Jerry’s racing journey started in 1970 when he purchased a 1954 Ford “Stockcar” from Ray Reimer. Along with the car came his introduction to Earl Pollard and his son Larry who passed along some of their combined years of racing experience knowledge to Jerry which gave him a head start. As Earl ran #99 and Larry #98, Jerry decided on “97” as his car number. His crew that 1st year included his older brother Lyle and his good friend Rick Cudby. Putting his gained knowledge from the Pollards to good use, Jerry finished 10th in the points standings and won Stockcar “Rookie of the Year”.
1971 saw Jerry move up a class to “Super Stocks”, building up a 1957 Ford which, unlike his last year stock car’s hand-painted body and hand-stenciled lettering, sported a professionally sprayed paint job by his new sponsor, “Save-Way Auto Body”, along with sign painter-applied numbering and lettering. Also gone was crew member Rick Cudby who, after helping Jerry in the pits for a year, decided that “behind the wheel” was the place for him. Rick went on to have very successful racing seasons of his own. Jerry got his older brother Larry to fill the void making it a true “family affair”. That season Jerry became well known to Western’s fans, finishing 3rd in the “Most Popular Driver” poll.
In 1973, with additional new crew members Russ Blackstock, Fred Best and Bernie LeBlanc, Jerry and his brothers built a new car, a black and white #15 ’66 Mercury Comet sponsored by “McDonalds Bread” which Jerry drove to an 8th place finish in that year’s points standings. They continued campaigning the Comet until the end of the 1975 season in which Jerry finished 9th in points. 1976 saw more crew changes with Russ Hancock and Wayne Campbell coming on board to assist with the building of a new car, a shorter wheelbase 1964 Ford Fairlane, which Jerry’s growing experience told him that they needed in order to be competitive. Jerry and wife Judy also welcomed their first daughter, Andrea, with Jerry taking her along on parts-hunting trips to local auto wrecking yards. The new car carried Jerry to his 1st main event win as well as that evening’s trophy dash and a 4th place finish in the fast heat. He ended the year 4th in the points race and his crew’s close maintenance of the car’s appearance also won them “Best Looking Car” for the Super Stock class.
1977 was Jerry’s best year to date with him not only winning the “Roy White Memorial” race and finishing 3rd in points behind Bob Collins and Jim Caudwell, but also setting the Super Stock season track record on June 25th at 18.227. Crew member Russ Blackstock was also voted “Mechanic of the Year” for keeping the car’s 289 cubic inch Ford V8 engine in top form. With 1978 came a new ’68 Ford Mustang racer sponsored by “Reg Midgley AMC” and new crew member Mike Saari along with Jerry and Judy’s second daughter, Kimberley. This season saw a limited racing schedule with Jerry wishing to spend more time with his growing family which saw him eventually selling the Mustang to purchase a boat for family camping and fishing trips.
Although no longer driving, but recalling Earl and Larry Pollard’s knowledge contributions to his early racing days, Jerry “paid it forward” by helping Dan Wade with his son Lance who was just starting his racing career. In 1995, Jerry “scratched the itch” one more time. Remembering his recently-passed brother Larry’s words of “You need to race these” at the 1994 IMCA sprint car championship night they both attended, prompted Jerry to honour his brother’s memory by buying a car from Neil Montgomery and Russ Lejeune. With Lee Ferrie and Frank Lockerbie crewing and sponsorship from Dave Ferguson and “Six Mile Tire”, Jerry drove for the next two seasons, stepping aside at times to let Lance Wade take the wheel in order to hone his open wheel racing skills. Jerry’s untimely passing came when he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving his final race in September of 1996. “Jer-Boy” (as he is fondly remembered) paved the way for others to follow in the sport he loved which was a big part of who he was.