The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame is scheduled to induct five new members at the 10th annual Induction Banquet at 6 tonight at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville.
The five new inductees include 1970 Daytona 500 champion Pete Hamilton, multi-time Dixie Speedway champion and NASCAR driver Bill Ingram, all-time NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing winner Warren Johnson, longtime dirt track and asphalt ace Doug Kenimer, and past Sprint Car champion Herman Wise.
Pete Hamilton, originally from Newton, Mass., and now in Buford, won the 1970 Daytona 500 driving for Petty Enterprises, and won both Talladega races that year while driving for Petty.
He was the 1965 Thompson World Series Twin 50s champion, won the title in the NASCAR National Sportsman division in 1967, the 1968 Rookie of the Year in NASCAR Sprint Cup; won the 1969 NASCAR Grand American division title, winning 12 of 26 races that year; won a qualifying race (then a points event) at Daytona in 1971 driving for Cotton Owens; won the 1974 Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
He also became a successful car builder in Georgia — operating out of Buford — building cars for several championship winning drivers, including Hall of Famers Charlie Mincey and Ronnie Sanders.
Bill Ingram, from Woodstock, had over 285 feature wins.
He ran his first race in 1967, at the age of 13, at Cherokee Motor Speedway in Canton, and he began racing regularly in 197. He won Hobby Championships at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock in 1978 and 1979; he moved to Limited Sportsman in 1981, winning several races, and he won a championship in 1982.
Ingram won the Georgia State Motocross Championship at Ballground in 1982; won Dixie/Rome Rookie of the Year in Super Late Models in 1983; won National Late Model Rookie of the Year from Racing News Weekly in 1983 and won the Points Championship at Dixie Speedway, 1984.
Ingram won Rome Boss 100 Late Model Points Championship at Rome Speedway in 1984, won Alabama Enduro Championship at Birmingham Speedway in 1985. He won the Enduro 300 at Dixie Speedway in 1985; qualified ninth, finished sixth in ARCA series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1986 and qualified at over 178 mph in an ARCA competition at Talladega, Ala., 1986.
Warren Johnson, of Buford, was a NHRA Pro Stock racer and the all-time Pro Stock winner, with 97 career wins and 151 career final round appearances. He was a six time NHRA Pro Stock champion (1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2001); set a career best speed and time in Gainesville, Fla. in 2012 (212.46). He was the first Pro Stock driver to surpass 180 mph (Fremont in 1982) and 190 mph (Indianapolis in 1986); scored five wins in 11 final round appearances in 1991. That same year he raced in Japan, beating American and Japanese Pro Stock races; became the first Pro Stock driver in history to exceed 200 mph (Richmond, 1997); became the first driver in NHRA history to make a sub 6.9 second pass (6.894 seconds, Richmond).
Herman Wise, of Toccoa, was a Sprint Car driver and car builder. He won the 1971 Little 500 in Anderson, Ind. Wise also won at Williams Grove and Sealinsgrove; scored wins all over the southeast, including at the Peach Bowl, Athens Speedway, Jefco Speedway and Toccoa in Sprints and Super Modifieds. He died in a traffic accident in Habersham County in 2003.