Five race automobile drivers were venerated on Saturday, March 9, on the eleventh Annual Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Program and Dinner held at the Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds in Elma. Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Rick Graves, Tom Sweatman, Martin Hinderlie, Don “Slim” Erickson, and Bob Beerbower. Rick Graves Graves began racing in the semi-modified class in Elma for the 1974 season, where he impressed by using finishing 2d to future Elma Hall of Famer Rich Leighty inside the seasonal championship.
Graves accompanied that overall performance with a fourth place in standard points in 1975. Graves won a couple of races over the subsequent 10 years until he suffered a main accident in 1985. After recovering under clinical supervision for about 8 months, Graves again to the track to hold racing and, later in his career, won the mid-season identify. Graves retired from racing in the early ’90s to awareness on raising his daughters.
Tom Sweatman Sweatman started out racing in 1981, a year after graduating excessive college, and he’s been at it ever when you consider that. Racing interest shares, Sweatman gained his first Elma championship in 1989. Sweatman has raced in more than one training and on both dirt and asphalt surfaces. He won a tremendous-late version music championship at Spanaway Speedway and ran several seasons with the NASCAR Northwest Tour, totaling six victories in his time there. In 1999, he received three races at the Northwest Tour and finished 2d in factors. Sweatman also positioned fifth in 1994 and fourth in 1998 in the NASCAR collection.
Sweatman also earned a race win in NASCAR’s Southwest Tour in 1999 in the Winter Heat Event held in Tuscon, Arizona, beating future NASCAR Cup Series champions Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch inside the manner. Sweatman back to Grays Harbor Raceway to compete within the modified elegance and has gained 3 immediate championships from 2016-18. Don “Slim” Erickson Erickson had been involved at Grays Harbor Speedway for years, starting by supporting friends Brian Sutherby and Donny Fry with their sprint vehicles. He, in the end, helped out in tune practice and operations before being provided a role with the tune in 2008. Erickson has helped to preserve the clay music surface at Elma for over a decade.
Bob Beerbower Former Grays Harbor County Fair Board member Bob Beerbower served in that function for 10 years, balanced speedway and horse racing occasions throughout his tenure. After his time with the fair board, Beerbower served as Grays Harbor County Commissioner for 13 years. While serving as county commissioner, Beerbower had a fortuitous meeting with overdue race promoter Fred Brownfield. The meeting caused Brownfield to promote the “World of Outlaws” sprint car series at the Elma track in 1996 and 1997, earlier than Brownfield Promotions took over song operations in 1998.
Beerbower performed a vital function in raceway facility renovations, helping persuade different county commissioners that the website hosting the dash series and bringing approximately improvements to the raceway could gain the network. In 2003, paintings began on renovating Grays Harbor Raceway, including a new scoring tower, extra concessions, everlasting grandstands, and new music lights, to name some. Beerbower and Brownfield’s vision for the tune additionally covered making the music larger, with a new crash wall and fencing around a whole lot of the direction. The renovations were completed in 2004, giving Grays Harbor one of the top dust track facilities on the West Coast.
Martin Hinderlie Hinderlie changed into a master of many racing trades, competing in 3 and 4-wheel races on dust, pavement, and off-avenue guides during his time as a driving force. Hinderlie competed in dust motorbike races on the vintage Kingdome and gained activities on the Tacoma Dome against competitors from throughout the western United States.
He switched from motorcycles and Odysseys to 4-wheeled machines where he dabbled in demolition derbies and stayed power events at tracks in Shelton, Rainier, Spanaway, Yakima, and Elma. In 1984, Hinderlie made the pass to interest shares and confirmed consistency competing at the Grays Harbor song, prevailing Rookie of the Year, and the tune championship in his first season. A few years later, Hinderlie competed in seasoned inventory events and raced past due fashions at the NASCAR Northwest Tour. Hinderlie retired from racing in 1998.