comprehensive books on motorsports. URC was fortunate that Buzz Rose wrote two books, starting with “The History of URC, Volume One” that spanned 1947 through 1977 in remarkable detail. Buzz followed that up with the second edition “Tow Money, Volume Two” picking up in 1978 and continuing into the new millennium. These books helped elevate the status of URC nationally, and are a necessary read for any sprint car enthusiast. Buzz Rose becomes the thirteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

2012 URC Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Inductee #14 – George Nesler

George Nesler and his sprint cars ruled URC in the sixties. With drivers Earl Halaquist and Larry Dickson. The Nesler entries won 56 times in the sixties. Nesler claimed 5 consecutive championships (1964-1968) with Halaquist and Dickson. The Nesler cars were always immaculate and the team projected a very professional image. George Nesler becomes the fourteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #15 – Greg Coverdale

URC’s 1994 champion and one of the most exciting drivers ever to compete with URC. Greg’s extreme driving style made him a fan favorite. Greg’s 46 career feature wins rank him 6th all time right behind the legendary Earl Halaquist. Greg won the Inaugural Tournament of Champions race at the famed Knoxville IA Speedway. It was Greg’s first visit to Knoxville and he sure made URC proud as he dominated the event which featured some of the most talented 360 drivers in the country. Greg becomes the fifteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductee #16 – Lou Johnson

Wilmington Delaware’s Lou Johnson was the URC iron man throughout the fifties and early sixties. Lou amassed 36 career feature wins and claimed the 1955 and 1959 championships. Lou competed against some of the strongest competition ever seen in URC. With the likes of; Bert Brooks, Hank Rogers, Hall Rettberg, Buddy Powers, Eddie Gallione, Bobby Marshman, Earl Halaquist, Jiggs Peters and Red Reigel. Lou becomes the sixteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #17 – Fred Kennedy

URC’s “Mr. Everything” Fred Kennedy has been a driver, sponsor, board of director, and respected car owner for over twenty years. The Team 56 entry has always been one of the top URC cars to beat at the “Big” series events with drivers such as Greg Coverdale, Becca Anderson, Trevor Lewis, and Chris Coyle all winning “Big” races in the famous Kennedy #56. Fred has always been a loyal supporter of URC and his dedication to our sport is unsurpassed. Fred Kennedy becomes the seventeenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #18 – Albert “Chubby” Ciarrocchi

It seems like you can go to almost any sprint car track in the country and mention the name “Chubby” and you’ll find a driver he has or is supporting. Chubby is a rare individual. He has helped countless teams and drivers over the years by helping them with racing tires to racing suits . The last 20 years Chubby’s main focus has been with URC. Chubby along with C n B Mushroom Farms has sponsored the championship teams of Harz, Bostic and Palladino, as well as sponsoring many small under funded teams as well. Chubby says he “enjoys helping drivers that need help” and by doing so, Chubby Ciarrocchi becomes the eighteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame #19 – Joe Fiore Sr.

This respected car owner wore many different hats with URC in the fifties and sixties. Joe was a two time URC champion in 1960 and in 1961 with Eddie Gallione and Hal Rettburg aboard. Joe totaled 22 wins as an owner before turning the car over to his son; Joe Jr. Joe Sr. served URC in many capacities including Tech Inspector, Vice President, and Board of Director. Joe Fiore Sr. becomes the nineteenth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

2013 URC Hall of Fame Inductee

Hall of Fame Inductee #20 – Midge Miller

For over Thirty years Midge Miller was a fixture with URC. First as a race competitor where he was a feature winner at Bridgeport Speedway, then as an official and finally as a tech inspector where Midge Miller really shined. Midge brought a much needed respect and credibility to this very important role he had with URC. Because of the way Midge approached the position of tech inspector the competitors knew that they were all on a level playing field. Midge Miller becomes the twentieth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

2014 URC Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Inductee #21 – Leroy Felty

No driver was more charismatic in the 1970’s on the United Racing Club trail than Leroy Felty, but his charm was coupled with a fierce driving style that made him one of the top sprint car drivers of his era. Leroy won his first URC title in 1971 over such names as Buck Buckley and Harry Benjamin. Felty also won 15 feature events that season. He was a bridesmaid to Harry Benjamin in the 1972 URC point chase while having 3 feature wins, but rebounded in 1973 to win his second championship over Carl Bergkvist. Felty won 7 times in 1973 and continued his winning ways into the late 1970’s. URC is honored to induct Leroy Felty as the 21st inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #22 – John Wergland

John Wergland has a very storied history with URC that spanned over 3 decades. John started his racing career at age 15 when he joined the crew of the legendary Pappy Hough team. He became a URC car owner in 1960 and over a 25 year period fielded some of the biggest names in sprint car racing. Amongst his drivers were Mario Andretti, Red Riegel, Al Unser, Bobby Marvin, Johnny Rutherford, and Carl Bergkvist to name a few. John has 19 career URC wins to his credit with many different drivers. The Wergland Chevy was a threat at each and every event they attended. URC is proud to induct John Wergland as the 22nd inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #23 – Clay Parks

Clay Parks is an executive of the Bars Products Corporation, a trusted and very valued member of the Bars family, who overseen the company’s 20 year Tour sponsorship with the United Racing Club. Clay is more than a face associated with a sponsor; Clay is a true friend of URC. Clay always ensured URC had the tools needed to meet their sponsorship requirements, and always went the extra mile for URC, despite being busy traveling worldwide for Bars Leaks / Rislone. Clay even flew out from Michigan to pay respect to URC’s fallen hero, Kramer Williamson. Because of his good nature, professionalism, and friendship URC is honored to have Clay Parks as the 23rd inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #24 – Don Kerr

If there ever was a car owner for the ages, it would certainly have been Don Kerr. Kerr entered the URC scene without much attention until he hired a modified driver with a long list of credentials….enter Glenn Fitzcharles, Kerr’s cars were always immaculately prepared and rarely suffered any mechanical problems. Kerr would dominate in 1987 and many subsequent seasons with 21 incredible wins in the 1987 season alone…yes, 21 wins in a season! Kerr was a quiet man, and a man who would help any of his fellow competitors in the pits and loved racing with URC. In 1988, he garnered 12 wins with Fitzcharles at the helm, and continued his winning ways until his retirement. Kerr won four straight URC car owner championships. It is Don Kerr’s high standards of performance above and beyond the norm that earns him the honor of being the 24th inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #25 – Charlie Cathell

Throughout our 67 year history, URC has raced for many promoters. Charlie Cathell and Delaware International Speedway has hosted more URC events than any other promoter / Speedway in URC history. Charlie has provided URC racers with a great racing surface for decades. Charlie and his family have put their heart and soul into their speedway and take great pride in providing their racers with a first class facility. Charlie has hosted as many as 10 URC events in a single season. Charlie continues to be a supporter and friend of URC. Charlie Cathell’s unparalleled support of URC over the years has him now being the 25th person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

2017 URC Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Inductee #26 - Kathy Palladino

In the 71 year history of the United Racing Club, Kathy Palladino is the only 6-time URC champion car owner. Kathy's car is the sprint car team that all other teams are measured. The Palladino #99 wrenched on by husband Pat Palladino has fifty-six career 360 feature wins with a few different drivers. In 1999, Kathy won her first title with Sean Michael as the driver. In 2000, she won the title with points accumulated with five different drivers that include Curt Michael, Sean Michael, Chris Coyle, Dave Gable and Steve Siegle. Curt Michael delivered Kathy & Pat the championship hat trick in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with JJ Grasso delivering the goods in 2009. Kathy is always quick to point out that her car was a successful car because of the team, sponsors, family and friends that were supporters of the famous Palladino #99. It is with great honor that the URC inducts Kathy Palladino as the 26th person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductee #27 - Pat Palladino

Pat Palladino was known as “the leader” on the Palladino #99 sprint car team. Pat was around sprint car racing for years as a mechanic, but in 1999 Pat along with wife and car owner Kathy decided to field their own sprint car with the URC. Commitment is what set the Pat Palladino operation apart from the rest of the competition. The work ethic program on the #99 was second to none, with specific nights and hours devoted to the overall maintenance of the race machine. Even coming off of a win, the #99 was scrutinized in the garage with the same intensity as if it didn’t run well in the race. Every URC team knew that if it was going to win a race or a URC championship the first thing they needed to do was work as hard or harder than the Palladino #99 team. Pat and Kathy set a very high standard for their team that all URC teams still try to emulate. It is these high standards that have Pat Palladino entering the URC Hall of Fame as the #27th inductee.

Hall of Fame Inductee #28 - Gary Gollub

Gary was the United Racing Club champion in 1975 & 1976. Gary has 20 career URC wins and was known as one of the nicest guys in the pit area during his career. The URC is proud to announce Gary Gollub as the 28th person Inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #29 - John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman was elected president of URC in 1994 amid the turmoil of the great asphalt debate. John was able to bring a divided URC back together and become the URC’s longest tenured president serving 20 years. Under Zimmerman the URC became one of the top 360 sprint organizations in the Country. One of John’s most prized accomplishments was convincing Bob Mermuys, the president of Bars Products to join the URC as a tour sponsor. A friendship and sponsorship that lasted the 20 years of Zimmerman’s reign. John also helped a couple URC all-time greats Glenn Fitzcharles & Kramer Williamson get elected to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. The United Racing Club would like to welcome John Zimmerman as the 29th inductee into the URC Hall of Fame.

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