The second annual West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Induction attracted 165 persons for dinner and induction ceremonies Friday at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel here. The event took place on the eve of the annual NASCAR Winston West 200-lap race...
The second annual West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Induction attracted 165 persons for dinner and induction ceremonies Friday at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel here. The event took place on the eve of the annual NASCAR Winston West 200-lap race at nearby Irwindale Speedway. Twelve new inductees joined the original 30 members inducted last July.
Driver inductees were Dick Bown, Sonny Easley, Erick Erickson, Dan Gurney, Rajo Jack, Eddie Pagan, Frank Phillips, Bob Ross and Rodger Ward. Also inducted were promoters Bob Beadle, of Sky Valley and Skagit Speedways in Washington and Margo Burke, of Bob Barkhimer & Associates, plus Shav Glick, 82, the respected Los Angeles Times motor sports writer since 1969. Bown, Ward, Beadle and Glick were present to accept their plaques and speak to the audience. Erickson, 86, was ill and unable to attend. Gurney was in England on business. Easley, Jack, Pagan, Phillips, Ross and Burke are deceased.
The 2003 class joins inaugural 2002 inductees in the WCSCHofF. The 30 original inductees are J. C. Agajanian, Bruce Alexander, Bill Amick, Bob Barkhimer, Scotty Cain, Cos Cancilla, Ken Clapp, Ernie Conn, Charlie Curryer, Lloyd Dane, Carl Dane, Jim Dane, Ray Elder, Lou Figaro, Eddie Gray, Ron Hornaday, Sr., Jimmy Insolo, Parnelli Jones, Danny Letner, Jack McCoy, Hershel McGriff, Marvin Panch, Marvin Porter, Les Richter, Jim Robinson, Troy Ruttman, Bill Schmitt, Roy Smith, Johnny Soares, Sr. and Bill Stroppe.
Co-emcees Gary Cressey, announcer at Sky Valley (WA), and Craig Armstrong, former Portland Speedway promoter now residing in Commerce, Georgia introduced 2002 inductees present in the audience. They were Insolo, McGriff, Richter, Jones, Clapp and Lloyd Dane. Porter passed away last November and was remembered.
The mission of the WCSCHofF is to preserve the history and heritage of the important role that West Coast stock car racers played and to perpetually recognize and enshrine outstanding participants within the sport and to annually induct those "worthy of the honor". Drivers, car owners, mechanics, race promoters/organizers, officials and media who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of stock car racing in the West are the honorees. Tim Meyer, editor/publisher of Racing News West in St. George, Utah, was instrumental in making the WCSCHofF a reality. He and Ken Clapp are among the committee members who accept names of potential nominees and vote on inductees each year.
Mel Larson, a retired NASCAR driver from the 1950-60s era and Las Vegas casino executive, presented an appreciation plaque to Jim Williams, of Irwindale Speedway. Gene Monaco donated large commemorative posters with photos of all 2003 inductees and names of all 42 WCSCHof F members to everyone present.
Attendees included: NASCAR Winston West officials Mike Verlotti, Danny Grill and Kevin Green; Winston West driver Austin Cameron; Jim Williams, Bob DeFazio, Doug Stokes and Joe Oddo, of Irwindale Speedway; WRA official Walt James, who accepted the plaque for Rajo Jack; Joe Nava and Bill McAnally (W/W car owners); former driver Hila Sweet; promoter Bob Basile, plus Dusty Brandel (AARWBA) and Bobbi Colgrove, who handled reception duties.
In keeping with the stock car racing celebration, two racing stock cars were parked in front of the main entrance of the hotel on Huntington Drive. They were the 1946 Ford coupe No. 15 driven by the late promoter Don Basile, and a 2001 King Taco No. 77 Ford Taurus W/W car owned by Joe Nava and driven by Steve Portenga.
-By Tim Kennedy