BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Two NASCAR Cup Series champions, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick and CART champion Jimmy Vasser are among eight first-time and nominees under consideration for induction into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2023.
The inaugural nominees are:
• Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2017 Daytona 500 winner
• Dick Cobb, winner of multiple weekly track championships in Las Vegas and California
• Matt Crafton, three-time NASCAR Truck Series champion
• Davey Hamilton, pavement supermodified champion and Indianapolis 500 veteran
• Kevin Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion and winner of all four “crown jewel” races
• Jeff Jefferson, three-time NASCAR Elite Series Northwest Tour champion
• Lyn St. James, Daytona 24 and Sebring 12-hour class winner and Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year. Proponent of women in auto racing
• Jimmy Vasser, 1996 Championship Auto Racing Teams champion – the last American-born competitor to win a CART title
Nominated again after appearing on previous ballots are Austin Cameron, Ken Boyd, Ernie Cope, Mike David, Eric Holmes, Lance Hooper, Tony Hunt, Brent Kaeding, Brad Noffsinger, Greg Pickett, Nick Rescino and Sean Woodside.
Five inductees will be named in early 2023, following two rounds of voting by the organization’s Board of Directors. First-round voting begins next week.
The organization also will induct its sixth Heritage class of five individuals whose careers largely began prior to 1970. The five Heritage inductees will be named in spring 2023.
The 2022 induction ceremonies, presented by World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, will be held Thursday, June 8 as part of the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menard Series West weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
“As the Hall moves forward into its third decade, it has been able to display a very diversified approach to nominations. In 2023, we are recognizing everyone from NASCAR Cup Series champions to lesser-known but extremely worthy short track kings such as Dick Cobb,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame. “Each year, the voting becomes more intense and the results to gain admission, much more difficult.
“With Hall changes moving the organization to greater fame and recognition, the Hall’s ability to gift more to charities much greater. This year, despite trying economic times in the world, we are shooting towards reaching three-quarters of a million dollars over the past six years.
“There will be exciting news for 2023 coming in the near future that will be tremendously positive for the ARCA Menards Series West championship. The series is far and away the premier form of stock car racing west of the Rocky Mountains and has been for nearly 70 years. The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame will play a significant role in that huge announcement.”
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame annually nominates for induction worthy individuals who competed in traditional stock car racing as well as other racing vehicles primarily on road courses under international and national sanction by the FIA, IndyCar, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), GRAND-AM and the Sports Car Club of America. The Hall also is open to winners and champions of other forms of racing, as determined by the Hall’s nominating committee.