Dave McClelland, widely known as “The Voice of the NHRA” and one of the most legendary motorsports announcers to ever hold a microphone, is one of seven icons from the world of motorsports to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s class of 2016. He was inducted Wednesday evening during the organization’s annual induction ceremony at the Hall's new home at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
McClelland worked as a key part of the NHRA announcing team for 44 years and his thundering voice was very familiar to fans attending NHRA events, as well as those watching from home on The Nashville Network and then later on ESPN. McClelland also hosted various motorsports shows on ESPN, Speed Channel and The Outdoor Channel.
In addition to his track announcing duties and TV broadcasting roles, McClelland worked as NHRA Public Relations and Publicity Director for seven years. Before he joined NHRA, he served as the track manager for Southland Dragway in Houma, La. and led the Dallas International Motor Speedway as its vice president and general manager.
“It came as a total shock to me when I got the call to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” McClelland said. “It’s regarded as the pinnacle as far as the motorsports world goes and I am very honored to represent the drag racing side. The other inductees in this class are all amazing and super nice guys and includes Chip Ganassi and Richard Childress to name a few, all super stars in their chosen fields. I was just a kid who got a chance to work in drag racing, was fortunate to make a career out of it and really had a blast doing it.”
McClelland was inducted alongside AMA dirt-track motorcycle racer Everett Brashear, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, land speed record chaser Gary Gabelich, Indy Car and NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi, versatile racer and broadcaster Sam Posey, and 1955 Indy 500 winner Bob Sweikert.
Fellow NHRA announcing alum Bob Frey presented McClelland for induction.
President Peter Clifford, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Graham Light and Vice President of Public Relations and Communications Terry Blount attended the event on behalf of NHRA.
McClelland is the 28th inductee in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America from the world of NHRA drag racing. Others are Don Garlits (1989); Shirley Muldowney (1990); Don Prudhomme (1991); Connie Kalitta (1992); Wally Parks (1993); Bob Glidden (1994); Keith Black (1995); Bill Jenkins (1996); Art Chrisman (1997); Don Nicholson (1998); C. J. Hart (1999); Danny Ongais (2000); Tom McEwen (2001); Eddie Hill (2002); Ed Donovan (2003); Joe Amato (2004); Tommy Ivo (2005); Chris Karamesines (2006); Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin (2007); John Force (2008); Kenny Bernstein (2009); Dale Armstrong (2010); Ed McCulloch (2011); Ed Pink (2012); Jack Chrisman (2013); Raymond Beadle (2014) and Warren Johnson (2015).