West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee Frank Secrist won titles, set speed records at Daytona

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(Note: This is the sixth of a series of press releases on the 2017 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony, presented by Gateway Motorsport Park, will be held June 22 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif.)

PHOENIX (June 15, 2017) – Frank Secrist of Oildale, Calif. won 1951-54 jalopy championships – then the top weekly racing division – at Bakersfield Speedway as well as the 1953-55 jalopy titles at Hanford, Calif. Secrist won the 1960 modified sportsman championship in Bakersfield and finished third in NASCAR’s California standings in 1961.

He also competed at the then-new Daytona International Speedway, setting modified sportsman track records in 1961 and 1962 – in the latter event erasing NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough’s speed from the books. Starting from the pole in his No. 86 Studebaker/Ford, Secrist finished fourth.

He won nine of 11 super modified races in 1963 and won the first United States Auto Club (USAC) midget race he entered in 1966.

Secrist, 88, competed in eight NASCAR premier series races winning one pole at the 1.4-mile Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford. His best finish was fourth at Sacramento’s old state fairgrounds mile track in 1961. Secrist also made several USAC sprint car appearances with a best finish of second in 1966 at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. He attempted to qualify for USAC championship car races.

“Frank Secrist was a natural in anything with four wheels,” said Richard Woodland, a 2017 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame nominee. “He helped me as my mentor in my NASCAR modified driving days plus he would hop into my car, when asked, in order to help sort things out for me. Later, he drove off for me for several years in CRA and NARC sprint cars.

“In other words, I both drove against him and he drove for me. He was, without a doubt, one of the hardest charging drivers I know of while, at the same time, one of the cleanest.”

Secrist joins Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan, Joe Leonard, Gene Price, Scott Pruett and Kenneth Takeuchi in the 2017 WCSCHOF class of inductees.

The 2017 induction ceremonies, presented by Gateway Motorsports Park, are 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 jwentzel@phoenixraceway.com.

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.

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.

Owen A. Kearns