Hall of Fame Selection Process Underway for Class of 2024

Selection committee meeting yields 16 candidates for 26th NEAR Hall of Fame induction

FITCHBURG, Mass. – The New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame is one step closer to inducting its 26th Class of honorees. The selection committee met on Tuesday, May 7th to discuss and choose candidates to be enshrined in the NEAR club’s annual gala in November.

Seventeen members of NEAR’s selection committee and board of directors – including new NEAR president April May Preston-Elms – met at Ron Bouchard’s RB Racing Museum in Fitchburg, Mass., for four hours of nomination, discussion, deliberation, and voting. Nearly 100 worthy candidates were discussed at the meeting, including nominations from committee members and the public at large.

From that list, the selection committee whittled the pool down to 16 names through three rounds of polling to be placed on the official Hall of Fame voting ballot, which will be sent out to selection committee members and all previous NEAR Hall of Fame inductees at the end of May. The Class of 2024 will be the top eight vote-getters, determined solely by voting ballot responses, which remain sealed until a date to be determined for the official ballot counting day.

Several candidates were also discussed at the May 7th meeting for NEAR’s additional annual honors including the Mitchell-Ratta Media Award, the Ron Bouchard Award, and the Frank Maratta Award, and the reinstated Outstanding Woman in Racing Award.

“The selection process for the NEAR Hall of Fame is one that everyone in the room holds in extremely high regard,” April May Preston-Elms said. “This was my second selection committee meeting, and I continue to be impressed with the professionalism and respect that the committee members showed for every person mentioned. Our policy is to keep the names of the nominees private until we announce the final Class of 2024, racing fans can trust that no matter who the final eight are, it will be a truly deserving group that gets honored.”

The New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony in 1998, and 275 elite members of the racing community have been inducted since. The 26th Annual NEAR Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held for the Class of 2024 on Sunday, November 3rd , at the Log Cabin-Delaney House in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Ticket information will be announced later.