Les “Coach” Richter Nominated as Inductee into the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class
Motorsports icon instrumental in development of Auto Club Speedway
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 11, 2012) -- 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, is one of 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame’s fourth induction class, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee announced on Wednesday. Richter, who passed away in 2010, was also a nominee for the 2012 class.
Other nominees include Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Rusty Wallace, Joe Weatherly and Leonard Wood.
Five inductees will be elected by the Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM closes May 16 at midnight (ET). Voting Day for the 2013 class will be May 23 and will be announced live at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
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 Ex. VP of Competition in 1986 and the Sr. VP of Operations in 1992.
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 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.
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