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Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson to Receive Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Bob Russo Heritage Award

Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, the Owner and President of In-N-Out Burger, has been named a 2024 recipient of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) Bob Russo Heritage Award for her efforts to preserve the future of drag racing in the United States. In addition to her personal and corporate support of motorsports as the third-generation leader of California’s original drive-thru restaurant – which has grown into a beloved cultural icon – Lynsi is a dedicated philanthropist, devoted mother of four, musician and even a drag racer herself. She will be formally presented with the Bob Russo Heritage Award next March during the two-day 36th Annual MSHFA Induction Celebration presented by Toyota Racing at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach.

Lynsi’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, founded In-N-Out Burger in 1948 and to this day, the business remains and will stay privately owned and family operated. After beginning at In-N-Out Burger in 1999, Lynsi became owner and president in 2010 and is deeply involved with every aspect of the business.

MHSFA photo

In-N-Out Burger and the Snyder family have a long history of motorsports support and sponsorship, particularly in drag racing. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Harry and Esther were part owners of Irwindale Raceway, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, a track famous in part for its beloved In-N-Out-operated concession stands. But one of the most significant and recent contributions came under Lynsi’s leadership with the acquisition of the naming rights for the legendary Pomona Raceway, home since 1961 of the NHRA’s season-opening Winternationals.

A flagship motorsports facility in the Western U.S., Pomona was renamed at the beginning of this year the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. The new partnership includes the naming rights to NHRA’s season-ending race at Pomona, which runs for the first time this weekend, November 9 – 12, as the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals. In-N-Out’s all-in support of both the facility and its annual final race was also the catalyst for a long-term partnership extension with the NHRA that ensures the series will visit In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip through at least 2033. At a time when many dragstrips are disappearing, largely due to population sprawl, saving Pomona is a supercharged boost to the sport.

The MSHFA’s highest honor next to induction, the Bob Russo Heritage Award is named in recognition of the longtime motorsports journalist and historian and is presented only by the recommendation of the MSHFA Board of Directors in recognition of the recipient’s contributions to motorsports.

“Classic cars, muscle cars, drag racing—they’re a huge part of In-N-Out’s culture and history,” Lynsi said. “I’m so grateful to the MSHFA for this honor and tribute to my family’s legacy and love for motorsports. My father, in particular, loved drag racing. He is the reason I began racing at 18 years old just one year after he passed away. I know he, along with my grandparents and uncle, would be especially proud to receive this award.”

Lynsi’s dedicated commitment to every aspect of the company’s operation is matched by her unwavering and selfless support, oversight and direction of all of In-N-Out Burger’s philanthropic efforts through the In-N-Out Burger Foundation – which was started by her Grandma Esther and Uncle Rich Snyder – and the Slave 2 Nothing Foundation – which was started by Lynsi and her husband Sean Ellingson.

A racer herself, Lynsi competes in the NHRA Top Sportsman class in a 1969 Chevy-Hemi-powered Chevelle. She is also the founder of the In-N-Out Burger “;company band” .48 Special. Lynsi plays the bass and sings while her husband Sean plays the guitar in the group that is comprised of only In-N-Out management team members.

“In-N-Out Burger is an iconic brand, and it means a great deal to us that NHRA drag racing has been such an important part of their history,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “Their sponsorship of our track in Pomona and our season-ending NHRA Finals continues that special car culture connection that has been so important to both organizations, and we’ve been thrilled to work with Lynsi and the entire team at In-N-Out Burger. She’s a passionate racer who loves drag racing and has a number of special memories at the Pomona dragstrip, and it’s been really special to see the impact In-N-Out Burger has already had at the historic facility.”

The Bob Russo Heritage Award was presented for the first time since 2017 earlier this year when Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris was given the honor during the 2023 MSHFA Induction Celebration.

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Morris was just the 14th recipient of the Bob Russo Heritage Award in the 35-year history of the MSHFA, but that number will actually be increased by two at next March’s induction celebration. For the first time, the MSHFA Board has recommended dual recipients in a single year with a second worthy honoree in addition to Snyder-Ellingson set to be presented with the Bob Russo Award during next March’s two-day MSHFA Induction Celebration. The additional 2024 Russo Award recipient will be announced later this month.

“In-N-Out has long been committed to motorsports and California car culture,” MSHFA President George Levy said. “But Lynsi’s support of In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip protects and elevates one of drag racing’s most cherished venues.”

The 36th annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony presented by Toyota Racing will be held at the MSHFA Museum and The Shores March 11 – 12, 2024. For more information, visit the MSHFA at www.mshf.com or contact Levy at (248) 895-1704 or [email protected]. For museum tickets call 1-800-PIT-SHOP.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MotorsportsHOF/ and Instagram and Twitter at  @MotorsportsHOF.

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