Les “Coach” Richter Nominated as Inductee into the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class
Motorsports icon instrumental in development of Auto Club Speedway
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 20, 2011) -- Les “Coach” Richter, who was instrumental in the development of Auto Club Speedway, from the demolition of the historic Kaiser Steel Mill, to its transformation into a first-class racing facility, has another accomplishment to add to his honors.
Tuesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee nominated Richter, who passed away last June, as an inductee to the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. Richter previously was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Richter, a native of Fresno, Calif., was an All-American linebacker and guard at the University of California Berkeley and played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954 to 1962 after being acquired from the Dallas Texans for 11 players. The defensive star was picked for the Pro Bowl eight times and was an Associated Press first team All-Pro in 1956.
“Coach” joined the NASCAR family in 1983 after a successful second career as president and general manager of Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. Richter soon evolved into one of the most important advisors to then-NASCAR Chairman/CEO Bill France Jr. as NASCAR’s popularity expanded. Richter was named NASCAR's Executive Vice President of Competition in 1986 and the Senior Vice President of Operations in 1992.
Richter also served as vice-president of special projects for International Speedway Corporation, the parent company of Auto Club Speedway. The current trophy for the Auto Club 400 is named the “Richter Trophy” as a lasting tribute to his contributions to Auto Club Speedway and the world of motorsports.
A 54 person Voting Panel and a fan vote (which is open from April 28 to June 12 on NASCAR.com) will decide the 2012 class. The inductees will be announced on June 14, 2011 at The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. on Speed Channel and will be inducted in January 2012.
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