GRAHAM LIGHT INDUCTED INTO CANADIAN DRAG RACING HALL OF FAME
Graham Light, NHRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, was one of 38 luminaries honored Oct. 9 as an inaugural inductee into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Montreal.
The 28 living and 10 posthumous legends who were inducted included racers, crew chiefs, mechanics, track officials, promoters, and sponsors from Victoria, B.C. to Poole’s Corners, P.E.I, who have made a lasting impact and significant difference in the development of the sport of drag racing in Canada and elsewhere.
“It is a dream come true to see great ones of our sport getting the recognition they deserve for their extraordinary achievements, contributions and efforts for the sport of drag racing,” said Bob Aubertin, director.
“The recognition of world-class Canadian drag racing legends, all under one roof, is long overdue,” said John Scotti, founder of the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame. “I am very excited about this achievement for the sport and look forward to sharing it with others who will visit the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame museum as well.”
Light, a native of Edmonton, Alta, got his start in drag racing in Competition Eliminator before moving to Top Fuel in 1971. Light was a consistent qualifier and posted a runner-up finish at the 1977 NHRA World Finals in Ontario, Calif. He finished ninth in the 1978 NHRA points standings.
From 1974 to 1982, Light owned and operated Edmonton International Speedway, a world-class multi-use facility consisting of a dragstrip, a 2.5-mile road course, a 1.5-mile road course, a motocross track, and a quarter-mile oval.
Light joined NHRA in 1984 to handle business development in an area that now comprises NHRA Divisions 6 and 7. In 1986, Light took over as Division 7 director and was promoted to the position of competition director in 1987. Later that year, he was promoted to vice president for technical operations and in 1993 was elevated to his current position. He was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1996.
Light, who became a member of the NHRA Board of Directors in 2004, oversees competition and operations at all 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races. In addition, he oversees NHRA Field Operations/Divisions and the NHRA Technical Department, supervises the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA, and serves as chairman of the NHRA Competition Committee.
He also serves as president of the FIA Drag Racing Commission and is a director for the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS), the American branch of the FIA worldwide racing organization.
"It's a great honor to be inducted into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame during its inaugural year and to be included among the legends of Canadian Drag Racing," Light said. "All of the inductees owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to founder John Scotti for his vision in creating the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame, which will provide an appropriate venue to preserve the history of the sport well into the future."
Other inductees who made significant impacts in the world of NHRA Drag Racing were all-star crew chief Dale Armstrong, famed Funny Car driver Gordie Bonin, longtime John Force Racing crew chief Bernie Fedderly, former U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner Terry Capp and 1970 Winternationals Super Stock winner Barrie Poole, the first Canadian driver to win an NHRA national event.
To be nominated for the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame, candidates must have actively been engaged at the top level of their categories for more than 25 years and have made a tremendous contribution to the sport. They must also reside or be an expatriate of Canada.