Atkins, Hindery, MacDonald, Welch, Zajicek complete roster for June inductions
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (April 1, 2021) – The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 is complete with the selection of five Heritage members, whose careers took place or began prior to 1972. Their selection brings to 10 the 2021 honorees who will be enshrined during this year’s induction ceremonies, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, on June 5, 2021 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.
Their induction will be combined with the Class of 2020, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 20 honorees will be enshrined during the two-class affair, which also celebrates the 20-year anniversary of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.
The 2021 Heritage inductees are:
- Dick Atkins, Oakland Calif., who won three Bay Cities Racing Association midget titles – 1963-64 and (indoor) 1966 – posting 24 victories. Atkins, driving for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer J.C. Agajanian, won the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix in 1965. He joined USAC’s Championship Trail fulltime in 1966, winning at the Sacramento State Fairgrounds. Atkins, 30, died less than a month later in an Ascot Park crash that also killed Don Branson. He is a National Midget Hall of Fame member.
- Leo Hindery Jr., a member of the Cable Television Hall of Fame, competed at the highest levels of road racing, sharing the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hour GT2 class-winning Porsche 996 GT3 RSR with Mike Rockenfelter and Marc Lieb. Hindery, 73, enjoyed a 45-race career in American sports car racing and also entered four NASCAR West Series events. The native of Tacoma, Wash. is a philanthropist and was advisor to the candidacies of several Democratic presidential candidates including President Barack Obama.
- Dave MacDonald, whose brief, four-year sports car career produced 52 victories and 75 top-three finishes, raced and won in all of Carroll Shelby’s Cobra configurations. The El Monte driver competed in seven NASCAR Cup Series events, posting second-place finishes at Riverside and Augusta, Ga. MacDonald was 27 when he was killed in his first Indianapolis 500 driving for West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famer Mickey Thompson.
- Howard Welch, owner of Haddick Towing in La Puente, Calif., was one of the founding members of the California Towing Association. Welch later created the first hydraulic boom for heavy duty tow trucks. In 1975, along with several friends, Welch built his first NASCAR race car, a 1974 Ford Torino. His drivers included Ron Esau, Larry Phillips, Rusty Wallace and West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famers Ray Elder and Parnelli Jones. The now retired Welch lives in Coeur d/Alene, Idaho.
- Ronald (Ron) Zajicek, a New York native who lived in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, was the West Coast’s premier builder of rear end assemblies for stock cars. Zajicek, of Ron’s Rear Ends, was a staple at various Southern California tracks and was prominent in the fortunes of West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Famers Ron Hornaday Jr. and Butch Gilliland, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brendan Gaughan. Zajicek passed in March 2016 at the age of 62.
“This year’s Heritage inductees validates our decision to offer entry into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame to a larger part of the motorsports community,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO. “Literally from A to Z – Atkins to Zajicek – we will enshrine a Heritage class that constitutes the backbone of the sport.”
Previously announced members of the Class of 2021 are Dave Byrd, NASCAR Pacific Coast Region and touring series champion; Richie Clyne, developer and builder of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Tom Gloy, Sports Car Club of America Trans Am champion and NASCAR national series team owner; Tommy Kendall, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Trans Am champion; and George Snider, 22-time Indianapolis 500 starter and United State Auto Club Gold and Silver Crown champion.
Highlights of June’s induction ceremonies will be broadcast later this summer 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/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 a half-million dollars for youth, health and safety, hospitals, animal rescue and other charitable causes.
For additional information about the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame and its charities, please visit WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com.
Owen A. Kearns