Joe Garone, president of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Furniture Row Racing, was named to the 2018 six-member Class for induction into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Joining Garone in the Hall of Fame’s 15th class will be: Joe Gibbs Racing senior executive J.D. Gibbs; Southern California racing legend Oren Prosser; two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Greg Pursley and NASCAR and open-wheel car owner Richard “Dick” Woodland. The late Larry Albedi, a five-decade-long public-address announcer, will be inducted as a member of the media.
“It is getting increasingly difficult to select the honorees because the West Coast, over 75 years, has produced so many eligible candidates – literally hundreds,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. “I salute the tenacity of the voting board and the members of the nominating committee on making these difficult selections.”
The ceremonial induction will take place Thursday, June 21 at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. The event accompanies the annual NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West weekend at nearby Sonoma Raceway.
“I want to thank the voting members of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame for this humbling honor,” said Garone. “My racing roots started at Colorado National Speedway and progressed from there. I have been fortunate to be associated with a number of talented and passionate people who have a true love for motorsports. There are so many people who have guided and assisted me along the way and I sincerely thank everyone of them. The western region has produced a number of outstanding individuals who have contributed to the growth and national awareness of the motorsports industry. And to be among that company of individuals makes this honor even more special.”
Garone, who started with Furniture Row Racing when the franchise was formed in 2005, has been the catalyst in building the Denver, Colo.-based team into a championship caliber auto racing organization.
Before transitioning to an executive role, he worked as a crewmember in many key areas of a motorsports team.
A Denver native and a member of the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame, Garone spent six successful seasons (1989-1994) as crew chief for Arvada, Colo. driver Rick Carelli in NASCAR’s K&N Series, Southwest Tour Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
Garone’s tuning talents played a vital role in Carelli’s success, which totaled more than 100 victories during the six-year period, including championships in two NASCAR divisions – the K&N Pro Series West in 1993 and the Elite Division Southwest Tour in 1991.
He joined the NASCAR Cup Series in 1995 as a suspension specialist and an over-the-wall front-tire changer for Bill Elliott Racing. He later advanced to the crew chief role for the legendary Bill Elliott.
After spending four seasons with Bill Elliott Racing (1995-1998), Garone joined PPI Motorsports in 1999. From 2001 through 2003, he worked directly for NASCAR. He was responsible for developing and implementing a business plan and structure for the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. as well as hiring the staff and starting the initial safety programs. He was later named NASCAR’s director of officiating.
The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car racing. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is founded to preserve history and heritage of the important role west coast stock car competitors have played in the sport’s development and continuation and to recognize, through annual enshrinement, of outstanding individuals and groups within the sport such as, but not limited to, designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.