In an auto racing career that has spanned over 46 years, George Wade has covered a lot of ground.
At only eight months of age he was first taken (along with older brothers Dan, Al, Arnie and Roger) by his parents, Les and Ruby Wade, to Western Speedway where they all cheered for their favorite drivers Dave Cooper and Billy Foster.
In 1968, George had his 1st personal racing experience when he zoomed down the “big hill” into his hometown of Jordan River in a homebuilt GoKart which displayed the #27 of Billy Foster.
In 1972, George’s brothers Dan, Al and Arnie purchased a 1956 Ford Stockcar from Harvey St. Hilaire which George crewed on and which brother Al drove to a 6th place finish in the points standings earning Stockcar “Rookie of the Year”. Running the same car the following year, the boys finished 11th in points.
For the ’74 season, George was on VITRA’s membership committee as well as looking after the back gate and again crewing on his brothers’ stockcar which that season jumped to 2nd spot in the points standings. The following year, the Wades moved up to the Super Stock class, purchasing Rick O’Dell’s 1963 Plymouth which Al guided to 7th place in season-end standings. Between 1977 and 1981, George wrote and submitted race reports for Western Speedway and for “Racing Wheels” newspaper as well as being a crew member on a new 1973 Dodge Challenger Super Stock the brothers had built.
George served as Western Speedway’s “Race Director” for two terms, 1982 to 1997 and from 2011 to 2015. During this time he received the “Meeres Equipment Promoter of the Year” award and was also involved with the “Merchants International Super Stock” series which ran between Western and Port Angeles. In 1998 he became Race Director at Tenino Washington’s “South Sound Speedway”, moving there the following year to become it’s Manager. From 2000 to 2003 George was General Manager at Monroe Washington’s “Evergreen Speedway” and held the same position from 2004 to 2007 at Anderson California’s “Shasta Raceway Park”. Before returning to Western Speedway in 2011, he served as General Manager of “Grays Harbour Raceway” in Elma, Washington. George’s induction into the “North Sound Racing Hall of Fame” and a 9 year term as President of the “Western Auto Racing Promoters Association” also highlighted this time period.
In addition to his racetrack executive duties, George also maintained contact with his family’s racing endeavors. Between 1986 and 1988, he crewed on his nephew Lance’s “Street Stock” at Western and was Crew Chief on Lance’s “Pro Stock” (owned by brothers Dan and Roger) from 1989 to 1992 which won the inaugural “Montana 200” at “Montana Raceway Park”. A trip to “Indianapolis Motor Speedway” for the first running of the NASCAR “Brickyard 400” as Crew Chief on the “Wade Racing” “Winston West” car was a major highlight for George in 1994.
Preceded by his parents Les and Ruby’s “Pioneer” award in 1997 and his brother Dan’s “Induction” in 2004, George was honoured in 2018 for his many contributions, both locally and on the west coast, to the sport of oval track auto racing; a long-term family interest which had been George’s passion for so many years.