WARPA’s Orval the Clown award

Orval the Clown

Orval the Clown

When the dust has settled each season, the Western Auto Racing Promoters Association hosts its annual meeting – an important opportunity for track owners and racing associations to reflect on the season that has just ended and to better prepare for the upcoming season. For years, these WARPA workshops have wrapped up with Northwest icon Joe Doellefeld captivating those in attendance with personal tales of his experiences with Orval the Daredevil Clown.

Orval Kisselburg’s list of crazy stunts included the popular Russian Dynamite Death Chair, where he would sit on a chair – sometimes just a cardboard box – atop sticks of dynamite… and set them off!

It is said that Orval made a living doing the things Evel Knieval would not do. Orval traveled from race track to race track all over the country, and many longtime race fans will recall him performing at Northwest venues during his 1952-1981 stunt career.

Orval, who served in Europe during WWII before spending three decades putting himself in harm’s way for the entertainment of others, passed away in 2008 after a 26-year battle with ALS.

WARPA keeps this great showman’s legacy alive with its most prestigious annual award in recognition for dedication/drive/passion and support of motorsports in the Northwest. Each year Joe pauses to respectfully read the amazing list of previous honorees that dates back to 1983.

Joe Doellefeld

Joe Doellefeld reading from Orval the Clown book during the 2099 WARPA meeting


Orval the Clown award winners

1983

Orval the Clown award winner Mike Shaw
ASA West

1984

Orval the Clown award winner Jim Rapier
Skagit Speedway/WARPA VP

1985

Orval the Clown award winner Bob Williams/Stan Dunn
K&K Insurance

1986

Orval the Clown award winner Pacific Racing Assoc.
Roseburg Speedway

1987

Gary Cressey Gary Cressey
Shasta Speedway

1988

Orval the Clown award winner LeeRoy Nelson
Meridian Speedway

1989

Reg Midgley Reg Midgley
Western Speedway/WARPA Pres.

1990

Gary Cressey Gary Cressey
Shasta Speedway

1991

Orval the Clown award winner Bill Hill
K&K Insurance

1992

Gib Repass Gib Repass
NASCAR NW Tour

1993

Orval the Clown award winner Ross Fontes
Northwest Super Modified Racing Assoc.

1994

Orval the Clown award winner Barry Rankin
WARPA Secretary/Treasurer

1995

Dick Boness Bob Beadle/Dick Bones
Evergreen & Spanaway Speedway

1996

Fred Brownfield Fred Brownfield
Northern Sprint Tour & World of Outlaws

1997

Al Wade Al Wade
WARPA Secretary/Treasurer

1998

Orval the Clown award winner Gary Sterner
Racing Wheels newspaper

1999

Warren Secord Warren Secord
Goodyear Racing Tires

2000

Bill Smith Bill Smith
Western Speedway

2001

Orval the Clown award winner Jim Reich
McCoy Racing Enterprises

2002

Mickey Beadle Mickey Beadle
Evergreen Speedway/WARPA Pres.

2003

Orval the Clown award winner Ron Bennett
Yakima Speedway

2004

 Orval 60x60 Doellefeld Joe Doellefeld
Stateline Stadium Speedway

2005

Orval the Clown award winner Ken Tipton
K Motorsports

2006

 Fred Brownfield Fred Brownfield
Gray’s Harbor Raceway

2007

Curt Kern Curt Kern
ASA/NSRA

2008

Al Wade Al Wade
WARPA Secretary/Treasurer

2009

Kerry Rauch Kerry Rauch
Paul Oil Co.

2010

Scott Ellsworth Scott Ellsworth
Racing in the Northwest

2011

Rick Gearhardt Rick Gerhardt
Hoosier Tire West

2012

Tom Glithero Tom Glithero
North Sound Racing

2013

Ted Pollock Ted Pollock
Yakima Speedway

2014

Bert Johnson Bert Johnson
WARPA Secretary/Treasurer

2015

Steve Heeb Steve Heeb
Inside Track magazine