Kenny Takeuchi, ace racing PA man, next media inductee into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the seventh and final of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 20, 2017) – Kenneth (Kenny) Takeuchi, a public-address announcer and media relations director, became a familiar figure at racing events throughout northern and central California from the late 1950s. The Fresno, Calif. native began his career at the old Selma (Calif.) Rodeo Grounds.

When hardtop and supermodified racing blossomed a few years later, Takeuchi followed the three and four-night a week circuit to NASCAR tracks at Kearney Bowl, San Jose Speedway, Clovis Speedway and Altamont Speedway.

He was among sport’s most visible figures, interviewing top competitors from trackside and following up with post-race results and columns in the various trade papers of the day.

Takeuchi was inducted into the San Jose Speedway Hall of Fame in 1995 with this observation: “He began his day in the pits with note pad in hand, taking down notes about every driver. He knew their birthdays, anniversaries, things about their work and so much more.

“He cared about ‘his’ drivers. He tagged many drivers with nicknames: “The Campbell Comet,” “Quick Nick,” “The Caruthers Cannonball,” and “Mombo Pombo.”

“He was a very gracious gentleman and made everyone feel special.”

The fifth media category inductee, Takeuchi remains active with several vintage racing organizations.

Takeuchi joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett and Frank Secrist in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

Contact: Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com
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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee Frank Secrist won titles, set speed records at Daytona

(Note: This is the sixth of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsport Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 15, 2017) - Frank Secrist of Oildale, Calif. won 1951-54 jalopy championships – then the top weekly racing division – at Bakersfield Speedway as well as the 1953-55 jalopy titles at Hanford, Calif. Secrist won the 1960 modified sportsman championship in Bakersfield and finished third in NASCAR’s California standings in 1961.

He also competed at the then-new Daytona International Speedway, setting modified sportsman track records in 1961 and 1962 – in the latter event erasing NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough’s speed from the books. Starting from the pole in his No. 86 Studebaker/Ford, Secrist finished fourth.

He won nine of 11 super modified races in 1963 and won the first United States Auto Club (USAC) midget race he entered in 1966.

Secrist, 88, competed in eight NASCAR premier series races winning one pole at the 1.4-mile Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford. His best finish was fourth at Sacramento’s old state fairgrounds mile track in 1961. Secrist also made several USAC sprint car appearances with a best finish of second in 1966 at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. He attempted to qualify for USAC championship car races.

“Frank Secrist was a natural in anything with four wheels,” said Richard Woodland, a 2017 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame nominee. “He helped me as my mentor in my NASCAR modified driving days plus he would hop into my car, when asked, in order to help sort things out for me. Later, he drove off for me for several years in CRA and NARC sprint cars.

“In other words, I both drove against him and he drove for me. He was, without a doubt, one of the hardest charging drivers I know of while, at the same time, one of the cleanest.”

Secrist joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com

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SCCA Trans-Am, IMSA titles among Pruett’s West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame accomplishments

(Note: This is the fifth of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 13, 2017) - Scott Pruett of Roseville, Calif. has won races in full-bodied cars, sports cars and championship cars. Pruett, 57, won three Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am titles (1987, 1994 and 2003) and a pair of International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) GTO championships (1986, 1988).

He won two Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) events and was the Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year in 1989.

Pruett’s greatest success came in Rolex GRAND-AM/WeatherTech sports car racing: five championships (2004, 2008, 2010-11, and 2013) and 45 victories, including five overall wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Pruett competed in 40 NASCAR premier series races (including a full season in 2000) with three top-five and six top-10 finishes that include a second at Watkins Glen International in 2003. He won a NASCAR XFINITY Series pole in Mexico City.

Owner of Pruett Vineyards in Placer County, Calif., Pruett also has been a television commentator.

Pruett will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America later this month. He previously was enshrined in the World Karting Hall of Fame and received the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) Phil Hill Award in 2016.

“He's a guy committed to his craft and a class guy,” said Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal in honoring Pruett with the Phil Hill Award. "He was hurt pretty badly in a testing accident in West Palm Beach in 1990, where he broke his legs, back, feet, you name it. Obviously, that didn't stop him and his drive and determination took him to winning many championships.”

Pruett joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com

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Gateway Motorsports Park joins West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame for 14th Annual inductions

PHOENIX (June 12, 2016) – The West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame announced today that Gateway Motorsports Park, a multi-purpose entertainment complex, will be presenting sponsor of the organization’s June 22 induction ceremonies.

The 14th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. in conjunction with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and K&N Pro Series West weekend at Sonoma, Raceway.

The Class of 2017 is comprised of Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi.

Gateway becomes the West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame’s second major supporter, joining founding principal sponsor Mike Curb.

The 340-acre facility, which hosts the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Verizon IndyCar Series and the National Hot Rod Association’s Mello Yello nationals, is located in Madison, Ill – a few miles east of St. Louis.

“St. Louis well known as the ‘Gateway to the West’ makes Gateway Motorsports Park the perfect match for our organization,” said Ken Clapp, the hall of fame’s chairman. “Three of our previous inductees – Rick Carelli, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner won NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on Gateway’s 1.25-mile oval.

“The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West also continues to have a major presence in the Midwest at Iowa Speedway.”

“Both track owner and CEO Curtis Francois and I have a great deal of respect for Ken Clapp and the passion he brings to the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame,” said Chris Blair, Gateway Motorsports Park executive vice president and general manger. “We both love racing history and understand the significance of preserving the legacy of drivers who were so instrumental in building the sport.

“As the years pass, and new stars emerge, it’s important that legends live on and their stories are passed from generation to generation. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame plays an important role for all of us who want to see our heroes remembered for years to come.”

The 2017 Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, is open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com

Gateway Motorsports Park John Bisci 618-215-8888 ext. 119 John.Bisci@gatewaymsp.com

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Three NASCAR K&N Pro Series titles earns Gene Price West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame induction

Note: This is the fourth of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 9, 2017) - Few owners have had more success than Gene Price and his Parker, Ariz.-based Gene Price Motorsports team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Price’s drivers accounted for three championships among six consecutive top-five points finishes between 2009 and 2014.

Greg Pursley won titles in 2011 and 2014 and Dylan Kwasniewski captured the 2013 championship – just eight points ahead of runner up Pursley. Cameron Hayley finished second to Pursley in 2014. The three drivers accounted for 26 wins and 90 top-five and 114 top-10 finishes in a combined 144 starts.

Pursley, in a 2014 interview with NASCAR Wire Service, summed up Price’s impact on the sport – and his and his fellow competitors’ careers with the organization. Price retired the team following its final championship season.

"There was never anything that came out of his mouth about us having to cut down on spending money or testing anywhere. It was always, 'We need to go out there and win some races. Let's go do what it takes.' Gene's the kind of guy that, when he does something, he wants to do it right,” said Pursley.

"I wouldn't be anywhere in my career without Gene. You can say he let me fulfill my dream as a racer."

Gene Price Motorsports also won twice in the NASCAR Elite Southwest Series and competed briefly in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Price joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Scott Pruett, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee Leonard won national championships on two, four wheels

Note: This is the third of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 7, 2017) - Born in San Diego in 1932, Joe Leonard exceled on two and four wheels. Leonard won three American Motorcyclist Association championships (1954, 1956-57), winning 27 races including the famed Daytona 200 twice.

Switching genres, Leonard began racing hard tops and NASCAR supermodifieds in central California. Leonard then moved to the U.S. Auto Club’s championship car circuit. In 98 races, Leonard won six times including the 1971 California 500 at the now-defunct Ontario Motor Speedway and captured the organization’s 1971 and 1972 national championships. Leonard is the only American to win U.S. national titles in automobiles and motorcycles.

Leonard drove for some of USAC’s greatest legends: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones and Vel Melitich and A.J. Foyt and Andy Granatelli. He finished third twice in the Indianapolis 500 (1967 and 1972).

"Joe, what a great guy," said Mario Andretti who was, along with Al Unser, teammates with Leonard on Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing's 1972 Super Team. "We had a lot of fun together. That guy, he used to work hard and play hard with me and Al. The three of us just enjoyed the time that we had."

He won a USAC stock car race at the DuQuoin (Ill.) Fairgrounds in 1964 and made one NASCAR premier series start, driving for Smokey Yunick in the 1969 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Leonard passed away April 27 at the age of 84.

Leonard joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Gene Price, Scott Pruett, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile super speedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com
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Off-roader, NASCAR owner-sponsor Gaughan Reaches West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the second of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 5, 2017) - Michael Gaughan, born in Omaha, Neb., was elected to the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame with the Class of 2016 but requested his induction be deferred until this June.

The 74-year-old Las Vegas resident, a second generation member of a pioneer gaming and hospitality family, competed as an off-road racer for more than two decades, winning the 1966 Mint 400 among other events.

Gaughan’s South Point Racing, in association with West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Bill McAnally, captured three consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championships with Sean Woodside (1999) and son Brendan Gaughan (2000-01) The Las Vegas-based team posted nine victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the younger Gaughan and Steve Park.

Michael Gaughan’s South Point Hotel and Casino property continues as a primary sponsor for his son’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Chevrolet team, owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress. The popular South Las Vegas Boulevard property is a must stay and play destination for NASCAR teams and fans and hosts a variety to top sports events throughout the year.

Gaughan is a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame and National Gaming Hall of Fame. Upon his 2009 induction into the Gaming Hall, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., the organization’s president and chief executive officer, called Gaughan “one of the most beloved employers in the industry. Michael’s casinos have helped shape the city making it what it is today. He created friendly, nurturing working environments (and) thus, his casinos have boasted more long-term employees than many in our transient industry.”

Gaughan joins Walker Evans, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, is open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Owen A. Kearns 661-342-2983 okearns@bak.rr.com
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Off-road legend Walker Evans joins West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

PHOENIX (June 1, 2017) - Roger Walker Evans, born Dec. 3, 1938 in Cedar Lake, Mich., started Walker Evans Racing in 1977 to field his own off-road racing team after driving for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers Bill Stroppe and Parnelli Jones.

The Riverside, Calif. resident’s first sample of desert racing came in 1969 when he drove an American Motors Rambler for actor James Garner’s SCORE team in the Baja 500, resulting in a third-place finish.

Evans, nicknamed “The Legend,” won the Baja 1000 nine times in specially built trucks. He was the first to win the grueling race overall in a truck. His 142 victories and 21 championships have come in a variety of disciplines – desert racing, Mickey Thompson stadium series and short course races.

Evans competed in a manufacturer-supported Dodge Ram for two seasons (1995-96) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he posted three top-10 finishes as owner/driver. Evans is a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and Riverside (Calif.) Sports Hall of Fame.

“Simply one of the best off-road racing drivers ever, Walker Evans would always captivate and dazzle the fans whenever he powered his desert truck to the start line,” said the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame upon Evans’ induction in 2004. “Throughout his 35-year career, he has been applauded for his exhilarating racing skills and his informal, gentlemanly manner.”

Evans joins Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett, Frank Secrist and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

Contact:

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

Owen A. Kearns

661-342-2983

okearns@bak.rr.com

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From the Chairman

By Ken Clapp When we changed the conditions for eligibility into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, I was left with mixed emotions. Basically, I feared that our celebration of stock car racing, as we previously knew it could have been diluted - even though each of our 2017 nominees has competed in stock cars. Any fears, however, quickly were swept away by the reaction from our motorsports community. The many positive comments about our 2017 inductees is greater than anything I’ve heard in the 15 years of the Hall’s existence. That positive feedback comes from competitors not yet inducted or nominated, as well as from fans and the corporate world. It’s so rewarding that our decision has been so well accepted and is leading to bigger and better things. The future in my view is very bright, looking at competitors like Indianapolis 500 legend Jimmy Bryan; older competitors who have been nominated but not inducted and the west coast’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series champions who are currently active and not yet eligible. That’s why I can’t help but be excited. I recently had a nice, long visit with Ron Esau at Irwindale Speedway, a nominee for the past two years. Ron remains disappointed that so far he’s failed to reach induction. Yet he remains enthusiastic about the possibility of reaching the Hall in 2018 or 2019. We, likewise, have gained a lot of respect and it continues to grow, along with our ability to gift funds to charity through dollar matching and provide the resources to make our inductions even more special in the coming years.
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New addresses for Carelli, Baxter

Two West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame members – Rick Carelli and Jerry Baxter - have new “homes” for the 2017 NASCAR season. Carelli, Class of 2009, joins Furniture Row Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as spotter for rookie of the year contender Erik Jones. The Denver native, who won driver championships in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and NASCAR Elite Series, Southwest Tour, previously spotted Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch. For Carelli, it’s a case of good news, bad news. He’s reunited with a hometown, Rocky Mountain-based team working with one of NASCAR’s brightest young prospects. Carelli, however, missed the opportunity to celebrate a Daytona 500 victory with Busch. Baxter, Class of 2015, nearly captured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship crew chief accolades a season ago with rookie Christopher Bell at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Bell made it all the way to the Homestead playoff finale, finishing third. For Baxter, a San Diego native, it’s a case of if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Baxter switched to GMS Racing, which backed veteran Johnny Sauter to the series title in 2016. Baxter likely will be in the playoffs for the second consecutive season with rookie of the year contender Kaz Grala, winner of the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
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