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Eight to be inducted into Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame

The 2014 Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame class will include eight individuals who have shaped the sport in Grays Harbor.

Bob Carter, George Richert, Dale Way, Don Spoon III, Ron Larson, Dirk Stephens and Herman Burns will be inducted into the hall of fame during a ceremony and silent auction held at 6 p.m. on March 15 at the Eagles Hall in Elma.

Carter competed at the Evergreen Speedway in Central Park and was still one of the top competitors when the racing was moved to the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in 1957. Carter passed away in 2013, but will join his brother Howard who was inducted in 2010.

Richert may have got through the fence during his first race at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds in Chehalis, but he was a fierce competitor from that moment on including the 1972 EARA Jalopy Championship.

Way has been in the pits as a crew chief since the 1970s working in drag racing and in circle track racing. In the 1980s he won three championships with Tom Williams and he still continues his involvement in racing today with modified racer Kris Asche.

Spoon began racing the B-modified class at Elma in the mid 1970s and, after some success, he moved on to sprint cars. He raced all over the West Coast and returned to Grays Harbor Raceway in 1989 to win the Limited Sprint title. Spoon has helped many racers through the years as an accomplished engine builder and machinist.

Larson was the winner of the last Super Stock Championship on the half mile track in 1979. In 1980, he turned his attention to helping construct the 3/10 mile speedway, learning to operate earth-moving equipment and donating fuel and time to get the new track built. Larson was the 1981 Rookie of the Year with a second place finish in the points and he can still be found competing in drag cars to this day.

Dirk Stephens had almost immediate success when he got on the track leading to the 1982 Hobby Stock Championship and propelling him to success on the NASCAR Northwest Tour. Stephens moved east and raced the NASCAR Busch (Nationwide) Series and had starts at the cup level. He can still be found racing late models at South Sound Speedway.

The Larry Spoon Distinguished Service Award for 2014 will be presented to Herman Burns. The driver and championship car owner was an innovator and used what he had available to keep his cars and those of others racing.

The Fred Brownfield Exemplary Contribution Award will be announced the evening of the ceremony.

The silent auction and a social hour will begin at 6 p.m. with the induction ceremony to follow at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the event, but silent auction numbers will be available for $5.