LVMS founder Richie Clyne to be inducted into sports hall of fame

           

Richie Clyne, whose vision of bringing big-time motorsports to the Las Vegas valley led to the creation of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is one of five people being inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame Friday night at the Cox Pavilion.

            Clyne will be joined in the class of 2004 by former NFL great Gerald Riggs, former UNLV football coach Tony Knap, UNLV golf coach Dwaine Knight and longtime sports contributor Jack Cason.

            ¿This is quite an honor,¿ Clyne said. ¿When we set out to build the speedway, it was a business opportunity and there was never any doubt that this area could support motorsports at the highest level. I think everyone involved should be proud of what we have been able to bring to this community with the creation of the speedway.¿

            Clyne began acquiring the land for the speedway in 1988 and began construction on the superspeedway in 1994. The track opened in 1996 with an Indy Racing League event and held its first NASCAR Nextel Cup (then known as Winston Cup) event on March 1, 1998. Clyne sold the speedway in December of 1998 to Speedway Motorsports.

            ¿We in the Las Vegas community and the state of Nevada are indebted to Richie for his vision in helping to conceptualize and bring Las Vegas Motor Speedway to reality,¿ said LVMS general manager Chris Powell, who will present Clyne at Friday¿s ceremony. ¿The building of this speedway was quite an undertaking, and I¿m not sure there is anyone in Las Vegas other than Richie who could have succeeded in meeting this unique challenge.¿

            Previous hall inductees include Major League pitcher Greg Maddux, former NFL great Randall Cunningham, legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, ex-NBA standout Lionel Hollins and longtime PGA golfer Jim Colbert.