NAPA, Calif. – The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame staged its 16th induction ceremony, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway, Thursday before 500 guests at the Meritage Resort and Spa.
Eleven stalwarts from across the motorsport spectrum from 20th and 21st centuries were honored during the gala.
The 2019 class of enshrinees includes NASCAR team owners Gary Bechtel and Bob Bruncati; the late Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs and NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon, Doug McCoun and Eric Norris. Five Heritage inductees were feted: international racing star George Follmer; early west coast NASCAR strand-outs Rick Henderson and Marshall Sargent and Indianapolis 500 champions Bob Sweikert and Bill Vukovich.
Wayne Wells, retired NAPA Auto Parts western vice president, was honored with the Hall’s Award of the Decade marking the second time the award has been conferred. The Scottsdale, Ariz. executive guided his company’s sponsorship of events, drivers and teams both in the west and nationwide.
Presenters included NASCAR premier series champion Kurt Busch; Daytona 500 winner Ernie Irvan; Ford Performance Worldwide Director Mark Rushbrook; former ESPN television NASCAR reporter Dr. Jerry Punch; Weather Tech Laguna Seca Raceway CEO Tim McGrane and West Coast Stock Hall of Fame members John Bickford, Hershel McGriff, Richard Woodland and Kenny Takeuchi.
The Award of the Decade was jointly hosted by Brendan Gaughan and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Bill McAnally. Bill McAnally Racing’s NAPA-sponsored NASCAR K&N Pro Series West team has won a record eight series titles and 95 races.
Ken Clapp, chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, saluted the inductees by stating, “You all worked hard to build your careers. You all belong here.”
The annual induction ceremony is a cornerstone of the Hall’s charitable outreach. The 501(c) 3 organization has raised nearly $600,000 in giving since inception.
Motorsport industry figure Ralph Sheheen was master of ceremony, assisted by 51FIFTY hostess Teresa Fletchinger. 51FIFTY is the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Official Lifestyle Brand. The Hall’s Official Wine, Eberle Vineyards, was served exclusively during dinner and the pre-event hospitality hour, sponsored by the South Point Hotel and Casino.