Robert and Melvin Pallister, Barrie Goodwin, Bill Okell and Mike Grute are five of the six local auto racing luminaries being inducted. Don Carmichael is also being honoured for the ceremony.
“I’m pretty excited, just wish my dad were still alive. He’s the main reason I started racing, but it’s a good thing,” Grute said.
The Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame 2019 induction ceremony will take place Saturday, April 6, under the grandstands at Western Speedway. Doors will open at noon, with the induction ceremony beginning at 2 p.m.
In the ‘70s, Okell competed in the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs, racing throughout the Pacific Northwest and finishing third three times in 1978, 1980 and 1981 in the E-Production championship. He placed in the top three in national races in the U.S. Regional and National SCCA programs in the ‘80s in the Northern Pacific Division. He had twosecondplace finishes in the SCCA Oregon region in 1984 and 1988. With race success in hand, he gained four invitations to the SCCA Pacific Coast Road Racing Championships, held at Sonoma Raceway. Okell raced in the False Creek downtown site in 1995, 1996 and 2000 through 2005, with his best finish being second place in the P3 class in 2003. Okell would set and hold the Nasport Lite track record at Sacramento’s Thunderhill Raceway Park, Monterey’s Laguna Seca Raceway and San Francisco’s Sonoma Raceway. His racing in 2018 includes one SCCA US Majors win at Bakersfield’s Buttonwillow Raceway Park with a track record.