In conjunction with the 13th annual Shriners’ Hot Rod and Drag Expo, the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame will induct its 2015 class Feb. 23, in a ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Since 2007, an elite group of individuals have been recognized each year by the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame for their contributions to drag racing, not only in North Carolina, but within the overall sport. The list of possible inductees seems to multiply exponentially each year, with almost 50 deserving individuals up for consideration this year.
Leading the list of new inductees will be Jerry Pierce, who will receive the Jeff Byrd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. Pierce started the Hot Rod Barn franchise system that helped so many racers and teams back in the 1970s, including the likes of Roy Hill, Mike Kennedy and Gary DeHart.
New this year is the Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award, destined for those individuals who helped start drag racing’s rise to popularity in North Carolina and South Carolina. The initial recipient of this award will be Bob Osieki, who established one of the region’s original drag strips in Chester, South Carolina, as well as helped found the NASCAR drag racing series and was among the first to have an electronic timing system of his own design.
Other inductees will include Deat Butner, Bob Harris, Jake King, Stuart McDade and Don Plemmons. Butner was a many-time IHRA champion in multiple classes with more than 500 event wins to his credit. Harris, currently executive director of the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA), was a winning competitor as well as track owner with Jim Turner at Piedmont Dragway.
King was instrumental to the success of the powerhouse Sox and Martin team, while McDade drove highly competitive Chrysler products in the beginning of Pro Stock in the 1970s. Plemmons is best known for being the owner of Farmington Dragway and founder of the Quick 8 Pro Mod Association.