The Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the names of those members of the Maritime motorsports community whose accomplishments and/or contributions will be formally acknowledged as members of the MMHF Class of 2014.
Ten new inductees will join those already enshrined in the hallowed hall during a formal celebration to be held November 16 in Charlottetown, PE. Congratulations to the Class of 2014:
From New Brunswick:
James F. Burns – Competitor/ Drag Racing
Gary Randles – Builder/ Antiques
William ‘Bill’ Sommerville – Competitor/ Stock Car Racing
From Nova Scotia:
William ‘Art’ Steeves – Competitor, Builder/ Motorsports
James ‘Jim’ Morrison – Competitor/ Drag Racing
Gary McKinnon – Competitor/ Motorcycle
From Prince Edward Island:
Austin McQuaid Sr. – Competitor/ Stock Car
Kevin MacKay – Competitor, Builder – Stock Car, Motorsports
Robert Gallant – Competitor/ Motocross
Robert ‘Boyd’ MacQuarrie – Restoration / Tractors, Specialties
These 10 inductees bring the total number of honourees in the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame to 92. The ninth annual Induction Ceremony will leave New Brunswick for the first time ever to be held on November 15 at the Delta in Charlottetown, PE. Tickets are $80 per person and can be purchased by calling 506.756.2110. An induction celebration breakfast will be held November 16 at the East Royalty Lion’s Club in Charlottetown; tickets can be purchased with induction ceremony tickets and are $10 for adults and $7 for children under 12.
Brief bios for each of the new inductees follow:
James ‘Jim’ Burns (Drag Racing) – Jim has been in drag racing for nearly 40 years competing all over eastern Canada, New England, and as far away as Pennsylvania. He has three points championships and two runner-up spots along with several NHRA starts to his credit and was the first New Brunswick driver to make semi-finals at a national NHRA event in the competitive Super Gas class. Besides his drag racing accomplishments Jim is a founder of the Valley Cruiser Car Club in Rothesay.
Robert Gallant (Motocross) – Robert was a very successful motocross rider from 1967 until his retirement in 1978. He was hooked at his first race in the mud and the rain at a Halifax track and from there raced all over the Atlantic Provinces until his last race in Newfoundland on July 5, 1978 when he decided that he should call it quits. During his career he was tagged “one of PEI’s top motorcycle racers” and collected many first, second, and third place trophies. He was well-known as an excellent sportsman and in 1975 received his most treasured award as the Atlantic Provinces Sportsman Rider of the Year – a trophy donated by one of his racing heroes, Joe Bolger.
Kevin MacKay (Stock Car Racing) – Kevin began his stock car racing career in 1985 as a driver; he has raced on every track in the Maritimes and has won three mini stock titles. In 1987 he won 26 races, 13 consecutive, in a car he built himself, from scratch. He retired as a driver in 1992 and in 1993 became promoter of Raceway Park. Kevin’s first foray in motorsports came in 1979 when he took over running the Car Life Museum in Bonshaw, PE after the passing of his father who had founded the museum. Kevin has been a member of the PEI Car Club ever since and has owned some memorable cars along the way.
Gary McKinnon (Motorcycle) – Gary has been racing motorcycles since 1971 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down yet; in 2013, at age 62, he posted his fastest lap time ever at Atlantic Motorsports Park (AMP), where he has raced since 1974. He has raced at track all over Canada and the United States and has brought home numerous trophies, including three road racing championships. His career started in the Junior class and progressed to Expert by 1972. In 1988 he switched to vintage bikes, a move that gave his racing career as second life. He has served as an event organizer at AMP and also helped bring about a major change in safety by eliminating mixed competition (cars and bikes).
Austin McQuaid, Sr. (Stock Car Racing) – deceased – Austin had a lifelong passion for stock car racing, competing all over the Maritimes in his familiar No. 7. He started his racing career in the early 60s and often dominated events, headlining racing articles with titles like: “MacQuaid Takes 6 of 7 Stock Car Races”, “Top Money Winner of the Night Was Austin MacQuaid $125.00”, “McQuaid Leads Pack”, and more. Austin McQuaid passed away December 24, 2000. Austin didn’t know the meaning of give up, never stopping until he had accomplished what he set out to do. He worked hard and he played hard.
James ‘Jim’ Morrison (Drag Racing) – Jim has been involved in drag racing for nearly 50 years and over that time has dedicated himself to excellence in the sport. His achievements include two Maitland Super Gas championships, NHRA Super Gas wins in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and NHRA Super Comp win in Pennsylvania, and Super Gas wins at the NHRA Gatornationals in Florida. All tolled he has eight national titles (four NHRA and four IHRA), more than anyone else in the Maritimes. He still races on a limited schedule, mostly in Florida.
William ‘Bill’ Sommerville (Stock Car Racing) – Bill’s first race car was a $75 flathead Ford – that was 1966, and even now, in 2014, he still competes on a limited basis. In the 48 years in between he has raced at tracks all over the Maritimes and into Maine. He is a two-time Petty Raceway track champion, a multi-time Hammond River track champion, and alss claimed the pro stock division title at Speedway 660. His best season ever came in the early 90s when he won 13 feature races between Hammond River Raceway and Speedway Miramichi. His favourite racing memory came not long after that when he won a ‘Heroes of the Sport’ pro stock event at Speedway 660, with his son Lonnie finishing second, and his other son Larry, managing the pits for both teams.
William ‘Art’ Steeves (Stock Car Racing) – Art has had two separate careers in stock car racing, the first nearly ending after an accident in 1970 resulted in a broken neck. After eight years he made his return to the driver’s seat and competed until the late 80s when he retired from driving and started his career as a flagman, since becoming one of the most recognizable in the industry. His style makes him part of the show and has taken him to tracks across the Maritimes and into New England. He has officiated all of the biggest races on the eastern seaboard at one time or another, including the Oxford 250, the IWK 250, the Atlantic Cat 250, and the Speedway 660 250.
Gary Randles (Antiques) – Gary has been a fan of old cars since his early 20s and soon started his first project, a 1940 Cadillac complete restoration that took three years to complete. Since then he has owned and/or restored at least a dozen vehicles. He has travelled all over eastern Canada and the U.S. to find them, to show them, and to sell them. He is a co-founder of the Valley Cruiser Car Club and has served as its Event Coordinator and President for several years. He is proud to share his passion with others and takes every opportunity to cruise the roads in one of his beautiful, memorable, vehicles.
Robert ‘Boyd’ MacQuarrie (Tractors, Specialties) – As a boy growing up on a farm Boyd had what would some would figure a natural interest in tractors. As he grew older his interest turned into a passion – to the point he now has a collection to rival any on the eastern seaboard, and at latest count numbering close to 60, most of which he first saved from the crusher and then restored. Sometime after he hit 40 in his collection he decided to search for rare or low production models, and now has at least two that are ‘one of a kind’ in this region. Since 2000 he has especially enjoyed showing his collection, be it at a tractor pull, antique show, or at his own tractor show, which has quickly grown to be one of the largest of its kind east of Ontario.
To learn more about the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame (MMHF) please visit the MMHF museum in Petitcodiac or visit us online at www.mmhf.ca.