PHOENIX (June 17, 2016) – Some drivers win a lot of races. Others excel by accumulating points toward capturing championships. The late Al Pombo, who will be inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on June 23, was the rare competitor who accomplished both.
Pombo, born in the Azores on June 3, 1925 and raised in Merced, Calif., won more than 500 feature races in a variety of stock car-based equipment – jalopies, hardtops and NASCAR supermodifieds. He won seven NASCAR state of California titles including six straight championships from 1963-68.
Driving the circle 3 numbered cars out of Fresno, Calif., Pombo raced from the late 1940s before retiring in 1971. Pombo won an incredible nine titles at Fresno’s Kearney Bowl and six each at Clovis Speedway and San Jose Speedway. The tracks – each with its own unique length and surface – formed a weekend triad of NASCAR modified stock car competition that reached its peak in the 1960s.
Pombo won his first championship in 1954 in San Jose; his last in 1970 at Kearney Bowl.
He competed in – and won – numerous open competition events that drew the top drivers of the era. Pombo was the first four-time winner of Sacramento’s famed Gold Cup, in 1961, 1964, 1966 and 1970.
Pombo also drove in three NASCAR Grand National stock car events, a series that currently is known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Pombo, who died in 2010 at the age of 85, was inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He was the third driver to be inducted into the San Jose Speedway’s Hall of Fame and was similarly honored by several other auto racing groups.
Pombo joins John Bickford, Mike Duncan, Johnny Key and Jim Thirkettle in the 2016 WCSCHOF class of inductees.
A limited number of tickets for the 2016 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 661-342-2983.
About the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame:
The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car racing. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is founded to preserve history and heritage of the important role west coast stock car competitors have played in the sport’s development and continuation and to recognize, through annual enshrinement, of outstanding individuals and groups within the sport such as, but not limited to, designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.