Herb Fishel, Rick Hendrick and Russ McLean are set to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame this fall for their unwavering commitment and dedicaton to the Corvette and the Corvette brand over the years.
Fishel, former director of Chevrolet Racing and Executive Director of GM Racing, will be added to the Corvette HoF’s Racing category. As a kid he looked up to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “father” of the Corvette, and would later join the Chevy team to direct their racing efforts. Under his guidance, the bowtie won 12 Indy 500s and took home class wins in the Baja 1000, Pikes Peak Hill Climb, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona 500 and Indy 500.
“I didn’t want to just coast through a career. I wanted to leave something substantial behind me that was significant and noteworthy,” Fishel said. “The Corvette’s success in racing was a key chapter in the story of Corvette. I had the vision and provided the leadership to make it happen, but I didn’t do it alone. It took a team of people to do that. To be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame now for that contribution and to be placed in the same framework as people like Zora Arkus Duntov, who I’d looked up to as a kid, is humbling. I’m very grateful.”
It should be obvious why NASCAR team owner and noted Chevy enthusiast Rick Hendrick has been included in the Corvette HoF. Starting out with a small car dealership, Hendrick is responsible for building up the Hendrick Automotive Group and later opening Hendrick Motorsports in 1984, a race team that has won numerous Sprint Cup championships for Chevrolet. Hendrick is also frequently the first person to buy a new Chevy performance model, including the 2015 Corvette Z06.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be selected for the Corvette Hall of Fame. My love for Corvettes goes back to when I was a teenager, and it was the love for the car that got me into racing and the automobile business,” Hendrick said. “To be honored at a place where so many of the Corvette greats are honored — it’s just humbling. I never dreamed that I’d be recognized in such a way.”
GM’s Russ McLean was added to the museum for saving the Corvette program from almost certain death. McLean was put in charge of the Corvette only to have GM execs turn around and tell him to kill it off. Instead of doing that, he quietly kept the program moving forward and helped push out the C5 model.
“This honor is really for the Corvette people working with me who did their jobs extremely well; who interphased and cooperated with each other; who were so dedicated and supportive of each other,” McLean said. “My job was to kill the Corvette, but together we did all we could do to improve the C4 and keep the C5 viable. I’m very happy to be representing all of those people in the Corvette Hall of Fame.”
The NCM’s Hall of Fame was established in 1998 as a way to recognize those who contributed significantly to the Corvette’s history in their respective fields. The NCM says those included in the HoF “must also reflect the highest standards of integrity and character to positively enhance the prestige of the Corvette and the National Corvette Museum.”