Texas Motorsports Hall adds two more stars

Updated: April 14, 2005, 1:22 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte and drag racing great Lee Shepherd were inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Labonte and Shepherd, both native Texans, were among six honorees at the Hall of Fame's second awards banquet Wednesday night.

Labonte, running part-time on the Nextel Cup series this year and next before retiring as a driver, won the 1984 and 1996 Cup championships. After running local stock car races in his hometown of Corpus Christi, "Texas Terry'' went on to NASCAR in 1978. He will race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Shepherd won four straight National Hot Rod Association championships from 1981-84 before he was killed in a testing accident in Oklahoma in March 1985. From 1980-84, he reached the finals in 44 of 56 NHRA national events, winning 26 of them.

Lloyd Ruby was given the Bruton Smith Legends award. Ruby, a Wichita Falls native, won seven national championship Indy Car races from 1961-70.

The Sportsmanship Award was presented to Pattie and Kyle Petty for their philanthropic spirit. Kyle Petty's annual charity ride has raised more than $3 million since 1994, and last year the couple oversaw the opening of the Victory Junction Gang Camp for ill and disabled children.

University of Nebraska researcher and Texas A&M graduate Dean Sicking, who designed the SAFER Barrier, or so-called "soft walls'', was presented the Vision Award.

The TMS racer of the year was defending IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan, who won the IRL race at Texas in June and then capped his championship season with a runner-up finish in the season finale at the track.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press