Don Thomson Jr.

Don Thomson 1 600

Thomson Jr., of Ayr, on, is honoured as a competitor, builder and team member. Thomson is arguably the best stock car racer and builder that Canada has ever produced, scoring five consecutive
CASCAR super series titles beginning in 2001, adding to the two consecutive Canadian Eastern Championships he won in 1999 and 2000. He was also the 1991 CASCAR rookie of the Year and was
twice voted most sportsmanlike driver by his peers.

In addition to driving, Thomson demonstrated his technical prowess by preparing the cars for his Fitzpatrick Motorsports team. His legacy also includes mentoring bright young talents such as Jr Fitzpatrick, who was Thomson’s teammate for his last five years of racing. Fittingly, Thomson won the inaugural NASCAR Canadian Tire series race in 2007. He retired in 2011 after two decades at the front.

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Jimmy Carr

jimmy carr
Inducted 2012

One of the most influential people in Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car endeavors is a quiet former drag racer from Canada’s West Coast who has been so behind the scenes he has been almost invisible.

From the bullrings of British Columbia, Jimmy Carr entered the world of Sprint Car racing spending more time running up and down the I5 than he did on the dirt ovals in Washington, Oregon, and California, but by 1990 he was ready to take a shot at fulltime racing in the World of Outlaws Series.

He became a quick study, taking rookie of the year honors in the WoO and placing eighth in 1991, but it was an expensive experience, and he went to turn wrenches for WoO regular Danny Lasoski while driving one of the winged warriors once in a while.

Through Lasoski, Carr met up with Stewart and the Chili Bowl, who was still racing in the IRL, just before Stewart embarked on his NASCAR Cup career. Stewart always wanted to get into a Sprint Car, and Carr and Lasoski planned and prepared an Outlaw team for the future Cup superstar in 1999 while continuing to race on the dirt tracks when he could.

But by 2001 building the new team was taking all Carr’s time, and for the past 12 years he has been a crew chief or in a management role helping to build Tony Stewart Racing into one of the WoO’s dominant racing team, along other successful efforts in dirt racing such as winning USAC’s National Sprint Car and Silver Crown titles in 2011 along with the prestigious Knoxville Nationals with driver Donny Schatz.

Carr has also played a dominate role in Stewart’s success behind the wheel of a Sprint Car, where the team has several victories, including two in a row at Ohsweken Speedway when the Outlaws have made their annual appearance at that Southern Ontario track.

Carr, who manages five race teams from Brownsburg Indiana, has said that winning in Canada as part of the Stewart effort has made him very proud.

“That’s a huge notch in my belt to put Tony in victory lane at an Outlaw race,” he said. “That’s probably one of the coolest things to happen to me. In all the years I’ve raced, I didn’t get a chance to race in Canada very often, but when we did I never got a win, so his first-time win was a first-time win for me as well.”

Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal at 2011 ALMS awards banquet

Bobby Rahal at 2011 ALMS awards banquet

Inducted 2010

Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal was born in Medina, Ohio, in 1953, and worked his way up through the racing ranks starting with the SCCA’s feeder series to Formula Atlantic and then onto European Formula Two. In an 18-year career spanning F1, Can-Am, Le Mans/IMSA, and CART, Rahal notched three CART championships, including a win at the 1986 Indy 500, along with wins at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races.
One of open wheel racing’s most consistent drivers during his career, Rahal started 264 races for five teams and he took 18 poles and scored 24 wins. He collected back-to-back CART championships in 1986 & ’87, and picked up his third in 1992. When Buddy Rice won the 2004 Indy 500, Rahal became only one of a handful of individuals to win the Indy 500 as both a driver and a team owner.
Following his retirement from competitive racing after the 1998 season, Rahal spent time with Jaguar’s F1 effort and in mid-2000, he returned to the U.S. to become the interim boss of CART. Along with late night talk show icon David Letterman, he is a principal in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing where Rahal has overseen the growth of the team from a one-car program to a multi-car, multi-discipline organization. Rahal has been responsible for finding and developing some of the top-young talent in open-wheel racing. Among his current and past protégées are Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick and Vitor Meira. It also was Bobby Rahal who was responsible for bringing Honda into North American open-wheel racing in the early 90s, an involvement as a manufacturer that has produced eight championships and over 100 victories including three Indy 500 triumphs.
In addition, his team won the 2010 GT team and manufacturers championships in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with BMW, and Rahal is the driving force behind the new HMP Legends of Motorsports historic racing series. Along with his leadership of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, he operates Rahal Automotive Group, a string of car dealerships in Pennsylvania, and is very active in the community through the Bobby Rahal Foundation.

Bobby Rahal Racing Record

-1974 SCCA B/Sports Racing National Champion
-1975 Formula Atlantic National Champion (SCCA President’s Cup)
-1981 24 Hours of Daytona winner
-1982 CART Rookie of the Year
-1986 Indianapolis 500 winner
-1986 CART champion
-1986 Driver of the Year
-1987 CART champion
-1987 12 Hours of Sebring winner
-1992 CART champion
-1992 Driver of the Year
-Only driver/owner to win CART championship
-One of three drivers to win three CART/Champ Car championships
-First IndyCar driver to win $1 million in a single season
-First IndyCar driver to surpass $12 million in career earnings
-Recorded IndyCar/CART victories in ten seasons (eight straight)
-Introduced Honda to North American open-wheel racing
-Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004

WINS (Driver 1982 – 98 Owner 1992—present) 1982 – Cleveland, Michigan 1983 – Riverside 1984 – Phoenix, Laguna Seca 1985 – Mid-Ohio, Michigan, Laguna Seca 1986 – Indianapolis, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Montreal, Michigan, Laguna Seca 1987 – Portland, Meadowlands, Laguna Seca 1988 – Pocono 1989 – Meadowlands 1991 – Meadowlands 1992 – Phoenix, Detroit, New Hampshire, Nazareth 1998 – Laguna Seca 1999 – Laguna Seca 2000 – Homestead 2001 – Motegi, Milwaukee, Portland, Chicago, EuroSpeedway, Laguna Seca 2002 – Fontana 2003 – Milwaukee, Montreal 2004 – Indianapolis, Kansas, Michigan 2008 – Watkins Glen 2009 – Road America, Okayama 2010 – Road America

POLES (Driver 1982 – 98 Owner 1992—present) 1983 – Mid-Ohio, Michigan 1984 – Montreal 1985 – Cleveland, Mid-Ohio, Michigan, Michigan, Montreal, Laguna Seca, Miami 1986 – Elkhart Lake, Phoenix 1987 – Toronto 1990 – Nazareth 1991 – Elkhart Lake 1992 – Milwaukee, New Hampshire, Toronto 1997 – Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca 1998 – Long Beach, Portland, Laguna Seca 1999 – Chicago, Laguna Seca 2001 – Monterrey, Texas, Milwaukee, Portland, Michigan, Elkhart Lake, Rockingham 2002 – Long Beach 2003 – Long Beach 2004 – Homestead, Indianapolis, Portland, Kansas, Nashville, Milwaukee, Kentucky 2005 – Kansas, Kentucky, Chicagoland 2007 – Texas.

Image via Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Jack Christie

Jack's Pic

Inducted 2007

Many people think all the action is on the track but even before competitors load their cars for the trip to the track much has already been done. Dedicated people such as former formula car racer Jack Christie have worked to create and administer racing series, find sponsors, organize tracks and get it done all out of the limelight.

For over 20 years, Jack Christie has filled that role, creating the Canadian Tire Formula 2000 Series, the Nissan Racing program, the Super Beetle Racing series, and the outstanding Rothmans Porsche Turbo Cup which captivated Canadian and European racing fans.
Jack also founded the Canadian Formula Racing Drivers Association improving safety and funding for Canadian racers and co-founded the Canadian Motorsports Sponsors Association that assisted motorsports sponsors in their use of racing as a marketing tool. As well, he was instrumental in running several Canadian drivers in the 24 Hours of LeMans. He built motorsports marketing opportunities for such companies as Canadian Tire, Castrol, Pirelli Tire, Rothmans Canada, Shell Oil and Porsche AG.

Jack was also instrumental in guiding the careers, as a manager, mentor or advisor, to notable drivers such as Scott Goodyear, Ron Fellows, Paul Tracy, and Greg Moore. Quietly, Jack got the job done and helped build and advance the enjoyment of our sport.

Wayne Kelly

Inducted 2009

After a successful career racing a Porsche on the 1950s road circuits of Harewood Acres, Green Acres, and Waterford Hills, this Halifax native was instrumental in the development and establishment of the Volkswagen-powered Formula Vee as an affordable and exciting mode of competition.

Known for their quality, attention to detail, and use of aircraft-inspired components, Kelly built two dozen Formula Vee cars.
He raced his own creations, winning the Canadian Formula Vee championship in 1965 and 1968. Others winning with his cars include Brian Robertson and Horst Kroll.

Kelly raced throughout Canada and the US, and campaigned a Chevron Formula B for a time before focusing on an interest in Formula Fords.

With two racers remaining in the 1971 Shoppers World FF Championship, and second place in points, Kelly tragically lost his life while competing during a race at Mosport.

Geoff Goodwin


Inducted 2007

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Geoff moved to Edmonton in 1949 at age 12 and by 1952 was active in the fledgling hot rod and drag racing community.

A series of award winning hot rods and custom cars followed. In 1962 he campaigned his gas dragster a full season without defeat, winning the NHRA Inland Empire (Washington, Idaho) Edmonton and Alberta Championships. Geoff continued to dominate competition eliminator for over a decade in Western Canada and Eastern Washington.

Throughout his driving career, Geoff was involved in the growth and administration of the sport. In early 1960’s as President of Capital City Hot Rod Association, led that group back to solvency after a law suit threatened to bankrupt the club, effectively ending drag racing in Edmonton.

In 1967 he assisted in design of the then state-of-the art Edmonton International Speedway, sold shares in what was then a dream, invested personally, then managed and promoted the strip while continuing as President as CCHRA.

In 1990 Geoff re-answered the call for a much-needed facility, he invested personally and was instrumental in raising the funds to build Edmonton’s new Capital Raceway (now Castrol Raceway) and served as President and General Manager for the first 5 years.

As car owner Geoff continued to be active fielding Top Fuel Funny Cars, 360 Sprint cars, Junior Dragster (Championship) and recently Top Alcohol Funny Cars, garnering numerous track records, three AHRA World Finals and “Best Appearing Awards” at both IHRA and NHRA National Events.

His current team competes in the prestigious NHRA Lucas Oil Series finishing 6th in Division 6 in 2006 and 7th in 2007 in California’s highly competitive Division 7.

At the date of this induction, after devoting a proud 56 years to the sport, Geoff has no intentions of retiring.

Image via Drag Race Alberta

Bob Atchison

Inducted 2006

Bob Atchison is one of the true pioneers of Canadian drag racing. Born in 1941, Bob started competing in the mid-1950s with an Oldsmobile-powered 1955 Ford and an Oldsmobile powered 1951 Henry J. In the early 1960s, Bob began racing in the dragster classes, first with a B dragster and then a nitro-fuelled Top Fuel dragster. He became a frequent winner at Grand Bend Dragway, Motor City Dragway, Detroit Dragway and at the St. Thomas Dragway. The reputation Bob established was enhanced when he opened his machine shop, Atchison Machine, in 1967. He became well-known for building chassis, engines and custom components not only for himself but for other racers. The list includes previous Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees Scott Wilson, Frank Hawley and Bill Kydd. In the 1990s, his son Robbie went racing and father and son took on the task of creating an alcohol burning Funny Car. During record-setting and dominating 2003, 2004 and 2005 seasons, Bob choreographed his son Robbie to three straight IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series Alcohol Funny Car World Championships. Bob was IHRA Crew Chief of the Year in 2004 and Crew Chief of the Year in a Drag Race Canada poll. The team currently holds 10 speed records. Bob is responsible for the current success of the AJ481X, an engine considered to be obsolete in today’s highly competitive world. He has developed camshafts that have increased the horsepower in these engines to staggering numbers. In addition, many top engine builders now use the supercharger technology that Bob pioneered. Bob’ s achievements in the last five years are world-class. Even more remarkable is that he accomplished them using an eight-year-old chassis in the midst of constant engine evolution.

Jim Thompson

Inducted 2005

Jim Thompson, a graduate Naval Officer of Royal Roads who studied engineering at U of T and business at Western, had an avid interest in unlimited hydroplane racing. As co-founder and president of the Supertest Petroleum Co., he combined the two and established probably the most dynamic marketing and promotional program of the late Fifties and early Sixties: Miss Supertest. When fellow CMHF inductee Harold Wilson retired, Thompson bought Wilson’s Miss Canada IV and renamed her Miss Supertest I. Thus began the journey that would ultimately establish a world’s speed record and capture the Harmsworth Trophy – emblematic of world supremacy in powerboat racing – three years in succession. Initially, in the Supertest program, all the development driving and testing was done by Mr. Thompson. The result was Miss Supertest II, a Rolls Royce Griffon powered hydroplane and holder of the Canadian and British Empire speed record for propeller-driven craft. Driven by Art Asbury, Miss Supertest II shattered the existing world record with a speed of 184.54 in 1957. Supertest III soon followed and, driven by Bob Hayward, won the Harmsworth in 1959, ’60 and ’61. Miss Supertest III was never beaten in a race. She was retired following a tragic accident later in 1961 that took the life of Hayward, the driver who thought of her as human.

Photo by Bruce Urquhart via Woodstock Sentinal Review

Jack Smith

Vern Bruce, Bruce Passmore, Jack Smith at Langford Speedway in 1947

Inducted 2005

Jack Smith, who flew combat missions in not one but two World Wars, built his first race car in 1911 in his hometown of Calgary after watching the legendary Barney Oldfield in action. He was 15. After World War I, he built and drove his own sprint cars to two successive Alberta championships. He then moved to British Columbia, where he proceeded to win the Victoria, Northwest, B.C. and Vancouver championships. His many talents enabled him to manufacture not only his own chassis but his own engines and the parts for them. In 1927, he decided to branch out and try boat racing but returned to cars after winning 14 of the 15 races he entered. He’s particularly remembered for two things from the early 1930s: he was instrumental in forming, and was the first president of, the B.C. Automotive Sports Association, the parent club from which all B.C. motorsport clubs today have sprung, and he was part of a group that built the Langford Speedway in 1936. His last race as a driver was at Victoria’s Colwood Horse Race Track in 1934. He won. He then ran cars as an owner till World War II broke out. Influenced by the European Auto Union cars, he built a pair of rear-engine sprint cars after the war and campaigned them successfully at Langford in the late ’40s. Mr. Smith passed away in July, 1974.

Image via Canadian Racer

Brian Robertson

Brian Robertson leads a group of Vees at Harewood Acres in 1967.

Inducted 2005

Brian Robertson first went road racing in 1964 after attending the CASC drivers school at Harewood Acres. In 1967, he won both the Ontario Region and Canadian Formula Vee championships. He went Formula B racing in 1968 and had success both at home and in SCCA events in the United States. In 1972, despite tough competition from Craig Hill, Ric Forest and John Powell, he won the Player’S Challenge Series and the Canadian Driving Championship. Following a serious accident in the Grand Prix of Singapore in 1973, he developed vertigo and was forced to retire at the age of 33. In 1969, he and American importer Fred Opert became partners in Fred Opert Canada. From ’69 to 1977, the company imported, serviced and supported FB Brabhams and Chevrons. That year, 1977, saw Brian start his own company. For the next 20 years, he was the North American importer for Ralt, which dominated North American Atlantic and Super Vee racing, and he also was one of the continent’s biggest suppliers of racing motors. Among his team drivers were Michael Andretti, who won the Atlantic title in 1983, and David Empringham (1994). As a driver, importer and team owner, Canada’s Brian Robertson was one of the most important figures in North American open wheel racing.

Image via Canadian Racer