The Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial and the NCARA Hall of Fame

The Chico Induction Ceremony for the Northern California Auto Racing Alumni Hall of Fame is this evening at the Silver Dollar Speedway. It is being held in conjunction with the 21st Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Race.

Gary Thomas of the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series writes: “The Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial pays tribute to fallen race car driver Dave Bradway Jr., who lost his life during a sprint car crash at Skagit Speedway’s Dirt Cup in 1987. It is the biggest event of the season for the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series and packs extra money and awards all night.”

Tim Kaeding from San Jose is the current points leader followed closely by Chico native Jonanthan Allard in second. Both of these drivers have won the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial race in the past, Kaeding twice and Allard 4 times, so it promises to be a great race. The gates open at the Silver Dollar Speedway at 5pm and the racing begins at 7:00.

Dave Bradway Jr. from Roseville, CA  1958 - 1987
Dave Bradway Jr. from Roseville, CA 1958 - 1987

I found this short tribute to Dave Bradway Jr. written by famous Sprint Car photographer Steve Lafond.

“The death of Dave Bradway, Jr. shocked the sprint car commumity in California and beyond. Bradway died from injuries suffered in a tragic sprint car crash during the Super Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Washington State on June 21, 1987. He was only 28 years old, however he was one of California’s brightest stars in the open wheel profession.

David, a second generation driver, began his racing career in 1976 at Ernie Pursell Speedway in Grass Valley. In his initial season, he won a pair of main events and finished second in the street stock division, earning the track’s “rookie of the year” honors. Two years later, he ventured into the open wheel ranks by way of the modifieds. By 1980, he had already established himself as a premier open wheel driver. In 1982, David won his first NARC main event at Petaluma Speedway. He finished the year with three wins and a third place finish in the final points standings. In 1984, Bradway’s steady performances earned him the track championship at Baylands Raceway Park in Fremont. His list of credentials continued to grow the following season, winning five NARC feature events and an eventual third place finish in the championship point standings, despite running a limited schedule. In addition, he finished an impressive eighth in the prestigious Knoxville Nationals. 1986 produced four more NARC feature event wins for Bradway, including three at the high speed 1/2 mile Calistoga Speedway. “Junior” established himself as a top finisher on the World of Outlaws circuit, winning the Jayhawk Nationals in Kansas City. Bradway’s 1987 campaign in the Clyde Lamar owned machine promised more of the same. He kicked off the year winning the preliminary World of Outlaws Mini Gold Cup feature at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway in April. He also won his 13th career NARC feature at the season opener at Calistoga and became only the second member of the exclusive “100 Mile Per Hour Club” at the fast 1/2 mile.

In his 11 year career, Bradway laid a solid foundation to become a sprint car legend, a legend in the same category as two of his childhood open wheel heroes, Jimmy Gordon and Gary Patterson. Unfortunately, all three died doing what they loved to do best, racing and winning. Dave Bradway, Jr. was definitely a winner.”

Please visit Steve’s website Tear-Off Heaven Fotos and check out some great racing photos.

There is another nice bio of Dave Bradway Jr. on the Northern California Auto Racing Alumni website.

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