Ken Achs

Inducted 2002

Saskatoon businessman Ken Achs started racing in 1962 in Calgary at the wheel of a 1940 Ford Coupe with a Buick motor. Two years later, he opened Mid-West Automotive in Saskatoon and built a Chevv-powered C-class dragster. This was the first car to go down the newly-constructed Saskatoon International Raceway in 1966. Ken also raced his car at Bison Raceway in Winnipeg as well as at Calgary and Edmonton.

In 1967, he bought a Top Fuel car from Ed Norton of Seattle. This was the first Top Fuel car in Saskatchewan and he won virtually every race he entered across the prairies that year, competing against U.S. drivers. In 1968, he upgraded to a brand-new Top Fuel car, which he ran for three years, sweeping every race he entered in Canada. He set the low elapsed time and top miles-per-hour marks at the Canadian Nationals in 1968.

In 1971, Ken switched to Funny Cars and continued his success. He won races and championships across the prairies as well as in California, Washington and Oregon. He was the only Canadian competitor to hold both NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car licences in 1971. Due to the demands of business, Ken sold all of his racing equipment in 1973. When asked, he said he did not consider himself a world-class drag racer but rather a fortunate fan who happened to live at a time when going 200 mph was an attainable dream. When asked, Ken graciously tracked down and restored his 1967 Top Fuel dragster and donated it in 2002 to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame where it is on permanent display.

Image by Richard Wood via Bison Dragways

Terry Capp

Inducted 2001

During the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, Terry Capp and his crew chief, Hall of Fame member Bernie Fedderly, were instrumental in bringing Canadian Top Fuel drag cars to the forefront of the North American drag-racing scene. He was honoured four times by making the cover of the NHRA’s National Dragster magazine and the highlight of his career was winning the Top Fuel championship at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 1980.Much ado has been made about Hall-of-Famer Gary Beck, the all conquering Top Fuel hero who lived in Edmonton and was instrumental in making drag racing a truly international sport. But Terry Capp was his equal.Terry started drag racing in 1967 with Fedderly and the two made a formidable team for most of Terry’s career. Their initial entry was a 1951 Anglia B/Gasser that produced more success than is usually expected from a first-car effort, winning the Western Canadian Championship Series that season. In 1968 and 1969, they quickened their pace with a C/Dragster and then switched to the lightening fast A/Fuel Dragster category in 1970. Shortly thereafter, they met up with Wes Van Dusen, who had a Top Fuel dragster but needed extra assistance in campaigning the machine. A three-way partnership was formed. Terry purchased a 426 Hemi from a retired US Funny Car racer and the team went to Saskatchewan International Raceway for a meet and surprised everybody, especially themselves, by hitting a 6.42 second run-225 mph-which set a Canadian record. Terry’s thundering performances proved to be no fluke as he journeyed to the United States to race in division VI at Seattle International Raceway and he came away with an even more impressive 6.40 sec run (236 mph), something (as the Americans said) that Canadians weren’t suppose to do. Beck convinced them to go rear engine in 1972 and they finished in the Top Ten of the NHRA World championship Series, something again they weren’t suppose to do. Many wins and regional championships followed. In 1980, Terry went up against the likes of Beck, Connie Kalitta, Shirley Muldowney and Dick Lahaie at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Qualifying second with a 5.80 sec. ET at 243.24 mph, Terry beat Jeb Allen in the final, posting the quickest side by side race in history, winning with a 5.82 sec. ET at 241.93 mph to a 5.99 sec. ET at 245.23 mph. Terry went into semi-retirement after that, but teamed up with Ron Hodgson. Gordon Jenner, Dale Adams in 1988 to try Top Fuel racing again. They won the AHRA World Finals in Spokane that year and went back to the US Nationals in Indianapolis where Terry qualified ninth, loosing in the second round with a gigantic wheel stand. Over the next decade Terry kept his Top Fuel and Funny Car licenses current by running match races throughout Canada and the US. And then in 2000 he returned to the AHRA World Finals in Spokane, Wash. where after the smoke had cleared, he added another trophy to his collection by posting a time of 5.22 seconds and a 297 mph run, winning the AHRA World Finals. Not bad for a semi-retired driver. Terry Capp says he’s not finished. Before he hangs up the helmet for good, he wants to make a 300 plus mph pass in the 4-second range. He’s had a 5.02 run at 297.97 mph, so that barrier can’t be far off.

Image via Drag Race Alberta

Gord Jenner

Gord Jenner in the Royal Canadian

Inducted 2000

Gordie Bonin, Ron Hodgson, Gordon Jenner; these three people could well make up what is arguably the most successful drag racing team in Canadian motorsport history.

Gordie Bonin, the driver, won 9 NHRA Funny Car national events, the AHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1989 and numerous other runoffs. Gordie also served as the NHRA’s director of marketing for six years. After a short retirement, Gordie returned to action two years ago, competing in the FIA’s European Top Fuel category.

Ron Hodgson, the team member, ran Edmonton International Speedway from 1974 to 1979. He also fine-tuned dragsters that won 6 NHRA Funny Car national event victories, two AHRA Top Fuel World Championships and numerous other events. Ron today is associated with the top fuel dragster driven by Craig Smith out of Spokane. He also campaigns a sprint car with his youngest son, Jeff.

Gordon Jenner was, for years, associated with a number of drag racing teams, acting as crew chief. He joined the Bonin-Hodgson team for the first time in 1972 and was crew chief when many of the team’s victories were recorded. Gordon worked as crew chief on a team with driver Terry Capp in 1988 that won the NHRA’s World Championship. In 1989, he rejoined Bonin-Hodgson in time for the World Championship, which they won. True drag racers, they were quick to lend a helping hand to fellow competitors when the need arose and over the years they worked with Gary Beck and Ed McCullough, among others.

Image via Drag Race Alberta

Ron Hodgson

The Pacemaker Dragster

Inducted 2000

Gordie Bonin, Ron Hodgson, Gordon Jenner; these three people could well make up what is arguably the most successful drag racing team in Canadian motorsport history.

Gordie Bonin, the driver, won 9 NHRA Funny Car national events, the AHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1989 and numerous other runoffs. Gordie also served as the NHRA’s director of marketing for six years. After a short retirement, Gordie returned to action two years ago, competing in the FIA’s European Top Fuel category.

Ron Hodgson, the team member, ran Edmonton International Speedway from 1974 to 1979. He also fine-tuned dragsters that won 6 NHRA Funny Car national event victories, two AHRA Top Fuel World Championships and numerous other events. Ron today is associated with the top fuel dragster driven by Craig Smith out of Spokane. He also campaigns a sprint car with his youngest son, Jeff.

Gordon Jenner was, for years, associated with a number of drag racing teams, acting as crew chief. He joined the Bonin-Hodgson team for the first time in 1972 and was crew chief when many of the team’s victories were recorded. Gordon worked as crew chief on a team with driver Terry Capp in 1988 that won the NHRA’s World Championship. In 1989, he rejoined Bonin-Hodgson in time for the World Championship, which they won. True drag racers, they were quick to lend a helping hand to fellow competitors when the need arose and over the years they worked with Gary Beck and Ed McCullough, among others.

Image via Drag Race Alberta

Gordie Bonin

Inducted 2000

Gordie Bonin, Ron Hodgson, Gordon Jenner; these three people could well make up what is arguably the most successful drag racing team in Canadian motorsport history.

Gordie Bonin, the driver, won 9 NHRA Funny Car national events, the AHRA Top Fuel World Championship in 1989 and numerous other runoffs. Gordie also served as the NHRA’s director of marketing for six years. After a short retirement, Gordie returned to action two years ago, competing in the FIA’s European Top Fuel category.

Ron Hodgson, the team member, ran Edmonton International Speedway from 1974 to 1979. He also fine-tuned dragsters that won 6 NHRA Funny Car national event victories, two AHRA Top Fuel World Championships and numerous other events. Ron today is associated with the top fuel dragster driven by Craig Smith out of Spokane. He also campaigns a sprint car with his youngest son, Jeff.

Gordon Jenner was, for years, associated with a number of drag racing teams, acting as crew chief. He joined the Bonin-Hodgson team for the first time in 1972 and was crew chief when many of the team’s victories were recorded. Gordon worked as crew chief on a team with driver Terry Capp in 1988 that won the NHRA’s World Championship. In 1989, he rejoined Bonin-Hodgson in time for the World Championship, which they won. True drag racers, they were quick to lend a helping hand to fellow competitors when the need arose and over the years they worked with Gary Beck and Ed McCullough, among others.

Ray Peets

Inducted 1999

One of the most successful teams in Canadian motorsport history, Gary Beck and Ray Peets captured the 1974 National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel World Championship, the highest honour in the toughest and fastest class in drag racing. From their homebase in Edmonton, Beck and Peets won an amazing 79% of the NHRA and American Hot Rod Association events they entered that year – 59 wins in 74 runs. They were runner-ups in the 1975 World Championship.

Gary Beck

Inducted 1999

One of the most successful teams in Canadian motorsport history, Gary Beck and Ray Peets captured the 1974 National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel World Championship, the highest honour in the toughest and fastest class in drag racing. From their homebase in Edmonton, Beck and Peets won an amazing 79% of the NHRA and American Hot Rod Association events they entered that year – 59 wins in 74 runs. They were runner-ups in the 1975 World Championship.

Image by Roy Constible via Bison Dragways

Sandy Elliott

Inducted 1998

For more than three years, the Sandy Elliot Drag Racing Team was the scourge of Super Stock racing in the U.S. and Canada. In 1968, Elliot’s son John became the first Canadian to win an NHRA stock class. In 1970, Barrie Poole was the first Canadian to win a National Eliminator title. By 1971, competing in 17 NHRA Nationals, both cars made the finals16 times, winning three Nationals, were runner-up at two more, made the semi-finals 12 times and set nine national records. Sandy Elliot earned the title of Super Stock Crew Chief of the Year and was named to Car Craft magazine’s All Star Drag Racing Team in 1971.

Image via Bison Dragways

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson at Keystone Dragway

Inducted 1997

A drag racer from London, Ont., Scott Wilson was the first Canadian to break the 200-mph barrier, driving a slingshot dragster, “The Time Machine”. With car owner Alex Litt, Scott was a strong competitor in NHRA National events and match races in Canada and the U.S., eventually hitting 233 mph in the quarter-mile with an elapsed time of 6.89 seconds in “The Time Machine”.

Image by Dale Olnick

The Mehlenbacher family

Dragway Park in 1974

Inducted 1997

The Mehlenbacher family of Cayuga, Ont., built and maintained Cayuga Dragway for 36 years, providing a venue for local drag racers and attracting many big-time racing stars to Canada. Operating the track until 1984 was a family affair, starting with patriarch L.B.(Lawson Bruce) Mehlenbacher, son Bruce Andrew Jr. and his wife Joan, grandsons Bill, Andrew and Bruce III.

Image from Rhode Island Muscle Cars