Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 | Page 44


From left , 2023 Hall of Fame inductees Todd Tutterow , Fred Wagenhals , Jay Turner , Quain
Stott , and Bobby Bennett

NC Drag Racing Hall Of Fame Inducts 2023 Class During Shriners ’ Hot Rod & Drag Expo

By Greg Burrow

The racing season begins in the Carolinas and Virginia each February with the Shriners ’ Hot Rod & Drag Expo at the centrally located Greensboro Coliseum . During this two-day event , the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame honors its inductees for the year . They include honorees in the sport , both living and deceased , as well as a special award for a Pioneer ( s ) and the Jeff Byrd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award .

This year ’ s honorees were a great cross-section of our sport . Also honored was one of the greats of our sport , who had recently begun to call North Carolina home . As was the case last year , the presenting sponsor was Sandra Scarlette ’ s
Shirley Muldowney and presenting sponsor Sandra Scarlette
Performance Parts , in Winston Salem , North Carolina . Also returning was Bruce Hayes ’ Hayes ’ Jewelers furnishing all the awards , with inductee Fred Wagenhals ’ GunBroker . com furnishing the custom embroidered jackets for all .
As this was the 20th anniversary of the Expo , there were many people recognized , but none more deserving than Jim Turner and his entire family , who are the driving force for the event , which has raised much money for the Shriners ’ Hospital .
This year , the Shriners ’ special guest was none other than Kaleb Wolff . For those of you who don ’ t know , Wolff is one of the young men featured in the commercials that the Shriners ’ do so well . He has a rare genetic disorder that cause his bones to be very brittle and has resulted in over 200 breaks during his short life . But with care from the great doctors at the Shriners ’ Hospital , he is
Jim Turner receives a Certificate of Proclamation recognizing the 20 years of the Turner family ’ s promoting the Hot Rod & Drag Expo to benefit the Shriners ’ Hospital . now able to set up and is learning to walk .
The management of the Coliseum offered up a proclamation recognizing the work of the Turner family , much to the surprise of Jim Turner .
On Saturday , inductees and their families filed into the hall where the following were recognized : Pro Mod legends Todd Tutterow and Quain Stott ; Jay Turner , for his accomplishments in Top Fuel Harley ; and the one and only First Lady of Drag Racing , Shirley Muldowney ; for their historic contributions to our sport , Fred Wagenhals , founder of Action Performance , along with longtime Hemi Cuda competitor “ Bullet ” Bob Reed .
Receiving the Jeff Byrd Memorial Award was founder and editor of CompetitionPlus . com , Bobby Bennett . It should be noted that there have been two members of the media recognized for their contributions , the first being David Bishop , in the 2017 class for his founding of Competition Photos LTD . and East Coast Drag News . Also , please note that it was Bishop who was the guiding light for Bennett , and both were suggested for induction by Steve Earwood , himself a media person in one of his first positions in our sport . Because , after all , if there were no media , not one of the inductees would have their story told and would not have been recognized for their accomplishments .
The ceremony was preceded by the autograph session that is open to all inductees , past and present , giving old friends a chance to catch up with each other and a wonderful “ meet and greet ” session for the fans . The event was well attended and all are looking forward to the 2024 event . DI
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