(Note: This is the sixth and final of a series of press releases on the 2018 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 15th Annual Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)
AVONDALE, Ariz. (June 18, 2018) – Mickey Thompson, driver and entrepreneur whose talents touched virtually all corners of motor sport, is among 11 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
The 15th annual enshrinement ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, will be held June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., the annual kick-off event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.
Marion Lee “Mickey” Thompson was born in 1928 in Alhambra, Calif. He was a pioneer in multiple motorsports genres: drag racing, land speed, the Indianapolis 500 and off-road competition.
Thompson, a top fuel drag racer, was the first manager of Lion’s Drag Strip in Wilmington, Calif. He later created SCORE, a preeminent off-road promotional group with events in the U.S. and Mexico.
He was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007, with the organization stating, “From his first day in the “dirt” he fell in love with the sport and his presence in racing, no doubt because of his fame in other forms of racing, made an impact. He was full of ideas and a master at selling his ideas to others, in large part because of the enthusiasm and energy he brought with him.
Thompson also organized indoor and stadium off-road racing under the Mickey Thompson Event Group (MTEG). In 1960, Thompson became the first American to eclipse the 400 mph on land, driving his Challenger I car to a one-way top speed of 406.60 mph on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.
Thompson brought outside-the-box designed cars to the Indianapolis 500 from 1962-65 and 67-68. His best finish was ninth in 1962. Thompson, the victim with his wife Trudy of a murder-for-hire plot, died in 1988 at age 69. He is a member of multiple halls of fame.
Thompson joins Joe Garone, Oren Prosser, Greg Pursley and Bryan R. Sperber in the 2018 WCSCHOF class of inductees.Four additional Heritage figures also are slated for induction: Freddie Agabashian, George Bignotti, Bill Cheesbourg and Clyde Prickett. All but Prickett are deceased.
The 2018 Induction, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, is open to the public on a limited, space-available basis. Reservation information is available by emailing the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame:
The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car racing. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is founded to preserve history and heritage of the important role west coast stock car competitors have played in the sport’s development and continuation and to recognize, through annual enshrinement, of outstanding individuals and groups within the sport such as, but not limited to, designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.
Over the past three years, the induction has helped raise more than quarter million dollars for charitable causes. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which hopes to see charitable giving reach the $500,000 mark in the next year and a half. The group’s current list of charities and foundations – expected to increase – counts 25 different groups. They include charities dedicated to health, including autism research, children’s cancer, breast cancer and Parkinson’s; education; history; animal rescue; homelessness and military and veterans’ assistance.
For a complete list of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s charity partners please go to http://westcoaststockcarhalloffame.com/our-charities/.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame
Owen A. Kearns
Gateway Motorsports Park
(618) 215-8888 ext. 119