The Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame will enshrine the class of 2011 on November 5 at a formal ceremony to be held at Moncton’s Crystal Palace. Honoured inductees include a diverse group from several different motorsports genres. The class of 2011 hail from the three Maritime provinces and include Robert (Bobby) Allen, NS (Competitor, Stock Car Racing), Heidi Cooke, NS (Competitor, Motocross), Earl Doucette (Builder, Motocross), Fred & George Estabrooks, NB (Competitors, Drag Racing); Paul Forgrave, NB (Antiques), Albert Gallant, PEI (Competitor, Snowmobile), Edward “Junior” Hanley, NS (Competitor/Builder, Stock Car Racing), John Johnson, NB (Road Racer, Motorcycle), Earl Ross, PEI (Competitor, Stock Car Racing), and the PEI Street Rod Association (Club).
While each inductee is a legend in their own right, the accomplishments of Hanley and Ross have also been acknowledged with their respective inductions in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame (CMHoF), both member of the CMHoF Class of 2000. Both Canadian motorsports legends are expected in Moncton November 5 to accept their inductions to the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Brief bios for each of the 2011 Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees follow…
ROBERT (BOBBY) ALLEN, Nova Scotia | Stock Car Racing – Competitor
Bobby Allen started racing in 1966 at Fraser’s Mountain and he finished the season as the Top Driver and Most Popular Driver. He raced at Havre Boucher Speedway, Drag City, Brookside Speedway, Riverside, and Atlantic Speedways. He also raced in Maine at Oxford Plains, Unity and Wiscasset Raceway. He was one of the top drivers in the 1960’s and ’70s.
HEIDI COOKE, Nova Scotia | Motocross – Competitor
One female rider that made it in Motocross, Heidi rides for KTM Canada and Freedom Cycle wearing the # 1. She won the Women pro Nationals overall in 2009 at Kamloops, BC.
EARL DOUCETTE, New Brunswick | Motocross – Builder/Competitor
Earl is a Motocross Enthusiast. He started racing in 1975. He was one of the founders of the River Glade Motocross track in 1977. 1982 became an official tech inspector; in ’83 he became an Atlantic Region Race Official. He has never missed a Motocross race at River Glade.
FRED & GEORGE ESTABROOKS, New Brunswick | Drag Racing – Competitors
Fred’s track experience came in 1965 driving a 1955 Chevy at Scoudouc, NB. Fred and George soon became regular fixtures on the local race circuit. Their 55 Pontiac set the B/MP and C/MP records at Maitland Raceway and won the points series championship at Scoudouc Dragway.
PAUL FORGRAVE, New Brunswick | Antique – Builder/ Collector
Paul has been interested in cars his entire life. He is members of the New Brunswick Antique Auto Club, Moncton Speed & Custom Club and the Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association. He was a Founding member of the Performance Ford Club of Canada, and a Lifetime Member of the Maritime Motorsports Hall Of Fame.
ALBERT GALLANT, Prince Edward Island | Snowmobile/Stockcar – Competitor
Albert was very much involved in the Snowmobile racing circuit. In 1985 he won the Maritime Snowmobile Drag Racing Championship with the fastest machine in the Maritimes. Albert started Stockcar racing in 1967 at Freetown. He still helps his grandson with his Drag car.
JUNIOR HANLEY, Nova Scotia (Ontario) | Stock Car – Competitor/Builder
Edward Hanley Jr. aka Junior Hanley does not need a lot of introduction. He started racing in 1961 as a drag racer. By 1970 he was the Maritime Champion of stock car racing. In 1975 he left his native home in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia and moved to Ontario where he raced and won championships in southern Ontario and the United States. He has won Copper World titles in Arizona and the World Series of Asphalt Racing series at New Smyrna Beach, Fla., during Daytona Speedweeks. He has won CASCAR championships ACT Tour championships and competed on the ASA and Busch Grand National circuits. A master car builder, he has build short-track cars for, among others, Bill Elliot, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Dick Trickle and Darrell Waltrip. Hanley personally test-drove every car he built – in race conditions – before delivering it to his customer. Hanley continued to race until a few years ago and still works on race cars in his shop located near Hamilton, Ontario. Junior Hanley was inducted to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2000.
JOHN JOHNSON, New Brunswick | Motorcycle – Recreation/Racing/Builder
An icon of the Maritime motorcycling fraternity, John Johnson started promoting motorcycle racing in the early 1960’s. Through his dedication over the years to the sport made him an example and an inspiration to others. He ranks very high as a personage not to be quickly forgotten.
EARL ROSS, Prince Edward Island (Ontario) | Stock Car – Competitor
Earl Ross is the first and so far, only, Canadian to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (then Grand National), and is the only Canadian NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year. Ross first made his mark in 1970 when he won nine of 10 international stock car races held in Ontario. In 1973, Ross won the Export A Series, qualified for his first Daytona 500 (finishing third – his first superspeedway start), and ran the ARCA Daytona 200 – a race he thought he could have won. In 1974 he competed in 21 Winston Cup races, won the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and was named Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. In ’75 and ’76 he qualified for his second and third Daytona 500’s. In 1982, he won the inaugural McKerlie Millen 200 at Delaware Speedway Park. In 1994, he finished second in the CASCAR Performance Fibreglass Series and in 1995 qualified in the top 12 at most CASCAR events and finished 13 in points. In 1996 he finished 13th in the CASCAR Eastern Series points and in 1997 he finished 15th in CASCAR Super Series Points. Earl Ross was inducted in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2000.
PEI STREET ROD ASSOCIATION, Prince Edward Island | Club
It is an incorporated, non-profit organization. Their annual Show’n’Shine began in 1978; in 1982 it becomes the fourth largest east of Montreal. In 1985 they hosted the Mini-Nationals East and had more than 485 cars from across Canada and United States. In 1991 they hosted the Canadian Street Rod National Show, the first time this event was held east of Ontario. They assist many Prince Edward Island charities and organizations.
The sixth annual Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is being held November 5 in the Champlain Ballroom, at the Ramada Plaza Crystal Palace Hotel, 499 Paul Street, Dieppe, NB. The evening program will start at 5:00 p.m. with a reception, dinner at 6:00, followed at 7:30 by the induction ceremony that includes audio and video presentations. The program will also include a silent auction and a special live auction of an inductee autographed checkered flag. A limited number of tickets remain on a first-come, first-served basis for $80.00 each and can be purchased by calling 506.756.2110. The dress for the occasion is formal. On Sunday morning, November 6, a brunch will be held at the Hall Of Fame in Petitcodiac, starting at 10:00 a.m. The cost is $10.00 per person and available to those attending the induction ceremony; please order your brunch ticket at the same time as the induction ticket.
To learn more about the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame please visit their museum in Petitcodiac or www.maritimemotorsporthalloffame.com.