Herbie “Go Fast” Rodgers

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Inducted 2010

The late, great Herb Rodgers and his “Flyin’ Glass” moniker were two of the most familiar names in all of Canadian drag racing. The London, Ontario based racer first became active in the Alcohol Funny Car class in
1977 and since then ran a series of Ford-bodied alcohol Funny Cars. His claim to fame includes being the first class racer to ever run a “five” on Canadian soil, being chosen to represent his country Canada during NHRA’s
Dragfest in Fuji Japan in 1995, and a huge IHRA national event title at New York International Raceway in 1992.

Herb Rodgers’ driving career spanned 5 decades and his forty-year driving career will probably never be equaled.

Herb started campaigning drag race cars in 1964 along with his wife Elaine racing at local tracks in Ontario and Michigan. His first ride was in drag racing pioneer George Herbert’s D/Dragster in which he drove for one year before purchasing his own small block Chevy powered B/D. Herb raced the B/D for two years before stepping up to an injected nitro burning small block Chevy in a Logghe chassis built in Michigan.

In 1967 Herb put a blower on the little Chevy and appropriately named the car Mission Possible. Herb and Elaine
sold the car when they got the opportunity to team with “Hall ofFamer” Scott Wilson in a Ford Canada sponsored SOHC Ford dragster. Next up Herb then drove the MacGregor Auto Parts Top Fuel car for a season before
putting his driving career on hold to raise his family.

During his hiatus from Drag Racing and never one to sit idly around Herb decided to help his employer Pat Hodgson with his Super Modified Oval track car. The London Concrete Machinery Super Modified was a
force on the circuit with drivers Norm Mackereth, Harvey Lennox and Ron Peam. This time filled the gap from his true love of drag racing until 1977 when Herb, Elaine and the “Girls” Stacey and Jacki purchased their first of
many Alcohol Burning Funny Cars.

The first car was appropriately named “The Entertainer” as Herbie was always just that an entertainer. Famous for his long smoky burnouts Herb captivated the crowd and quickly became a fan favorite. Herb kept the Entertainer name on the car until he lost the Trans Am body launching it skyward after an explosion and “The Flying Glass” name seemed more appropriate and it stuck for next three decades.

Herb’s big break came with the marketing partnership with Big “V” Drugs and for the first time in Herb’s career he had financial backing to go to the next level. The 1992 season was a breakout year for the team as they won the IHRA Empire Nationals, plus running well in both IHRA and NHRA. Herb set the IHRA 1/8 mile per hour record in Huntsville, Alabama with a 187.42 pass. With the sale of Big “V” to Shopper’s Drug Mart the sponsorship deal wasn’t renewed but Herb and Elaine purchased a new Gordy’s Chassis with a Mustang body. Right out of the box the Mustang became the first Alcohol funny Car ever to run a 5 second pass on Canadian soil. Herbie continued to be a force in Alcohol Funny Car racing throughout the 90’s winning numerous match races, UDRA events and competing in IHRA and NHRA. Their successes were rewarded with a trip to Japan in 1995 to the NHRA/RCC International Drag Race where Herb represented Canada and finished runner-up in the all-star field.

Herb and Elaine continued to run the “Flying Glass” Mustang until the summer of 2002. Herb had battled Colon cancer and had developed a breathing disorder related to his working with asbestos which made it hard to breathe and he felt it no longer safe to drive a 3000 horsepower race car. The car was sold to Slave Lake Alberta’s Trevor Lebsack and Trevor still races the car competitively in IHRA Funny Car.

Throughout Herbie’s distinguished Drag Racing career he was always flanked by his close friend and crew chief Gordie Overbaugh and his loving wife Elaine known to all the racing family as “Toots”. Herbie was always
there to help up and coming young drivers and was a mentor and close friend to IHRA World Champion’s Todd Paton and Rob Atchison and NHRA World Champion Frank Hawley. Herbie was a legend who touched
the hearts of all who met him both on and off the track. His positive influence helped all those who were fortunate enough to meet Herb Rodgers. Herb Rodgers is a true Canadian Legend. His exceptional talent as a driver, car owner and builder are dwarfed by his great showmanship and compassion for drag racing. Few people will forget the legend and the accomplishments of this truly unique man without a big smile and story to share. His legend and his accomplishments live on through the many stories and tales told and retold time and time again acknowledging this truly remarkable Canadian racer.

Image courtesy of Lynn W. “Mort” Morton

Geoff Goodwin

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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

Barry Paton

One More Time at Sanair in 1976

Inducted 2002

Barry Paton has been involved with race cars since the mid-1950s. As a teenager, he took a turn at stock car racing but soon found out that “turning left” was not for him. In 1964, he began running a ’58 Plymouth Fury at the drags, honing his driving skills. In 1969, Barry ordered a new 1969 Chevrolet Nova with a powerful 396 big block. With his wife Lynne’s encouragement, Barry began racing the Nova, which he quickly named “One More Time.” “One More Time” quickly became one of the most-feared Super Stockers of its time. Running in SS/IA trim, the Nova obliterated the NHRA record of 11.08 with an unreal 10.83 and won hundreds of trophies. In 1978, Barry felt the urge to go a little quicker. After a brief search, he found the old “Fighting Irish” Nitro Funny Car which fit perfectly into B Econo Altered in NHRA’s Competition Eliminator, with a de-stroked 383 cu. in. Chevy for power. This allowed him to move into the 8-second range at over 150 mph. It also seemed to whet his appetite for funny cars. In 1986, Barry took delivery of Paul Smith’s “Entertainer” nitro funny car and outfitted it with all the running gear from the Vega. At a Division 2 Points Meet in Warner Robins, Georgia, his fourth event behind the wheel of his new Camaro, Barry eliminated Bogie Kell, Terry Mullins and then-Division 2 champion Steve Group to claim his first title in Alcohol Funny Car. In 1989, Barry became the first Canadian to qualify #1 at the Molson GrandNational in Montreal, Quebec, where his 6.06 paced the 16-car field. During the winter of 1990, Barry put Todd, the older of his two sons, behind the wheel of the family funny car. Barry tuned Todd to a run of 6.01 seconds at his very first national event, the 1991 Gatornationals. They went on to win the Can-Am Nationals that year in St. Thomas, Ontario. The following year Barry, along with Todd’s younger brother Tony, tuned him to a runner-up finish at the IHRA Winternationals. In June of that year, just three months later, the Paton family earned their first national event win when Todd defeated Scott Weis in the snow-delayed(!) IHRA Summer Nationals. In 1993 the team won the IHRA World Championship despite missing the season-opening Winter Nationals. In 1995, the team again used record-setting performances to return to their winning ways, and became the only Canadian team to capture two IHRA World Championships. In 1996, Barry and his family shifted their focus to the NHRA. Using a new combination designed around a screw-type supercharger, the team became the first alcohol funny car to break into the 5.70’s at Indy, and used a string of consistent 5.8-second elapsed times to eliminate the likes of former world champions Pat Austin, Randy Anderson and Tony Bartone to win the biggest drag race of them all: the U.S. Nationals. 1999 was the team’s best season in the NHRA’s Alcohol Funny Car division. The team won the Mac Tools Gatornationals. They quickly followed that victory with another win at the Lone Star Nationals in Dallas, Texas and a divisional victory in Reynolds, Georgia, earning them a top 5 finish in the NHRA’s season-long points chase. Barry has since kept himself busy guiding the career of son Todd in a nitro funny car. But just before the season-ending NHRA World Finals last year, Barry climbed back in the cockpit of a funny car for the first time in 12 years and the first time ever in a nitro funny car during a test session at the Strip in Las Vegas. He made two perfect 300-foot checkout passes, leaving his future plans wide open. Maybe he’s ready to go quicker “One More Time”.

Image via Lynn W “Mort” Morton on Drag Racers Reunion