BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears and NASCAR Gander Outdoors & RV Truck Series champion Mike Bliss headline the 10 finalists for election into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Mears and Bliss are among nine, multi-time nominees to emerge from the Hall’s first round of voting that ended Dec. 31. Only two first-time nominees – Craig Keough and Jerry Pitts – transferred onto the final ballot.
Previous nominees advancing to the final vote are Mears, Bliss, Ernie Cope, Tom Gloy, Tommy Kendall, Jim Pettit II, Greg Pickett and Tom Sneva.
Final voting by the Hall’s board of directors continues through Jan. 31. to select the five 2020 inductees, whose identities will be announced during the February 28-March 1 NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Five Heritage candidates from racing’s historic era also will be inducted in the Class of 2020. Their selection will be announced later this spring.
The Class of 2020 will be enshrined June 11 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, again accompanies the annual NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA Menards Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.
“We’re proud to announce that the Round 1 voting was the closest since the Hall’s inception with just a few votes separating the first and 11th finalists,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. ”Each of the 11 was supported by a majority of the votes cast.
“The 2020 class will be among the most diverse in terms of motorsport disciplines – from weekly racing to national and international stardom. Choosing just five will be extremely difficult.”