(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame
Owen A. Kearns
Gateway Motorsports Park
(618) 215-8888 ext. 119