Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian to retire

Published 5:52 pm Monday, December 7, 2020

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Donald Davidson, the longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian, said Monday he will retire at the end of December.

The Englishman said he’d pondered retirement for several years but made the decision while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davidson arrived at the Brickyard as a fan in May 1964, and he soon became a familiar face and voice around the track. The late Tony Hulman was so impressed with Davidson’s ability to recount stories that Davidson got a brief appearance on the IMS Radio Network.

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He returned in 1965 as part of the radio network and as a statistician for USAC. He served in those capacities for nearly 32 years before spending one year working as a historical archivist with what is now known as IMS Productions. Davidson became what is believed to be the world’s first and only full-time track historian in 1998.

In addition to working on television and radio, Davidson also wrote numerous articles and columns. In 2016, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest civilian honor. He’s also a member of the IMS Hall of Fame, the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame and the USAC Hall of Fame.

“There will never be another Donald Davidson — he is like an encyclopedia on racing,” four-time 500 winner A.J. Foyt said. “I bet he knows more about my career than I do.”