Neil got started in the sport of auto racing in the spring of 1960, having had to get a waiver form signed by his parents as he wasn’t yet 16 years old. He first got behind the wheel of a racecar in Western’s revived “Jalopy” class in 1963 in a 1949 Ford. He won that season’s “Championship” race and finished 9th in points standings for the year. Returning in 1964, he won the “July Cup” and was 3rd in the season standings.
Moving up from the Jalopies to the open-wheel “Modified Sportsman” class in 1965, Neil was the season track record holder, at 18.09, of their “B” division. He switched back to Jalopies for 1966 and won Western’s “Victoria Auto Racing Association” (VARA) Championship race. With the Jalopies renamed as “Stockcars” for 1967, Neil drove a ’53 Ford for car owner Sandy Miller and they finished 5th in the points race. In ’68 Neil and crew built a 1955 Ford and placed 4th in points.
A 1956 Ford was his ride in the “Late Model Stock” class in 1970 and Neil drove it to a 9th place finish in points. In 1971 and again in 1974, he competed in the “Super Stock” class and finished 8th both years. In a ’62 Ford for 1975, he had his best year to date, finishing 2nd in points. The next few years saw him assisting on Roy Haslam’s crew and also driving periodically for Terry Forsyth. He teamed up with Russ Lejeune in the early 1980’s and drove a “Camaro” Super Stock sponsored by “Pay Less Gas”.
In 1987, Neil was honoured with VITRA’s “Art Golding Dedication Award”. Again joining Russ Lejeune, they built an “I.M.C.A. Modified” for Neil’s son Trevor to drive in 1989 which they ran at tracks as far away as Anderson, California. In 1992 they built a “Sprintcar” for Trevor and competed at Cassidy Speedway’s dirt track near Nanaimo and by 1995 they had added a 2nd car which was wheeled by Neil’s other son, Jeff. During this time Neil also earned his nickname of “The Chief”.
He continued his racing involvement with the “NSSRA” (Northwest Supermodified/Sprintcar Racing Association) where he had also served on that club’s executive and, in addition to his sons Trevor and Jeff’s cars, also assisted many of his fellow racers over the years with engine building and chassis setups plus advice gained from his lifelong auto racing career.
Neil passed in March of 2021.