Busch, Harvick, Crafton, Kaeding, St. James among Hall’s latest honorees
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., June 5, 2023 – Two NASCAR Cup Series champions, along with a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series titleholder and a pioneering female Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year are among 10 racing greats to be enshrined Thursday, June 8 during the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 ceremonies.
Presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Motorsports Park, the Hall’s gala will for the first time be held at Sonoma Raceway’s Turn 11 Club, which rings the track’s iconic Turn 11. Registration and a cocktail hour begin at 5:30 p.m. (PDT). Dinner and awards follow at 6:45 p.m. Valet parking will be available for guests.
Highlights of the 2023 induction ceremonies will be broadcast later this summer, network, air dates and times to be announced.
The Hall’s induction ceremonies open a packed weekend of competition at Sonoma Raceway, including the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series event, the ARCA Menards Series West and culminating Sunday, June 11 with the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Elected for induction in the Class of 2023 are Kurt Busch, Las Vegas, Nev., the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion and 34-time premier series winner; Matt Crafton, Tulare, Calif., a three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and winner of 15 NASCAR national series races; Kevin Harvick, Bakersfield, Calif., 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion and winner of 60 premier series races; Brent Kaeding, Campbell, Calif., a 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) sprint car champion and World of Outlaws winner; and Lyn St. James, Phoenix, Ariz., International Motor Sports (IMSA) class winner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year and leader in furthering through Women in Racing North America.
2023 Heritage inductees are Don Basile, Gardena, Calif., post-World War II driver, J.C. Agajanian partner and Speedway 117 operator; Burt Foland, Mountain View, Calif., two-time Bay Cities Racing Association midget champion and race winner in four decades; Fred Gerhardt, Fresno, Calif., engineer, Indianapolis 500 entrant and United States Auto Club championship car winner; Nick Rescino, San Francisco, Calif., six-time San Jose (Calif.) Speedway super modified champion and winner of six of the track’s prestigious Johnny Key Classic events; and Leroy Van Conett, Galt, Calif., eight-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) champion and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee.
The 3rd Annual Knockin Doorz Down Philanthropist of the Year award, presented by 51FIFTY, will be announced during award ceremonies. Nominees are The Kurt Busch Foundation, The Kevin Harvick Foundation, The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, The Steve Mariucci Family Foundation and Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.
Serving again as master of ceremonies is Ralph Sheheen, owner and publisher of National Speed Sport News and West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame president. The annual affair serves as the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s major charity fundraiser. The Hall, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, has gifted more than $600,000 over the past five years.
West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s roster of national sponsors include Chevrolet Performance, Ford Performance, TRD Toyota Racing Performance, Goodyear Racing, Hoosier Tires, NASCAR, South Point Resort, Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and Speedway Motorsports LLC. The Hall’s presenting sponsors are World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Motorsports Park, Eberle Winery and 51FIFTY Enterprises.
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame is supported by NASCAR and its west coast tracks Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. Speedway Motorsports Inc. properties Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway also are participating sponsors, as is Evergreen (Wash.) Speedway, Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, Madera (Calif.) Speedway, Stockton 99 (Calif.) Speedway and Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway.
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 $700,000 in the past five of its 22 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