Scott Fraser

Inducted 2007

Scott Fraser started to race at 16 in the Street Stock at Onslow Speedway and soon was runner-up as Rookie of the Year in the Maritime Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

Scott’s abilities were honed on local tracks and at 21 he moved to his first international competition, finishing 3rd and 4th when the ACT series came to Nova Scotia in 1991. Scott moved into road racing at the 1992 Moosehead Grand Prix. He adapted quickly and qualified 3rd only to fall victim to a broken gearbox. In his second road race the following year he finished 2nd.

In 1994, at 23, Scott won his first ACT race. Between 1993 and 1998 he dominated the annual Riverside 250, the longest and most prestigious annual stock car race on the MASCAR circuit, with six consecutive wins.

In 1996, Scott experienced perhaps the most successful season ever for any driver in the history of Maritime motorsports. While competing on the MASCAR circuit he scored an impressive 12 of 15 feature wins en route to his first touring series championship. Nine of those wins were consecutive. He led an amazing 58.9% of the total laps run. Scott was so dominant the most commonly asked question in racing circles that year was “Who finished second?”

Scott went on to win many races, build cars and be a dominant force in the Maritimes, a car builder of note and in 1999 the Nova Scotia Male Athlete of the Year. Scott’s life was cut short in a snowmobile crash in 2004.

Image via Scott Fraser Racing

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

Lloyd Shaw

Inducted 2006

Lloyd Shaw had a spectacular career as a builder of racing cars, as a champion racer at home and in the United States in both open-wheel and closed-wheel cars, and as an administrator and promoter. Born in Toronto in 1912, he was 20 when he built his first sprint car and went racing at speedways in places like Leamington, Chatham, and Sarnia. With most of the records missing, we don’t know how many races he won in those days but we do know that on his first visit to the circuit in Leamington, he set Canadian and British Empire speed records for a half-mile dirt track. Following the Second World War, in which he flew bombers for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lloyd won Canadian Auto Racing Society sprint-car championships in 1948, 1950, ’51 and ’52. During the 1950 season, Lloyd also drove a stock car and won that year’s CARS stock car championship. In 1953, NASCAR opened up a Grand National race at Langhorne, Pa., to “foreign cars.” Lloyd’s sponsor, James Cook, who was the Canadian agent for Jaguar cars and had dealerships in Toronto and Winnipeg, entered a Jaguar for Lloyd and he won the pole in it. To this day, Lloyd Shaw is the only Canadian ever to win a pole in NASCAR’s premier division. As well as racing himself, he was also a builder. He was one of the founders of the Toronto Racing Drivers’ Club (he also served as treasurer and was instrumental in the club’s construction of Canada’s first post-war race track, Pinecrest Speedway) and the Canadian Auto Racing Society. He retired from active participation in the sport in the mid-1950s and died in 1983.

Image via Ed Moody

Pete Henderson

Pete Henderson in 1916

Inducted 2005

At the turn of the last century, auto racing was in its infancy and was a most dangerous pursuit. Many drivers were killed. One who lived to die quietly many years later was George G. Henderson of Fernie, B.C. Known as Pete, he was – as far as we know – the first Canadian to race as a driver in the famed Indianapolis 500, was the first Canadian to be employed as a works driver for a major automobile manufacturer (Duesenberg), was the first Canadian to compete regularly on the AAA championship circuit, which evolved into USAC and then CART/IRL, and he was, we believe, the first Canadian to win what today would be called an Indy car race – an AAA national championship race on the two-mile board track at Maywood Speedway in Chicago in October, 1917. Born in 1895 in Ontario, Pete went to British Columbia as an infant when his father moved the family to Fernie and started the Fernie Free Press, which is still in business today. In his teens, Pete went to study automotive engineering at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He started his racing career as a riding mechanic in 1915. He drove in his first 500 in 1916 for Eddie Rickenbacker’s team (he was credited with sixth) and his last in 1920, when he finished tenth. It was his last race. He retired and settled in Los Angeles where he died in 1940 while employed as a civilian aircraft inspector for the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Image via Indy 500 archives.

Gordon Reelie

Inducted 2004

Gordon Reelie represents a sub-culture of automobile racing that often goes unnoticed: that of the car owner. Gordon Reelie was such an owner. From B.C. to California, his midget race cars were instantly recognized and admired for their preparation and presentation. In fact, one was once displayed at the Vancouver Art Gallery. His infatuation with motorsport began in the 1920s when he first heard the roar of racing engines at Vancouver’s Hastings Park while standing in the backyard of his family’s North Burnaby home. But it wasn’t until after World War II that his career took off. Gordon tried driving once, won and promptly retired. From then until his death in 1994, Reelie’s cars were always contenders for feature wins, if not season championships. He was instrumental in laying out the dimensions for both the Digney and False Creek Speedways – he patterned them exactly after Seattle’s Aurora Stadium – and he was president of the B.C. Midget Auto Racing Association (BCMRA) for several years. He raced up and down the west coast, winning as far south as the famed Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles with Hank Butcher driving. Other famous drivers like Rich Vogler took turns behind the wheel of Reelie’s cars. Palmer Crowell drove for Reelie for 20 years and racked up more than 50 Washington Midget Racing Association victories and several WMRA championships. Dennis Kitts, who wasn’t born when Reelie started racing, won him his last championship, in 1992. Over the years, his cars were powered by Ford V-8-60s, Offenhausers, VWs and whatever else would get them around the track and to the front, including – on the odd occasion – a little nitro.

Rollie MacDonald

Inducted 2004

Rollie MacDonald’s love for racing cars and speed has kept him in the racing game for nearly 40 years. He’s raced on tracks in Canada and the United States against some of the racing world’s toughest competitors, breaking both local and national records and winning numerous races and championships. As a boy growing up in rural Pictou County, Nova Scotia, his love for fast cars began when he would race old cars around the fields of the family farm. In 1965, he built his first real race car, a ’55 Pontiac, and started his racing career that year at Mountain Raceway, a dirt track near New Glasgow. From there he went on to race at speedways throughout the Maritime provinces, Quebec and the northeastern United States. He was only injured once, but it was a dilly: he was bedridden for a month in 1977 after hitting the wall while trying for 22 straight victories at his local speedway. In 1983 he won the three-province MASCAR championship and was a strong runner in that series for many years afterward. A friend and customer of fellow Maritimer Junior Hanley, MacDonald took a Hanley car to Quebec in 1986 and won the QUASCAR title. MacDonald says his most memorable victory came in 1989 when he won the Nissan 200 International at the newly built Scotia Speedworld near Halifax. In 1994, MacDonald purchased a Busch Grand National car from Jimmy Spencer and raced in the Busch North series. Never content with racing in just one series, he continued to race locally and in selected MASCAR events at the same time – a pattern throughout his career. In 1998, Rollie MacDonald – a successful business as well as sportsman – made a major change: he went from driver to owner. He continues to compete today with a local fellow, Scott Fraser, in the car.

Image via Checkers to Wreckers

George LeMay

George LeMay, Alberta Sprint Car Champion 1950 & 1951, in the Leco Special

Inducted 2004

George LeMay was one of the real pioneers of auto racing in Western Canada. He was born in Kindersley, Sask., but later settledin Calgary. When he was discharged from the Navy after World War II, he opened a gas station and auto repair business. Bow Valley Service became the sponsor of his first race car, a stripped down Model T. which he raced in the Lion’s Club races at Calgary and Edmonton and at smaller Alberta fairgrounds in 1947, ’48 and ’49. In 1949, the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) sprint cars toured Western Canada featuring most of the top American dirt track cars and drivers. Some of the local Model T drivers who attended the races as spectators – LeMay among them – got together to form the Alberta Auto Racing Association to promote sprint car racing in Alberta. The inaugural season in 1950 included fairgrounds races in Edmonton, Lacombe, Red Deer, Three Hills, Brooks, Calgary, High River, Nanton, and Lethbridge. When the dust settled at the end of the season, George LeMay was Alberta’s first sprint car champion. He went south to race full-time on the IMCA circuit for several years and in 1953, replaced the Mercury V-8 in his sprint car with a 440 c.i. Ranger aircraft engine. The car was known as the LeMay Ranger. Years later, he restored this car and raced it several times at the annual IMCA Old Timers Reunion race in Arlington, Minnesota. From 1954 until he retired from race driving after the ’59 season, George raced modified stock cars, primarily at Springbank Speedway in Calgary and Edmonton’s Speedway Park. In 1995, he was inducted into the IMCA Hall of Fame. It was well known that George LeMay, being Canadian, put the “international” in the International Motor Contest Association. He passed away in 1996.

Image via The H.A.M.B.

Jack Greedy

Inducted 2004

Jack Greedy started racing in 1954 in the jalopy division at Pinecrest Speedway, where he was named Rookie of the Year. He progressed to supermodified racing at the CNE Speedway, where he was the track champion in 1963, the year it closed. During the mid-’60s, he won track championships at Delaware Speedway, Nilestown and Flamboro and was known to one and all as “Smiling Jack” because of his cheerful disposition. In 1968, Greedy often travelled to Oswego Speedway in New York state where he won a feature over the acknowledged king of the supers at that time, Jim Shampine. Several weeks after the 1968 Oswego Classic (in which he finished fourth), he was involved in a horrific crash with Bentley Warren and both their cars were destroyed. Amazingly, Greedy’s car – which started life as an A.J. Watson roadster that was driven in the 1963 Indy 500 by Roger Ward – was repaired and back at the speedway the following Saturday. Owning a construction company, in which several employees were also members of his pit crew, helped. Greedy retired from driving at the end of the 1969 season after purchasing, with a partner, Delaware Speedway near London. He enlarged the track from a quarter to a half-mile, started a low-dollar beginner division called Rat Racers and, with Cayuga Speedway management, started the Export A Super Late Model series for serious racers. Greedy was manager of Carling’s NASCAR Grand National team (Earl Ross, driver) and headquartered the team at Delaware. He sold the racing plant in 1975 but continued in the sport, supporting his son John’s racing. He passed away in 1988.

Image via Delaware Speedway

Roy Smith

Inducted 2002

“Rapid Roy, the stock car boy” was one of Canada’s most outstanding in this class of racing. He began racing in 1965 at the age of 20 with a 1950 Ford Stock Car. In 1967, he graduated to driving the powerful A-Modified cars and was awarded the popular driver award.

Not only was Roy successful in his home country breaking track records and winning numerous races and track championships in British Columbia and Alberta, he was also one of the most respected stock car racers in the western United States. A professional racer, Roy won the NASCAR Winston West championship four times — 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1988 and was third twice (1987 and 1989) competing against such NASCAR stalwarts as Chad Little, Hershel McGriff and Jim Bown.

The highlight of is career came in 1982 with a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500, which is the Holy Grail of NASCAR racing.Roy was 22nd in the 1976 and 20th in the 1978 Daytona 500s.

Roy has also been inducted into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1992) and the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame (2002).

Bob and Leone Slack

Inducted 2002

As Hall of Fame member Ernie McLean earned induction as the man who built stock car racing in New Brunswick, so Bob Slack, and his wife Leone, became known as the couple who built the “Charlotte of the North,” Ontario’s Cayuga Speedway. Commitment, dedication and hard work were the trademarks of Bob and Leone Slack. Their devotion and loving care, along with an emphasis on taking care of the fans as well as the competitors, established Cayuga as one of the premier short tracks in North America. As H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of the Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte, put it, “If ever there were promoters who truly put the fans first, it was Bob and Leone Slack while at the helm of the Cayuga Speedway.” It was 1967 when Bob, known as the Lumber King of Caledonia, took over Cayuga, which had fallen on hard times. He said he knew nothing about racing, but he was a fast learner. Within three years, Bob and Leone were promoting the two biggest oval track events held in Canada to that point — the Thrush 200 and the Maple Leaf 250. It was the Slack’s who dreamed up the idea of bringing in top NASCAR stars to battle local and regional Canadian and northern U.S. stars. Bobby Allison was his first guest in 1972, and it’s a Cayuga tradition to this day. Others to take on the locals have included Dale Earnhardt, Buddy Baker, Donnie Allison, Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott and Sterling Marlin. And the locals learned well. Names like Hall-of-Famers Junior Hanley, Earl Ross and Don Biederman would refine their talents at the Cayuga oval and then head south of the border. The Slack’s were promoting pioneers, bringing in the ASA stock cars, the Big Rig racers and the Busch North series. Usually, Cayuga would mark the first, and sometimes only, Canadian appearance by major series. They even dared to bring the USAC sprint cars into what was stock car country and featured the likes of Gary Bettenhausen, Larry Dickson, Tom Bigelow and the late Rich Vogler. Amenities were the order of the day at Cayuga ? an up-to-date press facility, corporate suites and a new, massive grandstand with good food and good washrooms made Cayuga stand out as a first-class facility. The business downturn of the early 90s caught up with Bob and Leone and they sold Cayuga Speedway. But their legacy lives on, and current owners and promoters, Brad Lichty and Garry Evans, are the first to say, when confronted with a problem or the puzzle of a promotion, “What would Bob and Leone Slack do?”

Image via Canadian Racer