By Frank Bonner II | For the Daily Journal
Indiana native Forrest Lucas, CEO of Lucas Oil Products CEO, will be recognized Wednesday with the Bob Russo Heritage Award from the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
The award will be presented to Lucas at the organization’s 29th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The award is named in honor of the longtime motorsports journalist and historian Bob Russo. Lucas was chosen as recipient because of his contributions to motorsports over the years.
Lucas has strong connections to several southern Indiana communities. He was born in Shady Springs in Jackson County and also lived in Brown County while growing up. As an older teen, he lived in Ramsey in Harrison County before relocating to Columbus, where he began driving trucks. Lucas bought his first truck at age 19, and with wife Charlotte founded Lucas Oil Products, Inc., now based in California, in 1989.
Lucas Oil formulas have been used by top racing teams such as Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in IndyCar.
Lucas Oil sponsors multiple race teams owns seven race series. Lucas Oil designs and builds off-road, short-course tracks and owns the naming rights for Lucas Oil Raceway and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“When I look at the list of names of the Bob Russo Heritage Award winners already in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, like Leo Mehl, Bill France Jr., Carl Haas, Don Panoz and my old friend Linda Vaughn, It makes me proud to be honored alongside them and be part of this great industry. I will always treasure this award,” Lucas said in an announcement about the award.
The MSHFA is the only Hall of Fame that awards all motorsports, including powerboats and airplanes.
It is operated by the nonprofit Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. Its mission statement is “to celebrate and instill the American core values of leadership, creativity, originality, teamwork and spirit of competition embodied in motorsports.”