The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame is a part of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing and was founded in 1990 by Don and Pat Garlits to honor those individuals who have contributed to the success of the sport of drag racing. Individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame are not just drivers; but also, crew chiefs, car builders, track owners, promoters, and manufactures who have contributed to the success and safety of the sport. Individuals inducted are from around the world and include countries like the United Kingdom and Australia where fans flock to see the sport of drag racing.
The first ceremony was held in 1991 in which twenty individuals were inducted, followed by another twenty individuals in 1992. Every year since, six nominees are inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
The process for inducting inductees begins every May as the Board of Selectors is reviews over 500 candidates. By the end of July, each Board of Selectors submits a list of three individuals. This list is then tuned into a ballot; of fifteen names. The ballot is sent back to the Board of Selectors where they vote for the individuals nominated. The top six nominees then become the new inductees for the following year.
In addition to the Hall of Fame six inductees, every year, the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame selects a Founder’s Award recipient and a Pat Garlits Memorial Award recipient. The Founder’s Award is in recognition of someone who has contributed to the sport of drag racing in a unique way. The Pat Garlits Memorial Award started in 2014, to honor the life and legacy Pat Garlits, is given to a woman who contributed to the success of a spouse involved in the sport, or contributed to the success of the sport by their actions both on and off the drag strip.
The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame then holds a ceremony in March to honor all the new inductees and award winners. The ceremony is held in Gainesville, Florida the Thursday before the NHRA Gatornationals. The generosity of sponsors helps make this event happen every year. Without our sponsors, we would not be able to honor those who have made the sport of drag racing successful.
Prior to 2022, Masters Entertainment Group would cover the ceremony and put together a 30-minute program which they would air on various sports networks. In 2022, Masters Entertainment Group began live streaming the event, allowing all drag racing fans to be a part of the ceremony. Masters Entertainment Group has never charged the museum for this service. We thank all of the companies who have purchased advertising time on the televised and live stream versions of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame ceremony to cover the cost of airing.
2023 International Drag Racing Hall Fame Ceremony
Thursday March 9, 2023
Hilton UF Conference Center
1714 SW 34th Street Gainesville, Florida
Shelly Anderson-Payne, Ron Atterbury, Carol ‘’Bunny’’ Burkett, Grameme Cowin, John Force, Sonny Messner, Vinny & Richard Napp.
Pat Garlits Award