Legends Herman Hutton and Wayne Sumner

Herman Hutton’s #45 Race Car. [Contributed photo]

By Paul Hinkle | Contributed

On Saturday afternoon July 16, 2016 two great legends were inducted into the Clovis Legends of Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The first inductee was Herman Hutton, who started his racing career in 1946. His son, Bob, proudly represented his father. Herman’s first start was with the midgets. He ran in this class for four years with much success.

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the hottest thing going was Jalopy racing on the local short tracks. He started in 1950 with the Valley Jalopy Racing Association. He won his first of several track titles in 1953, winning at the Chowchilla Speedway and in 1955 winning the Selma Speedway Championship under VJRA sanction.

Herman went on to win track championships at Atascadero Speedway, Bakersfield Speedway and Clovis Speedway. He started to race with NASCAR in 1956 and was a strong contender for the State of California Modified Title in 1959, 1963 and 1964, finishing second each year. Chasing a State Championship called for racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and racing 85 – 90 times a year to be in contention.

Herman’s greatest years came when he drove the G&R Muffler Special Circle 45 car, owned by George Tanakand and Ray Nakagawa. This team was outstanding for many years and won their share of races.

Wayne Sumner was the second inductee into the Clovis Legends of Motorsports Hall of Fame. He comes from a very prominent Motorcycle family. At the age of 8, Wayne Sumner was riding and racing scooters and small bikes. For the next 70 years he was competing at every level racing motorcycles.

Carrying his well-known 61Y number, Wayne raced throughout the country, racing on the flat tracks, the TT courses, Hill Climbs, Enduros, Road Courses, Motocross events and Oval Tracks.

His trademark smooth riding style made him a very popular winner wherever he competed. Many called him the most natural motorcycle rider in local racing history.

A longtime member of the Fresno Motorcycle Club, Wayne was always looked upon as a rider with lots of class and talent. After racing with the best for 70 years, Wayne has now joined the ranks as an official for motorcycle racing events held by the Fresno Motorcycle Club. For the last 10 years, Wayne has been the starter for the Flat Track races held at the Caruthers Fair each October. He is very highly respected as an official, and true to form, always fair and firm with all riders.

A very large gathering of family, friends, followers, hot rodders and general public were on hand to welcome Herman Hutton and Wayne Sumner into the 2016 class of Hall of Fame inductees.

July 29th-30th –Arroyo Grande Car Show and Cruise Night
August 5th – Clovis Missionary Baptist Church
August 5th – Rods on the Bluff
August 12th – Clovis Farmers Market (contact Paul Hinkle)
August 13th – Hot August Night Classic Car Show & Street Party
August 20th – Clovis Park in the Park
August 20th – Clovis Elks Hot August Daze Car Show
August 21st – Summer Turlock Swap
August 26th – 27th – Wheels ‘N’ Windmills Car Show
August 26th – 28th – Goodguys 30th West Coast Nationals

If your club or organization is putting on a car show or motorsports event we are always looking for interesting cars, people and events to share. You can reach Paul Hinkle at clovisparkinthepark@gmail.com or call (559) 970-2274 or Eric Hinkle at ehinkle11@gmail.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @clovisparknpark and on Instagram @clovisparkinthepark.
For more information on upcoming events, past events and articles, go to www.clovisparkinthepark.com.

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