Eight first-time nominees join individuals from previous ballots
BAKERSFIELD, California (Nov. 6, 2021) – Eight first-time nominees, including a two-time NASCAR national champion, two ARCA Menards Series West titleholders and a USAC Silver Crown champion, are among the 21 individuals under consideration for induction into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2022.
The inaugural nominees are:
Nominated again after appearing on previous ballots are Ken Boyd, Ernie Cope, Mike David, Garrett Evans, Dave Fuge, Lance Hooper, Tony Hunt, Brent Kaeding, Danny Ongais, Greg Pickett, Nick Rescino, Carl Trimmer and Sean Woodside. Five inductees will be named in early 2022, following two rounds of voting by the organization’s Board of Directors. First-round voting begins next week.
The organization also will induct its fifth Heritage class of five individuals whose careers began prior to 1970. The Heritage inductees will be named in spring 2022.
The 2022 induction ceremonies, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, will be held Thursday, June 9 as part of the NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menard Series West weekend at Sonoma Raceway. The gala will be held in Sonoma Raceway’s beautiful, new VIP/hospitality complex and will feature naming of the 2nd Annual Knockin Doorz Down Philanthropist of the Year presented by 51FIFTY.
“Several things are notable about the Class of 2022 nominees,” said West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Ken Clapp. “First, this year marks the first in which individuals under the age of 50 will be considered. The Hall has concluded that racing careers in the current era begin at a younger age and 20 years of achievement at a high-level of competition is significant enough to determine an individual’s Hall of Fame credentials.
“Secondly, expansion of the Hall’s membership criteria allows us to consider broadest number of stars from throughout the motorsports universe – notably from sports car, open-wheel and drag racing, as well as traditional stock car racing. The nominees for our 2022 class are among the most qualified and diverse in the 21-year history of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.”
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 21st 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 2022 awards dinner, please contact Ken Clapp at email@example.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/motorsports competition. 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 and motorsports figures 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 $600,000 in the past five of its 20 years for youth, health and safety, hospitals, animal rescue, military and other charitable causes.
For more information on the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com
Owen A. Kearns
2022 West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame Nominees
First Time Nominees 2022
Greg Biffle. The Vancouver, Wash. competitor came the closest, to date, to sweeping championships in all three NASCAR national series. Biffle won the 2000 Camping World Truck Series crown, the 2002 NASCAR Xfinity title and finished runner up in 2005 NASCAR Cup Series point standings. Biffle, 52, amassed 56 victories across the three NASCAR national series: 19 Cup, 20 Xfinity and 17 trucks. Biffle made 510 Cup starts over 15 seasons, all driving Fords for Roush Fenway Racing. Prior to being discovered by Roush at the nationally televised Winter Heat in Tucson, Ariz., Biffle finished runner up in the NASCAR Pacific Coast weekly series championship, winning 27 times in 47 starts at tracks in the Pacific Northwest.
Brendan Gaughan. Brendan Gaughan began his motorsports career in off-road racing – winning the first race he entered, at the age of 15. He won multiple off-road and desert titles and was the 1998 SODA World Champion. The Las Vegas, Nev. native, son of West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame member Michael Gaughan, moved to NASCAR competition in 1998, winning the 2000-01 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) championships, driving for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally. Gaughan joined the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fulltime in 2002, winning eight times in 217 starts – including four consecutive victories at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished fourth in series championship standings in 2004. Gaughan then moved to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he posted victories at Road America and Bristol, and ultimately, the NASCAR Cup Series with a best finish of fourth at Talladega Superspeedway. His NASCAR national series scorecard features 503 starts, 10 wins, 72 top-five and 155 top-10 finishes and 3 poles. Gaughan, 46, is a nationally recognized television and radio personality and remains a member of the Las Vegas South Point Hotel & Casino management group.
David Gilliland. Championship crew chief for his West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame father; Daytona 500 pole winner for Robert Yates Racing; and owner of winning teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and ARCA Menards Series, David Gilliland has experienced every role in his motorsports career. Gilliland, from Riverside, Calif. was 23 years old when he led father Butch Gilliland to the 1997 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) championship, repeating the title run the following season. The younger Gilliland made his first West start in 1997, ultimately winning four times in his 50 appearances with a pair of top-five points finishes. He made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2006 with the Robert Yates Racing Ford team. Although Gilliland failed to win in 333 Cup starts, he posted four top-five and eight top-10 finishes, along with a trio of poles that included the No. 1 starting position for the 2007 Daytona 500. He also won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. As a team owner, the 55-year-old Gilliland scored a pair of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories; and an ARCA Menards Series win with his son, Todd.
Eric Holmes. Eric Holmes is a second-generation competitor, who followed his father, Steve, into racing at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. Holmes, from Escalon, Calif., began racing karts at age eight, winning races and a pair of championships. He drove an occasional street stock race at age 17 and, after a season working on West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Ernie Irvan’s NASCAR Xfinity team on the east coast, returned to California to begin racing fulltime. He won numerous events at Stockton, then began his touring career with West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Allen Beebe. The pair won the 2006 NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) title, using one car and one engine while also finishing second in NASCAR Elite Southwest Series late model points. In 2008, Holmes joined West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally’s potent Toyota team, repeating as champion the same season, placing second the next and becoming a three-time titlist in 2010. In 13 seasons in the West Series, Holmes won 17 times with 59 top-five and 78 top-10 finishes, as well as 13 poles. Holmes, 47, remains with the McAnally organization as its driver coach and spotter for BMR’s Driver Development program.
John Moore. John Moore grew up in Antioch, Calif., watching his father Carl race hardtops at Antioch Speedway. Little surprise, then, that the younger Moore was attracted to competition – but not until, at age 30, founding JM Environmental. Success in the hazardous material abatement and demolition gave Moore the financial ability to race motorcycles and cars, winning races and rookie titles in the process. Moore’s footprint in motorsports, however, is larger than his titles which include a Pacific Coast Series championship, 2006 Spears Racing League owner championship and the 2021 All American Speedway and NASCAR State of California titles. He also competed briefly in the NASCAR West (now ARCA Menards Series West) with a best finish of fifth at Stockton 99 Speedway. Moore, as president of the Placer County Fair, joined with West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Bill McAnally to rebuild and expand the All-American Speedway. Moore, 58, has sponsored numerous drivers, including his son Cole, a Spears Racing League champion, as well as more than 75 races throughout the state of California.
Brad Noffsinger. One of the West’s premier competitors in non-winged sprint cars, Brad Noffsinger also raced in the NASCAR Cup Series, became a Cup crew chief and – for 20 years – was an instructor at the Richard Petty Driving School at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Noffsinger, from Huntington Beach, Calif., began his sprint car career in 1979, becoming the California Racing Association’s Rookie of the Year the following season. He won back-to-back CRA titles in 1986-87, at the wheel of the Jack Gardner Jr. sprinter. Noffsinger won 50 CRA features. Noffsinger also competed part-time in USAC’s Silver Crown division, winning once at Memphis Motorsports Park. He moved to the NASCAR West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) in 1987, then to the Cup Series where over portions of three seasons competed in 17 events, with a best finish of 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 1997 Noffsinger joined SABCO Racing as the crew chief for Wally Dallenbach Jr. The No. 46 team competed in 18 races with a best finish of 10th at The Glen. Noffsinger, 61, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ken Sapper. A front-runner at Saugus (Calif.) Speedway for more than two decades, Glendale, Calif.’s Ken Sapper won three Modified Stock Car titles, consecutively from 1984-86. Among those he competed against were West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr., the 1987 champion, and NASCAR West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Jim Thirkettle. Sapper’s Saugus career ended with the track’s closure in 1995 but his career continued further east at the Orange Show Speedway, where he captured the 1998 title. He won 60 main events at the two Southern California tracks, including the 1988 Saugus Fall Spectacular, shortly after his hire to drive the Speedway Engineering house car for Frank Deiny Sr., a fellow welder and his employer since 1969. Upon Deiny’s death in 1986, Sapper, 73, was named president of the racing chassis and parts firm, a position he continues to hold today.
Jimmy Sills. A three-time USAC Silver Crown champion, Jimmy Sills – also known as Buckwheat – won more than 400 open-wheel races. The Placerville, Calif. competitor won Silver Crown titles in 1990, 1994 and 1996, posting 12 victories. Sills, now 68, won eight World of Outlaw sprint car events, was a six-time Northwest Dirt Cup champion and posted 15 USAC sprint and midget victories. He competed – and won – in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sills was the all-time race winner, 43, at the old Baylands Raceway Park in Northern California. In his later career, Sills operated, for 18 years, a nationally-known driving school. His students included Kasey Kahne and Ed Carpenter. Sills was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2006.
Previously Nominated 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 – including 39 consecutive fast times, believed to be a national record. 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/Motorsports Hall of Famers Ivan Baldwin, Jeff Gordon and Ernie Irvan. Baldwin was the biggest winner in Boyd equipment, posting 15 of 29 total victories. His other winners were Kenny Kitchens, Chad Nichols and Jim Reich. Boyd spent two decades servicing tracks and traveling series as a provider of tires, fuel and parts.
Mike David. Mike David of Modesto, Calif. is the 2007 ARCA Menards Series West champion. David, 53, competed in 91 NASCAR West Series (now 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/Motorsports 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.
Garrett Evans. Garrett Evans is three-time NASCAR Elite Series Northwest Tour champion (1986, 89, 94). He also is the all-time series victory leader (50) and pole winner (55). Evans won the late model series’ first event in 1985 at Evergreen Speedway in Washington. Evans also won twice in the NASCAR Elite Series Southwest Tour. Evans is a three-time Northwest Super Late Model champion. The Wenatchee, Wash. resident competed in NASCAR West Series (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. Evans also briefly appeared in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 65-year-old Evans continues to operate Wenatchee Valley (Wash.) Raceway, which he has owned since 1999. He was named Western Auto Racing Promoters Association Sidewalk Slim Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2019.
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 NASCAR West Series (now 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.
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.
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 NASCAR West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) event at Sonoma Raceway. His father, Howard Kaeding, is a Heritage inductee into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Danny Ongais. The Kahului, Hawaii-born 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 79, he was elected to the Motorsports of America Hall of Fame in 2000.
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.
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.
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.
Sean Woodside. The Saugus, Calif. competitor won the 1999 NASCAR West Series (now ARCA Menards Series West) championship, following two seasons of second-place points finishes. Woodside drove for two West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports 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 Camping World Truck Series. Woodside is 50 years old
Previously Nominated 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/Motorsports 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 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 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.
Dave Fuge. Dave Fuge became the first independent owner/crew chief to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title in 1992 with current West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer 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/Motorsports 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 Cup Series rookie of the year title driving for Tri-Star Motorsports which Fuge co-owned with Mark Smith and George Bradshaw.