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Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame names 23 inductees for 2016

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The 2016 Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame induction class, with founder John Scotti (foreground). Photos courtesy Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Last year was the first time that the newly established Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame picked a class of honorees. Last weekend, the hall’s officers enshrined a new class of inductees for 2016, which totaled 23 Canadian racers, including a number of names that will be very familiar to American drag enthusiasts.

Jeff Arend

Jeff Arend.

Jeff Arend of Thornhill, Ontario, is the first Canadian to exceed 300 MPH on a drag strip. He has several NHRA national event victories, one over the immortal John Force, and held the Canadian elapsed time record for a while in a nitro Funny Car. Arend’s most recent Wally came in 2012 when he swept the Funny Car field at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

Bob Elliott

Bob Elliott.

Bob Elliott of London, Ontario, is probably best known as the driver of the Northern Force machine in Top Alcohol Funny Car, having set and held onto a national speed and ET record along the way, the only Canadian to do so in that category. After that, Elliott made the impressive career move of switching to jet Funny Cars. He has also been extensively involved with drag race promotion and announcing in Ontario.

To qualify for nomination into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame, candidates must have made a solid contribution to the sport, and must have been involved at the sport’s highest levels for a minimum of 25 years. A national record in NHRA or IHRA competition, or a national event win, is a further requirement, though this may come either as a driver or as part of a team. Others (such as photographers, journalists, and track operators) may also be considered for admission, but one requirement is unwavering: Candidates must reside in, or be an expatriate of, Canada.

Other members of the Hall’s Class of 2016 include Ken Achs, Bob Beazer, Vic Beleny, Gianni Cantusci, Guy Desjardins, Rob Evans, Geoff Goodwin, Charlie Havilland, Vince Hazel, Ron Hodgson, Richard Jones, Bill Kydd, Wayne Lang, Abe Loewen, Brian Mulligan, Norm Noddle, Harold Parfett, Venice Perno, Rob Potter, Bert Straus and John Waldie.