West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com Fri, 08 Jan 2021 19:28:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.4 Kendall, Ongais, Snider finalists for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s 2021 Class http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/kendall-ongais-snider-finalists-for-west-coast-stock-car-motorsports-hall-of-fames-2021-class/ Thu, 31 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2261 First-time nominees Clyne, Kaeding, Zajicek, among 10 voted for final ballot consideration

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (January 4, 2021) – Tommy Kendall, Danny Ongais and George Snider, a cross-genre snapshot of premier motorsports history, headline the list of 10 finalists for Class of 2021 election to the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Four-time SCCA Trans-Am Series champion and broadcaster Kendall; USAC championship car 500-mile winner and U.S. Nationals drag racing titlist Ongais; and 22-time Indianapolis 500 starter and USAC Silver Crown Series champion Snider are among seven, multi-time nominees to emerge from the Hall’s first round of voting that ended Dec. 15, 2020. 

Six previous nominees who also advance to a final round of voting, are NASCAR weekly series and tracks champion Dave Byrd; NASCAR national series-winning crew chief and Cup Series competition director Ernie Cope; SCCA Tran-Am Series champion and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team owner Tom Gloy; and 1996 ARCA Menards Series West champion and national series crew chief Lance Hooper.

Three first-time nominees –– Las Vegas Motor Speedway builder Richie Clyne; 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club champion Brent Kaeding; and racing equipment master craftsman and problem solver Ronald (Ron) Zajicek — transferred onto the final ballot.

“The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate its 20th anniversary with an amazing group of finalists,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO. “Our list of finalists certainly will challenge our Board of Directors to separate the best from the very best. Every one of these individuals is more than deserving to be part of the Class of 2021.

“Our inability to host an induction this year was unfortunate on many levels – especially from a charity standpoint. I am certain that our giving will accelerate with a successful 2021 event as the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame looks forward to reaching total charitable donations of $1 million in the next several years.” 

Final voting by the Hall’s Board of Directors to select the five 2021 inductees continues through February 8, 2021. Five Heritage candidates from racing’s historic era also will be inducted in the Class of 2021. Their selection will be announced later this spring.

The Class of 2021 will be enshrined Saturday, June 5, 2021 in a unique, double induction with the Hall’s 2020 Class 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. The 2020 induction was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To obtain media credentials for coverage of the 20th West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame awards, please contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2020-21 awards dinner, please contact Ken Clapp at 925-552-9887 or ckcdeee@gmail.com.

The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame annually nominates for induction worthy individuals who competed in traditional stock car racing as well as other 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 Hall also is open to winners and champions of other forms of racing, as determined by the Hall’s nominating committee.

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 racing. 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 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/Motorsports Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com

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

Biographies of the 10 2021 finalists (*first time nominee)

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 NASCAR Elite Southwest Series, posting two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. 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, 62, has at least 140 feature race victories over a career spanning five decades – 1976 through 2015. * Previous nominee

Ernie Cope. Ernie Cope, 51, is a native of Spanaway, Wash. whose father and uncle built professional dragster engines. His cousin, Derrike, is a Daytona 500 winner and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee. Cope began racing in the NASCAR Elite 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 Camping World 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 runner-up 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

Richie Clyne. 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. Talented, energetic and artistic describes Clyne, a transplanted New Yorker who currently splits his time between Las Vegas and New Hampshire. 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. Clyne 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. Clyne is 66 years old.

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, 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. *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/Motorsports Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. The 53-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/Motorsports 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 10th in a NASCAR Camping World 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

Brent Kaeding. For three decades – 1980s, 90s and 00 — second generation competitor Brent Kaeding was virtually unbeatable in open wheel racing in California. The Campbell, Calif. resident is a 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) sprint car champion – eight of the titles in consecutive seasons. Kaeding won 11 King of California championships and is a 21-race winner at fabled Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. He is a nine-time World of Outlaws winner, and three-time Dirt Cup winner. Kaeding also won the USAC Turkey Night midget race at Ascot Park in Southern California. Kaeding was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2008. Kaeding finished 29th in his only NASCAR Cup Series start at Phoenix Raceway and also competed in a Winston West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) event at Sonoma Raceway. He is on the ballot a year after his father, Howard Kaeding, was named a Heritage inductee into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.

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, 64, also is a television broadcaster. *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 78, he was elected to the Motorsports of America Hall of Fame in 2000. *Previous nominee

George Snider. 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 finish was eighth, in 1975 and 1978. Snider also competed in USAC stock cars. He is a member of the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame in Bakersfield. *Previous nominee

Ron Zajicek. The West Coast’s premier builder of rear end assemblies for stock cars, Zajicek and Ron’s Rear Ends was a staple at Saugus Speedway in Southern California from the 1960s until the track’s closure in 1995. An estimated 95 percent of the field at Irwindale Speedway ran his rear ends by 2015. Zajicek was a New York native, later moving to the San Fernando Valley. He worked for Frank Deiny’s Speedway Engineering before opening his own business, Ron’s Rear Ends. Zajicek was gear specialist for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsport Hall of Famer Mike Skinner, winner of a NASCAR Cup Series race at Suzuka Japan. West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brendan Gaughan, Butch Gilliland and other prominent west coast drivers won races and championships with Ron’s Rear Ends equipment. Zajicek passed in March 2016 at the age of 62.

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West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame announces nominations for Class of 2021 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-motorsports-hall-of-fame-announces-nominations-for-class-of-2021/ Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:30:40 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2252 BAKERSFIELD, California (Nov. 10, 2020) – Richie Clyne, builder of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is among 20 nominees for 2021 induction into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Clyne appears on the ballot for the first time, along with 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) champion Brent Kaeding; Carl Trimmer, the winningest driver from the state of Arizona; Northern California late model champion Jimmy Walker; Sean Woodside, the 1999 NASCAR West Series champion; and the late Ronald (Ron) Zajicek, owner of Ron’s Rear Ends.

Nominated again after appearing on previous ballots are Dave Byrd, Ernie Cope, Mike David, Garrett Evans, Dave Fuge, Tom Gloy, Lance Hooper, Tommy Kendall, Danny Ongais, Greg Pickett and George Snider. Five inductees will be named in March, following two rounds of voting by organization’s Board of Directors. First-round voting begins this week.

The organization also will induct its fourth Heritage class of five individuals whose careers began prior to 1970. The Heritage inductees will be named in spring 2021.

Combined 2020-21 induction ceremonies will be held Saturday, June 5, 2021 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. during the NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menard Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway. The 2020 event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The unique, double induction ceremony marks the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary,” said West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Ken Clapp. “The 2020 class of inductees contains some amazing star power from just about every corner of the motorsports universe. Our 2021 list of nominees is equally spectacular. Selecting just five inductees will be extremely difficult. I can’t wait to see how the voting turns out.”

The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame annually nominates for induction worthy individuals who competed in traditional stock car racing as well as other 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 Hall also is open to winners and champions of other forms of racing, as determined by the Hall’s nominating committee.

To obtain media credentials for coverage of the 20th West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame awards, please contact Owen A. Kearns at 661-342-2983. To obtain details about table sponsorship for the 2020-21 awards dinner, please contact Ken Clapp at ckcdeee@gmail.com.

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 racing. 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 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/Motorsports 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 attached (*previous nominee)

Drivers

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 66, 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. * Previous nominee

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 NASCAR Southwest Series, posting two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. 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, 62, has at least 140 feature race victories over a career spanning five decades – 1976 through 2015. * Previous nominee

Mike David. Mike David of Modesto, Calif. is the 2007 ARCA Menards Series West champion. David, 53, 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 Phoenix 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

Garrett Evans. Evans, from East Wenatchee, Wash. is a four-time NASCAR Elite Northwest Series champion (1985, 1989, 1994, 200) and the tour’s top winner with 50 victories. He also posted two wins on the NW Tour’s sister Southwest Series as well as notable victories in Idaho, Montana and Nevada.  Evans is a three-time Northwest Super Late Model Series champion (2014-15-16). Evans competed in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now ARCA Menards Series West) posting five top-five finishes, which included a second-place performance in 1995 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He ranked 10th in 1995 final points standings. The owner of Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval since 1999, Evans founded the Northwest Super Late Model Series, 2014 to present. Evans, 64, was honored in 2019 as the Western Auto Racing Promoter’s Association Sidewalk Slim Lifetime Achievement Award.

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, 73, 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 53-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 10th in 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, 48, 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. *Previous nominee

Brent Kaeding. For three decades – 1980s, 90s and 00 — second generation competitor Brent Kaeding was virtually unbeatable in open wheel racing in California. The Campbell, Calif. resident is a 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) sprint car champion – eight of the titles in consecutive seasons. Kaeding won 11 King of California championships and is a 21-race winner at fabled Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. He is a nine-time World of Outlaws winner, and three-time Dirt Cup winner. Kaeding also won the USAC Turkey Night midget race at Ascot Park in Southern California. Kaeding was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2008. Kaeding finished 29th in his only NASCAR Cup Series start at Phoenix Raceway and also competed in a Winston West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) event at Sonoma Raceway. He is on the ballot a year after his father, Howard Kaeding, was named a Heritage inductee into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.

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, 64, also is a television broadcaster. *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 78, he was elected to the Motorsports of America Hall of Fame in 2000. *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 73-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

Nick Rescino. One of the all-time greats to race in California, Nick Rescino won a total of six San Jose Speedway 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. * Previous nominee

George Snider. 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 finish was eighth, in 1975 and 1978. Snider also competed in USAC stock cars. He is a member of the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame in Bakersfield. *Previous nominee

Carl Trimmer. No competitor from Arizona has won more frequently than Carl Trimmer. The Tucson, Ariz. native captured more than 800 main event wins over a 50-year career, racing stock cars on both pavement and dirt surfaces. Trimmer, now 81, was the dominant driver during the Tucson Speedway’s previous NASCAR Whelen All-American Series era. He won a total of 10 NASCAR late model titles. Two were on the old dirt track, from 1987-88. From 1993-99 he reeled off seven consecutive pavement late model championship and added an eighth in 2001. He also won the NASCAR regional title in 1987 and – at age 57 – in 1996 and ranked No. 3 in 1996 final national standings. The cement truck driver also was his own crew chief.

Jimmy Walker. From the late 1960s forward, Jimmy Walker’s No. 48 Walker Blue late model was the car to beat on short tracks up and down the West Coast. Walker, a dairyman racing out of tiny Ferndale, Calif. on the state’s north coast, won multiple super stock championships at Redwood Acres Raceway in nearby Eureka including back-to-back-to-back titles in 1970-72.  He became a well-known traveler, winning on both dirt and paved surfaces. Although well-known in short track racing, Walker was tabbed a “dark horse” when the No. 48 showed up at Riverside International Raceway in January 1976 and went to victory lane in the NASCAR Permatex 200. Drivers in the field included NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Allison and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Famers Hershel McGriff and Ivan Baldwin. He competed in the 1976 Permatex 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Walker’s notable open competition victories included the Rose Classic at Roseville, Calif. and NorCal 150 at Shasta Speedway. The 81-year-old Walker’s lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now ARCA Menards Series West) was scored in 1977.

Sean Woodside. The Saugus, Calif. competitor won the 1999 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now ARCA Menards Series West) championship, following two seasons of second-place points finishes. Woodside drove for two West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductees – Bill McAnally in his championship season and Ray Claridge. He won seven times – five in Claridge’s Pontiacs and two as a McAnally Chevrolet driver. Three quarters of Woodside’s 74 series starts resulted in top-10 finishes (49). Woodside also won 12 poles. The competitor also raced in the NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour, winning twice and also pursued limited schedules in NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series. Woodside is 50 years old. 

Team Owner/Crew Chiefs

Ernie Cope. Ernie Cope, 51, is a native of Spanaway, Wash. whose father and uncle built professional dragster engines. His cousin, Derrike, is a Daytona 500 winner and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee. 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

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

Promoters/Industry

Richie Clyne. 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. Talented, energetic and artistic describes Clyne, a transplanted New Yorker who currently splits his time between Las Vegas and New Hampshire. 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. Clyne 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. Clyne is 66 years old.

Ron Zajicek. The West Coast’s premier builder of rear end assemblies for stock cars, Zajicek and Ron’s Rear Ends was a staple at Saugus Speedway in Southern California from the 1960s until the track’s closure in 1995. An estimated 95 percent of the field at Irwindale Speedway ran his rear ends by 2015. Zajicek was a New York native, later moving to the San Fernando Valley. He worked for Frank Deiny’s Speedway Engineering before opening his own business, Ron’s Rear Ends. Zajicek was gear specialist for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsport Hall of Famer Mike Skinner, winner of a NASCAR Cup Series race at Suzuka Japan. West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brendan Gaughan, Butch Gilliland and other prominent west coast drivers won races and championships with Ron’s Rear Ends equipment. Zajicek passed in March 2016 at the age of 62.

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

                  

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West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s 2020 Heritage class revealed http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-motorsports-hall-of-fames-2020-heritage-class-revealed/ Fri, 02 Oct 2020 02:23:03 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2242 Five inductees from racing’s historic era brings this year’s induction to 10 members

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (October 1, 2020) – The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 is complete with the selection of five Heritage members, whose careers took place or began prior to 1972. Their selection brings to 10 the 2020 honorees who will be enshrined during this year’s induction ceremonies, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway, on June 3, 2021 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.

The induction will be combined with the Class of 2021, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voting on 2021 nominees will begin in November.

The Heritage inductees are:

  • Harry Belletto, a three-time Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway late model stock car champion credited with more than 500 feature, trophy dash and heat race wins at the quarter-mile paved oval. Belletto was drafted by the Oakland Raiders but a pre-season injury wrote the end of his NFL career. The 77-year-old Belletto, whose career began in 1970, resides in Modesto, Calif.
  • Howard Kaeding, a three-time NASCAR State of California and San Jose (Calif.) Speedway supermodified champion. The 87-year-old, from Campbell, Calif., once won 17 main events in a row – all while starting last in 18 to 30 car fields.  Kaeding, a pioneering racing speed shop operator, a Godfather to a three-generation racing family that includes son Brent, a 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) champion and World of Outlaws winner.
  • Ken Miles, winner of the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona and Sebring 12 Hour and second-place finisher in the 24 of Le Mans. Chief test driver for Shelby American was a D-Day tank commander in the British Army. He relocated to Hollywood, Calif. following World War II. Miles also competed in NASCAR Cup Series race at Riverside International Raceway in 1963, driving a Holman-Moody Ford.
  • Jim Pettit Sr., a Seaside, Calif. salvage yard operator whose love of grassroots racing touched many in the industry. He owned late model stock cars fielded by his son, Jim Pettit II, who won a NASCAR Pacific Coast Region title and a pair of NASCAR Elite championships. The pair will simultaneously be inducted in 2021 – the first time a father-son have been enshrined in the same class. Pettit passed in 2018 at age 77.
  • Billy Wilkerson drove jalopies and modified cars in the 1950s and 1960, winning a California Jalopy Association title and numerous races on dirt and pavement. The San Gabriel Valley resident then excelled in sprint cars, winning California Racing Association championships in 1967 and 1970. After retirement, he teamed with West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Dick Woodland to field entries for many top drivers including Parnelli Jones. Wilkerson, a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, passed in 2009 at age 82.

“’When racing is no fun we will quit’ is a common remark made by thousands over the years in this great sport,” said Ken Clapp, West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO. “This is a fun heritage category induction class. I have had the honor to call each of the inductees a friend for many decades and, WOW, what a huge bunch of wins, records and unmeasurable talent.

“Every one of these men contributed to the greatness of the sport in a fun and dynamic way.”

The remainder of the organization’s 17th inducted 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 and Jerry Pitts, ARCA Menards Series West championship crew chief and team owner Racing ambassador Linda Vaughn will receive the Motorsport Lady of the Century award during the ceremonies, highlights of which will be later broadcast by MAVTV.

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 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/Motorsports Hall of Fame, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.

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

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame to sponsor ARCA Menards West 2020 resumption http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fame-to-sponsor-arca-menards-west-2020-resumption/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 22:34:09 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2208 Doubleheader on tap June 27 at the Utah Motorsports Campus road course

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., June 22, 2020 – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will sponsor Saturday’s (June 27) doubleheader at the Utah Motorsports Campus road course as the ARCA Menards Series West resumes its 2020 season.

The twin events, on UMC’s 2.2-mile layout, are the season’s second and third points-paying races. The 2020 schedule began in late February at The Bullring in Las Vegas but was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased to partner with the ARCA Menards Series West and the Utah Motorsports Campus in presenting the return of NASCAR stock car racing to one of the west’s top road racing destinations,” said Ken Clapp, chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “I know the teams and drivers are beyond excited to finally return to competition.”

The first of the two 30-lap/66-mile events is scheduled for 4 p.m. MT (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT). The finale will line up following a 30-minute break.

The ARCA Menards Series West – previously known at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – last competed at the Utah Motorsports Campus in 2016. A total of 10 events have been held at the former Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, just west of Salt Lake City.

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.

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

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West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s 2020 Induction postponed http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/west-coast-stock-car-hall-of-fames-2020-induction-postponed/ Wed, 06 May 2020 11:33:05 +0000 http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/?p=2194 The COVID-19 pandemic and California’s ban on large gatherings push ceremony to 2021

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (May 4, 2020) – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s 2020 inductions presented by World Wide Technology Raceway, previously set for June 11 in Napa, Calif., will be postponed due to uncertainty over the duration of the current COVID-19 pandemic and when California’s current ban on large gatherings might be lifted.

The ceremony at the Meritage Resort and Spa will be held in 2021 at a date to be determined, according to West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Chairman and CEO Ken Clapp. 

Five members of the organization’s 17thinducted class, along with a yet-Five members of the organization’s 17th inducted class, along with a yet-to-be announced slate of Heritage enshrinees, will officially welcomed into the Hall a year from now. Elected are Mike Bliss, Craig Keough, Rick Mears, Jim Pettit II and Jerry Pitts. Racing ambassador Linda Vaughn is due to receive the Motorsport Lady of the Century award.

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.

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.

“Your ongoing charitable donations are greatly appreciated moving forward as we continue to help our partners in these difficult times,” said Clapp.

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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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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