FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Louie Vermeil Classic at the Famed ½ Mile Calistoga Speedway
Contact Phone Number or Purchase Tickets: 916-773-7223
Eight New Members Revealed for 2017 Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame
by: Troy Hennig
ROSEVILLE, CA – (July 25, 2017) … The 10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic sprint car and midget race at the historic half-mile Calistoga Speedway will once again feature some of the best non-wing sprint car and midget drivers. The traditional Labor Day Weekend getaway allows the fans of open-wheel racing a chance to visit the scenic Napa Valley while enjoying some traditional dirt track racing. While the racing on the track is fierce, things will once again get started on Friday night, September 1st, with the 6th Annual Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame Induction dinner and awards banquet. The newest Hall of Fame inductees are as follows; Rendy Boldrini, Duane Bonini, Dave Bradway Jr., Jack Gordon, Chick Lastire, Jack McAfee, Don Melvin and Galen Unruh. This release will focus on the first four honorees.
Sacramento’s Rendy Boldrini was the 1975 Rookie of the Year with the Northern Auto Racing Series. On June 14, 1980, Boldrini earned his first career main event win at Calistoga driving his own #52. Two more wins at Calistoga would soon follow and both took place driving the famed Walter T. Ross #56. Boldrini scored wins on September 4, 1982 and May 8, 1983. Track historian Bobby Gerould said, “Boldrini is one of the most underrated non-wing pilots ever.” Boldrini was also included in the 40 most exciting drivers in the 40-year history of NARC.
Bay Area native Duane Bonini shocked the local racing community when he won the first sprint car race he entered at Calistoga Speedway on September 6, 1970. Almost a year later to that day, Bonini was killed in a wreck at Calistoga Speedway. At the time, he was having a great season and leading the NARC point standings. On June 5th and July 3rd, Bonini earned two more wins at Calistoga Speedway before his untimely passing. Bonini was also a wheelman with the Bay Cities Racing Association notching five main event wins.
Roseville driver Dave Bradway Jr. was one of the best sprint car drivers to ever hit the famed ½ mile Calistoga Speedway. His first of seven main event wins took place while driving the Mike Murphy owned #5n on August 14, 1982. However, his next six wins came aboard the famed Clyde Lamar #3c. Affectionately called “Junior”, his last win at Calistoga came on May 2, 1987. During this night, he also set quick time with a 17.837 and became the second driver to enter the prestigious “100 MPH Club” joining fellow Hall of Fame member Tim Green. Sadly, “Junior” was killed June 21, 1987 at the Skagit Speedway in Washington. One could argue that his prime years of driving a sprint car were still ahead of him and who knows how many wins he could of captured at Calistoga Speedway.
Jack Gordon was a legendary car owner and a fixture on the Northern California Super Modified and sprint car scene. On top of being a great car owner, Gordon won multiple driving championships at West Capitol. On July 24, 1982 Gary Patterson drove the Gordon #1c to victory lane at Calistoga Speedway. Unfortunately, less than a year later, on May 29, 1983 Patterson was killed at Calistoga while driving the #1c. Gordon would rebound with a NARC Owner Championship in 1987 teaming up with young driver Jason McMillen at the helm. In January of 2003, Gordon passed away.
The 6th 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. Tickets can be purchased through HMC-Promotions by calling (916) 773-7225 Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 5 PM or Saturday 9 AM to 4 PM. No dinner tickets sold at the door.