by Troy Hennig
ROSEVILLE, CA – (JULY 29, 2014)…There will be plenty of can’t miss activities during the 7th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic held at Calistoga Speedway during the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. On Friday night, August 29th, the 3rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction will kick things off with an evening dedicated to the introduction of eight new members of the Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame.
On behalf of the HMC-Promotions it is with great pleasure that we now reveal the nine newest members of the Calistoga Hall of Fame; Gary Gerould, Jimmy Boyd, Jack Flaherty, Chuck Gurney, Ron Horton, Bob Miller, John Montelli, George Rogge, and Stan Vermeil.
Gary Gerould is an American sportscaster, best known as the radio voice of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings since 1985 and as a motorsports reporter for ABC and ESPN. His love for sprint car dirt track racing began early in his career when he announced at West Capitol Speedway and Silver Dollar Speedway on regular basis.
Jimmy Boyd’s first race in a sprint car was in 1967 at Calistoga Speedway. Boyd has eight-career Calistoga Speedway feature wins placing him in a tie for 12th all-time. Boyd is also known as the inaugural World of Outlaws main event winner On March 18, 1978 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas. In 2011, Boyd was elected into The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.
Jack Flaherty was a three-time Northern Auto Racing Club champion starting in 1949. He would go on to win again in 1952 and 1953. Flaherty had a brilliant career that saw him visit victory lane at Calistoga Speedway on numerous occasions.
Chuck Gurney made his first start at Calistoga Speedway in 1969. Since then he has become one of the speedways most adorned drivers earning 17 wins and putting him third on the all-time wins list. Gurney won sprint car races with and without wins at Calistoga. He won the night Gary Patterson perished in 1983 and came back to win the 1984 race in tribute to Patterson. On May 10, 1985, Gurney won the first ever winged sprint car main event held at Calistoga. In 2004, Gurney was elected into The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Ron Horton earned six feature wins during his driving career at Calistoga Speedway. That ranks him in the top 20 of all-time. On May 5, 1974, Horton won the season opener at Calistoga Speedway driving the Jim Hearn #2. On August 10, 1985, Horton won his sixth and final main event driving for Bill and Gaye Deschamps in their #44.
Bob Miller was a respected car owner for numerous decades. As an owner, his sprint car visited victory lane at Calistoga Speedway 10 times. His love for the sport was evident at Calistoga Speedway as he will go down in history as one of the most successful car owners during the existence of the race track.
John Montelli, 63, passed away on November 14, 2010 in his home in Orland after a courageous six year battle with ALS. John was born May 5, 1947, in Calistoga to John and Serafina Montelli. Johnny attended school in Calistoga and was an avid supporter of the Calistoga Speedway.
George Rogge from East Palo Alto, California started racing hardtops at the Belmont Speedway in 1952. For most of his career Rogge was a hard top driver but by 1968 he was a regular competitor with the Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) with his first appearances at Calistoga Speedway racing with Bill Sullivan, Mike McCreary, and a young man named Jan Opperman. Rogge served on the NARC board of directors for eight years and as the NARC Vice-President during the 1975 season. Over his long career, George Rogge will always remembered as a friendly competitor who was always ready to help his fellow competitors at the track and served the sport behind the scenes through his many years of service on the NARC board.
Stan Vermeil was a driver and car owner that supported and helped his father Louie Vermeil to accomplish the task of establishing Calistoga Speedway as a premier Sprint Car racing track. When a group of individuals felt it necessary to develop a sanctioning body to preserve Sprint Car racing in Northern California, Louie Vermeil and his family spearheaded the effort to establish a new group which would become NARC (Northern Auto Racing Club). This new group required much effort to successfully conduct races and Stan was always there to assist Louie.
The 3rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction will take place inside the Tubbs Building located at the Calistoga Speedway. Doors will open at 5 PM and dinner is scheduled to be served at 6:30 PM. Veteran television auto racing reporter Bobby Gerould will once again be the master of ceremonies. Dinner will include Tri-Tip, salad, potatoes, veggies, and pasta along with dessert. Refreshments will include Wine, Beer, Water, Lemonade or Coffee. Price for this night is $35.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased through HMC-Promotions by calling (916) 773-7225 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM or Saturday 9 AM to 4 PM. No Ticket sales at door.
The 7th Annual Louie Vermeil Classis is scheduled to take place August 30th and August 31st at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds in Calistoga. Front gate will open up at 5 PM with racing scheduled to start at 6:30 PM each night. Tickets for the Louie Vermeil Classic can be purchased by calling 916-773-7223. The traditional racing format will feature both non-wing sprint cars and midgets with entrants from all over the United States.