Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, the owner and president of In-N-Out Burger, has been named a 2024 recipient of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Bob Russo Heritage Award for her efforts to preserve the future of drag racing in the United States. In addition to her personal and corporate support of motorsports as the third-generation leader of California's original drive-thru restaurant, she is a dedicated philanthropist, devoted mother of four, musician, and even a drag racer herself. She will be formally presented with the Bob Russo Heritage Award next March during the two-day 36th annual MSHFA Induction Celebration presented by Toyota Racing at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Lynsi's grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, founded In-N-Out Burger in 1948, and to this day, the business remains and will stay privately owned and family operated. After beginning at In-N-Out Burger in 1999, Lynsi became owner and president in 2010 and is deeply involved with every aspect of the business.
In-N-Out Burger and the Snyder family have a long history of motorsports support and sponsorship, particularly in drag racing. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Harry and Esther were part owners of Irwindale Raceway, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, a track famous in part for its beloved In-N-Out-operated concession stands. But one of the most significant and recent contributions came under Lynsi’s leadership with the acquisition of the naming rights for the legendary Pomona Raceway, home since 1961 of the NHRA’s season-opening Winternationals, which was renamed at the beginning of this year the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. The new partnership, which includes the naming rights to NHRA’s season-ending race in Pomona, the recently completed In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals, ensures the series will visit In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip through at least 2033. At a time when many dragstrips are disappearing, largely due to population sprawl, saving Pomona is a supercharged boost to the sport.
The MSHFA's highest honor next to induction, the Bob Russo Heritage Award is named in recognition of the longtime motorsports journalist, historian, and former PR director for the NHRA, and is presented only by the recommendation of the MSHFA Board of Directors in recognition of the recipient’s contributions to motorsports.
"Classic cars, muscle cars, drag racing — they’re a huge part of In-N-Out’s culture and history,” said Snyder-Ellingson. “I’m so grateful to the MSHFA for this honor and tribute to my family’s legacy and love for motorsports. My father, in particular, loved drag racing. He is the reason I began racing at 18 years old just one year after he passed away. I know he, along with my grandparents and uncle, would be especially proud to receive this award.”
Her dedicated commitment to every aspect of the company's operation is matched by her unwavering and selfless support, oversight, and direction of all of In-N-Out Burger’s philanthropic efforts through the In-N-Out Burger Foundation – which was started by her Grandma Esther and Uncle Rich Snyder – and the Slave 2 Nothing Foundation – which was started by Lynsi and her husband, Sean Ellingson.
A racer herself, Lynsi competes in the NHRA Top Sportsman class in a '69 Chevy-Hemi-powered Chevelle. She is also the founder of the In-N-Out Burger "company band" .48 Special. Lynsi plays the bass and sings while her husband Sean plays the guitar in the group that is comprised of only In-N-Out management team members.
“In-N-Out Burger is an iconic brand, and it means a great deal to us that NHRA Drag Racing has been such an important part of their history,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “Their sponsorship of our track in Pomona and our season-ending NHRA Finals continues that special car culture connection that has been so important to both organizations, and we’ve been thrilled to work with Lynsi and the entire team at In-N-Out Burger. She’s a passionate racer who loves drag racing and has a number of special memories at the Pomona dragstrip, and it’s been really special to see the impact In-N-Out Burger has already had at the historic facility.”
"In-N-Out has long been committed to motorsports and California car culture,” MSHFA President George Levy said. “But Lynsi’s support of In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip protects and elevates one of drag racing’s most cherished venues."
The 36th annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony presented by Toyota Racing will be held at the MSHFA Museum and The Shores March 11-12, 2024. For more information, visit the MSHFA at www.mshf.com.