NASCAR champion, speedway builder, road racing stars and Indianapolis 500 veteran in 2021 class
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., March 16, 2021 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway builder Richie Clyne heads a five-member class slated for induction into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame in June 2021.
Clyne’s fellow enshrinees – chosen via two rounds of voting by the Hall’s board of directors – are Dave Byrd, NASCAR Pacific Coast Region and touring series champion; Tom Gloy, Sports Car Club of America Trans Am champion and NASCAR national series team owner; Tommy Kendall, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Trans Am champion; and George Snider, 22-time Indianapolis 500 starter and United State Auto Club Gold and Silver Crown champion.
The Class of 2021 – the hall’s 18th – will be inducted Saturday, June 5, during the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s special, double induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif. The event is companion to the NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.
This year’s gala, marking the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary, will enshrine two voted classes of members. Induction of the 2020 Class comprised of Mike Bliss, Craig Keough, Rick Mears, Jim Pettit II and Jerry Pitts was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization also will induct its third and fourth Heritage classes of 10 individuals whose careers largely ended prior to 1970. The 2020 inductees previously announced are Harry Belletto, Howard Kaeding, Ken Miles, Jim Pettit Sr. and Billy Wilkerson. The 2021 Heritage inductees will be named in April.
Highlights of the induction ceremonies are slated to be broadcast later in the summer on MAVTV.
“For 20 years I have been saying, ‘how can we have such an impressive group of inductees that are so deserving as we have this year?’” said Ken Clapp, chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame. “Well, we have done it again, bigger and better than ever and I am enormously proud to call them my friends, past and present.
“As we honor these famed motorsports icons, I also want to thank those that have helped the Hall in taking our charitable gifting, over five years, up to $600,000. We expect the figure to rise to a million dollars, hopefully, within the next couple of years.”
About the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame:
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car/motorsports competition. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame is founded to preserve history and heritage of the important role west coast stock car and motorsports figures have played in the sport’s development and continuation and to recognize, through annual enshrinement, of outstanding individuals and groups within the sport such as, but not limited to, designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.
The Hall is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations and groups from coast to coast. During its tenure, the Hall has raised more than a half-million dollars for youth, health and safety, hospitals, animal rescue and other charitable causes.For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame and its charities, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.
- One of California’s most versatile short track competitors, the Los Gatos, Calif. competitor won 12 track championships – six on dirt, six on pavement.
- Byrd, 62, counts at least 140 feature race victories over a career spanning five decades, 1976 through 2015. Among his significant wins was the 2002 IMCA modified Duel in the Desert at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Duel in the Desert.
- In 1978, Byrd was offered, but turned down, the Rod Osterlund-owned NASCAR premier series car that ultimately went to Dale Earnhardt.
- Byrd captured the 1983 NASCAR Pacific Coast Region title, competing at several Central California tracks.
- Byrd is the 2009 Spears Racing League late model champion. He also competed in the now ARCA Menards Series West and NASCAR Elite Southwest Series.
- Classic car collector Richie Clyne had a vision of creating a world-class racing facility in Las Vegas. Where others dreamed and failed, Clyne succeeded with the opening in 1996 of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Clyne sold the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1998 to Speedway Motorsports but continues to be a familiar face during NASCAR Cup Series and other LVMS events.
- Talented, energetic and artistic describes Clyne, a transplanted New Yorker who currently splits his time between Las Vegas and New Hampshire.
- Clyne, 62, operates Clyne’s Classic Cars, a seller of antique and classic automobiles and fire trucks. He previously co-owned, with Don Williams, the Auto Collection at the now defunct Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.
- Tom Gloy
- Tom Gloy of Lafayette, Calif. was among the most successful Sports Car Club of America Trans Am Series competitors during the 1980s. He won the 1984 championship driving a Gloy Racing prepared Mercury Capri. Gloy competed in 17 races that year, winning three and finishing among the top five in 12 others.
- In 1987, he competed in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) with Jack Roush, finishing second in the championship. He shared Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona- winning Mustang with Bill Elliott in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
- Gloy won the 1988 IMSA event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course driving a Nissan GTP car.
- Gloy raced in the U.S., Europe, Australia and the Far East in 1970s. He won the 1979 Formula Atlantic title.
- With assistance of Roger Penske, Gloy ran a partial U.S. Auto Club championship car schedule, finishing fifth at the Ontario Motor Speedway. Gloy operated a USAC team in 2002, winning once.
- Gloy, 73, entered Ford F150s in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for three seasons. His drivers collected three top-five finishes including a second by Tony Roper at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
- Tommy Kendall, a Santa Monica native, dominated the SCCA Trans Am Series in the 1990s, capturing four driving titles in the first eight years of the decade (1990, 1995-96-97).
- From 1995 to 1997, while piloting Jack Roush-owned Ford Mustangs, Kendall claimed 16 wins and 27 poles in 38 Trans Am races.
- In 1997, on his way to his fourth and final Trans-Am title, Kendall scored wins in the first 11 of 13 races that season.
- Kendall was the 1993 IMSA GTS champion
- Kendall also made 14 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, mostly on road courses with a best finish of eighth at Watkins Glen International and made two appearances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
- Kendall, 64, also is a television broadcaster.
- Born in Fresno, Calif. but living for most of his career in Bakersfield, George Snider, 80, began drag racing at the age of 15 and soon began competing in jalopies, hard tops and supermodifieds.
- He was one of the first to mount a wing on his No. 72 coupe, winning races at Kearney Bowl in Fresno and on other central California tracks. Snider won the 1964 Johnny Key Classic at the old San Jose Speedway
- He won the 1971 U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown championship and was the organization’s final Gold Crown champion in 1981-82.
- Snider made 22 Indianapolis 500 starts – most by a non-winner – many of them as a teammate to A.J. Foyt.
- His best Indianapolis 500 finish was eighth, in 1975 and 1978. Snider also competed in USAC stock cars.
- Snider is a member of the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame in Bakersfield.
Owen A. Kearns