USKGP Profile: Stan Crocker

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As the United States Karting Gran Prix (USKGP) fast approaches, the inaugural program will continue to highlight the key industry members that will assist with the first annual event. Taking place July 23-25 at the Utah Motorsports Campus, registration remains open for both the Sprint and Road Race programs by visiting www.USKartingGrandPrix.com, but today we look at the profile of Stan Crocker.

Stan started with racing, machines and cars right from the get-go. He grew up going to the races with his dad and brother at the Westwood Karting Circuit in Vancouver, British Columbia. The family environment and comradery where everyone was having fun really felt like home and Stan loved the forests of the circuit infield where he and his brother could hike to come out at the next corner to watch the racing. Often Stan would find his way back to the pits soaked to the bone at the track that everyone called ‘Wetwood’. Rain tires in the trunk were always a must.  Such fond memories of what a ‘street-of-dreams’ development.

Stan first met Claudio Valiante at the Alfa Repair Shop getting the race car ready. He and his bother spent many Saturday hours sanding the front fenders getting the Alfa Gulietta Sprint ready for paint. As a kid, Crocker remembers Claudio as the guy who always had a smile amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy shop in those days.

Racing got into Stan’s blood when he started with a Fox Kart and Mac 91A in 1968 as a junior at the Westwood Karting Association Sprint Track. After a couple years he was eager to try his Fox Kart out on the Westwood Road Race Circuit but had limited success in making his equipment last the grueling one-hour races. It was in those early road race days when he met the Musil, Lehmann, Holmboe and Hegar, among other long time karting families. Stan was always impressed by the groups who made the trek up to Westwood from Seattle, Portland and beyond every race weekend.

From those days he graduated to a Bug Stinger Mac 91B1 for sprint competition and Hornet Allegro Mac 91B for road races as he traveled to as many races in the Northwest as he possibly could.  High points included the Road Race Grand Nationals in 1972 at SIR and the 1973 Canadian Road Race Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta.

Studying became Stan’s next focus as he saw the cost of karting, so a path to a good career was next. He enrolled in college to learn mechanical engineering as all those racing years made him hungry to understand the science behind machines and racing. During the college days he spent a winter working at the March Engineering Ltd factory in Bicester, England where he met Formula One notables Max Mosely, Robin Herd, and drivers Hans Stuck and Vittorrio Brambilla. As gofer boy at the Formula 3 events and machining magnesium uprights back at the factory, Stan was living his lifelong dream.

His summers during college were filled with travelling to Europe, where he’d earned scholarships to study manufacturing and work at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany. Stan found such diversity of students from all over the world in the factory towns, and felt the tension expressed by his German friends before the Berlin Wall fell.

After college, realizing he’d been away enough from home and family in Western Canada, Stan moved to Calgary, Alberta to work in the Alberta oil patch. He worked in most aspects of the energy industry there and ended up building many different types of pipelines all while working in the evenings for six straight years toward his MBA. Stan was able to return to some racing in Alberta, winning the Alberta Autoslalom Championship four years running in his Datsun B210.

Alberta was beautiful in those days, but Stan missed the racing at Westwood and the Northwest.  Moving back to Vancouver, he was able to find a job with Fortis BC Energy Inc. where over 25 years he worked in many parts of the gas industry including pipelines, regulatory affairs and finance.

The first thing Stan did after settling back in Vancouver was to purchase an Emmick Laydown/KT100 that he could run at the Northwest road racetracks.  Stan remembers flying down to Emmick’s factory in Sacramento, California, and the time racing with them down in the United States. Those were Stan’s banner years running in the Road Race ranks in the KT100 Laydown grids winning North West Gold Cup Championship in KT100 Light and Heavy spanning multiple years

During this period Stan realized another life-long dream, to live and work in the United States of America. After college he had wanted to move to Seattle to work in manufacturing at Boeing but could not immigrate in those days. Shortly after immigrating in the early 2000s, Stan heard that Claudio Valiante was building a sprint track in Sumas WA, known now as Sumas International Motorsport Academy (SIMA).

Today SIMA has become his second home. Stan helps the whole Valiante family at the ¾ mile sprint track and is currently busy with a substantial expansion to the facility. When completed, the facility should be 25 acres including CIK designed 1.16-mile sprint track and 20,000 square foot karting showroom, shop and warehouse.

Stan Crocker still tries to dip his toes into the Northwest ICP Cup sprint racing waters when he can and is still living the dream. He has recently enjoyed restoring his early sprint karts: 69 Bug Stinger/Mac 91B1/Hartman clutch & pipe, 78 Emmick Lightning II/K78, and 79 Zip Arrow/K78 direct drive. Stan enjoys the beautiful Northwest on his hobby farm with wife Kelly and horses Geri, Justine and Luke.

For his love of karting, Stan will be the Sprint Pit Coordinator and Vintage Karting Coordinator for this year’s prestigious United States Karting Grand Prix. In between his trackside work, Stan hope that he will find the time to run sprint TAG Masters and TAG 100 classes.

More announcements are coming soon! Visit www.USKartingGrandPrix.com for registration, news, information, class structure, rules, hotel information and more.