by Tommy Goudge
(May 9, 2017) – Ohsweken, Ontario – Ohsweken Speedway officials are pleased to announce this year’s class of inductees for the Ohsweken Speedway Wall of Fame. Jim Cochrane, Clinton Geoffrey Kruchka, Gale Hill, Tom Huppunen, and Adam Ross will be honoured on Wall of Fame Night on Friday, June 16 as Ohsweken Speedway celebrates the past, and looks forward to the future during the track’s 22nd season of racing.
Jim Cochrane was a mainstay of the Mini Stock division during the speedway’s early years, with his children later joining him on the track – and in victory lane. He was and continues to be a tireless advocate for the Mini Stocks and the speedway. Along with several feature wins, Jim was the first recipient of the Art Hill Memorial Award when it was created in 2000. Dedicated to the memory of the late Art Hill, the award is given annually to the Mini Stock competitor who demonstrates sportsmanship both on and off the track, strives to maintain the highest level of competition, and acts as an ambassador for Ohsweken Speedway.
Gale Hill has been a long-time proud supporter of local racing with his business, Gale’s Auto Aftermarket. On top of his sponsorship of teams, divisions, tracks, events, and more, Gale has gone the extra mile on many occasions in his efforts to help the local racing community. His relationship with Ohsweken Speedway and local racers goes well beyond the terms of any sponsorship agreement.
Tom Huppunen was among the first local drivers to get behind the wheel of a Sprint Car on a regular basis. Known as “The Fenwick Flyer”, Huppunen helped to carve a path which has now been followed by dozens of drivers and teams. Huppunen’s 11 career feature wins at Ohsweken currently rank him second all-time, while his resume also includes the 2009 360 Sprint Car track championship. He holds Ohsweken track records for both the eight lap distance, and fastest lap ever recorded in a 360 Sprint Car.
Clinton Geoffrey Kruchka and Adam Ross have served in a variety of roles at Ohsweken over the years. Although fans are most familiar with their announcing work, they have also worked behind the scenes in many different capacities, including Clinton’s current position as the speedway’s General Manager. The “Dual Airbags” team of Clinton and Adam brought professionalism and improved the fan experience at Ohsweken, with trackside reporting, webcasts, and many other innovations. Both are currently active with broadcasting work on nationally-televised NASCAR events.
About the Ohsweken Speedway Wall of Fame: The Ohsweken Speedway Wall of Fame is dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of those who have helped Ohsweken Speedway to become a premiere racing facility, and inspired generations to come. Selections will be made annually by the Wall of Fame committee, with potential honourees including (but not limited to) drivers, car owners, manufacturers, car builders, mechanics, sponsors, promoters, officials, sanctioning organizations, and media members.
The community is invited to submit nominations for induction to the Wall of Fame, and all nominations are given due consideration. The number of inductees in any given year shall be at the discretion of the Wall of Fame committee. The names of inductees for any given year are announced in early spring, and the official induction ceremony is held at Ohsweken Speedway on a selected race night during the subsequent season. The Styres Family, the Southern Ontario Sprints club, and Mike “Pinball” Giberson were selected for the inaugural class of Wall of Fame inductees in 2015, while Jay Mallory, Jim Swing, Abel Castelein, and the Bell family were inducted in 2016.
The 2017 Wall of Fame Night festivities are set for June 16, the anniversary of Ohsweken’s inaugural race in 1996. Nominations for the 2017 Wall of Fame class were accepted until February 28, 2017. To nominate a candidate for consideration for the 2018 Wall of Fame class, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or utilize the nomination form on the Ohsweken Speedway website at http://ohswekenspeedway.ca/?page_id=3279
Ohsweken Speedway’s 22nd season of racing begins on Friday, May 19. The weekly Friday Night Excitement program will include Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks, HRW Automotive Mini Stocks, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket Bombers. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news about Ohsweken Speedway’s 2017 season, and visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com to view the schedule.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Six Nations Showdown, Northern Summer Nationals, Triple Crown Showdown, and Canadian Sprint Car Nationals are on sale now! Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com or call 519-717-0023 for more information.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex which includes a 3/8 (0.375) mile clay oval track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday night racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Bombers, while the season finishes each year with the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights, and has been a yearly stop on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series schedule since 2007.
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support: Arrow Express, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Renway Energy, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Hoosier Tire Canada, EPIC Racewear, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Ackland Insurance, Strickland’s GMC, Lucas Oil, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket.