URC Hall of Fame - 2010 Inductees

URC Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees
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Hall of Fame Inductee #1 - Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson from Philadelphia, Pa. was the true founding father of the United Racing Club. He recognized that working class competitors could not be competitive against the purpose built engines (racing engines) in the AAA sprint car sanction. Johnson convinced AAA that a need existed for the weekend racer; hence, URC was born in 1947. For the first two seasons, URC was part of the AAA as a “B” division, but fate would add a pleasant twist for Johnson. The wheel-to-wheel racing provided by the “B” division began to outdraw the superstars of the AAA. In 1949, Harry Johnson teamed with Sam Nunis, a successful entrepreneur known for his ability to organize auto racing at local, county, and state fairgrounds. Johnson finally achieved his dream of making URC an independent sprint car organization and introduced the idea of “tow money” and insurance for racers. Johnson ruled URC for two decades, and today we recognize him as the first person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #2 - Mike Magill

“Iron” Mike Magill earned his nickname before 39,000 spectators at the famed Langhorne Speedway on August 6, 1951. Mike was leading the URC feature event when a flat tire forced him to the pits. Mike returned to the raceway with 12 laps remaining in the feature with a huge disadvantage…he was one lap down to the field. Talk about an amazing comeback, Mike not only got back on the lead lap, but also set a blistering pace to claim the sprint car victory. After his remarkable comeback, the announcer dubbed him “Iron” Mike Magill. He also ran the midget and stock car portions of the triple header that day at Langhorne Speedway. Hailing from Haddonfield, N.J., the hard charger was a charter member of URC and won eight out 17 events in 1950 enroute to the coveted URC championship. The personable racer also won the URC championship in 1951 and 1953. Magill competed in several Indianapolis 500’s and competed in some NASCAR races in 1953. Mike Magill became the first “star” born out of URC and he is the second person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #3 - Earl Halaquist

Perhaps the most consistent racer in URC’s lucrative history, Earl Halaquist competed for 11 consecutive years, never finishing lower than fourth in the season long point chase. The quiet racer from Sydney, N.Y. tallied six URC championships, all aboard the George Nestler #8. One championship in particular attracted controversy in 1962. Two months after they declared him champion, Halaquist was informed that a point tally error occurred during the season and Bobby Courtwright actually earned the exact same number of points. He shared the title that year with Bobby Courtwright at the annual awards banquet. Among Halaquist’s most notable teammates was Indianapolis racer Larry Dickson. Halaquist captured 52 career wins with URC and was the club’s winningest driver upon his retirement from racing in 1970. Halaquist’s rim riding ability defied the fact that he rarely found himself caught up in an accident. Halaquist was the first URC racer inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. His actions on and off the track make Earl Halaquist the third person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #4 - Bill Bauer

If ever a person earned the title of “Mr. URC” it was a likeable man from Woodbury Heights, N.J. named Bill Bauer. He entered URC as a car owner and exited URC as one of the club’s greatest leaders. Bill’s name never appeared on the list of club presidents; however, everyone involved knew that Bill Bauer ruled the URC roost. He did so with an iron fist at times, but was always fair and had the best interest of URC and its competitors at heart. URC Presidents would come and go, but Bill Bauer was never contested for the Secretary-Treasurer position; URC’s true position of power. Bill’s motto of “Progress with Stability” remains a standard for URC today. Bill was a very successful car owner finishing as high as second in points in 1978 with driver Ed Wylie and gave many different drivers, including Jimmy Horton, an opportunity to drive his familiar #75 to victory lane. Bill embraced the challenge of balancing his role as a car owner, URC manager, businessman, and family man. It was Bill’s commitment and love for URC that earns him the distinction as the fourth person inducted in to the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #5 - Glenn Fitzcharles

Glenn Fitzcharles exemplifies all the qualities of a true champion. He is devoted to his fans, admired by his competition, and always speaks with positive words and pride when asked about URC. Glenn won five URC championships and holds the distinction as URC’s winningest driver in history, a mark that may never be broken. In one season alone, URC’s perpetual champion won 21 feature events. His electrifying performances came aboard the Don & Darlene Kerr #26. No one can be sure which Glenn Fitzcharles was more revered; the Glenn Fitzcharles on the track or the Glenn Fitzcharles off the track. The Pottstown, Pa. driver could always be seen helping rookie drivers, thanking race fans and sponsors in victory lane, and doing everything in his power to promote URC. Glenn understood that in order to be considered great, the organization you race for must also be great. He even served several years as the URC President. History has reflected Glenn Fitzcharles as one of the greatest URC champions ever. Always an ambassador for URC, Glenn Fitzcharles becomes the fifth person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #6 - Bob Mermuys

One cannot associate the word “success” with URC without associating the name Bob Mermuys, President of Bars Products in Holly, Michigan. Bob Mermuys has been instrumental in the success of URC for the past 15 years as Tour Sponsor of the nation’s oldest traveling sprint car organization. Manhandling a six-second dragster in national events, Bob is no stranger to speed. Bob’s company manufactures the nationally known stop leak “Bars Leaks” which has become synonymous with URC racing throughout the northeast. As URC began to grow with a prestigious corporate sponsor, so did Bars Products. Acquiring the Rislone brand of oil additives a few years ago, URC changed its official Tour Sponsor label to “The Rislone URC Sprint Car Series”. Bars Products and the United Racing Company also share the same birthday, both celebrating their 63rd year in business. Bars Products with the backing of Bob Mermuys has made URC the nation’s premiere sprint car organization. An avid Red Wings fan, Bob is not only considered a sponsor of URC, he is also considered a friend of URC. His loyalty and tremendous support of URC over the years makes Bob Mermuys the 6th person inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Inductee #7 - Kramer Williamson

Kramer Williamson is undoubtedly the most popular and recognizable driver in URC aboard his classic “Pink Panther” #73 sprint. If it has been accomplished in a sprint car, Kramer Williamson has done it. His list of accomplishments boast several Central Pennsylvania championships, including championships at the famed Williams Grove Speedway. He has over 100 sprint car wins, including some with the World of Outlaws and he was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa. Kramer currently holds the record of being the winningest driver in the URC Challenge events dating back to 1994. Whether it is Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, or Kasey Kahne they know him simply as Kramer. At 50 plus years of age, Kramer never stops promoting URC in a positive manner and continues to maintain his personable, professional image with his many fans. Kramer Williamson earns the distinction as the seventh person, and first active driver inducted into the URC Hall of Fame.