Journalists revered him. Motorsports executives appreciated him.
To these in each worlds, he was identified merely as “T.E.”
T.E. McHale, a late sportswriter and Honda govt, was a longtime fixture of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. His legacy at the race is unquestioned. But to his brother, he was simply Tom, a Ohio-raised guitar participant.
“T.E. was an alter ego of my brother,” stated Terry McHale.
McHale was posthumously honored with the Allen Wolfe Spirit of the Grand Prix Award on Saturday, April 9, the second day of Long Beach’s three-day racing weekend.
McHale, a Torrance resident who labored as a longtime Honda govt, was a fixture at the Grand Prix for years. Terry McHale, his youthful brother, accepted the award on his behalf.
The elder McHale died from colon most cancers in December. He was 68.
“It’s a privilege for me to accept this award for Tom,” stated Terry McHale, choking by tears.
McHale was honored with the award in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach’s media room on Saturday morning, the room through which journalists write about — or edit pictures of — the occasion’s numerous races and different goings-on.
The award is called after Allen Wolfe, a late sportswriter for the Press-Telegram and often called the Grand Master of the Grand Prix. It honors a one who made a important contribution to the Grand Prix.
Wolfe coated the Grand Prix each year from 1975 till his demise from a coronary heart assault in 1999. He was 51.
The P-T newsroom used to name April “Allen Wolfe time.”
“I’m sure he would’ve been totally pleased with the recipient, T.E.,” stated Rich Archbold, the P-T’s public editor and columnist, in addition to its former managing editor.
In presenting the award, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach CEO and President Jim Michaelian known as McHale a “great gentleman.”
“We felt it was appropriate,” Michaelian stated, that “we provide him and his family with an honor that reflected how much he meant and how much we thought of him.”
Before working at Honda in Southern California, McHale was a veteran sportswriter for the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal from 1978 to 1996. Eventually, he pivoted into motorsports and was a racing govt with Championship Auto Racing Teams and the Trans-Am Series.
Then, in 2003, he joined Honda as supervisor of motorsports communications. In 2019, McHale helped full the title sponsorship settlement between Acura and the Grand Prix Association. Acura is Honda’s luxurious model.
McHale retired in 2019.
In accepting the award on behalf of his brother, Terry McHale mirrored that he didn’t name his brother T.E. To the youthful brother, T.E. was Tom, the title Terry McHale grew up calling him.
It was a privilege to simply accept the award on behalf of his brother, Terry McHale stated, particularly one bestowed by journalists his sibling revered deeply.
And as a closing ship off to the journalists in the media room, Terry McHale had a reminder for the writers who would return to overlaying the race after the awards ceremony.
““When you go back,” he stated, “T.E. goes with you.”