DARLINGTON, S.C. – Dr. Dick Berggren, Shirley Muldowney, Scott Pruett, and Frank Kimmel have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
As required by the organization’s bylaws, all four members received more than 65% of the votes cast by NMPA members. Biographies of the new inductees are below.
Berggren and Muldowney led the voting, receiving 84% of the votes cast. Pruett was elected with 71% of the votes cast, while Kimmel received 68%.
All four individuals are not only standouts in their chosen professions but are well respected in the motor sports community. They will be honored during the NMPA Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the annual NMPA convention in late January 2023. Additional details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date.
The NMPA Hall of Fame, which highlights all inductees and other award honorees, is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. It has been in operation since 1965.
NMPA Hall of Fame Class of 2023
Dr. Dick Berggren – From driver to legendary announcer, Berggren began his motor sports career that spanned more than four decades in 1967, racing Super Modifieds, Modifieds, stock and Sprint cars while also serving as the public address announcer at Arundel Speedway in Maine. Berggren’s love of racing led him to writing about the sport for various newspapers as well as Stock Car Racing magazine of which he became the editor. Berggren won 26 races before leaving his driving behind in 1981 when he began his run of more than two decades as a fixture on NASCAR telecasts. Berggren became familiar to viewers on ESPN while also appearing on CBS, TBS and TNN before closing his career with a 12-year stint as the lead pit reporter for Fox Sports’ NASCAR telecasts. Before retiring from his television career, Berggren founded Speedway Illustrated.
Shirley Muldowney – Known as the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” Muldowney went from street racing to becoming the first woman to earn a Top Fuel dragster license. She not only was the first woman to win a NHRA world championship, but the first person to win two and then three Top Fuel titles – 1977, 1980, 1982. Muldowney obtained her NHRA pro license in 1965, the first woman to be granted one, and claimed her first major event in 1971. Overall, she has 18 NHRA national series event victories. She also earned a IHRA championship in 1981. Upon retiring, Muldowney began operating “Shirley’s Kids,” which helps children in need in cities where drag racing is part of the community.
Scott Pruett – Pruett started his racing career at age 8, competing in karts and eventually winning 10 professional karting titles, including the Professional Karting Association World Championship in 1981. In his first full season in IMSA GTO (1986), he won the series championship and claimed it again in 1988. He also earned SCCA Trans-Am titles in 1987, 1994 and 2003. Pruett competed in 145 CART races between 1988 and 1999, recording two victories. After a brief foray in NASCAR, Pruett returned to sports car racing where he amassed 60 victories and 11 championships. Those victories include a record five 24 Hours of Daytona overall wins, a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Frank Kimmel – Kimmel made his mark in the ARCA Menards Series. He is the only 10-time champion in series history, winning a remarkable eight consecutive titles from 2000 to 2007. After claiming his first victory at Toledo Speedway in 1994, two years after earning the series rookie title, Kimmel amassed a record 80 career victories and 44 poles. He was the first ARCA driver selected to compete in the International Race of Champions in 2006.