The West Coast Hall of Fame inducted five more members on June 8 during its annual gala. Three are NASCAR champions with more than 100 combined wins and several championships.
2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, 2004 Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, and three-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton are the NASCAR representatives in this class. Lyn St. James, the first woman to win Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and 13-time Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) sprint car champion Brent Kaeding are the other two inductees in this stacked class.
“Highlighting the Class of 2023 is the election of Lyn St. James, who joins 2003 inductee Margo Burke and 2021’s Motorsports Lady of the Century Linda Vaughan in West Coast Motorsports Hall of Fame,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Motorsports Hall of Fame, in a press release.
“We recognize the significant achievements of these and other women on the growth of the motorsports industry. We also are pleased to salute three NASCAR national champions, as well as arguably one of best sprint car competitors of his era.”
Harvick & Busch Have Delivered Numerous Crown Jewel Wins
Busch and Harvick are two of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR, which made them automatic additions to the 75 Greatest Drivers List in 2023.
Both have celebrated a championship at the top level of NASCAR. Harvick also won two in the Xfinity Series. Busch nearly captured a Truck Series championship in 2000, his first year in the series, but he finished second in the standings behind teammate Greg Biffle. He still ended the season as Rookie of the Year.
These two veteran drivers also captured some of the biggest races in NASCAR. Busch won the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 and the 2017 Daytona 500 along with 32 other Cup Series races.
Harvick, who has 60 wins in his Cup Series career, has won all of the Crown Jewel races in NASCAR. He won the 2007 Daytona 500, two Southern 500s, two Coca-Cola 600s, and three Brickyard 400s.
Of course, the success in NASCAR is only one reason why Busch and Harvick are two members of the 2023 class. They both made waves on the West Coast while competing in a variety of series. Harvick won the Winston West championship while Busch won a championship in the Featherlite Southwest Series, which later became the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series.
Crafton Has Achieved a Considerable Amount in His Career
Unlike Busch and Harvick, Crafton did not make his way through the national series. Instead, he has remained in the Craftsman Truck Series while delivering wins and championships alike.
The California native started his career in go-karts before working his way up to the Featherlite Southwest Series. He won the championship in 2000, the year after Busch, and then he made his Truck Series debut for ThorSport Racing later that season.
Crafton has since gone on to start 533 races in the Truck Series while setting multiple records. He has secured top-10 finishes in 59 percent of his starts and top-fives in 25 percent. Crafton has also celebrated 15 race wins.
Of course, the championships are the biggest thing in the Craftsman Truck Series, and Crafton has delivered three to ThorSport Racing. His first was in 2013 and his second was in 2014. Crafton then won his third championship in 2019 despite going winless.
Crafton was one of the most consistent drivers throughout the season with 18 top-10 finishes in 23 races. He then finished ahead of Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt, and Stewart Friesen in the championship race.