The newest class of inductees for the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame includes five drivers: Steve Barnett, Don Hoffman, Jimmy Mars, Steve Shaver and Wendell Wallace. Along with several contributors – Dottie and Lee Byers, the Cook family and Tony Hammett – they will be welcomed at a ceremony taking place alongside the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series North-South 100 at Kentucky’s Florence Speedway Aug. 10-11.
Steve Barnett began racing in 1975 and only announced his retirement last year. A six-time Northern Allstars Champion and four-time Brownstown Speedway Super Late Model Champion, the veteran driver had planned to race throughout 2017, but ended early after sustaining a serious racing injury abd being elected mayor of Franklin, Indiana, his hometown. With 50 career wins, Barnett is the fourth all-time winningest Super Late Model driver in Brownstown history, and he was elected to the track’s Hall of Fame ten years ago. He also can claim the distinction of starting the most Jackson 100’s in the event’s history – 27.
Don Hoffman of Des Moines stands as one of Iowa’s all-time winningest drivers, with track titles at Mason City, Webster City and the Iowa State Fairgrounds. He also claims major runs in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota. Alongside Billy Moyer, he is one of his area’s most legendary drivers.
Wisconsin’s Jimmy Mars is still competing today, but he’s racked up wins in the DTWC, the Dream Race, the USA Nationals, the Topless 100 and the National 100. Of these victories, he says winning the 1997 ‘Dirt Late Model Dream’ at the Eldora Speedway in Ohio was the most memorable. He began racing in 1985 at the age of 13, and has expressed no intention of retiring anytime soon.
A professional late model driver with many years of experience, Steve Shaver retired only a few seasons ago. His accomplishments as a driver are numerous, but highlights include six Harvest 50 wins at Skyline Speedway in Ohio, four Lucas Oil late model series victories, a Hillbilly 100 win and twice being named West Virginia state champion at I-79 Speedway in Shinnston. Shaver was notable for always giving his all in racing while remaining a clean and competent driver.
Known as one of dirt racing’s old guard, Wendell Wallace is still in competition today as he has been for well over three decades. He started in go-carts and went from there, racking up victories in races such as the Show Me 100, the Topless 100, the Dirt Track World Championship, the Cedar Lake Masters and the Magnolia 100. A fan favorite due to his outspoken, charismatic style, Wallace has his eye on the World 100 for the future.