This is a great idea even though it may seem a bit "sappy". The only two on your list that I have met are Malcolm Smith and Ivan Stewart. Both of these men went out of their way to have conversations with me and made me feel like I was a long friend.
I met Malcolm Smith at the registration for the 07 Baja 1000. We spoke for the better part of an hour. He shared stories of the old days and we talked about the race course that year. He was in no hurry to rush off and was more than willing to talk. I appreciated this very much.
I met Ivan Stewart on two occasions. The first was when I was pre-running for my first Baja race the 2000. We caught up to him on the course near Uruapan. He pulled over and autographed posters for my riding partner and me. He offered us some advice on the course we had just been over and some race day strategies. The second time was the night before the 07 Baja 1000. It was going to be our first real venture in a 4 wheel vehicle. We were racing a truggy in Class 1. I was trying to finish up some last minute things to the race car when the team owner's girlfriend saw Ivan walking past the hotel. She recognized him and asked him to come give us some words of encouragement since we were discouraged with the race car. Ivan spent about half an hour with us looking over the race car and encouraging us. I am sure he saw things about our car that he knew were not the best, but he never said a negative word. He was extremely positive and it was a huge breath of fresh air. He treated all of us like we were long friends.
Unlike a number of other "celebrities" I have met these two men were down to earth and humble. They didn't act like they were more important than me or that I should be kissing their butts. They didn't treat me like I was some insignificant person that they shouldn't be talking to.
So there, I started it off. I know many of the people on this forum have way better stories of both of these men. They know them personally and have done many things with them. But they did have an impact on me in my short interactions with them.