'Vette museum inducts Fishel, Hendricks, McLean

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The National Corvette Museum has inducted Herb Fishel, Rick Hendrick and Russ McLean into the Corvette Hall of Fame. The awards are for Racing, Enthusiast and GM/Chevrolet, respectively. The three will be recognized at a Sept. 4, 2015, ceremony as part of the National Corvette Museum’s 21st birthday celebration. It will be the 18th year for Corvette Hall of Fame awards.

Herb Fishel worked for GM as an engineer, then in special products and later as Chevy’s Director of Racing and Executive Director of GM Racing. He started the Corvette factory racing team that won an overall victory at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and guided Chevy to 25 NASCAR Championships, 12 Indy 500s and class wins at the Baja 1000, Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Le Mans.

Rick Hendrick was raised on a farm where he hopped up cars and learned to race. He opened a small used car lot at age of 23 and then a dealership that grew into Hendrick Automotive Group. In 1984, Hendrick Motorsports was founded. It won 15 NASCAR championships with driver’s including Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick owns a Corvette collection that features first and last cars in various models and generations.

At GM Russ McLean was a GM corporate turnaround genius who became a rebel. He saved the Corvette in the ‘90s, but after a management change was told to “let the Corvette die.” Instead, he teamed up with others inside the company to keep the Corvette going. “I was still doing my job,” he was quoted as saying. “I was just not following instructions.” The popular Gen 5 Vette validated his thinking and ultimately earned him entry into the Hall of Fame.

The National Corvette Museum established the Corvette Hall of Fame in 1998 to confer the highest honor and recognition upon the most influential individuals in the history of the Corvette. Those wishing to attend the ceremony can contact Karen Renfrow in the National Corvette Museum’s special events department at (270) 467-8804 or email her at karen@corvettemuseum.org.

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