History of DIRT Hall of Fame & Museum
1992: Founded by DIRT promoter Glenn Donnelly.
The building was originally intended to house Donnelly’s collection of classic cars, but Andy Fusco and Gary Spaid convinced him to include a Hall of Fame for the region’s dirt Modified drivers, with historic stock cars on display. Jack Speno was named curator of the Museum.
Fusco, Spaid, Gary Rowe and Gary Chadwick drew up a charter, outlining driver eligibility for induction. These four individuals, plus Tom Skibinski, comprised the original selection committee.
The inaugural induction ceremonies were held on April 12, 1992, with 12 drivers and one pioneer driver being selected. A set of hero cards and posters were sold, honoring that first class. The ceremonies were followed by a Hall of Fame race at Weedsport Speedway.
1993:The first non-driver racing award was added. Named after Area Auto Racing News founder Leonard
J. Sammons Jr., the award was established to recognize outstanding contributions to the sport.
Induction criteria was amended to include a provision for active drivers age 55 or older.
1994:The annual number of driver inductees was capped at three maximum, plus a possible pioneer from a past- gone era. The Hall of Fame inductions were moved to the Sunday afternoon of Memorial Dayweekend.
1995: A second award category, honoring car owners, was added. The Hall of Fame and Classic Car Museum was incorporated.
1998:The first annual award for mechanics/engineering was presented.
2002: Gater Racing News announced the addition of an annual Outstanding Woman in Racing Award.
2004: Donnelly sold his racing empire, including the Hall of Fame building, to Boundless Motor Sports Racing.
Changes on the selection committee included the departure of Gary Chadwick and the addition of Brian Spaid and Walt Wimer, representing Western PA tracks.
2011:The Hall of Fame race was moved from Weedsport (Cayuga County Fairgrounds) to Rolling Wheels Raceway.
2012:The Cayuga County Fairgrounds facility was closed. Induction ceremonies took place at the Museum as planned, with the Hall of Fame race at Rolling Wheels.
2013: Hall of Fame inductions were moved to June 4, the first evening ceremony. The race took place the next day at Rolling Wheels.
Al Heinke purchased the Cayuga County Fairgrounds property from World Racing Group (formerly Boundless), returning the track’s name back to Weedsport Speedway. Extensive renovations were begun on the race track,
as well as the Hall of Fame and Museum building and the grounds.
2014:The Hall of Fame race was reinstated at Weedsport Speedway in early August as part of the Super DIRTcar Series. Induction ceremonies took place in the Museum theevening prior.
2015: After serving 24 years as chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee, Gary Spaid stepped down. Buffy Swanson, who was added to the committee in 2012, was announced as the new chair.
Upon Andy Fusco’s untimely death, the Award for Media Excellence was established in his memory.