Two longtime members of the motorsports industry, Dennis Mattish and Kenneth (Kenny) Takeuchi, have been elected to the board of directors of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Mattish, a resident of San Jose, Calif., has been published locally and nationally in numerous publications, appearing in the San Jose Mercury News, National Speed Sport News and Open Wheel magazine among others. He cut his teeth at San Jose-area race tracks – Friday nights at Alviso Speedway; Saturday nights at San Jose Speedway – and cleaned dirt off race cars on Sunday afternoons in his father’s garage.
Mattish snapped his first race car photo at age 10, making his way to the infield 10 years later.
He has followed the sport of speed with pen and camera for over 40 years, enjoying a 15-year tenure as an official World of Outlaws photographer and vice president of photography for the Motor Sports Press Association for three years. Mattish was a consistent recipient of the MSPA’s John Ryan Journalism Award.
Mattish published his first book, History of San Jose Auto Racing 1903-2007 in 2009. Two additional volumes – History of Watsonville and Salinas Auto Racing; History of San Jose Racing Part 2 – followed with a fourth book, History of San Francisco Auto Racing, being written.
Fresno native Takeuchi developed an early interest in pre and post-World War II midget auto racing – at the time the most popular form of the sport on the west coast. He followed the early careers of many drivers, including Bill and Eli Vukovich, Andy and Gil Guthrie, Chuck Stevenson, Johnny Boyd, Duane Carter, Jerry Piper, Bob Barkhimer and Cal Niday.
With the advent of jalopy and hard top racing in the early 1950s, Takeuchi became involved in the California Stock Car Racing Association as a timer and score keeper. He began his announcing career at the old Selma (Calif.) Rodeo Grounds track.
When NASCAR began its sanctioning of modified and supermodified racing in central California’s San Joaquin Valley, Takeuchi became its traveling announcer – working Kearney Bowl in Fresno, San Jose Speedway, Altamont Speedway and Clovis Speedway until the early 1990s.
Takeuchi currently announces vintage racing events with the Legends of Kearney Bowl, Western Racing Association and Bay Cities Racing Association. In his “retirement,” he is a veteran’s advocate.