Two New Auto Racing HoF Inductees
INDIANAPOLIS – Legendary chief mechanic and engineer Louis “Sonny” Meyer Jr. and 1968 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Joe Leonard are the 2013 inductees to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Meyer and Leonard will be inducted in two ceremonies during Race Week of the 97th Indianapolis 500 in May.
A public Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Friday, May 24 on the Pagoda Plaza Stage during Coors Light Carb Day. The invitation-only 29th Annual Oldtimers Recognition Dinner and Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Meyer, son of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer, was a wizard of racing engine preparation. It is estimated that he was directly involved with preparing the winning Indianapolis 500 engine 15 times, most notably in 1973 with Patrick Racing, driver Gordon Johncock and crew chief George Bignotti. Meyer also led engine development with Vince Granatelli Racing and was the development engineer of the potent V6 turbocharged Buick engines fielded for many years by John Menard’s team.
Meyer joined Meyer & Drake Engineering shortly after his father and Dale Drake purchased the Offenhauser engine business from Fred Offenhauser in early 1946. In addition to his engineering duties, Sonny Meyer also served as a “500” crew member, becoming a chief mechanic for the first time in 1958 when veteran Tony Bettenhausen finished fourth after leading the very first Indianapolis laps of his storied career.