Slowing down after a lifetime of speed
New inductees will be welcomed into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame and the institution itself will celebrate a new location at a public event this Saturday.
The 28th anniversary hall of fame celebration at the Eagle Ridge Community Centre in Langford will see three new inductees added to the honourable institution, making for a total of 80.
Three others will be inducted as Pioneer Award recipients, for those who have worked hard for Victoria racing behind the scenes.
Among this year’s inductees is Langford’s Tim Christy, who from 1996 to 2001 won six straight championships at Western Speedway, the first three in a stock car and the last three in a late model racing.
Christy finished second the two years following his streak and then in 2004 went down to California and won the Winn River Invitational at Shasta Speedway.
Following one more championship and a number of other high rankings, Christy retired in 2010.
After racing for 29 years it has been a bit of a challenge to slow down, but he’s honoured to be recognized by the hall of fame.
“It’s a great way to finish a career,” Christy said. “There’s some big names of guys that have gone to Nascar racing and stuff that are in the hall of fame. So to get our name on one of these plaques with some of the names that are in there is a huge deal.”
Racing is a team effort and Christy said that he would have never achieved what he did without a great pit crew and dedicated team owners who put up the cash to get the cars on the track.
“The local racing here was super competitive for a lot of years, and I think that’s what kept us so interested,” Christy said. “It was the sounds, the smell, the people. So many things. It’s fun to compete. Any kind of racing is fun.”
Also being honoured is Al Clark, who drag raced in the 1960s and early 1970s, breaking records and winning events. The third inductee is Gordie Alberg, a stock car racer from the 1960s who raced on tracks across the northern United States and in Western Canada, winning many events.
Saturday’s event is also being held to announce and celebrate the opening of a second location of the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the arena.
The hall of fame has worked out a 20 year deal with the City of Langford to have racing memorabilia displayed in the dry rink of Eagle Ridge arena. There will be room set aside for one car to be displayed also.
Cars from the larger hall of fame at Western Speedway will be rotated through Eagle Ridge to keep the display fresh.
For the special event 12 cars will be on display and a wide assortment of memorabilia, as the new inductees are welcomed and the new location is celebrated.
Norm Wilcox is a member of the hall of fame committee and said that event is an opportunity to recognize the importance of the sport to the community.
“We’re very proud of what our race car drivers and crew members have done for Victoria,” Wilcox said. “There’s a tremendous wealth of people here that have done very well for auto racing and put Victoria on the map.”
With 54 years of racing at Western Speedway, Hall of Fame president George Jenson said the sport is still going strong in Victoria.
“We still get a lot of people out,” Jenson said. “They like to see the crashing and bashing and there’s a lot of people that just like to see the hard-out racing.”
When & Where
-Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame opening at and inductee ceremonies run 4 to 6 p.m. on April 28 at Eagle Ridge arena.