Dave Whitlock wasn’t expecting this.
The Wyoming racing legend will be inducted into the 2016 Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame joining racing greats such as Paul Tracy and Mario Andretti.
Whitlock is a three-time CASCAR champion and was Rookie of the Year in 1989. He had 19 wins in his 24-year career. He was also the first to win back-to-back CASCAR titles and take three national crowns.
“That was definitely the highlight of my career,” Whitlock tells The Independent. “Every one is pretty difficult to get…everything has to come together not just for one or two races but for the whole season; you need a lot of things to go right for you the whole season.”
In 2009, Whitlock decided to retire after “a lot of good times and a lot of good memories.
“I miss the racing, the weekends and the fun part of the race events – all the people and obviously the racing but I don’t miss the work I put into it.
Whitlock says he and his crew would spend “hours and hours and hours” preparing their cars. “It was pretty well a full-time thing. We spent 14 hours a day, five days a week trying to get the cars prepared for the next race.”
With full-time hours, Whitlock says it became too difficult to run both Whitlock Racing and his construction business. “So after 25 years of racing and a lot of good times, I had to move on.”
Seven years after retiring, he didn’t expect to get a call from the Motorsports Hall of Fame. “I heard a couple of weeks before it was announced officially that I was going to be inducted this fall. It’s very neat. It is something I wasn’t really expecting.”
“This year’s list of inductees underlines the many different forms of motorsport where Canadians have excelled,” said the Hall’s Chairman Dr. Hugh Scully.
“It is an honour for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame to include these five new members who have not only found great success in their careers, but also thrilled countless fans over the years.”
Whitlock will be inducted Oct. 22 in Toronto along with Rallying’s Antoine L’Estage, stock car driver Peter Gibbons, drag racing’s John Edgar Petrie, and motorcycle racer Jordan Szoke.