Former Riverside Raceway Boss Richter Honored

Former Riverside Raceway Boss Richter Honored

© 2004, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


From a press release issued by California Speedway:

Les Richter Selected To Receive Eagle One-Shav Glick Award

Lexington, KY, Feb. 3, 2004…Les Richter, long-time NASCAR vice-president and a name synonymous with motor racing in Southern California, has been chosen the winner of the fifth annual Eagle One-Shav Glick Award, a symbol of distinguished achievement in motor racing by a Californian.

The award, presented by the car-care products company, is named in honor of the venerable motorsports writer of the Los Angeles Times. Previous winners were Dan Gurney, Wally Parks, Parnelli Jones and Rick Mears.

Richter will receive the award May 2 during ceremonies prior to the start of the NASCAR Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, in Fontana.

After a Hall of Fame football career in college at the University of California and in the pros with the L.A. Rams, Richter became manager and operator of Riverside International Raceway for 23 years before leaving to become a vice president of NASCAR. He and Bill France Sr. were responsible for NASCAR and Winston Cup moving west to Riverside and helping the then Southeast-oriented racing organization become a national entity.

In 1994 he returned to Southern California to oversee construction of California Speedway in Fontana for Roger Penske. He is currently vice president of special projects for International Speedway Corp., which obtained control of California Speedway from Penske in 1999. He is also chairman of the board for the International Race of Champions (IROC).

Said Glick of Richter, “He, more than anyone but Bill France Sr., was responsible for the expansion of NASCAR. After they established NASCAR on the West Coast, the series expanded elsewhere. Riverside became a national and international racing institution under Richter’s stewardship.”

Other nominees were: Don Prudhomme, Rodger Ward, Joe Leonard and Chris Pook.

Judges were: Mike Harris, Associated Press; Bill Center, San Diego Union; Jim Short, Riverside Press-Enterprise; Doug Stokes, Irwindale Speedway; John Zimmermann, motorsports writer; and Mears, last year’s winner.

Eagle One is a division of The Valvoline Company.

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