Mickey Thompson among 2018 Heritage inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the sixth and final of a series of press releases on the 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (June 18, 2018) – Mickey Thompson, driver and entrepreneur whose talents touched virtually all corners of motor sport, is among 11 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

Marion Lee “Mickey” Thompson was born in 1928 in Alhambra, Calif. He was a pioneer in multiple motorsports genres: drag racing, land speed, the Indianapolis 500 and off-road competition.

Thompson, a top fuel drag racer, was the first manager of Lion’s Drag Strip in Wilmington, Calif. He later created SCORE, a preeminent off-road promotional group with events in the U.S. and Mexico.

He was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007, with the organization stating, “From his first day in the “dirt” he fell in love with the sport and his presence in racing, no doubt because of his fame in other forms of racing, made an impact. He was full of ideas and a master at selling his ideas to others, in large part because of the enthusiasm and energy he brought with him.

Thompson also organized indoor and stadium off-road racing under the Mickey Thompson Event Group (MTEG). In 1960, Thompson became the first American to eclipse the 400 mph on land, driving his Challenger I car to a one-way top speed of 406.60 mph on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

Thompson brought outside-the-box designed cars to the Indianapolis 500 from 1962-65 and 67-68. His best finish was ninth in 1962. Thompson, the victim with his wife Trudy of a murder-for-hire plot, died in 1988 at age 69. He is a member of multiple halls of fame.

Thompson joins Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley and Bryan R. Sperber in the 2018 WCSCHOF class of inductees.Four additional Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti, Bill Cheesbourg and Clyde Prickett. All but Prickett are deceased.

The 2018 Induction, 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@ismraceway.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.

Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the next year and a half. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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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Cheesbourg, Prickett among 2018 Heritage inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the fifth of a series of press releases on the 2018inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15thAnnual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (June 14, 2018) – Bill Cheesbourg, an Arizona jalopy legend who also competed in the Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR hard top champion Clyde Prickett are among 2018 Heritage inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

Born William Bernard (Bill) Cheesbourg Jr. in 1927, The Tucson, Ariz. native began his racing career at age 11 at the wheel of a Soap Box Derby entry that shed its garden hose-fabricated tires a few feet after push-off.  Cheesbourg began racing jalopies in his hometown, later journeying to Phoenix-area tracks and won the 1955 Arizona Jalopy Association championship.

Driving a 1932 Ford nicknamed Bobalu, Cheesbourg once won 73 of the 75 races he entered. Cheesbourg made six Indianapolis 500 starts with a best finish of 10th in 1958 and continues to hold the record for the most cars passed on the race’s opening lap – 17.

He competed in two NASCAR premier series events and seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races, winning at Manzanita (Ariz.) Speedway in 1975. Cheesbourg, enshrined in the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, also won a U.S. Auto Club stock car race.

His 1996 Pima County Sports Hall of Fame induction proclaimed, “If it had wheels, the ‘Cheez’ would drive it, and drive it fast! From the jalopies his youth to stock cars, to a bullet car, which he drove in excess of 300 mph. In virtually every kind of machine on every kind of track, he racked up trophies, prize money, friends and fame.”

Cheesbourg died in 1995 at age 67.

Prickett, a Fresno, Calif., resident won the 1955 NASCAR State of California championship in hard tops, as well as the title at Fresno’s Kearney Bowl track.

Prickett was a top driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Westdespite his status as a part-time competitor. He scored his lone K&N Pro victory at Medford, Ore.’s Rogue Valley Speedway in 1968.

Prickett competed in three NASCAR premier series events at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway with a best finish of 14th in 1968 on the 2.62-mile road course. Now 85, Prickett continues as president of the Coca-Cola distributorship in hisSan Joaquin Valley hometown.

Cheesbourg and Prickett join Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley and Bryan R. Sperber in the 2018 WCSCHOF class of inductees. Three additional Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti and Mickey Thompson. All but Prickett are deceased.

The 2018 Induction, 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@ismraceway.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.

Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the next year and  half. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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

Posted in Blog, News | Leave a comment

Agabashian, Bignotti among 2018 Heritage inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

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Woodland, Albedi among 2018 inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the third of a series of press releases on the 2018inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15thAnnual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (June 7, 2018) – NASCAR and open-wheel team owner Richard “Dick” Woodland and the late Lawrence “Larry” Albedi, the voice of motorsports in the west for five decades, are among 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

Woodland built his first race car, a jalopy, in 1958 at age 15. During college, he raced NASCAR hardtops at Kearney Bowl in Fresno, Calif. and following military service drove sprint cars at Ascot Park in Los Angeles. With a growing family, Woodland turned owner and hired West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductees Frank Secrist and Parnelli Jones, among others. 

Woodland entered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with NASCAR and West Cost Stock Car Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. in 1991 and continued with his son, Rich Jr. In 55 races, they won once (at Phoenix in 1998) and finished fifth in the 1995 standings. After moving the team to Charlotte, they also entered several NASCAR premier series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series and ARCA events.

Residing in Paso Robles, Calif., Woodland owns an extensive vintage race car museum at the Paso Robles airport.

Although best known for his baritone voice, Albedi was Mr. Everything when it came to automobiles and automobile racing. Born in San Francisco, he became enamored of competition at an early age, working as a pitman for George Bignotti’s racing team in 1947 at Bayshore Speedway.

He raced stock cars and sprint cars for a brief time, before taking promoter Louie Vermeil’s advice that he’d make more money behind a microphone. Race fans in Northern California over the next five decades became accustomed to hearing Abedi’s description of the action. Albedi became known as the “Voice of Sears Point,” the current Sonoma Raceway.

He also raced sports cars and was a steward for the San Francisco Region of the SCCA, inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2007. “His secret as an announcer is to make everyone sound like a hero,” the organization wrote upon Albedi’s enshrinement.

Albedi opened British Motors of Vallejo in 1963, a dealership that expanded to include Lincoln-Mercury, Subaru and Jaguar marques before its sale in 1996. Albedi passed away in May 2017 at the age of 85.

Woodland and Albedi join Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley and Bryan R. Sperber in the 2018 WCSCHOF class of inductees. Five Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti, Bill Cheesbourg, Clyde Prickett and Mickey Thompson. All but Prickett are deceased.

The 2018 Induction, 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@ismraceway.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.

Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the next year and a half. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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

Posted in Blog, News | Leave a comment

Pursley, Sperber among 2018 inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the second of a series of press releases on the 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park,will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (June 4, 2018) – Two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series champion Greg Pursley and ISM Raceway president Bryan R. Sperber are among 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

A former desert and motocross competitor, Pursley was a late comer to four-wheel competition at age 25. With Gene Price, a 2017 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee, Pursley won the 2011 and 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series Westchampionships. 

In 2011, Pursley won six of his 12 starts. Over 100 races, Pursley posted 20 victories, won 20 poles, and logged 58 top-five and 75 top-10 finishes. He won races in six consecutive K&N Pro Series West seasons.

Previously, Pursley had won 13 of 18 races at Irwindale (Calif.) Event Center in 2004 to capture NASCAR’s national weekly title, one of the most difficult championship to win. Moving to the NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Series, the Canyon Country, Calif. driver won two races along with four poles. Pursley, 50, resides in Parker City, Ariz.

For nearly 30 years, Sperber has been an integral part of the motorsports and entertainment industry at its highest levels. Currently the president of ISM Raceway, Sperber has guided the strategic and operational vision for one of the most popular venues in the sports.

Throughout his 15 years as president of ISM Raceway, he has guided the track through significant capital expansion, overseen addition of a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, as well as helped secure the return of the Verizon IndyCar Series to the raceway.

The jewel of his tenure at ISM Raceway is the current $178 million modernization project being completed in time for November’s MENCS weekend. Prior to arriving at ISM Raceway, Sperber was president of Watkins Glen International, where he was the youngest track president in NASCAR at age 30. Sperber is president of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Pursley and Sperber join Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Richard “Dick” Woodland and the late Larry Albedi in the 2018WCSCHOF class of inductees. Five Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti, Bill Cheesbourg, Clyde Prickett and Mickey Thompson. All but Prickett are deceased.

The 2018 Induction, 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@ismraceway.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.

Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the coming years. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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

Posted in Blog, News | Leave a comment

Garone, Prosser among 2018 inductees into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame

(Note: This is the first of a series of press releases on the 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

AVONDALE (May 31, 2018) – Colorado native Joe Garone and Southern California racing champion Oren Prosser are among this year’s inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

Garone, is president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing and a former NASCAR K&N Pro Series championship crew chief. Furniture Row and driver Martin Truex Jr. won the series’ 2017 championship.

A Denver, Colo. native, Garone captured crew chief championships in two NASCAR divisions – the K&N Pro Series West in 1993 and Elite Division Southwest Tour in 1991. His induction completes the enshrinement of Chesrown Racing’s principals: owner Marshall Chesrown, Class of 2014 and driver Rick Carelli, Class of 2009. Chesrown’s team won more than 30 NASCAR touring races, including three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Prior to joining Barney Visser’s Furniture Row Racing, Garone held crew chief positions with a trio of MENCS teams and was NASCAR’s Director of Officiating from 2001-03. The 57-year-old Garone is a member of the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Prosser won multiple sportsman stock car championships at the old Saugus (Calif.) Speedway as well as dozens of races at other tracks throughout the southwest.

His longtime sponsor and crew chief, Donnie Johnson, told the Los Angeles Times in 1989, “I’ve never seen anybody drive a car like Oren. He never panicked. He had the uncanny ability to know what’s ahead. He’d run every lap as if it were the main event.”

Prosser, age 77 and a resident of Granada Hills, Calif. was virtually unbeatable at Saugus in the 1960s and 1970s, winning five sportsman stock car championships (1964, 1967-72). He won nine consecutive feature races at the flat, .333-mile track in 1966. In 1971 Prosser won the July 4 Firecracker 400 – capturing all four 100-lap races at four southern California tracks. He also won Saugus’ first 330-lap event in 1975.

Prosser won the NASCAR Permatex 300 in 1967 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway and competed in three NASCAR Grand National (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) events.

Garone and Prosser join Greg Pursley, Bryan R. Sperber, Richard “Dick” Woodland and the late Larry Albedi in the 2018 WCSCHOF class of inductees. Five Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti, Bill Cheesbourg, Clyde Prickett and Mickey Thompson. All but Prickett are deceased.

The 2018 Induction, 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@ismraceway.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.

Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the coming years. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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

Posted in Blog, News | Leave a comment

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame induction will add to organization’s charitable giving

AVONDALE, Ariz. (May 7, 2018) – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s annual induction dinner has become one of motorsports’ largest celebrations of excellence – and good times for more than 400 attendees.

But the enshrinement is more than just a party. Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than a quarter-million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the coming years.

The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.

For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.

“Our board of directors is extremely supportive of the charitable giving component in our mission statement,” said Ken Clapp, the organization’s chairman. “Our annual induction event, since moving to Northern California, has grown to the point we’re able to give back to a host of worthy causes.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with local, state and national organizations including the NASCAR Foundation, ISM Raceway Charities and Sonoma Raceway Charities, as well as several Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver-directed foundations.”

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined June 21, 2018 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, again accompanies the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

This year’s inductees are Joe Garone, president and general manager of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Furniture Row Racing; Southern California racing legend Oren Prosser; two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Greg Pursley; Bryan R. Sperber, president of ISM Raceway in Phoenix and NASCAR and open-wheel car owner Richard “Dick” Woodland. The late Larry Albedi, a five-decade-long public-address announcer, will be inducted as a member of the media.

Five Heritage figures also are being enshrined: Freddie Agabashian, a pre-World War II stock car racer and Indianapolis 500 veteran; George Bignotti, car owner and chief mechanic for multiple Indianapolis 500 winners; Bill Cheesbourg, Tucson, Ariz. stock car champion and Indianapolis 500 veteran; Clyde Prickett, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner from Fresno, Calif. and Mickey Thompson, land speed record holder and pioneer drag racing and off-road driver and promoter. All but Prickett are deceased.

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com or contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2018 awards dinner, contact Jenniffer Wentzel at 623-463-5400. A limited number of tickets will be make available to the public beginning April 1, 2018. Inquiries should be forwarded to jwentzel@ismraceway.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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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

Posted in Blog, News | Leave a comment

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame announces six additional members for 2018 induction

AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 9, 2018) – Freddie Agabashian and George Bignotti, two Californians who share a common racing legacy, are among five 2018 Heritage inductees who will be enshrined in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame later this summer.

The Class of 2018 will be inducted June 21, 2018 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, again accompanies the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

Agabashian, a pre-World War II stock car racer, won consecutive Bay Cities Racing Association midget titles in 1947-48 at the wheel of cars owned and prepared by Bignotti. Each gained national fame through lengthy careers in AAA/U.S. Auto Club and especially the Indianapolis 500, in which Bignotti was a seven-time winning chief mechanic.

Chosen for induction, as well, are Arizona’s Bill Cheesbourg, whose stock car racing career spanned four decades and included six Indianapolis 500 starts; NASCAR State of California hardtop champion and K&N Pro Series West winner Clyde Prickett; and stadium off-road and motocross promoter and land speed record setter Mickey Thompson.

The five were selected for induction by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Heritage committee, which considers figures from the pre-1970 era qualified for enshrinement but not previously selected by a vote of the organization’s full board of directors.

The elected Class of 2018, announced earlier this month, is comprised of Larry Albedi, Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley and Dick Woodland. The enshrinement of J.D. Gibbs is being withheld until 2019 at the request of Joe Gibbs Racing.

A special election from semi-final candidates selected Bryan R. Sperber to complete the roster of 2018 inductees. Sperber is president of ISM Raceway, as well as president of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s board of directors. His biography accompanies this release.

“This class of inductees is among the greatest in the last decade and a half,” said Ken Clapp, chairman of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “The board of directors couldn’t be happier with its vote.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to honor the pioneers of our sport, figures whose accomplishments are unquestioned but which may not be well-known to media members and fans of the current era. They deserve to be honored for their achievements that brought us to where we are today.”

Here are the biographies of Sperber and the five Heritage inductees

Bryan R. Sperber. For nearly 30 years, Sperber has been an integral part of the motorsports and entertainment industry at its highest levels, consistently spearheading change and innovation from coast to coast. Currently the president of ISM Raceway, Sperber has guided the strategic and operational vision for one of the most popular venues in the sports, for both fans and drivers alike. Throughout his 15 years as president of ISM Raceway, he has guided the track through significant capital expansion, overseen addition of a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, as well as helped secure the return of the Verizon IndyCar Series to the raceway. The jewel of his tenure at ISM Raceway is the current $178 million modernization project. Prior to arriving at ISM Raceway, Sperber was president of Watkins Glen International, where he was the youngest track president in NASCAR at age 30. While serving as president of ISM Raceway, Sperber also was chairman of Auto Club Speedway from 2006-07, overseeing the facility’s day-to-day operations, while helping lead the transition team for new leadership. Sperber is president of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and member of the board of directors of the Fiesta Bowl.

Freddie Agabashian. Best known for competing in the Indianapolis 500 after winning four midget championships in Northern California, Agabashian began racing stock cars in 1934 in San Jose, Calif. The Modesto, Calif.-born driver won 500-mile stock car races at the Oakland (Calif.) Mile, as well as events at Southern Ascot in the Los Angeles area. He last raced in a U.S. Auto Club (USAC) event at Western Speedway in Vallejo, Calif., driving a Dodge D500 for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Jim Dane. Agabashian was a veteran of 11 Indianapolis 500s from 1947 through 1957, winning the pole for the 1952 race in the Cummins Diesel Special. His best finish, fourth, was recorded in 1953. After retiring from driving, Agabashian was a member of the Champion Spark Plug Safety Team which toured high schools throughout America speaking about racing and safety on the streets. The Alamo, Calif. resident died in 1989 at age 76.

George Bignotti. A San Francisco native, George Bignotti raced stock cars prior to World War II and owned an Oldsmobile campaigned in NASCAR premier series/K&N Pro Series West events in 1954. Bignotti was a top midget owner in post-war Northern California, his cars winning four Bay Cities Racing Association titles, two with fellow Heritage inductee Freddie Agabashian. He drove midgets as well, once winning 14 of 18 starts. Bignotti, along with Frank Kurtis, is credited with creating the first Indianapolis roadster. As a chief mechanic, he won a record seven 500s, with AJ Foyt (two), Al Unser (two), Graham Hill, Gordon Johncock and Tom Sneva. Bignotti’s cars won multiple Indianapolis-type championships and 85 races, including setting the USAC Championship record (twice) for 10 wins in a season. Bignotti died in 2013 at age 97.

William Bernard (Bill) Cheesbourg Jr. The Tucson, Ariz. resident, born in 1927, began his racing career at age 11 at the wheel of a Soap Box Derby entry that shed its garden hose-fabricated tires a few feet after push-off. Cheesbourg began racing jalopies in his hometown, later journeying to Phoenix-area tracks and won the 1955 Arizona Jalopy Association championship. Driving a 1932 Ford nicknamed Bobalu, Cheesbourg once won 73 of the 75 races he entered. Cheesbourg made six Indianapolis 500 starts with a best finish of 10th in 1958 and continues to hold the record for the most cars passed on the race’s opening lap – 17. He competed in two NASCAR premier series events and seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races, winning at Manzanita (Ariz.) Speedway in 1975. Cheesbourg, enshrined in the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, also won a U.S. Auto Club stock car race. He died in 1995 at age 67.

Clyde Prickett. The Fresno, Calif., resident won the 1955 NASCAR State of California championship in hard tops, as well as the title at Fresno’s Kearney Bowl track. Prickett was a top driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West despite his status as a part-time competitor. He scored his lone K&N Pro victory at Medford, Ore.’s Rogue Valley Speedway in 1968. Prickett competed in three NASCAR premier series events at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway with a best finish of 14th in 1968 on the 2.62-mile road course. Now 85, Prickett continues as president of the Coca-Cola distributorship in his San Joaquin Valley hometown.

Marion Lee “Mickey” Thompson. Born in 1928 in Alhambra, Calif., Thompson was a pioneer in multiple motorsports genres: drag racing, land speed, the Indianapolis 500 and off-road competition. Thompson, a top fuel drag racer, was the first manager of Lion’s Drag Strip in Wilmington, Calif. He later created SCORE, a preeminent off-road promotional group with events in the U.S. and Mexico. Thompson also organized indoor and stadium off-road racing under the Mickey Thompson Event Group (MTEG). In 1960, Thompson became the first American to eclipse the 400 mph on land, driving his Challenger I car to a one-way top speed of 406.60 mph on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Thompson brought out-side-the-box designed cars to the Indianapolis 500 from 1962-65 and 67-68. His best finish was ninth in 1962. Thompson, the victim with his wife Trudy of a murder-for-hire plot, died in 1988 at age 69. He is a member of multiple halls of fame.

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com or contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2018 awards dinner, contact Jenniffer Wentzel at 623-463-5400. A limited number of tickets will be make available to the public beginning April 1, 2018. Inquiries should be forwarded to jwentzel@ismraceway.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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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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Transcript from March 11, 2018 announcement of West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2018… Ken Clapp, Chairman of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, today announced that six individuals – Joe Garone, J.D. Gibbs, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley, Dick Woodland, and Larry Albedi – had been elected to the roster of honored racing greats. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame was founded in 2001 to preserve the history and heritage of the stock car racing in all its forms in the western United States and Canada. Honorees have included designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media. For more information contact Owen Kearns ( okearns@bak.rr.com ). 

KEN CLAPP, Chairman of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame 

CLAPP: “I appreciate you all being here. I know you have a busy schedule, so I will make this as informative and brief as I possibly can. A little history first. The Hall of Fame started in 2001. In the very beginning it was a reunion that became a Hall of Fame in 2002. We were based in Los Angeles originally. We moved up to be compatible with the Sonoma NASCAR weekend about seven years ago. We induct five (hall of fame members) a year. We have a final of 20 nominations, very similar to the NASCAR National Hall of Fame. We do have, not every year but occasionally, we do have a media award and this year we will be doing one and I will announce that in a moment and we have five historic inductees. This is the first year that we have had a historic category. We are not going to announce those today. In most cases they are no longer with us, but that list will come out through Owen Kearns of the Hall of Fame in the next couple of weeks. This year’s inductees: first – and certainly nobody’s first, everybody’s equal – Joe Garone, the president of Furniture Row, a product of Denver, Colorado, former K&N West Champion and chief mechanic involved for a long time with hall of famer Rick Carelli. Joe is a very popular selection. He’s very excited about this incidentally and very humble about it. We are glad to have Joe coming in this year. 

Next, and I will be very honest, this is probably the most emotional nominee and voted upon inductee we have ever had, born in Los Angeles, played football in his early years and eventually took over JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), J.D. Gibbs. I can’t tell you how happy we are that he is being inducted. I might also add seldom do we ever carry a 100 percent of the votes of the voting board, but J.D. did. Our third inductee this year an old, old West coast name Oren Prosser. Oren was very good and very fast in the late (19)50s through the 60s and into the early 70s. He won over 300 feature events on all kinds of tracks. He won the Permatex Race at Riverside once. That is the same event Hershel McGriff won 14 times. Had Oren have gone East, he probably would be in the annals of the greats. He was just a very talented guy. (He is) still alive, still putting horseshoes on horses for a living. His son-in-law, Tim Huddleston, just took over the Irwindale Raceway. Oren is a very popular inductee. We are happy about it.

“Our fourth selection for 2018 is Richard Woodland–Dick Woodland, from San Luis Obispo, California. Long-time car owner. He started a museum in San Luis Obispo for military aircraft and race cars a number of years ago. A very diversified businessman, a great friend of racing, through the years he’s had some very impressive names in his cars, including Parnelli Jones back in the day. A good friend of the (West Coast Stock Car) Hall of Fame’s since day one and he’s certainly been a very generous friend of the Hall of Fame. 

“As I mentioned earlier, we do not have a media award every year. This year it will be a man who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for over 60 years. We lost him recently, Larry Albedi. Larry was a mechanic in the early days, back in the 1940s for George Bignotti. He started driving stock cars in the old Oakland Speedway high-wall days. I actually saw him tear the whole body off of a 1951 Kaiser—the whole body. He found that probably announcing and public relations was probably a better way to go in his case and he did it. He was the voice of Sonoma Raceway, previously Sear’s Point for many, many years. He was a Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar dealer in Vallejo, California, and a very worthy inductee.

“Last but not least, Greg Pursley. Greg Pursley had a very impressive record over a span of years. He drove for Gene Price, Lake Havasu, California. Two championships, 20 wins (including three at ISM Raceway), retired now. Very popular with the fans and the media. He is the final inductee for this year, so that gives us six. We are having our induction dinner on Thursday night, June 21st, at the Meritage Resort in Napa, California. That’ll kick of the Sonoma weekend. Everybody in this room that’s related to the media is invited as our guest. We get quite a few of you who join us, and we do appreciate that very much. It’s a very nice party. The president of the Hall of Fame just came in and sat down for a moment and I’d like to extend our gratitude to Bryan Sperber, who is our host this weekend. Bryan and I have a long history and he’s been a very instrumental part in allowing us to gain the success that we have and being able to recognize those who have accomplished above and beyond.”

Q: Who was behind the set-up of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2001?

CLAPP: “In the very beginning it was a reunion, and it was held on the Fourth of July weekend at Irwindale Speedway, suburb of Los Angeles. And the fellow who put the reunion together’s name was Tim Meyer. I went to Tim after the reunion that day and said ‘you’ve got the makings of a hall of fame here, and the west coast needs a good, solid hall of fame.’ That was something he wasn’t very familiar with, but several others got behind him, coached him and put it together. So, the (West Coast Stock Car) Hall of Fame today, as we know it, actually started in 2002.”

Q: Is the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame a museum for the public? Is it possible to visit it?

CLAPP: “No, and I’ll be very candid with you. I give Bryan Sperber a lot of credit for this, in the very beginning we had visions and dreams of having a permanent location. Bryan felt that we would be better served to have a virtual hall of fame, and we stuck to our guns with that. We’ve had multiple facilities come to us and want us to establish a base. Period, we have not done that. We have a pretty impressive collection of memorabilia, but we don’t plan to have a base. We plan to keep it virtual and, very candidly, the reason is we don’t have a light bill, we don’t have a payroll of any consequence. We set out to be financially solid in the very beginning. We take a great pride in being able to give money to those less fortunate, and every year for the last four years, including this year, because I know where we are right now for this year; we’ve given $320,000 to charities. That’s the way we’re operating. We’re a 501C3, we’ve very fortunately drawn the interest of major corporations involved in racing across America. I’m not going to go into the list, but it’s extensive. That’s where we are.”

Q: Could you explain to everybody here the distinction between the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Hall of Fame?

CLAPP: “The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which I’m fortunate to be a part of as well, recognizes only persons who have achieved above and beyond in NASCAR, in all categories. Just like the West Coast [Stock Car Hall of Fame], it gets tougher and tougher every year, it’s not easy. It’s amazing to sit in one of the meetings and hear the exchange that goes on. We set out to be strictly stock car related in the beginning. One day, several years ago, I was sitting in the trailer up at Auto Club Speedway with Mike Helton. We were just talking, and he said ‘I’ve got a suggestion, do with it as you wish, but i want to throw it out, why don’t you open it up?’ because at that point we had grown rather significantly. ‘Why don’t you open it up to anybody from the west coast?’ which is a part of our criteria. You don’t have to have been born here, but you have to have come here at a pretty young age. I listened to what Mike said and discussed it with Bryan, several other board members. It made sense, because we had a lot of people that had competed in stock car racing, all the way back into the 1930s, as we go all the way back, but they had actually gained their fame, and in some cases fortune, through Indy cars, road racing, etc. etc. Some good examples, Scott Pruett was inducted several years ago. Scott was a very good stock car driver, but his focus was always on road racing, but I think he’s a very very good induction into our organization. Going back further, Parnelli (Jones) was very strong in the (SCCA) Trans-Am series, and that was against some tough competition. NASCAR sticks strictly with NASCAR.”

Q: The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Is it open for membership and if so, do the members have to live on the West Coast of the U.S?

CLAPP: “We don’t have anyone on our board of directors who isn’t from the West Coast. No Exceptions. We recently reviewed a gentleman who is not here today but very well known to all of you, and I thought he was born in California, and he wasn’t. So, I had to apologize and excuse ourselves from talking to him about it. He understood. It was fine. But no, for the board, you’ve got to be from out here. Now in Bryan Sperber’s case, we consider him based here for life. I don’t see him ever leaving. He likes it here. I think we can all see he is one of the best operators in the country. He meets those qualifications. In answer to your question a bit further, if you’re a mechanic, car owner, promoter or driver and you came here early in your life and you established your roots on the Pacific Coast or Hawaii, but we’ve never had a Hawaiian nomination, that would be part of our territory, you’re eligible.”

Q: That means in principle also foreigners (going to or living in the West Coast) can become members (or board of directors at West Coast Hall of Fame)?

CLAPP: “If they came here young and started out here. Well, he was from Phoenix. I was going to use Eddie Cheever as an example, as Eddie did run IROC and he came from here when he went to Formula One many years ago, but I think he was born here. I’m trying to think of somebody that I can put a name on that would be a good example…well, there’s Parnelli Jones. He was born in Arkansas, came here as a little boy to Los Angeles. He totally meets our requirements.”

Q: What about (Hawaii native) Danny Ongais?

CLAPP: “His name’s been brought up. He has not been nominated. It probably would meet the qualifications. I think he is more looked upon as a drag racer and an Indianapolis driver than he ever was connected to any kind of stock car racing. You know that kind of briefly allows me to elaborate on how tough it is getting. It’s not easy to get into this (West Coast Stock Car) Hall of fame. It’s tough. Just like it is with the National NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.”

Q: Ken, could you tell us a little about the selection process? Who actually creates the nominations and how those people might be elected?

CLAPP: “Yes, anybody is welcome to submit a bio on somebody they feel is worthy. We have a selection committee within the board which consists of Owen Kearns, who everybody here knows, myself and several others. We get a lot of bios that just don’t have the credentials. Period. They just don’t have them. We’re very discreet. We’re very fair, and we go to great ends to be sure we’re covering all the bases. Then, the nominations are narrowed down to about 25. It can vary a bit. From that, we finally agree on 20 by committee, which is comprised of 17 people. So, 20 (nominations) go to vote. We take 10. Those 10 go to vote and we end up with five (selections) plus the media recognition.”

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame announces six-member induction Class of 2018

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 11, 2018) – Joe Garone, president, and general manager of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Furniture Row Racing, heads the six-member Class of 2018 being inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame later this year.

The Hall’s 15th class is comprised of Garone; Joe Gibbs Racing senior executive J.D. Gibbs; Southern California racing legend Oren Prosser; two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Greg Pursley and NASCAR and open-wheel car owner Richard “Dick” Woodland. The late Larry Albedi, a five-decade-long public-address announcer, will be inducted as a member of the media.

Additionally, five Heritage inductees – outstanding figures from the pre-1971 era of competition – will be announced for enshrinement in the coming weeks.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined June 21, 2018 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, again accompanies the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

“It is getting increasingly difficult to select the honorees because the West Coast, over 75 years, has produced so many eligible candidates – literally hundreds,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “I salute the tenacity of the voting board and the members of the nominating committee on making these difficult selections.”

Garone, a Denver, Colo. native, won crew chief championships in two NASCAR divisions – the K&N Pro Series West in 1993 and Elite Division Southwest Tour in 1991. His induction completes the enshrinement of Chesrown Racing’s principals: owner Marshall Chesrown, Class of 2014 and driver Rick Carelli, Class of 2009. Chesrown’s team won more than 30 NASCAR touring races, including three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Prior to joining Barney Visser’s Furniture Row Racing, Garone held crew chief positions with a trio of MENCS teams and was NASCAR’s Director of Officiating from 2001-03. The 57-year-old Garone is a member of the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Jason Dean “J.D.” Gibbs, born in Los Angeles in 1969 while his Super Bowl winning father Joe was an assistant coach at the University of Southern California, is a senior executive at Joe Gibbs Racing – one of NASCAR’s most successful racing organizations. A collegiate defensive back and quarterback, the younger Gibbs helped his William & Mary team to two Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances.

After college, Gibbs joined JGR and was a tire changer on Dale Jarrett’s 1993 Daytona 500-winning team. Gibbs later competed as a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, becoming president of JGR in 1998. During his tenure, JGR has won multiple Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series championships and has become the NASCAR flagship organization for Toyota Racing Development. Gibbs, 48, resides with his family in Davidson, N.C.

Prosser was virtually unbeatable at Saugus (Calif.) Speedway in the 1960s and 1970s, winning five sportsman stock car championships (1964, 1967-72). He won nine consecutive feature races at the flat, .333-mile track in 1966. In 1971 Prosser won the July 4 Firecracker 400 – capturing all four 100-lap races at four southern California tracks. He also won Saugus’ first 330-lap event in 1975.

Prosser won the NASCAR Permatex 300 in 1967 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway and competed in three NASCAR Grand National (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) events. The Granada Hills, Calif. competitor, 77, drove Chevrolets for owner Donnie Johnson.

A former desert and motocross competitor, Pursley was a late comer to four-wheel competition at age 25. With Gene Price, a 2017 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee, Pursley won the 2011 and 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championships. In 2011, Pursley won six of his 12 starts. Over 100 races, Pursley posted 20 victories, won 20 poles, and logged 58 top-five and 75 top-10 finishes. He won races in six consecutive K&N Pro Series West seasons.

Previously, Pursley had won 13 of 18 races at Irwindale (Calif.) Event Center in 2004 to capture NASCAR’s national weekly title. Moving to the NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Series, the Canyon Country, Calif. driver won two races along with four poles. Pursley, 50, resides in Parker City, Ariz.

Woodland built his first race car, a jalopy, in 1958 at age 15. During college, he raced NASCAR hardtops at Kearney Bowl in Fresno, Calif. and following military service drove sprint cars at Ascot Park in Los Angeles. With a growing family, Woodland turned owner and hired West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductees Frank Secrist and Parnelli Jones, among others.

Woodland entered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with NASCAR and West Cost Stock Car Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. in 1991 and continued with his son, Rich Jr. In 55 races, they won once (at Phoenix in 1998) and finished fifth in the 1995 standings. They also entered several NASCAR premier series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series events. Residing in Templeton, Calif., Woodland owns an extensive vintage race car museum in nearby Paso Robles.

Although best known for his baritone voice, Albedi was Mr. Everything when it came to automobiles and automobile racing. Born in San Francisco, he became enamored of competition at an early age, working as a pitman for George Bignotti’s racing team in 1947 at Bayshore Speedway. He raced stock cars and sprint cars for a brief time, before taking promoter Louie Vermeil’s advice that he’d make more money behind a microphone.

Race fans in Northern California over the next five decades became accustomed to hearing Abedi’s description of the action. Albedi became known as the “Voice of Sears Point,” the current Sonoma Raceway. He also raced sports cars and was a steward for the San Francisco Region of the SCCA, inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Albedi opened British Motors of Vallejo in 1963, a dealership that expanded to include Lincoln-Mercury, Subaru and Jaguar marques before its sale in 1996. Albedi passed away in May 2017 at the age of 85.

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com or contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2018 awards dinner, contact Jenniffer Wentzel at 623-463-5400. A limited number of tickets will be make available to the public beginning April 1, 2018. Inquiries should be forwarded to jwentzel@ismraceway.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. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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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