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Five new GRHOF members to be inducted Saturday
S-GRHOF Induction pic3
Gordon Pirkle, president of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, addresses the crowd during the Nov. 12 ceremony to induct the newest members. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

This weekend the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame will be inducting five new members during a banquet to honor those who have contributed so much to the racing heritage in Georgia.

Every year since the GRHOF opened in 2002, drivers, owners, crew chiefs and mechanics as well as other major contributors to the sport have been honored and enshrined.

This year Doc Bundy, Garry Dingler, Bobby Johns, Jabez Jones and Mike Love will be inducted during the Nov. 11 banquet at the GRHOF.

Bundy is a successful sports car racer who has also worked as a television announcer. He began with a job as a technician and wheel polisher for Porsche driver Peter Gregg in 1973. 

He began his driving career in 1980 when he earned a National Championship as rookie driving a Porsche 924 for Holbert Racing. He then won the GTO Category at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1982 in a Porsche 924 Turbo.

He co-drove with Bobby Rahal and Jim Trueman to win a six-hour GTP race at Mid-Ohio in 1983.

He would go on to win two races for the Corvette GTP team of Rick Hendrick, including a victory at Road Atlanta in 1986.

During the 1990s Bundy drove the Esprit X180R for Lotus in the International Motor Sports Association's (IMSA) Bridgestone Supercar Championship. In 1992 he won the Drivers Title and Championship for Lotus.

Bundy continues to drive for the Regogo Racing Team in vintage events.

Dingler is considered one of Georgia’s most successful crew chiefs and engine builders.

For over 40 years Dingler has built racing engines and worked as a crew chief for top racers within Georgia and across the nation. 

Early on he worked with GRHOF member Peter Hamilton while Hamilton won the outside pole for the 1973 Daytona 500, the Sportsman 100 at Birmingham and the Snowball Derby in Pensacola. 

Dingler was also a part of the team when Dick Brooks won the Talladega 500 in the car fielded by Jimmy and Peter Crawford.

In the late 70s, he won two of short track racing’s premier events – the Snowball Derby with Ronnie Sanders and the World 100 with Doug Kenimer. Sanders and Kenimer are also members of the Hall of Fame.

His career includes hundreds of race wins with a variety of drivers and he is still active in the sport.

Johns will be inducted posthumously. 

Originally from Miami, Johns lived a number of years in Atlanta and competed on local tracks.

Johns raced in the NASCAR series now known as the Monster Energy Cup Series where he had 141 career starts and two wins—at Atlanta and Bristol. He also finished the 1960 season third on the points list.

He twice qualified for the Indianapolis 500 and finished seventh and 10th in 1965 and 1969.

With a career that covered 30 years of racing, Jones had more than 350 wins as a driver and owner.

He began building race cars in 1953 and owned cars over the years that were driven by Sam Sosebee, T.C. Hunt and Jabe Jones.

At the Athens Speedway Jones won 17 straight events in 1970. He raced to another 14 straight wins at Anderson Speedway in 1971.

He has competed at tracks across Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida and was one of the original organizers of Georgia-Carolina No. 1 Racing Association.

One of the most versatile drivers in Georgia, Love won races as well as championships on both dirt and asphalt tracks.

He won more than 450 feature races including 26 track championships and two Winston Racing Series titles.

Love gained attention in 1972 during a race for mechanics at the Athens Speedway.

In his first year of racing he won 13 out of the 30 races he ran.

By 1986, Love had won 13 track championships, including multiple at Lanier Speedway, Anderson Motor Speedway, Athens Speedway and Lavonia Speedway. 

In 1987 he made the switch to asphalt racing as several local tracks had been paved, but he was able to continue his winning ways.

Love was named as one of the All-Time Top 25 drivers in NASCAR’s Whelen All-American Series in 2006. Other drivers on that list include Denny Hamlin, Ted Christopher, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle.

Tickets for this year’s induction banquet can be purchased for $40 by calling (706) 216-7223 or by mail to GRHOF, P.O. Box 1561, Dawsonville, GA 30534.

The banquet will begin at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11. at the GRHOF.