MSHFA is recipient of major Panoz endowment

You’ll learn two things from this post: First, that one of Daytona Beach’s major speed-related attractions is the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway, just across the steet from the home offices of both NASCAR and IMSA. And you’ll also be reminded of the vast debt that North American racing owns to Dr. Don Panoz, who passed away in 2018, and whose family announced a major endowment of the hall during its 35th annual induction of newly enshrined members last night. The endowment will make it possible for the hall of fame to continue its work, which is honoring the greats of all branches of engine-powered sport on these shores. Making the announcement were several members of the Panoz family including Don’s son, Dan.

Don Panoz was one of the great figures in the recent history of North American motorsport. In addition to building limited-edition performance cars from his base outside Atlanta, Panoz fielded race cars that won the Indianapolis 500 four times, in addition to overall wins at Le Mans and Sebring, plus championships in Trans Am and in the GT4 series presented by SRO Motorsports. He also owned and operated Sebring, Road Atlanta and today’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park before teaming with Jim France of NASCAR and IMSA to create the American Le Mans Series. Part of the endowment will allow the hall – full disclosure, I’m one of its electors – to present mementos of the Panoz story in a new display called “Don’s Garage,” which already boasts a Panoz LMP1 roadster and the radical Deltawing sports racer. “A major goal of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, after joining the world in enduring the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was the establishment of a significantly funded endowment to provide the MSHFA with unprecedented financial stability,” said MSHFA President George Levy. “We are honored and humbled that the Panoz family has agreed to provide this major gift to the MSHFA and look forward to showcasing the amazing accomplishments of ‘Dr. P’ in the exciting new ‘Don’s Garage’ display.” 

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