home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 30, 2015

Amanda Gardstrom

Chris Lorenzen

Tony Stewart


TONY STEWART:  Our first inductee claimed the Midwest as a stock car proving ground, breaking a long‑standing myth that NASCAR stars must hail from the Southeast.  And he was a teen idol with movie star good looks, so clearly we have a lot in common.  (Laughter.)
But his time in the sport was brief but also very powerful, and tonight the "Golden Boy" earns NASCAR's highest honor.
(Video shown.)
Please welcome 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Fred Lorenzen and his son Chris.
AMANDA GARDSTROM:  It is now my honor on the 30th day of January, 2015, to present the NASCAR Hall of Fame ring and officially induct our father, Fred Lorenzen, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
CHRIS LORENZEN:  Dad, this is truly an honor to be here with you on this special night.  First of all, we would like to congratulate the other four inductees, Bill Elliott, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.  Your accomplishments are truly remarkable.
Our dad's story began as a childhood dream.  As a young teenager, Dad built a go‑kart using a lawnmower motor.  He drove it all over Elmhurst until the police took it away.  He would sit in his tent in his backyard listening to such greats such as Fireball Roberts, Joe Weatherly and Curtis Turner race their cars.
Those were his idols and his heroes.  All Dad could think about was that he had to find a way to become a race car driver.  He proceeded to live his life doing everything possible to make that dream come true.  He always believed that anything is possible if you work hard enough and you put your mind to it, no matter what.
Dad always said the sky is the limit, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  That has been Dad's most important saying in life, and he's certainly lived by it.
He also believed people made their own luck and that luck just doesn't fall upon people.  One of the most pivotal moments of Dad's career came on Christmas Eve, 1960, when Ralph Moody called dad and he asked him to drove for Holman Moody.  Soon after there he was at Darlington driving his Holman Moody Ford signature pearlescent white No.28 to victory lane.  Dad spent a lot of time traveling from Elmhurst down south and back.  His friend Curtis Turner taught dad how to fly.  Soon after, dad bought his first plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza.  Growing up we learned that dad never got his pilot's license.  We asked dad, how did you get down there and back if you didn't have training?  He responded, I just made sure it wasn't cloudy or rainy and that I had my map with me.
Really, dad, you flew over the interstates?
Dad later told us the story of how he got caught in a terrible storm one day and that the air traffic controllers had to call Ralph Moody in to help talk him down.  The controllers could no longer look the other way.  They told him, Freddie, no more flying until you get a pilot's license.  Well, that was Dad's last flight.  He sold the plane.
One of our favorite stories about dad was the time he flipped his car before a race and his friend Tiny Lund told him not to worry.  Dad didn't have any money but Tiny told him he'd take care of it.  Tiny sure did fix Dad's car.  He added roller skates to the top of the car and told Dad, if you roll over again you'll just keep on going.  (Laughter.)
Amanda always pointed out that dad has the gift of charisma, something that money just can't buy.  Dad lit up whatever room he was in.  He made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world, no matter whether they were a CEO or a bum.  We were never surprised to find cars with out of state plates in our driveway.  People drove from all over to see dad, Fast Freddie, the Elmhurst Express, and his enormous trophy room.  Dad treated strangers just as he treated members of his own family.  It's no surprise that one of his most popular nicknames is the Golden Boy.
When I was 15 years old, Dad took me down to Charlotte for the Coca‑Cola 600.  Before the race we got to take a ride in the pace car.  It was a cherryred Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and it was awesome.  On my 16th birthday, I found an exact replica of the pace car sitting in our driveway.  Well, it didn't take me too long before I got my first speeding ticket two days later.  Dad was not pleased to hear what I had done.  The next day I woke up to find my new car was gone.  Dad told me he had returned the car and that it was not coming back.  I was devastated.
The following day when I got home from school, the car was sitting in the driveway.  Dad said, Christopher, I took the car to the shop and got a built‑in radar detector installed.  Don't get caught again.  (Laughter.)
Looking back in time, it makes sense now.  Dad said don't get caught again, rather than don't speed.  I guess I always knew he would love for me to become a race car driver.  Given Dad's career Amanda and I didn't understand why Dad drove so darned slow.  He only broke the speed limit once.  We were coming back from Tennessee and got caught in a terrible storm.  Dad refused to pull over like every other driver on the road had.  He kept telling us that he could outrun the tornado that was lurking behind us.  Dad knew that road was an empty racetrack and he went for it and he won.  He beat that tornado and we made it home in record time.
After that Amanda and I thought, wow, he really is the fearless, Fast Freddie that we had heard about for so long.  Once retired, your love for cars never ended.  Amanda and I always had the cleanest, shiniest and best running cars in the neighborhood.  You did run your home garage like Holman Moody ran the shop back in the 60s.  It was pristine.  If only your tools could talk.
Amanda and I always found it interesting that you were always analyzing times, distances and speeds.  Every time we left the house, you always estimated how many minutes the ride would take.  You would subtract a minute when you took a shortcut, add three minutes if you saw a train, subtract a minute during the middle of the day, add two minutes if it would be raining.  It was always a game to you, and you were always right.  Racing was definitely in your DNA.
My sister Amanda has compiled a list titled top 5 things you don't know about Fred Lorenzen.  No.5, he was an avid boater.  He never turned down a boat race, and he never lost one, either.  Of course Dad had a 680 horsepower Hemi 431 CI engine in his boats.  No.4, he was always in tune with the latest style trends.  No.3, he won first place in a car show with his Fordillac.  You had to take off your shoes if you wanted to sit in it.  No.2, he loved to water ski, often taking leisurely slalom rides through Alligator Alley.  No. 1, last, but not least, Fred Lorenzen invented the selfie in 1969.
Amanda and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the people who helped dad reach his dream.  There's so many of you.  Dad, you've always credited your whole team for your wins, saying when you've got the best of everything, it's easy to do.  So this honor is for the dedicated and hard‑working owners, sponsors, crews and people who have been there along the way, many who are here tonight.  Thank you to all the fans.  You're also Dad's heroes.  He wanted to make everyone proud.  A very special thank you to dad's mentor, teacher and in Dad's own words, the man who made me, Ralph Moody.  Thank you to Ford Motor Company, NASCAR, and to the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating committee, the voters and the folks at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for all your hard work.  Thank you to the racing pioneers for risking your life to build such an exciting sport.  Thank you to the current drivers and teams who continue to make NASCAR the greatest sport on earth.  You have all given us a priceless gift to be here and share this together as a family.  Thank you, Dad, for all that you have given to NASCAR.  Thank you for the memories, joy and inspiration you've given to so many people.
Most importantly, thank you, Dad, for giving it all up to be the best hero two kids could ever ask for.  We are so proud to be your children.  We love you.  Congratulations on this final and most honorable victory.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297