2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

September 21st, 2016 by Sherry Grantz

Mary Lou Robson

Mary Lou Robson was first introduced to racing on a date at Cotati Race track and she started working turns as a Communicator in 1962.  A year later she was asked to become Chief of Communications and joined SCCA in1964.

Along with racing, she was very active in the SF Region’s Concours de’Elegance program serving as Chief Field Marshal at Hillsborough, Sacramento, Livermore, and Palo Alto.  In 2005, she renewed her concours work as announcer at Palo Alto and Marin.

Besides being Chief of Communications, she has been Chief Announcer, worked in Race Central, was Region Membership Chair, founded the Chapel services at club events and in 2004 joined the Stewards team.  She has been on the SFR HOF committee since its inception and has also been on the National HOF Selection Committee.

She went through Drivers School in 1993 at Thunderhill and eventually bought a Crossley Hot Shot which she raced at the Monterey Historics for three years.  Over the years she has received numerous awards from the Region and Thunderhill.

Chuck Tatum

While he is best known for building the Crusader Formula Vees he began his car building career shortly after returning from WW II where he served as a Marine in the battle of Iwo Jima.  While in his early 20’s, Chuck build several Jalopy stock cars to compete in oval track racing based out of his Stockton, CA home.  This lead to road racing in 1953 with his own car.

Chuck was also quite active in helping to promote road racing in Stockton which began at the Stockton Airport in 1952.  This was a sorely needed addition to the SFR schedule which included only three other road races that year.  Working behind the scenes, Chuck actively worked to bring the races to his hometown.  There were 103 entries for the first race and 12,000 spectators in attendance which not only made this a successful event but also ensured it would be on the SFR Race Calendar for 1953.  Chuck won his class at the Stockton race in 1953 driving the car he built, the Tatum Special.  In fact the Stockton Road Races remained a part of the SFR Schedule until the last race in 1966.  At that time, Stockton had been the longest running event in the club’s history.

David Vodden

David was born in Billings, Montana, and is one of seven siblings.  Before leaving for Orange County, California, he acquired a taste for auto racing courtesy of his older brother and mentor, Lee.

David founded the California Jalopy Association on KTLA-TV running on Sunday afternoons.  While growing up in the dirt-track circle world of racing, David earned AA, BA and MBA degrees in business.  At this early juncture his resume did not include driving.  After college he purchased a sprint car and then later a three quarter midget.  David drove at Ascot, South Gate, Ventura, Orange County, Saugus, Las Vegas and lesser known spots in between.

In 1980 he became the General Manager of Baylands Raceway Park in Fremont.  He got behind the wheel again.  Sprint cars would dominate his racing agenda until retirement in 2003.  When Baylands closed, a friend of a friend, Geoff Provo, suggested that David be considered as a candidate to run the San Francisco Region of the Sports Car Club of America’s (SFR/SCCA) new road track.  This was 1987, almost thirty years ago.

David was a consultant to our track effort when our beloved Region Manager, Don Wixcel became ill.  David was asked to take over as Region Manager while Don recovered.  Once in the seat at the clubs office on Pacific Avenue in San Francisco, he was on his way to not only make our track a reality but to help the clubs bottom line as well.  He moved our office to Livermore.  He brought a successful merchandising program to the club that not only added a bottom line but spread our logo and our message wherever the shirts, hats and jackets were worn.

Using his business education and unusual resume in the sport, David worked with a bevy of great people to build Thunderhill Raceway Park from a dream to what it is today, a $14M multi-dimensional motorsports business that enjoys success at the bottom line and a fantastic reputation in the motorsports industry.

In 1990 David climbed back into the driver’s seat and began racing in SCCA.  He has raced in ITD, ITC, ITB, ITA, SSA, PT, RX7, SM, STL and anything else he could talk people into letting him drive.  He has won several Regional Championships as well as Pacific Coast Road Racing (PCRRC) titles.

Davis is most proud that Thunderhill has no debt and is positioned today to survive well into the future for members of the SFR/SCCA.

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