West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com Tue, 10 Mar 2020 21:12:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Linda Vaughn named Lady of the Century by the West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/linda-vaughan-named-lady-of-the-century-by-the-west-coast-stock-car-racing-hall-of-fame/ Tue, 10 Mar 2020 03:16:01 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2185

Iconic host and model to share spotlight during organization’s June 11 induction gala

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (March 9, 2020) – One of auto racing’s best-known hosts for more than six decades, Linda Vaughn has been named Lady of the Century by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Ms. Vaughn’s many achievements will be feted during the organization’s June 11 Induction gala, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway, at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. 

“We are honored to recognize Linda Vaughn and everything she has done to enhance all forms of racing,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “Our friendship – and her friendship with the racing community – spans a half century.

“The Lady of the Century is a unique award for an individual whose love of racing and racers is without parallel.”

Linda Vaughn

The most iconic model in motorsports, Linda Vaughn was a world-wide figure as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter. But the Dalton, Ga. native was more than that – a self-taught PR and marketing expert who traded her costume after the race into a business suit. 

Known as the First Lady of Motorsports, she worked for then-California-based Hurst Shifter, under George Hurst and Jack Watson. Ms. Vaughn was perhaps best known for her work at NASCAR premier series events but appeared at many other races – the Indianapolis 500, Formula One and NHRA national drag races.

In 1972, for example, Ms. Vaughn did 172 events. Her first love was drag racing, introduced to sport as a teen. She received a Wally among other NHRA awards for her public relations work in behalf of the organization. She also appeared in a number of film and television productions including “Stroker Ace” and was the subject of ESPN’s 30 for 30.

One of 20 individuals nominated for induction into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2019, Ms. Vaughn resides in Southern California.

The organization’s 17thinducted class is comprised of Mike Bliss, a USAC Silver Crown and NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series champion; Craig Keough, a Las Vegas team owner and track sponsor; Rick Mears, a four-time Indianapolis 500 champion; Jim Pettit II, the 1984 NASCAR Pacific Coast Region champion; Jerry Pitts, ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief and team owner and Tom Sneva, the 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner and a ferocious  pavement supermodified champion.

Six additional Heritage members – individuals whose careers took place, or began, prior to 1972 – also will be enshrined during the ceremonies, highlights of which will be shown later in the summer on MAVT.

Table reservations may be made by contacting Ken Clapp at 925-552-9887. The Gala was a sold-out affair in 2019 and likely will be again this year. The Meritage Resort and Spa is offering a West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame daily rate of $299 plus resort fee and applicable taxes for event. Contact the hotel directly, requesting the WCSCHOF  block at 886-370-8272.

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.

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

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

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Bliss, Keough, Mears, Pettit, Pitts, Sneva elected to West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/bliss-keough-mears-pettit-pitts-sneva-elected-to-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame/ Sat, 29 Feb 2020 11:00:19 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2154 Indianapolis 500 winners, NASCAR Truck champion, NASCAR weekly racing star among inductees

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., February 29, 2020 – Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rick Mears is among six elected for induction into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Mears’ fellow enshrinees in the Class of 2020 – over two rounds of voting by the Hall’s board of directors –  are Mike Bliss, a USAC Silver Crown and NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series champion; Craig Keough, a Las Vegas team owner and track sponsor; Jim Pettit II, the 1984 NASCAR Pacific Coast Region champion; Jerry Pitts, ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief and team owner and Tom Sneva, the 1982 Indianapolis 500 winner and a ferocious pavement supermodified champion.

The Class of 2020 – the hall’s 17th – will be enshrined June 11 during the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif. The event leads into the NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

The organization also will induct its third Heritage class of five individuals whose careers largely ended prior to 1970. The Heritage inductees will be named in April.

“Without a question, this is the most diversified class since the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s inception in 2001,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “From the grassroots level to the Indianapolis 500; from storied drivers to the mechanics and sponsors who make it possible, these inductees represent motorsports in its entirety.”

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.

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

Mike Bliss

  • Mike Bliss won national championships in U.S. Auto Club (USAC) and NASCAR – part of a very small fraternity to accomplish the feat. 
  • Bliss, 54, began racing near his Milwaukie, Ore. hometown, at the old Portland Speedway and other northwest tracks. Open-wheel racing beckoned and Bliss eventually reached USAC’s Silver Crown division to become its 1993 champion. His 10 victories rank co-10thin Silver Crown rankings. 
  • Bliss changed gears with the creation of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series. He won 13 times and captured the 2002 championship, driving for fellow Northwesterner Dave Fuge. 
  • Bliss became a fulltime NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor, eventually participating in a combined 538 events. He finished fourth in Richmond Raceway’s 2004 spring Cup race driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Bliss won twice in the Xfinity Series, both victories coming at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 
  • He was selected to compete in the 2003 International Race of Champions and won the Chicagoland Speedway round. 
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 01: Star Nursery Owner and Founder Craig Keough, owner of the Kurt Busch (1) Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, answers questions from the media in the ThriveHive Digital Center prior to practice and qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 on March 1, 2019, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

Craig Keough

  • Many casual race fans may be unaware of Craig Keough’s 25-year impact on West Coast stock car racing. Insiders, however, call the Las Vegas team owner/race sponsor “a legend.” The owner of Star Nursery, Keough entered late model competition with the late Chris Trickle and the driver’s father, Chuck Trickle. 
  • The relationship led to a conversation in Tucson, Ariz. with a young driver, Kurt Busch, who asked for $50 to buy tires.  Keough wound up purchasing Trickle’s equipment and sponsoring Busch, who won the 1999 NASCAR Elite Southwest Series. 
  • Keough’s recognition of Kurt’s talent was the springboard to a Roush Fenway Racing ride in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series and ultimately the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series title.  
  • Behind the scenes, Keough sponsored numerous events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s “Bullring” and at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. and Madera (Calif.) Speedway. He was responsible for the return of the ARCA Menards Series West to LVMS’ dirt track and – in February 2020 – the circuit’s event at the LVMS Bullring.

Rick Mears

  • Transplanted Kansan Rick Mears grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., the youngest member of the racing Mears Gang comprised of patriarch Bill and older brother Roger. Rick drove a Chevrolet stock car at Bakersfield Speedway, where Roger was a frequent winner. 
  • The pair excelled in dune buggy competition at Ascot Park and ultimately desert racing throughout the southwest United States and in Baja California. West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Parnelli Jones took an interest in Rick, who shared Jones’ off-road trucks and posted multiple class victories. 
  • Safety equipment manufacturer Bill Simpson introduced him to U.S. Auto Club championship cars, leading to a career-long association with Roger Penske. With Penske, Mears became one of just three to win the Indianapolis 500 four times – and continues to hold the record for poles (six) and front row starts (11). 
  • He won the 500 in 1979, 1983, 1989 and 1991. He won three USAC titles (seven wins) and three Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) titles (26 wins). Mears was selected to four International Race of Champions (IROC), finishing second at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Following retirement, Mears, 68, has remained in a consulting role with Team Penske.

Jim Pettit IIwon the 1984 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pacific Coast Region championship at age 19. Pettit was one of the most accomplished northern California dirt track late model stock car competitors, competing at tracks in San Jose, Antioch, Watsonville and Merced. Between April and September Pettit and his fellow competitors frequently logged two and sometimes three races each week.Capping his championship season – in which total points/starts were tabulated – Pettit raced on Saturday in California, then with two crew members towed overnight to Portland Speedway, barely making it in time for a Sunday afternoon event. The Seaside, Calif. driver won two NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour championships back to back (2004-05), winning eight times. Pettit, 54, finished among the top 10 in more than 50 percent of his Southwest Tour starts (54 of 103).

Jerry Pitts is a three-time ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief, winning titles with West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers, Gregg Pursley, Gene Price and Eric Norris. Arguably among the best crew chiefs over the past 15 years, the Bakersfield, Calif. native turned the wrenches en route to 28 West victories and two ARCA Menards Series East triumphs. Both driver and car builder in the 1970s, Pitts’ chassis captured championships at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and Mesa Marin Raceway. In two stints on the East Coast, Pitts worked for Robert Yates Racing, Bahari Racing and Phoenix Racing  in both NASCAR premier series and Xfinity Series with nearly two dozen drivers including Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Busch. Pitts, 58, continues to operate Jerry Pitts Racing in Pahrump, Nev. and is the owner of an ARCA Menards Series West team in 2020.  

  • From supermodifieds to the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Spokane, Wash.’s Tom Sneva more than earned the nickname “The Gas Man.” 
  • Sneva, a high school math teacher and bus driver after graduating from Eastern Washington State University, was a top competitor on the Canadian-American Modified Racing Association (CAMRA) before catching the eye of U.S. Auto Club owners – most notably Roger Penske and later West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer George Bignotti. 
  • Driving for Team Penske, Sneva became The Captain’s first champion (USAC, 1977). He won back-to-back 500 poles in 1977-78, ultimately winning the race in 1982 – the last 500 triumph by chief mechanic Bignotti. 
  • Sneva won 10 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) events, notably four of them at Phoenix Raceway. He competed in eight NASCAR premier series races with a best finish of seventh in the 1983 Daytona 500. 
  • Sneva, 71, was selected to five International Race of Champions (IROC) events, posting a best finish of second in 1985 at Daytona International Speedway.

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

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Hunt, Love elected to West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Board of Directors http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/hunt-love-elected-to-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-board-of-directors/ Mon, 10 Feb 2020 15:02:34 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2137 BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (February 7, 2020) – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the election of retired U.S. Auto Club western vice president Tommy Hunt and Silicon Valley attorney Jesshill (Duke) Love to its Board of Directors.

Hunt is a lifelong member of the motorsports industry and currently promotes open wheel events at historic Calistoga Speedway in Northern California. Love practices law as Of Counsel in Gray*Duffy’s Redwood City, Calif. office and is a member of the firm’s real estate practice group.

“Our team continues to grow, adding a variety of experience and expertise both from within and outside the motorsports industry,” said West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Ken Clapp. “The election of Tommy Hunt and Duke Love exemplifies and furthers this synergy.”

Hunt worked in his father’s business, Joe Hunt Magneto, while attempting to develop a career as a race driver. Upon Joe Hunt’s death, he took over the family business and ran it until 1986 when he was hired by USAC as their West Coast Director. In 1988 he was made USAC Vice President of Western Operations.

During his tenure with USAC he formed a road racing series with the Russell School and later F-2000, the Ford Focus Midget Series and Western State Sprint Series. He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2015 and currently serves as the group’s Vice President and board member.

He has promoted events at Calistoga Speedway since 2008. Hunt’s son, Tony, is a nine-time USAC Sprint Car champion and was among nominees for the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020.

Love’s wide-ranging transactional expertise includes real estate development, finance, lending, asset management, asset purchase and sales and commercial leasing. He has formed hundreds of real estate partnerships and has an extensive background in real estate syndications, syndicating more than $300 million in structured real estate projects in the last decade.

As lead counsel in hundreds of successful cases, Love has represented clients in matters involving real estate partnership resolutions and dissolutions, easements, fraud and real estate-related matters. 

In addition to practicing law, Love is a career entrepreneur. He is acting CEO of HomeSmiles Inc., a growing regional home maintenance franchise operation. Love obtained a B.A. from Connecticut College, an MBA from Golden Gate University and J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. Love’s son, Jesse, currently competes in a variety of open wheel racing series and – in 2020 – the ARCA Menards Series West.

Tommy Hunt
 Jesshill (Duke) Love

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 a half million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 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/.

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

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Mears, Bliss among 10 finalists for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s 2020 Class http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/mears-bliss-among-10-finalists-for-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fames-2020-class/ Sun, 12 Jan 2020 22:23:01 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2121

Two first-time nominees, Craig Keough and Jerry Pitts, make final ballot

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (January 10, 2020) – Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears and NASCAR Gander Outdoors & RV Truck Series champion Mike Bliss headline the 10 finalists for 2020 election into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Mears and Bliss are among nine, multi-time nominees to emerge from the Hall’s first round of voting that ended Dec. 31, 2019. Only two first-time nominees – Craig Keough and Jerry Pitts – transferred onto the final ballot.

Previous nominees advancing to the final vote are Mears, Bliss, Ernie Cope, Tom Gloy, Tommy Kendall, Jim Pettit II, Greg Pickett and Tom Sneva.

Final voting by the Hall’s board of directors continues through Jan. 31. to select the five 2020 inductees, whose identities will be announced during the February 28-March 1 NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Five Heritage candidates from racing’s historic era also will be inducted in the Class of 2020. Their selection will be announced later this spring.

The Class of 2020 will be enshrined June 11, 2020 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, again accompanies the annual NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

“We’re proud to announce that the Round 1 voting was the closest since the Hall’s inception with just a few votes separating the first and 11thfinalists,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. ”Each of the 11 was supported by a majority of the votes cast.

“The 2020 class will be among the most diverse in terms of motorsport disciplines – from weekly racing to national and international stardom. Choosing just five will be extremely difficult.”

For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame or to obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2020 awards dinner, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com or contact Ken Clapp, 925-552-9887, ckcdeee@gmail.com. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public beginning April 1, 2020. 

Biographies of the 10 finalists (*first time nominee)
Mike Bliss. Mike Bliss won national championships in U.S. Auto Club (USAC) and NASCAR – part of a very small fraternity to accomplish the feat. Bliss, 54, began racing near his Milwaukie, Ore. hometown, at the old Portland Speedway and other northwest tracks. Open-wheel racing beckoned and Bliss eventually reached USAC’s Silver Crown division to become its 1993 champion. His 10 victories rank co-10thin Silver Crown rankings. Bliss changed gears with the creation of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series. He won 13 times and captured the 2002 championship, driving for fellow Northwesterner Dave Fuge. Bliss became a fulltime NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor, eventually participating in a combined 538 events. He finished fourth in Richmond Raceway’s 2004 spring Cup race driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Bliss won twice in the Xfinity Series in which he logged 29 top-five and 76 top-10 finishes and three times finished top-five in point standings. Both victories came at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for JGR in 2004 and James Finch in 2011. He was selected to compete in the 2003 International Race of Champions and won the Chicagoland Speedway round. *Previous nominee

Ernie Cope. ErnieCope, 50, is a native of Spanaway, Wash. whose father and uncle built professional dragster engines. His cousin, Derrike, is a Daytona 500 winner. Cope began racing in the NASCAR Northwest Series at the age of 19, posting 24 top-five finishes in the late model stock car touring series. He finished third in the championship in 1994 and moved to the ARCA Menards Series West the following year, scoring two victories in Lew Miller’s Chevrolet en route to a second-place points finish. Cope swapped driving gloves for a crew chief’s headset, competing in more than 400 national series races. He won nine times in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – six of them with Kevin Harvick. Cope’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record shows 285 races, 16 poles, 15 wins, 106 top fives and 170 top 10s. His drivers finished runnerup in two seasons – Elliott Sadler in 2011 and Chase Elliott in 2015. Cope currently is competition director at JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. *Previous nominee

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 Mercury Capri for Roush Racing. Gloy competed in 17 races that year, winning three and finishing among the top five in 12 others. He was the 1979 Formula Atlantic champion and competed in one Indianapolis 500. Gloy also was chosen to compete in the International Race of Champions. Gloy, 72, entered Ford F150s in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series for three seasons. His drivers collected three top-five finishes including a second by Tony Roper at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. *Previous nominee

Tommy Kendall. 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 also made 14 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, 63, also is a television broadcaster.*Previous nominee

Craig Keough.Many casual race fans may be unaware of Craig Keough’s 25-year impact on West Coast stock car racing. Insiders, however, call the Las Vegas team owner/race sponsor “a legend.” The owner of Star Nursery, Keough entered late model competition with the late Chris Trickle and the driver’s father, Chuck Trickle. The relationship led to a conversation in Tucson, Ariz. with a young driver, Kurt Busch, who asked for $50 to buy tires. Keough wound up purchasing Trickle’s equipment and sponsoring Busch, who won the 1999 NASCAR Elite Southwest Series. Keough’s recognition of Kurt’s talent was the springboard to a Roush Fenway Racing ride in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series and ultimately the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series title.  Behind the scenes, Keough sponsored numerous events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s “Bullring” and at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. and Madera (Calif.) Speedway. Most recently he was responsible for the return of the ARCA Menards Series West to LVMS’ dirt track. 

Rick Mears. Transplanted Kansan Rick Mears grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., the youngest member of the racing Mears Gang comprised of father Bill and older brother Roger. Rick drove a Chevrolet stock car at Bakersfield Speedway, where Roger was a frequent winner. The pair excelled in dune buggy competition at Ascot Park and ultimately desert racing throughout the southwest United States and in Baja California. West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Parnelli Jones took an interest in Rick, who shared Jones’ off-road trucks and posted multiple class victories. Safety equipment manufacturer Bill Simpson introduced him to U.S. Auto Club championship cars, leading to a career-long association with Roger Penske. With Penske, Mears became one of just three to win the Indianapolis 500 four times – and continues to hold the record for poles (six) and front row starts (11). He won the 500 in 1979, 1983, 1989 and 1991. He won three USAC titles (seven wins) and three Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) titles (26 wins). Mears was selected to four International Race of Champions (IROC), finishing second at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Following retirement, Mears, 68, has remained in a consulting role with Team Penske. *Previous nominee

Jim Pettit II. Jim Pettit IIwon the 1984 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pacific Coast Region championship at age 19. Pettit was one of the most accomplished northern California dirt track late model stock car competitors, competing at tracks in San Jose, Antioch, Watsonville and Merced. During his championship season – in which total points/starts were tabulated –  Pettit raced on Saturday in California, then with two crew members towed overnight to Portland Speedway, barely making it in time for a Sunday afternoon event.  The Seaside, Calif. driver won two NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour championships back to back (2004-05), winning eight times. Pettit, 54, finished among the top 10 in more than 50 percent of his Southwest Tour starts (54 of 103). *Previous nominee

Greg Pickett. Greg Pickett of Alamo, Calif. is the only driver to have won SCCA Trans-Am races in four decades of competition. The 72-year-old Pickett won the 1978 T-A II championship posting four victories in a Chevrolet Corvette. In 1984, Pickett gave Jack Roush his first T-A victory at Sonoma Raceway. Pickett counts a pair of 12 Hours of Sebring class victories (1987, 2010). As an owner in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Pickett’s Muscle Milk stable counted 21 victories and two team and driver championships. He also competed in a pair of NASCAR Elite Southwest Series events finishing sixth at the Los Angeles Coliseum and Sonoma Raceway. *Previous nominee

Jerry Pitts. Jerry Pitts is a three-time ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief, winning titles with West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers, Gregg Pursley, Gene Price and Eric Norris. Arguably among the best crew chiefs over the past 15 years, the Bakersfield, Calif. native turned the wrenches en route to 28 West victories and two ARCA Menards Series East triumphs. Both driver and car builder in the 1970s, Pitts’  chassis captured championships at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and Mesa Marin Raceway. In two stints on the East Coast, Pitts worked for Robert Yates Racing, Bahari Racing and Phoenix Racing  in both NASCAR premier series and Xfinity Series with nearly two dozen drivers including Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Busch. Pitts, 58, continues to operate Jerry Pitts Racing in Pahrump, Nev.

Tom Sneva. From supermodifieds to the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Spokane, Wash.’s Tom Sneva more than earned the nickname “The Gas Man.” Sneva, a high school math teacher and bus driver after graduating from Eastern Washington State University, was a top competitor on the Canadian-American Modified Racing Association (CAMRA) before catching the eye of U.S. Auto Club owners – most notably Roger Penske and later West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer George Bignotti. Driving for Team Penske, Sneva became The Captain’s first champion (USAC, 1977). He won back-to-back 500 poles in 1977-78, ultimately winning the race in 1982 – the last 500 triumph by chief mechanic Bignotti. Sneva won 10 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) events, notably four of them at Phoenix Raceway. He competed in eight NASCAR premier series races with a best finish of seventh in the 1983 Daytona 500. Sneva, 71, was selected to five International Race of Champions (IROC) events, posting a best finish of second in 1985 at Daytona International Speedway. *Previous nominee

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 a half million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 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/.

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

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame announces nominations for Class of 2020 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-announces-nominations-for-class-of-2020/ Sat, 09 Nov 2019 10:00:20 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2112 AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 9, 2019) – Twenty individuals including six, first-time nominees have been nominated for 2020 induction into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The organization’s ballot, from which the five inductees comprising the 17thclass ultimately will be chosen, includes a pair of ARCA Menards Series West champions, a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series champion, a pair of Indianapolis 500 winners and four competitors holding multiple titles at California weekly tracks. The list spans historic (pre-1970) and modern eras of the sport. 

First-time nominees are Ken Boyd, Tony Hunt, Craig Keough, Jerry Pitts, Nick Rescino and Linda Vaughan.

Nominated again after appearing on previous ballots are Mike Bliss, Dave Byrd, Ernie Cope, Mike David, Dave Fuge, Tom Gloy, Lance Hooper, Tommy Kendall, Rick Mears, Danny Ongais, Jim Pettit II, Greg Pickett, Tom Sneva and George Snider. The organization also will induct its third Heritage class of five individuals whose careers largely ended prior to 1970. The Heritage inductees will be named in spring 2020.

“The list of nominees is beyond impressive and, as in previous years, it becomes more and more difficult to choose the five inductees,” said West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame chairman CEO Ken Clapp. “In total, the nominees have won more 1,000 feature races over the past 50 years. All are deserving of induction.”

The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame annually nominates for induction worthy individuals who competed in traditional stock car racing as well as other full-bodied racing vehicles primarily on road courses under international and national sanction by the FIA, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), GRAND-AM and the Sports Car Club of America.

The Board of Directors’ first round of balloting, from which 10 semi-finalists are to be chosen, begins later this month and ends Jan. 3, 2020. Final voting begins Jan. 10, 2020 and ends Jan. 31, 2020 with the five inductees to be named during a NASCAR Cup Series weekend in March.

The Class of 2020 will be enshrined June 11, 2020 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, again accompanies the annual NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway. MAVTV is expected to carry highlights of the gala in a delayed broadcast.

To obtain media credentials for coverage of the 17thWest Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame awards, please contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2020 awards dinner, contact Ken Clapp. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public beginning April 1, 2019. Inquiries should be forwarded to kcdeee@gmail.com.

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 the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame:
For more information on the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com

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

Biographies of the 20 nominees, by category, are below.

2020 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Nominees

Mike Bliss. Mike Bliss won national championships in U.S. Auto Club (USAC) and NASCAR – part of a very small fraternity to accomplish the feat. Bliss, 54, began racing near his Milwaukie, Ore. hometown, at the old Portland Speedway and other northwest tracks. Open-wheel racing beckoned and Bliss eventually reached USAC’s Silver Crown division to become its 1993 champion. His 10 victories rank co-10thin Silver Crown rankings. Bliss changed gears with the creation of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He won 13 times and captured the 2002 championship, driving for fellow Northwesterner Dave Fuge. Bliss became a fulltime Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor, eventually participating in a combined 538 events. He finished fourth in Richmond Raceway’s 2004 spring Cup race driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Bliss won twice in the Xfinity Series in which he logged 29 top-five and 76 top-10 finishes and three times finished top-five in point standings. Both victories came at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for JGR in 2004 and James Finch in 2011. He was selected to compete in the 2003 International Race of Champions and won the Chicagoland Speedway round. *Previous nominee

Ken Boyd. Ken Boyd was California’s pre-eminent pavement Late Model car racer of  the 1980s and 1990s, winning five championships at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. Boyd was the first to win four consecutive championships (1988-91) at the quarter-mile track, where he recorded 71 victories and 84 fast times during his career. His first title came in 1977 at Madera (Calif.) Speedway. The Ceres, Calif. resident finished fourth in the 1991 Whelen All-American Pacific Coast Region, winning 14 times. He also won twice in the NASCAR Elite Division Southwest Series. Boyd, age 65, fielded entries for a number of prominent competitors, including West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers Ivan Baldwin, Jeff Gordon and Ernie Irvan. Baldwin was the biggest winner in Boyd equipment, posting 15 of 29 total victories.

Dave Byrd. Dave Byrd is one of the most versatile west coast stock car drivers of his era, having won six championships on dirt and six championships on pavement at seven different tracks. In 1978, he was offered, but turned down, the Rod Osterlund-owned NASCAR premier series car that ultimately went to Dale Earnhardt. Byrd’s crowning achievement was winning the 1983 NASCAR Pacific Coast Region championship, driving a late model stock car on several northern California dirt tracks. The Los Gatos, Calif. resident also raced for many years in the ARCA Menards Series West and Southwest series, posting two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes on the latter tour. His last big victory was in 2002 when he won the Duel in Desert at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is by far the biggest IMCA race anywhere in the western United States. Sixteen states were represented with 144 drivers in attendance. Byrd, 61, has at least 140 feature race victories over a career spanning five decades – 1976 through 2015. * Previous nominee

Ernie Cope. ErnieCope, 50, is a native of Spanaway, Wash. whose father and uncle built professional dragster engines. His cousin, Derrike, is a Daytona 500 winner. Cope began racing in the NASCAR Northwest Series at the age of 19, posting 24 top-five finishes in the late model stock car touring series. He finished third in the championship in 1994 and moved to the ARCA Menards Series West the following year, scoring two victories in Lew Miller’s Chevrolet en route to a second-place points finish. Cope swapped driving gloves for a crew chief’s headset, competing in more than 400 national series races. He won nine times in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – six of them with Kevin Harvick. Cope’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record shows 285 races, 16 poles, 15 wins, 106 top fives and 170 top 10s. His drivers finished runnerup in two seasons – Elliott Sadler in 2011 and Chase Elliott in 2015. Cope currently is competition director at JTG Daugherty Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. *Previous nominee

Mike David. Mike David of Modesto, Calif. is the 2007 ARCA Menards Series West champion. David, 52, competed in 91 ARCA Menards Series West events between 2001 and 2012, most of them behind the wheel of the Bennett Wineries Ford owned by 2013 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee Randy Lynch. Three of his seven victories – including David’s first, in 2004 – came at the Stockton 99 Speedway, a quarter-mile paved oval in California’s Central Valley. David, 52, previously captured a Stockton late model title. His final series victory came at ISM Raceway in 2008 driving Lynch’s Toyota. David’s ARCA Menards Series West line shows 43 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes and three poles. He finished third in the 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown at the Irwindale Events Center and also competed in the NASCAR Elite Southwest Series with a best result of second at Madera (Calif.) Speedway. *Previous nominee

Dave Fuge. Dave Fuge  became the first independent owner/crew chief to win a Gander Outdoors Truck Series title in 1992 with current West Coast Stock Car Hall of fame nominee Mike Bliss. He followed with another owner title in 1994 with Travis Kvapil. The Washington native has excelled as race car builder, team owner and crew chief. Fuge has worked with a virtual Who’s Who of drivers including West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame members Derrike Cope, Ron Eaton, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Bill Schmitt. Fuge won championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Mike Bliss (1992) and Travis Kvapil (1994) and 11 races overall. The late Bobby Hamilton won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year title driving for Tri-Star Motorsports which Fuge co-owned with Mark Smith and George Bradshaw. *Previous nominee

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 Mercury Capri for Roush Racing. Gloy competed in 17 races that year, winning three and finishing among the top five in 12 others. He was the 1979 Formula Atlantic champion and competed in one Indianapolis 500. Gloy also was chosen to compete in the International Race of Champions. Gloy, 72, entered Ford F150s in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for three seasons. His drivers collected three top-five finishes including a second by Tony Roper at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. *Previous nominee

Lance Hooper. Lance Hooper is a member of the “Palmdale Posse,” a group of NASCAR racers that raced out of Palmdale, Calif. headed by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. The 52-year-old Hooper, like Hornaday, is a second-generation competitor whose family raced stock cars throughout Southern California and called Saugus (Calif.) Speedway home. Driving for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Ray Claridge, Hooper won championships in consecutive seasons – NASCAR Elite Southwest Series in 1995 and the ARCA Menards Series West in 1996. Hooper won four times in West; seven times in the late model Southwest Series. Later, Hooper competed in all three NASCAR national series, finishing 10thin a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway. Hooper transitioned to a crew chief’s role with nearly 100 events over seven seasons. He posted top-10 finishes with Clay Rogers and Jeff Green and spent a full season at ThorSport Racing with Kerry Earnhardt. *Previous nominee

Tony Hunt.Tony Hunt is a multiple U.S. Auto Club champion – with nine sprint car titles, 50 main event wins and 50 pole positions. The Rancho Cordova, Calif. competitor won his first USAC championship in the 1992 Formula Russell Series, as well as several kart titles. Hunt, 47, competed in the ARCA Menards Series West in 1993 and 2000, posting two top-10 finishes including a sixth at Shasta (Calif.) Speedway. He spotted for a number of NASCAR premier series drivers – John Andretti, Stevie Reeves, Ken Schrader and Mike Wallace to name a few. Hunt has instructed at the Jim Russell Racing School, Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Driver School and the Richard Petty Racing Experience. He is an automotive brand ambassador and driving instructor and a stunt driver and most recently was the stunt driving double for Christian Bale’s character Ken Miles in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari.

Tommy Kendall. 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 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, 63, also is a television broadcaster.*Previous nominee

Craig Keough.Many casual race fans may be unaware of Craig Keough’s 25-year impact on West Coast stock car racing. Insiders, however, call the Las Vegas team owner/race sponsor “a legend.” The owner of Star Nursery, Keough entered late model competition with the late Chris Trickle and the driver’s father, Chuck Trickle. The relationship led to a conversation in Tucson, Ariz. with a young driver, Kurt Busch, who asked for $50 to buy tires. Keough wound up purchasing Trickle’s equipment and sponsoring Busch, who won the 1999 NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Series. Keough’s recognition of Kurt’s talent was the springboard to a Roush Fenway Racing ride in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and ultimately the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series title.  Behind the scenes, Keough sponsored numerous events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s “Bullring” and at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. and Madera (Calif.) Speedway. Most recently he was responsible for the return of the ARCA Menards Series West to LVMS’ dirt track. 

Rick Mears. Transplanted Kansan Rick Mears grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., the youngest member of the racing Mears Gang comprised of father Bill and older brother Roger. Rick drove a Chevrolet stock car at Bakersfield Speedway, where Roger was a frequent winner. The pair excelled in dune buggy competition at Ascot Park and ultimately desert racing throughout the southwest United States and in Baja California. West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer Parnelli Jones took an interest in Rick, who shared Jones’ off-road trucks and posted multiple class victories. Safety equipment manufacturer Bill Simpson introduced him to U.S. Auto Club championship cars, leading to a career-long association with Roger Penske. With Penske, Mears became one of just three to win the Indianapolis 500 four times – and continues to hold the record for poles (six) and front row starts (11). He won the 500 in 1979, 1983, 1989 and 1991. He won three USAC titles (seven wins) and three Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) titles (26 wins). Mears was selected to four International Race of Champions (IROC), finishing second at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Following retirement, Mears, 68, has remained in a consulting role with Team Penske. *Previous nominee

Danny Ongais. The Kahului, Hawaii-born Danny Ongais excelled professionally in a variety of motorsport disciplines. As a drag racer, Ongais won the 1969 National Hot Rod Association U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis driving a Funny Car for West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Mickey Thompson. Switching from straight-line competition, he raced U.S. Auto Club championship cars, winning six times in 1977-78 for Ted Fields’ Interscope Racing. His biggest victory came in the California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. Ongais posted a trio of top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500 with a best posting of fourth in 1979. His four Formula One starts included a seventh in the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix. Ongais was selected to the International Race of Champions (IROC) in six seasons, with a top finish of fourth in 1984 at Michigan Speedway. He also competed in the 24 Hours of LeMans as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona. Now 77, he was elected to the Motorsports of America Hall of Fame in 2000. *Previous nominee

Jim Pettit II. Jim Pettit IIwon the 1984 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pacific Coast Region championship at age 19. Pettit was one of the most accomplished northern California dirt track late model stock car competitors, competing at tracks in San Jose, Antioch, Watsonville and Merced. During his championship season – in which total points/starts were tabulated –  Pettit raced on Saturday in California, then with two crew members towed overnight to Portland Speedway, barely making it in time for a Sunday afternoon event.  The Seaside, Calif. driver won two NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour championships back to back (2004-05), winning eight times. Pettit, 54, finished among the top 10 in more than 50 percent of his Southwest Tour starts (54 of 103). *Previous nominee

Greg Pickett. Greg Pickett of Alamo, Calif. is the only driver to have won SCCA Trans-Am races in four decades of competition. The 72-year-old Pickett won the 1978 T-A II championship posting four victories in a Chevrolet Corvette. In 1984, Pickett gave Jack Roush his first T-A victory at Sonoma Raceway. Pickett counts a pair of 12 Hours of Sebring class victories (1987, 2010). As an owner in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Pickett’s Muscle Milk stable counted 21 victories and two team and driver championships. He also competed in a pair of NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Series events finishing sixth at the Los Angeles Coliseum and Sonoma Raceway. *Previous nominee

Jerry Pitts. Jerry Pitts is a three-time ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief, winning titles with West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers, Gregg Pursley, Gene Price and Eric Norris. Arguably among the best crew chiefs over the past 15 years, the Bakersfield, Calif. native turned the wrenches en route to 28 West victories and two ARCA Menards Series East triumphs. Both driver and car builder in the 1970s, Pitts’  chassis captured championships at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and Mesa Marin Raceway. In two stints on the East Coast, Pitts worked for Robert Yates Racing, Bahari Racing and Phoenix Racing  in both NASCAR premier series and Xfinity Series with nearly two dozen drivers including Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Busch. Pitts, 58, continues to operate Jerry Pitts Racing in Pahrump, Nev.

Nick Rescino. One of the all-time greats to race in San Jose, Calif., Nick Rescino won a total of six Super Modified championships at both the paved track and the fairgrounds. Nick won the 1972 and 1975 titles on the high banks of San Jose Speedway and the 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984 championships at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds. His 86 main event wins rank him near the top on that list. Rescino won the prestigious Johnny Key Classic six times, in 1972, 1974-75, 1982, 1984 and 1986. Nick is the only driver in history to win a World of Outlaws A-Feature driving a super modified, at Sacramento, Calif.’s West Capital Raceway June 8, 1979. Rescino set more than 200 career fastest qualifying times at 17 different tracks. The San Francisco competitor was the Motor Sports Press Association’s 1979 Oval Track Driver of the Year. He is a member of the MSPA’s Hall of Fame as well as the San Jose Speedway Hall of Fame. 

Tom Sneva. From supermodifieds to the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Spokane, Wash.’s Tom Sneva more than earned the nickname “The Gas Man.” Sneva, a high school math teacher and bus driver after graduating from Eastern Washington State University, was a top competitor on the Canadian-American Modified Racing Association (CAMRA) before catching the eye of U.S. Auto Club owners – most notably Roger Penske and later West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famer George Bignotti. Driving for Team Penske, Sneva became The Captain’s first champion (USAC, 1977). He won back-to-back 500 poles in 1977-78, ultimately winning the race in 1982 – the last 500 triumph by chief mechanic Bignotti. Sneva won 10 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) events, notably four of them at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. He competed in eight NASCAR premier series races with a best finish of seventh in the 1983 Daytona 500. Sneva, 71, was selected to five International Race of Champions (IROC) events, posting a best finish of second in 1985 at Daytona International Speedway. *Previous nominee

George Snider. Born in Fresno, Calif. but living for most of his career in Bakersfield, George Snider, 78, 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 finish was eighth, in 1975 and 1978. He is a member of the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame in Bakersfield. *Previous nominee

Linda Vaughan. The most iconic model in motorsports, Linda Vaughan was a world-wide figure as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter. But the Dalton, Ga. native was more than that – a self-taught PR and Marketing expert who traded her costume after the race into a business suit. Known as the First Lady of Motorsports, she worked for then-California-based Hurst Shifter, under George Hurst and Jack Watson. Ms. Vaughn was perhaps best known for her work at NASCAR premier series events but appeared it many other races – the Indianapolis 500, Formula One and NHRA national drag races. In 1972, for example, Ms. Vaughan did 172 events. Her first love was drag racing, introduced to sport as a teen. She received a Wally among other NHRA awards for her public relations work in behalf of the organization. She also appeared in a number of film and television productions including “Stroker Ace” and was the subject of ESPN’s 30 for 30.

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Tune in Alert – 2019 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Inductions and Awards http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/tune-in-alert-2019-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-inductions-and-awards/ Wed, 21 Aug 2019 23:22:35 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=1620 2019 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Inductions and Awards Broadcast on MAVTV

WHEN:      Tuesday, August 27 – 3 p.m. ET/noon  PT
                      Thursday, August 29 – 1 a.m. ET/Wednesday, August 28 – 10 p.m. PT

Highlights of the 2019 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame annual inductions and awards held June 20 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., will be broadcast on cable network MAVTV.  The 60-minute show features the induction of the Class of 2019, which includes NASCAR owner Gary Bechtel, four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon, international racing star George Follmer, NASCAR national champion Doug McCoun and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Eric Norris.

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

Sandra Vorse
sandravorse@gmail.com
704-264-9548

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame celebrates induction of Class of 2019 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-celebrates-induction-of-class-of-2019/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 22:19:08 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=1590 Organization’s Award of the Decade conferred for second time

Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO
208 Montair Drive, Danville CA 94526
P 925-552-9887 / F 925-552- 9814 ckcdeee@gmail.com

NAPA, Calif., June 24, 2019 – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame staged its 16th induction ceremony, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, on June 20 before 500 guests at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.

Eleven stalwarts from across the motorsport spectrum from 20th and 21st centuries were honored during the gala.

The 2019 class of enshrinees includes NASCAR team owners Gary Bechtel and Bob Bruncati; the late Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs and NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon, Doug McCoun and Eric Norris. Five Heritage inductees were feted: international racing star George Follmer; early west coast NASCAR strand-outs Rick Henderson and Marshall Sargent and Indianapolis 500 champions Bob Sweikert and Bill Vukovich.

Wayne Wells, retired NAPA Auto Parts western vice president, was honored with the Hall’s Award of the Decade marking the second time the award has been conferred. The Scottsdale, Ariz. executive guided his company’s sponsorship of events, drivers and teams both in the west and nationwide.

Presenters included NASCAR premier series champion Kurt Busch; Daytona 500 winner Ernie Irvan; Ford Performance Worldwide Director Mark Rushbrook; former ESPN television NASCAR reporter Dr. Jerry Punch; Weather Tech Laguna Seca Raceway CEO Tim McGrane and West Coast Stock Hall of Fame members John Bickford, Hershel McGriff, Richard Woodland and Kenny Takeuchi.

The Award of the Decade was jointly hosted by Brendan Gaughan and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Bill McAnally. Bill McAnally Racing’s NAPA-sponsored NASCAR K&N Pro Series West team has won a record eight series titles and 95 races.

Ken Clapp, chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, saluted the inductees by stating, “You all worked hard to build your careers. You all belong here.”

The annual induction ceremony is a cornerstone of the Hall’s charitable outreach. The 501(c) 3 organization has raised nearly $600,000 in giving since inception.

Motorsport industry figure Ralph Sheheen was master of ceremony, assisted by 51FIFTY hostess Teresa Fletchinger. 51FIFTY is the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Official Lifestyle Brand. The Hall’s Official Wine, Eberle Vineyards, was served exclusively during dinner and the pre-event hospitality hour, sponsored by the South Point Hotel and Casino.

Highlights of the induction will be aired as a one-hour special on MAVTV. Two broadcasts are slated on the national cable channel, 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on Aug. 27 and 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT Aug. 29.

The date of next year’s 17th West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductions will be announced in the near future. Voting on nominees for the Class of 2020 is to begin in November.

*****

[See image gallery at westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com] WHAT THEY SAID:

Gary Bechtel, whose Diamond Ridge Racing team competed in both NASCAR’s West and premier series – “I’m a recovering NASCAR team owner. I relapsed twice. This sport is an addiction for me. I can’t say I won’t do it again.”

Dr. Jerry Punch in presenting to Gary Bechtel – He was a giver, preferring to remain in the shadows and let others back in glory. Some of those he helped went on to win Daytona 500s and NASCAR (premier series) championships.”

Jeff Gordon – “All the (sprint car) guys in California taught me how to be a real racer.”

John Bickford, on his stepson’s success – “The one thing as a parent I am most proud of is Jeff using this (racing) platform for giving back. (Like) the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation for pediatric cancer research.”

Wayne Wells – “I love everyone in this room. You are the reason why NASCAR sells lots of auto parts.”

George Follmer – “Running a stock car was a distinct challenge but it was a lot of fun.”

Joe Gibbs, who inducted his eldest son via video – “(J.D.’s) impact on a lot of people’s lives continues.” J.D. Gibbs passed away in January at age 47.

Mike Sargent, second generation racing star, on accepting for his father, Marshall Sargent – “He had a unique, hard-driving style. He had arms of steel and could outlast anyone.”

Doug McCoun, on an unsuccessful attempt to race on the east coast – “This guy flew me back and forth across the United States. The only problem was, he spent all of his money flying me back and forth, wining and dining me. We finally got a Busch (now Xfinity) car, got to go to Charlotte for testing and had the car repossessed.”

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.

For more information on the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

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

Sandra Vorse
sandravorse@gmail.com
704-264-9548

About World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway 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. World Wide Technology Raceway’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. World Wide Technology Raceway 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. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence.

Contact: John Bisci
John.Bisci@wwtraceway.com
(618) 215-8888 ext. 119

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Eleven set for induction into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame before record audience http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/eleven-set-for-induction-into-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-before-record-audience/ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:54:44 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=1583 Presenters include Daytona 500 winners Busch, Irvan and Indianapolis 500 champion Sullivan

Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO
208 Montair Drive, Danville CA 94526
P 925-552-9887 / F 925-552- 9814 ckcdeee@gmail.com

NAPA, Calif., June 17, 2019 – A star-studded Class of 2019 will be inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 20, before the largest audience in the event’s 16 enshrinements.

The event, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, returns to the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif. and serves as the kickoff to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.

For the first time, highlights of the induction will be aired as a one-hour special on MAVTV. Two broadcasts are slated on the national cable channel, 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on Aug. 27 and 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT Aug. 29.

Elected for induction are NASCAR team owners Gary Bechtel and Bob Bruncati; the late Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs; four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon; 1985 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion Doug McCoun; NASCAR K&N Pro Series champion Eric Norris.

[See image gallery at westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com] Joining them are Heritage honorees – individuals from an earlier era of motorsport – NASCAR national and state of California champion Rick Henderson; multiple road racing champion George Follmer; hardtop and supermodified star Marshall Sargent and Indianapolis 500 winners Bob Sweikert and Bill Vukovich.

The roster of presenters includes several notable motorsports figures: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Hershel McGriff; Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan; NASCAR premier series champion and 2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch; 1991 Daytona 500 winner and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Ernie Irvin; and longtime NASCAR television journalist Dr. Jerry Punch.

Serving again as master of ceremonies is Ralph Sheheen, owner and publisher of National Speed Sport News and current television voice of Monster Energy AMA Supercross.

The annual affair serves as the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s major charity fundraiser. The Hall, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, expects its giving since inception to reach $600,000 later this year.

“I see a huge upward trajectory for the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame,” said Chairman and CEO Ken Clapp. “This year’s event by far will see the largest number of guests – by quite a bit. We expect to be up at least 10 percent over last year’s audience, which was our previous largest.”

Clapp recognized the Hall’s roster of national sponsors that include Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Hoosier Tires and Sunoco.

The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is supported by International Speedway Corp. and its west coast tracks Auto Club Speedway and ISM Raceway. Speedway Motorsports Inc. properties Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway also are participating sponsors.

Weekly and special events tracks from four western states are among sponsors: The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Evergreen (Wash.) Speedway, Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, Madera (Calif.) Speedway, Roseville (Calif.) Speedway, Stockton 99 (Calif.) Speedway and Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway.

Mike Curb and Curb Records, backers of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame since its inception in 2001, remains a major supporter. The event’s hospitality hour again will be hosted by the South Point Hotel & Casino.

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.

For more information on the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

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

Sandra Vorse
sandravorse@gmail.com
704-264-9548

About World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway 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. World Wide Technology Raceway’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. World Wide Technology Raceway 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. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence.

Contact: John Bisci
John.Bisci@wwtraceway.com
(618) 215-8888 ext. 119

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51FIFTY named Official Lifestyle Brand of West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/51fifty-named-official-lifestyle-brand-of-west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame/ Tue, 28 May 2019 06:00:27 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=1571 BAKERSFIELD, Calif., May 28, 2019 – Central California Lifestyle Brand, 51FIFTY, has been named the Official Lifestyle Brand of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

The Livingston, California brand becomes a major sponsor of the Hall’s June 20 Induction Ceremony presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.

As the Official Lifestyle Brand, 51FIFTY will participate in the induction ceremonies and related West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame multimedia events.

The 2019 ceremony will induct Gary Bechtel, Bob Bruncati, J.D. Gibbs, Jeff Gordon, Doug McCoun and Eric Norris; as well as Heritage enshrinees George Follmer, Rick Henderson, Marshall Sargent, Bob Sweikert and Bill Vukovich.

“We are pleased that 51FIFTY and Carlos Vieira have elected to add the Hall to their portfolio,” said Ken Clapp, chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “The company long has used motorsports to build its brand. We believe our two organizations will mutually increase their visibility through this relationship.”

Vieira, founder and president of 51FIFTY, said, “I am proud to be part of an event that recognizes the accomplishments of racers, race teams and team owners from around the West Coast. We all take pride in what we do and make the necessary sacrifices because of our passion we have for this sport. A huge thank you to Ken Clapp for being behind this wonderful event and for helping shine a light on all those who will be inducted this year.” 

The 51FIFTY brand was founded in 2007. 51FIFTY is directly involved and sponsors sports such as car racing, motocross, BMX, skateboarding and MMA. It sponsors the Supercross Team, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, as well as its own late model race team. It continues to grow its presence in the sporting and entertainment world and supports anyone who is passionate about pursuing their goals.

To be 51FIFTY, you are someone that does not quit, you are always pushing the limit, you have no fear, and you are always up to any challenge. 51FIFTY is for those who are crazy enough to go after their dreams and have the determination to make it happen. We call it “living the madness.”

The 51FIFTY brand also is a Platinum Sponsor of the Carlos Vieira Foundation, which is a 501 (c)(3) organization in California. (Non-Profit Organization) The foundation has multiple campaigns, Race for Autism, Race 2B Drug Free and Race To End The Stigma. 51FIFTY has supported these campaigns by donating a percentage of the products they sell and arranging events and fundraisers within the community. For more information on the foundation and its efforts, please visit carlosvieirafoundation.org

[See image gallery at westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com] CONNECT WITH 51FIFTY
You can find 51FIFTY in stores across our territories and purchase our drinks and apparel online on our website 51fiftyltm.com. Social Media: Snapchat: livethemadness, Facebook.com/51FiftyEnergy, Twitter @51FiftyEnergy, and Instagram@51FiftyEnergy. Our toll-free number is 855-51-FIFTY.

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 an

nual 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.

For more information on the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com

Media Contacts:
Owen A. Kearns
okearns@bak.rr.com

661-342-2983

Sandra Vorse
sandravorse@gmail.com

704-264-9548

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Members Hershel McGriff and Ken Clapp Joined Kyle Petty Charity Ride http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-members-hershel-mcgriff-and-ken-clapp-joined-kyle-petty-charity-ride-2/ Mon, 13 May 2019 15:21:22 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=1565 ‘92-year-old and 80-year-old NASCAR Greats Ride for Victory Junction Charities’

Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO
208 Montair Drive, Danville CA 94526
P 925-552-9887 / F 925-552- 9814 ckcdeee@gmail.com

Dateline: West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame members Hershel McGriff and Ken Clapp joined the Kyle Petty Charity Ride to benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp. McGriff, 91 and Clapp, 80 participated for the second year in a row.

McGriff ran the entire approximately 3,700-mile trek starting in Seattle, Wash. with Clapp joining the 25th annual ride in Shreveport, La. and participated to the end of the event in Key Largo, Fla.  

“This is my fourth year (on the Kyle Petty Charity Ride) and of course I know the Pettys and I know it is a good cause,” McGriff said. “I’ve always been looking forward to the day since I drove for Lee Petty, Richard and then Kyle (Petty) that I’d drive sometime with Adam (Petty) and unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I’ve always liked kids, I have kids and I think it is a great cause so that is why I like to support it. I’ve been to the Camp (Victory Junction) it is a great deal! Man, the kids can do anything – horseback to whatever. I think this run is great; you meet so many nice people. They aren’t here to be competitive or anything and is a great way to raise money.”

“This event is amazing,” Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car of Fame Clapp said. “It is the second year in a row I’ve been a part of the Kyle Petty Charity ride. Everyone gets along, no arguments, at the end of the day no matter what the hardships is – the heat, the rain or whatever, it is worth it. It is all about the Victory Junction Camp.”

McGriff, born Dec. 14, 1927 in Bridal Veil, Ore. has exhibited a competitive passion that lasted longer than any driver in NASCAR history. His first race was the 1950 Southern 500, in the NASCAR premier series’ sophomore season, at the age of 22.  His final NASCAR race was at Tucson Raceway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event last May at the age of 90.  

In 1991, McGriff was the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He has been on the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot four consecutive years.

Both McGriff and Clapp will be on hand to enshrine the 11 inductees at the 2019 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame induction ceremony presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif. June 20.

[See image gallery at westcoaststockcarhalloffame.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.

For more information on the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

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

Sandra Vorse
sandravorse@gmail.com
704-264-9548

About World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway 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. World Wide Technology Raceway’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. World Wide Technology Raceway 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. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence.

Contact: John Bisci
John.Bisci@wwtraceway.com
(618) 215-8888 ext. 11

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