Seven first-time nominees are among 11 voted for final ballot consideration
Bakersfield, Calif. (January 4, 2022) – Greg Biffle, NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck champion; and Brendan Gaughan, a two-time ARCA Menards Series West titleholder and NASCAR Cup Series veteran are among 11 finalists for 2022 induction into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Biffle, who also finished runner-up in NASCAR Cup Series points, came closest to date to sweeping championships in NASCAR’s three national series. The Vancouver, Wash. competitor won 56 races across the three tours.
Gaughan, whose father, Michael, was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2017, won multiple off-road championships prior to joining the ARCA Menards Series West. He subsequently starred in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series, winning eight times – including four races in a row at Texas Motor Speedway.
Five additional first-time nominees have reached the final round for the Hall’s Class of 2022. They are David Gilliland, two-time ARCA Menards Series West crew chief champion, Daytona 500 pole winner and winning NASCAR truck team owner; Eric Holmes, three-time ARCA Menards Series West champion with 17 wins and 13 poles; John Moore, 2021 NASCAR State of California/All American Speedway champion and longtime sponsor of numerous West Coast races; Brad Noffsinger, two-time California Racing Association sprint car champion, member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and NASCAR Cup Series crew chief; and Jimmy Sills, three-time U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown champion, eight-time World of Outlaws race winner and operator of a nationally-known racing school.
Previous nominees appearing on the final ballot are Garrett Evans, three-time NASCAR Northwest Tour Elite Series champion and longtime operator of Wenatchee Valley (Wash.) Raceway; Tony Hunt, nine-time U.S. Auto Club sprint car champion and motion picture stuntman; Brent Kaeding, 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (Calif.) sprint car champion and World of Outlaws race winner; and Danny Ongais, National Hot Rod Association Indianapolis Nationals drag racing champion, six-time U.S. Auto Club championship car winner and Formula 1 competitor.
Final voting by the Hall’s Board of Directors to select the five 2022 inductees continues through February 7, 2022. Five Heritage candidates from racing’s historic era also will be inducted in the Class of 2022. Their selection will be announced later this spring.
The Class of 2022 will be enshrined Thursday evening, June 9, 2022. The event, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, will be staged in Sonoma Raceway’s beautiful, new VIP/hospitality complex and will feature naming of the 2nd Annual Knockin Doorz Down Philanthropist of the Year presented by 51FIFTY. The event serves as kick-off for the raceway’s June 9-12 NASCAR Cup Series, inaugural Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend.
“As we enter our 22nd year of honoring those who have achieved and given above and beyond to better the motorsports world, I have never been more excited and prouder of where the Hall is – and is headed for the future,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO. “Having become the highest recognized and respected for motorsports on the west coast and one of the most desired to be recognized in America is more than I ever dreamed possible.
“But it has happened; and heading into 2022, with Ralph Sheheen becoming our new President, we are shooting for $700,000 in charitable donations by the end of the year and moving our annual induction to the famed Sonoma Raceway’s new, multi-million VIP building which wraps around Turn 11. Along with the continued supporting and presenting sponsorship of World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, this simply spells never-imagined greatness for 2022 and years beyond.”
To obtain media credentials for coverage of the 21st West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame awards, please contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2022 awards dinner, please contact Ken Clapp at 925-552-9887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame annually nominates for induction worthy individuals who competed in traditional stock car racing as well as other racing vehicles primarily on road courses under international and national sanction by the FIA: IndyCar, the U.S. Auto Club, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), GRAND-AM and the Sports Car Club of America. The Hall also is open to winners and champions of other forms of racing, as determined by the Hall’s nominating committee.
About the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame:
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car/motorsports competition. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame is to preserve history and heritage of the key role west coast stock car and motorsports figures 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.
The Hall is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations and groups from coast to coast. During its tenure, the Hall has raised more than $600,000 in the past five of its 20 years for youth, health and safety, hospitals, animal rescue, military and other charitable causes.
For more information on the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com
Owen A. Kearns
Biographies of the 11 2022 finalists (* previous nominee)
Greg Biffle. The Vancouver, Wash. competitor came the closest, to date, to sweeping championships in all three NASCAR national series. Biffle won the 2000 Camping World Truck Series crown, the 2002 NASCAR Xfinity title and finished runner up in 2005 NASCAR Cup Series point standings. Biffle, 52, amassed 56 victories across the three NASCAR national series: 19 Cup, 20 Xfinity and 17 trucks. Biffle made 510 Cup starts over 15 seasons, all driving Fords for Roush Fenway Racing. Prior to being discovered by Roush at the nationally televised Winter Heat in Tucson, Ariz., Biffle finished runner up in the NASCAR Pacific Coast weekly series championship, winning 27 times in 47 starts at tracks in the Pacific Northwest.
Garrett Evans. Garrett Evans is three-time NASCAR Elite Series Northwest Tour champion (1986, 89, 94). He also is the all-time series victory leader (50) and pole winner (55). Evans won the late model series’ first event in 1985 at Evergreen Speedway in Washington. Evans also won twice in the NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour. Evans is a three-time Northwest Super Late Model champion. The Wenatchee, Wash. resident competed in NASCAR West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) posting five top-five finishes, which included a second-place performance in 1995 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He ranked 10th in 1995 final points standings. Evans also briefly appeared in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 65-year-old Evans continues to operate Wenatchee Valley (Wash.) Raceway, which he has owned since 1999. He was named Western Auto Racing Promoters Association Sidewalk Slim Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2019. *
Brendan Gaughan. Brendan Gaughan began his motorsports career in off-road racing – winning the first race he entered, at the age of 15. He won multiple off-road and desert titles and was the 1998 SODA World Champion. The Las Vegas, Nev. native, son of West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame member Michael Gaughan, moved to NASCAR competition in 1998, winning the 2000-01 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) championships, driving for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally. Gaughan joined the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fulltime in 2002, winning eight times in 217 starts – including four consecutive victories at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished fourth in series championship standings in 2004. Gaughan then moved to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he posted victories at Road America and Bristol, and ultimately, the NASCAR Cup Series with a best finish of fourth at Talladega Superspeedway. His NASCAR national series scorecard features 503 starts, 10 wins, 72 top-five and 155 top-10 finishes and 3 poles. Gaughan, 46, is a nationally recognized television and radio personality and is part of the Las Vegas South Point Hotel & Casino management group.
David Gilliland. Championship crew chief for his West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame father; Daytona 500 pole winner for Robert Yates Racing; and owner of winning teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and ARCA Menards Series, David Gilliland has experienced every role in his motorsports career. Gilliland, from Riverside, Calif. was 23 years old when he led father Butch Gilliland to the 1997 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) championship, repeating the title run the following season. The younger Gilliland made his first West start in 1997, ultimately winning four times in his 50 appearances with a pair of top-five points finishes. He made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2006 with the Robert Yates Racing Ford team. Although Gilliland failed to win in 333 Cup starts, he posted four top-five and eight top-10 finishes, along with a trio of poles that included the No. 1 starting position for the 2007 Daytona 500. He also won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. As a team owner, the 55-year-old Gilliland scored a pair of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories; and an ARCA Menards Series win with his son, Todd.
Eric Holmes. Eric Holmes is a second-generation competitor, who followed his father, Steve, into racing at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. Holmes, from Escalon, Calif., began racing karts at age eight, winning races and a pair of championships. He drove an occasional street stock race at age 17 and, after a season working on West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Ernie Irvan’s NASCAR Xfinity team on the east coast, returned to California to begin racing fulltime. He won numerous events at Stockton, then began his touring career with West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Allen Beebe. The pair won the 2006 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) title, using one car and one engine while also finishing second in NASCAR Elite Southwest Series late model points. In 2008, Holmes joined West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally’s potent Toyota team, repeating as champion the same season, placing second the next and becoming a three-time titlist in 2010. In 13 seasons in the West Series, Holmes won 17 times with 59 top-five and 78 top-10 finishes, as well as 13 poles. Holmes, 47, remains with the McAnally organization as its driver coach and spotter for BMR’s Driver Development program.
Tony Hunt. Tony Hunt is a multiple U.S. Auto Club champion – with nine sprint car titles, 50 main event wins and 50 pole positions. The Rancho Cordova, Calif. competitor won his first USAC championship in the 1992 Formula Russell Series, as well as several kart titles. Hunt, 48, competed in the ARCA Menards Series West in 1993 and 2000, posting two top-10 finishes including a sixth at Shasta (Calif.) Speedway. He spotted for a number of NASCAR premier series drivers – John Andretti, Stevie Reeves, Ken Schrader and Mike Wallace to name a few. Hunt has instructed at the Jim Russell Racing School, Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Driver School and the Richard Petty Racing Experience. He is an automotive brand ambassador and driving instructor and a stunt driver and was the stunt driving double for Christian Bale’s character Ken Miles in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari. *
Brent Kaeding. For three decades – 1980s, 90s and 00 — second generation competitor Brent Kaeding was virtually unbeatable in open wheel racing in California. The Campbell, Calif. resident is a 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) sprint car champion – eight of the titles in consecutive seasons. Kaeding won 11 King of California championships and is a 21-race winner at fabled Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. He is a nine-time World of Outlaws winner, and three-time Dirt Cup winner. Kaeding also won the USAC Turkey Night midget race at Ascot Park in Southern California. Kaeding was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2008. Kaeding finished 29th in his only NASCAR Cup Series start at Phoenix Raceway and also competed in a Winston West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) event at Sonoma Raceway. He is on the ballot a year after his father, Howard Kaeding, was named a Heritage inductee into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame. *
John Moore. John Moore grew up in Antioch, Calif., watching his father Carl race hardtops at Antioch Speedway. Little surprise, then, that the younger Moore was attracted to competition – but not until, at age 30, founding JM Environmental. Success in the hazardous material abatement and demolition gave Moore the financial ability to race motorcycles and cars, winning races and rookie titles in the process. Moore’s footprint in motorsports, however, is larger than his titles which include a Pacific Coast Series championship, 2006 Spears Racing League owner championship and the 2021 All American Speedway and NASCAR State of California titles. He also competed briefly in the NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) with a best finish of fifth at Stockton 99 Speedway. Moore, as president of the Placer County Fair, joined with West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally to rebuild and expand the All-American Speedway. Moore, 58, has sponsored numerous drivers, including his son Cole, a Spears Racing League champion, as well as more than 75 races throughout the state of California.
Brad Noffsinger. One of the West’s premier competitors in non-winged sprint cars, Brad Noffsinger also raced in the NASCAR Cup Series, became a Cup crew chief and – for 20 years – was an instructor at the Richard Petty Driving School at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Noffsinger, from Huntington Beach, Calif., began his sprint car career in 1979, becoming the California Racing Association’s Rookie of the Year the following season. He won back-to-back CRA titles in 1986-87, at the wheel of the Jack Gardner Jr. sprinter. Noffsinger won 50 CRA features. Noffsinger also competed part-time in USAC’s Silver Crown division, winning once at Memphis Motorsports Park. He moved to the NASCAR West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) in 1987, then to the Cup Series where over portions of three seasons competed in 17 events, with a best finish of 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 1997 Noffsinger joined SABCO Racing as the crew chief for Wally Dallenbach Jr. The No. 46 team competed in 18 races with a best finish of 10th at The Glen. Noffsinger, 61, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2013.
Danny Ongais. The Kahului, Hawaii-born Danny Ongais excelled professionally in a variety of motorsport disciplines. As a drag racer, Ongais won the 1969 National Hot Rod Association U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis driving a Funny Car for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Mickey Thompson. Switching from straight-line competition, he raced U.S. Auto Club championship cars, winning six times in 1977-78 for Ted Fields’ Interscope Racing. His biggest victory came in the California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. Ongais posted a trio of top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500 with a best posting of fourth in 1979. His four Formula One starts included a seventh in the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix. Ongais was selected to the International Race of Champions (IROC) in six seasons, with a top finish of fourth in 1984 at Michigan Speedway. He also competed in the 24 Hours of LeMans as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona. Now 78, he was elected to the Motorsports of America Hall of Fame in 2000. *
Jimmy Sills. A three-time USAC Silver Crown champion, Jimmy Sills – also known as Buckwheat – won more than 400 open-wheel races. The Placerville, Calif. competitor won Silver Crown titles in 1990, 1994 and 1996, posting 12 victories. Sills, now 68, won eight World of Outlaw sprint car events, was a six-time Northwest Dirt Cup champion and posted 15 USAC sprint and midget victories. He competed – and won – in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sills was the all-time race winner, 43, at the old Baylands Raceway Park in Northern California. In his later career, Sills operated, for 18 years, a nationally-known driving school. His students included Kasey Kahne and Ed Carpenter. Sills was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2006.