By Ken Keating
Victoria (ISN) – The Eagle Ridge Community Center was the site of the 28th Annual Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies Saturday afternoon with Rocky Horne as the host Master of Ceremonies.
The hall was filled with lots of photos, race cars, and displays that depicts the great racing history of local drivers, individuals, and Western Speedway.
Harold Corbett, Mark Meeres, and Barb Pretties received Pioneer Awards for their outstanding contributions, service, and dedication to the sport of auto racing. Langford’s Mayor Stu Young and Council received an additional award for their long standing support of racing and the Auto Racing Hall of Fame as the Eagle Ridge Community Center will display memorabilia and artifacts for the next twenty years. The award was accepted by Councilman Roger Wade.
Emcee Rocky Horne gets the ceremonies underway.
Inductees for 2012 included Gord Alberg, Tim Christy, and Al Clark all of whom have an impressive backgrounds in auto racing.
Gord Alberg’s involvement began in 1960. He was a Western Speedway crew member for Jim Gallaugher with the old historic race car. 1961 was his first year as a race car driver. His car was a 1934 Ford 5 window coupe Stock Car. Driving that season, he spent many hours with George (Spin) Sheridan and Donny Wilson from Wilson and Proctor Company building flathead Ford engines with all the tricks to making a flathead stock perform. He also admitted that he was living his dream racing against guys he idolized when he was 12 and 13 years old. They were Dave Cooper, Dick Varley, Gary Kershaw, Jerry Silvester, Al Smith, Billy Foster and others.
After an unfortunate accident in mid season at Western, he had to sit out for a couple of weeks. The next weekend, Billy Foster drove his car. He had 4th fast time and a clean sweep with winning the dash, fast heat, and the Main event. Dave Cooper drove it to Nanaimo on the Wednesday night and won the Main event. The following weekend he went to the Haney, Vancouver track on a Sunday afternoon and Tom Urdley drove it and won the Main event. He returned to driving the next week and continued on. On July 20th, 1963, the Stock Cars travelled to the SeaTac Speedway in Seattle to put on their own program. He drove his #56 car and won the Main event. Another big night for him was the 50 lap Stock Car Championship race at Western Speedway where he ran very competitively except for a last lap shot that he received. He ended the 1963 season 9th in points and also received the Western Speedway Rookie of the Year award.
Gord Alberg receives Inductions into Hall of Fame from Rob Scott and Norm Wilcocks
After competing in the Stock Car classes, he upgraded into a B Modified race car with Bob Vantreight. As well as driving it for two years, he was also very involved with building parts and equipment for many racers. His first “B” Modified race was in Nanaimo. He set fast time, won the dash and was second in the Main event. After six weeks, he went to Boise Idaho with Reg and Anne Midgley accompanying Billy Foster. He decide to assist and crew for Billy at Boise, Pocatello, Salt Lake, Denver, the back to Pocatello, and Boise again. Their second trip was Edmonton, Salt Lake City, and Denver. Billy had won all Main events except three and had clean sweeps at four of the tracks. He had continued for many years with lots of accomplishments being involved with building and supplying lots of racing parts and equipment for many known folks as well as his own updated goodies. It is gratifying to have Gord Alberg inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Tim Christy began his auto racing involvement in 1981 at the age of 16 in the Demo Class for nine years. His racing career became very impressive in the 1990s and 2000s. He originated with a Cassidy Class speedway track record in 1987. He then upgraded to Claimers in 1991. He finished 2nd in points in 1992. His original Claimer history was leading points in April and won a few races and finished in the top five. In 1993 he won the Claimer Championship with the most Main event wins. Here’s a history on his great 1993 events. April 4th won the Main event, set fast time on April 18th, May 10th he won the 2nd Heat and was 3rd in the Main. June 14th set fast time, won the dash, and was a 2nd in the Main. July 26th set fast time, won his Heat race and also the Main event. Was still the points leader on August 21st and gained the Championship at September 17th.
In 1994 he updated to the Stock Car class and finished 7th. In 1995 he received the Member of the Year trophy and finished 5th. 1996 saw him win the Stock Car Championship and he also held the Saratoga Speedway track record. He was the Stock Car Champion and Driver of the Year in 1997. He was again the Stock Car Champion, Driver of the Year, track record, and Sportsman of the Year award winner in 1998. In 1999, he moved up to Late Models, received Rookie of the Year award, and was also won the Championship. In 2000 he won his 5th straight Championship, got Driver of the Year, and best appearing car awards. He won his 6th straight Championship in 2001, had the track record, and his crew chief got Mechanic of the Year award. 2002 and 2003 he finished 2nd in points but obtained the Agassiz track record. In 2004 he won the Winn River Investational 100 laps race at Shasta Speedway in California. In 2005 he won the Dewalt Miller Springs Mainland Late Model Championship. He was 2nd in the Katana racing series in 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2009 he was 3rd in the Arca West racing series and 4th in the Arca series with Best Appearing car in 2010. He is now finished race car driving but has become a Committee Member on the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame. We are very proud to induct this true racing Historical Champion into the Hall of Fame.
Al Clark has a tremendous history with all the vehicle situations he has been involved with. He was originally born in London, England and has lived in Victoria since he was three years old. He was one of the most successful drag racers at Mission Raceway. In 1961, he joined the Quarter Milers Car Club. Then in 1962 he drove a 1948 Chevy Coupe to high school. He started drag racing by driving the Quarter Milers C Dragster at Arlington, Washington and Sam Cobble, Vancouver Island (Bamberton Haul Road). In 1963 he fired his dragster and ran it down the front straightaway at Western Speedway on Wednesday afternoon. In 1964 he raced at Arlington, San Cobble, and Pacific Raceway in Seattle. He also helped to organize Quarter Milers Automata. In 1965 he started a metal fabricator, boilermaker apprenticeship at DND (Dockyard). Again, he raced at Arlington, San Cobble, and Mission City.
Al Clark receives induction from Brian Clutchey and Rob Horne
He became show chairman of Quarter Milers Autorama in 1996 and also raced at Arlington, Mission, and San Cobble. He drove the second dragster to appear at the Mission track and continued to drive the Quarter Milers Dragster. He had bought the dragster from the club and had started racing on his own Class Championship at Mission Raceways. In 1967 he started racing at the new Van Isle Raceways in Mill Bay. He won many match races with out of town cars including Balkins Falcon from St. Louis. In 1998, he set the track record at Van Isle running the injected Chevy C Dragster at 9.76 seconds, 144 miles per hour. He won Competition Eliminator six times. in 1969, he built a B Dragster for Brain Roberts and Bill England. The next year he ran an E Class Dragster with a straight 8 Buick engine at 122 miles per hour, 11.5 seconds. From 1971 to 1974 he ran a ‘B’Class Dragster with an injected Chrysler Hemi at a top speed of 148.68 mph in 9.21 seconds.
In history, he had raced at Mission, Arlington, Seattle, Edmonton, and Van Isle with a fair amount of success and the retired from drag racing in 1974 when he sold his dragster. Since retiring from racing, he has become a very successful organizer for great displays. He started as show chairman for the International Show Car Association from 1974 to 1998, then produced his own shows in 1991 and 1994. He also spends some time building street rods, and formed his Deuces Northwest Street Rods Company in 1996. Also in 1998 he became the fantastic coordinator of the Northwest Deuce Day shows held in Victoria. We are very proud to induct Al Clark into our Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
The afternoon’s event concluded with a luncheon and the announcement that the Hall of Fame race will take place on June 30th with the Non Wing Sprint Cars, Mini Stocks, Dwarf Cars, and the Hornets racing at Western Speedway. Each guest received a complimentary ticket to see this great show with the Non Wing Sprint Cars running for the Jim and Lorraine Haslam Memorial Trophy.