Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony set for Aug. 18

ELMA — Six new members will be introduced and inducted into the Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Borden-Seabert Exhibition Hall at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds.

The six members who’ll make up the 2012 Class are Ray Stevens, Bill Skaggs, Jim Goodwin, Wendy Peterson, Perry Crowell, and Ray Seaman.

Wendy Peterson was the first champion of the Evergreen Stock Car Racing Association in 1955 at the Evergreen Speedway in Central Park. The group moved to the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in 1957 and Peterson continued to be one of the top competitors. After retiring from driving, Peterson showed his support as a spectator.

One of the early pioneers of auto racing in Grays Harbor was 1965 limited modified champion Bill Skaggs. He made the transition from jalopies to the limited modifieds in the mid ’60s and immediately made his mark in the Harold Clevenger owned No. 23. Skaggs retired from driving in the late 1960s and was replaced behind the wheel by another 2012 inductee, Ray Stevens.

While Stevens never captured a track championship, he was consistently in the top five and won virtually every major event held on the Elma half-mile at some point in his career, including the Longwith Memorial and Simpson Timber Cup. After stepping out of the cockpit in the mid ’70s, Stevens has remained a fixture in the Grays Harbor Raceway grandstands and loves to share stories of racing on the old half-mile.

Jim Goodwin began his involvement in Grays Harbor auto racing at the Central Park dirt track and continued at the fairgrounds. He was known for his sportsmanship and willingness to help other racers. Goodwin is another of the early racers who remained involved after hanging up the steering wheel by attending races and sharing accounts of the early racing.

Car owner, sponsor, spectator, and supporter are but a few adjectives that describe Perry Crowell. A championship car owner at Elma, Crowell’s involvement in racing reached past the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds as his cars could be found racing up and down the west coast. Crowell has continued to support the track and individual racers throughout the years.

Ray Seaman, a longtime track official and worker who helped in the construction of the three-tenths mile oval and the present three-eighths mile track, rounds out the 2012 honorees. His list of duties has included tech man, pit boss, and assistant flagman among other jobs. Most of his tasks have been done as a volunteer and he is known for being dependable and fair. Seaman has been honored by virtually every promoter at the Grays Harbor Raceway since 1980.

Profiles of each inductee will be presented and each inductee or their representative will be given their Induction Award and Inductee Jacket. Each inductee will have the opportunity to share with the gathering.

Racing memorabilia will be on display. The ceremony will conclude with cake, coffee, and punch.

Admission to the Fourth Annual EARHoF Induction Ceremony is free. Donations to help defray the cost of honoring and preserving the auto racing history of Grays Harbor Raceway will gladly be accepted.