ANDERSON, Ind. — The Rotary Club honored long-time member Bob Shoemaker by renaming the annual Community Image award, which started in 1964, in his honor.
Shoemaker and Anderson University were honored during the annual Rotary Club Black and White Dinner at Anderson Speedway Friday evening.
The featured speaker, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, was delayed by traffic leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Black & White dinner is the traditional kick-off for activities leading up to next weekend’s Pay Less Little 500 activities at Anderson Speedway.
Anderson University became the second three-time Community Image award winner, having received the honor in 1972 and 1985.
The university was honored for hosting training camp for the Indianapolis Colts the past few years, which brings the Anderson community publicity throughout the country.
Shoemaker joined the Rotary Club in 1948 and has 56 consecutive years of perfect attendance.
“There is no doubt that Bob is ‘Mr. Rotary,’” Tom Bannon said. “This is not a Rotary award. It is for Community Image.”
Shoemaker said in accepting the award that he was blessed to have so many volunteers in the Anderson community and Rotary Club over the years.
Rutherford, known to race fans around the world as “Lone Star Jr.,” got his start racing modifieds in his native Texas.
He started racing with the International Motorsports Competition Association in 1962 and made his only appearance in the Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson Speedway. Rutherford started from the pole position and finished second.
Rutherford made his first start in the Indianapolis 500 the following year. His record during his first nine appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were not an indication of the success he would later enjoy.
He failed to finish the first nine Indy 500s he entered, finally finishing ninth in the 1973 rain-shortened race.
Driving for McLaren, Rutherford won the 1974 race and was running second in 1975 to eventual winner Bobby Unser when rain shortened the race to 435 miles. He then won the rain-shortened 1976 race.
Rutherford’s final win in Indianapolis came in 1980.
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