In his over 60 year involvement in the sport of oval track auto racing, Barrie Goodwin has been a crew member, race driver and track official, but first and foremost, he has been a track photographer.
Born in Victoria in 1936, Barrie has resided in the Goodwin family home in Gordon Head his entire life. As a boy growing up in the 1940’s, he attended races at both the old “Willows Fairgrounds” and “Langford Speedway”. In the 1950’s, Barrie was the 1st Treasurer of the “Century Toppers” car club.
On May 24th 1955, Barrie saw his 1st race at Western Speedway, taking black and white photos from the grandstands with a $38.00 camera and the following year he took some colour shots from the track’s infield. 1958 saw Barrie become a crew member on Wilf Tucker’s midget racer in which he took a few laps around the oval.
In 1959 and 1960, Barrie got behind the wheel of his own 1937 Ford stockcar, but following a couple of rollovers he decided to retire as a driver. In 1961 he crewed on the #12 ’34 Ford stockcar driven by Bob Fiddick and continued to take photos as time and finances permitted. During the mid-1960’s, Barrie concentrated more on photography, assisting track photographer Ted Mackenzie and taking over the position in 1967 and holding it until 1989.
As a track official, he was a “safety man” for the Vancouver Island Track Racing Association (VITRA) in 1966 and at one of his many annual visits to California’s famous “Ascot Park” oval, he was quickly recruited, due to a shortage of officials, as a Technical Inspector for the NASCAR “Winston West Series” event at which he had planned to take photos.
Barrie’s photographic role has taken him to many U.S. events over the years, including the 1964 “CAMRA (Canadian American Modified Racing Association) Championship” in Boise, Idaho, the 1965 “USAC (United States Auto Club) Dirt Car Championship” in Sacramento, California and the inaugural USAC championship “California 500” race at the brand new “Ontario Motor Speedway” in September of 1970. In addition, he was an official photographer for California’s “Golden State Classic Series”.
His Island photographic involvement has also included Nanaimo’s “Grandview Bowl” and the dirt oval of “Cassidy Speedway”. In the late 1990’s he was a regular fixture at Western and until 2017 never missed a Wednesday night “Hornet” race.
Barrie was a very early member of OTRA (“Old Time Racers Association”) and was one of the original group of 6 local racers who put in motion the events which would culminate in the formation of the “Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum”. From his enormous personal archive of over 200 albums, he provided a great many of the hundreds of 8×10 photographs which make up the Museum’s vast display.
Today, countless copies of Barrie’s photos can be found in the possession of many former race drivers, crew members and racefans, a fond pictorial reminder of their youthful “days of thunder” which otherwise would now be only clouded and fading memories. Barrie Goodwin’s many years of dedicated and expert photography are his legacy to Vancouver Island oval track auto racing, for which we owe him a very sincere and immeasurable vote of thanks!