The Northwest Motorsports Hall of Fame celebrates the racers, designers, managers, and more that have helped make the Pacific Northwest’s long, storied motorsports history possible. We honor icons of the Northwest in six categories: open wheel, stock car, sports car/GT, drag race, motorcycle, and person at large.
We are proud to introduce our inaugural 2017 class of inductees:
Rolla Vollstedt built his first car in the basement of his house, and thus began the long, storied career of a legendary race-car designer. In 1963, Vollstedt changed Indy racing forever when he put an Offenhauser engine behind the driver; the success of that car led to rear-engine designs becoming the standard.
Hershel McGriff started racing stock cars in 1945 at the age of 17, beginning a career that would span six decades. While his long career includes winning the 1950 Carrera Panamericana and competing at Le Mans, McGriff is best known for his NASCAR competition, winning the Winston West series in 1986.
Monte Shelton has competed in more than 600 events over his four-decade career, but he is best known for his success in Portland’s Rose Cup, with an unprecedented seven wins and ten second-place finishes. Shelton also found success in the Trans Am series, winning five times and finishing second three times.
Jack “The Bear” Coonrod fell in love with cars and engines at 16 and started racing at 19 during the ‘50s. He earned a reputation — and his nickname — on the drag strip, competing in the “Great Gasser Wars” of the ‘60s. According to Coonrod, he wanted to get a bear suit to live up to his nickname, but never got around to it.
Bob Lanphere Sr
Bob Lanphere bought his first motorcycle, a 1951 BSA, after being discharged from the army in 1955. He rode his motorcycle all around Oregon, from Portland to the Tillamook Burn, speeding down the beaches of the coast. He began motorcycle racing, competing in races like the Colorado 500, Mexican 1000, and the Oregon State Enduro. In 1964, Bob opened his own motorcycle store in downtown Beaverton; Lanphere Enterprises now owns several dealerships in the area. He remained an avid motorcyclist until his passing in 2015.
Dale LaFollette was the track manager at Portland International Raceway from 1973 to 2000 and oversaw up to 500 events a year — from CART and IMSA races to motocross, drag racing, amateur sports car racing, and much more. A photographer and metal sculptor, he has been on the nominating committee for the National Motorsports Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach for over 25 years. In retirement, Dale has turned his talents to photography, fly fishing, and travel with his wife Sally.