Stockton 99 Speedway Promoter Ken Clapp enters Hall of Fame

Ken Clapp, half-owner of Stockton 99, and Ernie Conn of Lodi were two of 30 inductees into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Clapp and Conn were in big company. Others inducted included the legendary Parnelli Jones, Jack McCoy, J.C. Agajanian, Herschel McGriff, Bob Barkheimer, Bill Schmitt and Jimmy Insolo.

''There were no lightweights in that room, I'll tell you. I was impressed,'' Clapp said. ''When I gave my remarks, I said, 'I was a kid living a passion, living a dream, and I thank all of you for letting me live my dream.' And boy, did I mean what I said. It was an honor to be a part of something like that.''

Clapp has promoted more than 3,300 races in 37 years. He was part of the team that took NASCAR to Japan in 1996. Clapp made 16 trips to Japan in all as a public relations spokesman to Japan's movers and shakers. He also shared the podium with former Vice President Walter Mondale when he was ambassador to Japan in 1995.

''I'm certainly proud of that,'' Clapp said. ''Being able to keep the Winston West Series steady and growing for 20 years certainly has always been my pet rock.''

It also was a big day for Clapp when NASCAR founder Bill France made him a vice president in 1983.

McCoy is the winningest driver in the history of the Winston West Series. He won 54 championship events from 1954-74, including championships in 1966 and '73. McCoy drove for Conn, a car and engine builder and crew chief.

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30 Inducted in 1st Annual West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Banquet
7/31/2002 10:33:37 AM
by: Tim Kennedy
The first annual West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame banquet took place Friday, July 26, at the Sheraton-Four Points Hotel. The initial 30 inductees were honored in ceremonies attended by approximately 200 persons, including NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr., NASCAR Executive Vice President Brian France and NASCAR Vice President of Broadcasting Paul Brooks.

The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame honors drivers, car owners, mechanics, officials and race promoters/organizers who have made significant contributions to the success and colorful history of stock car racing in the West. Tim Meyer, editor/publisher of Racing News West in Utah, was instrumental in making the Hall of Fame a reality.

The second annual induction ceremonies and third West Coast Stock Car Reunion are expected to take place in 2003 on a NASCAR Winston West Series race weekend at Irwindale.

Honorees and guests attended the NASCAR Winston West race and second annual West Coast Stock Car Reunion Saturday from 4 to 7 Irwindale Speedway. They met fans and signed autographs again this year in the track's chalet village area. Jack McCoy's purple No. 7 winged Dodge
Daytona, a vintage No. 29 Hudson Hornet that still started, and Don Basile's
No. 15 1946 Ford coupe post-WW II stock car were on display.

Following dinner Friday at 7 p.m., the Hall of Fame ceremonies commenced at 8 p.m. Most of the inductee and family members were able to attend. They included Ray Elder, Bill Amick, Danny Letner,Eddie Gray, Lloyd Dane, Marvin Porter, Ron Hornaday, Sr, Marvin Panch, Hershel McGriff, Scotty Cain, Bill Schmitt, Jack McCoy, Jimmy Insolo, Jim Robinson, Roy Smith, Parnelli Jones, Troy Ruttman, Johnny Soares, Sr, Lou Figaro and Ernie Conn.

Also included were Cos Cancilla, Carl and Jim Dane, Bill Stroppe and tire innovator Bruce Alexander. Race organizers/officials inducted into the hall of fame were: J. C. Agajanian, Ken Clapp, Bob Barkhimer, Charlie Curryer and Les Richter.

Thanks to the Record and Winston West Home Page for the articles.
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