Born on Christmas Day, 1934, Barry was a veteran driver of local stock cars by the age of 22. From the early 1950s to 1961, when he moved south to become a racing star in the Minneapolis area, Kettering dominated the weekly stock car races held in Thunder Bay at the Exhibition Grounds track.


In September of 1954, Kettering set a track record for the Fast Car Event with a time of three minutes 51 seconds for the eight lap, four mile race. In 1957 he was voted most popular driver on the track by local fans for the second time, the first having been in 1955, and had set new records and scored several impressive wins at the Exhibition Grounds. He was listed as top driver at the track, a title he would hold for the following four years; he also claimed the track championship in 1958 and 1959, finishing 18 points ahead of his nearest competitor in 1958. In 1961 Barry made his final appearance at the local weekly meet, making a clean sweep of the show and breaking his record for the 4-mile race with a 3:23 finish.


For the next twelve years, while living in the Minneapolis area, he furthered his racing career, founding the Midwest Sprint Association (MSA) in 1973. According to the Minneapolis Tribune, immediately upon its formation, the MSA “became a Barry Kettering showcase.” He won on every track in the area and when he didn't win, he was contending for the lead. Barry was truly on top of the game, having won the MSA Championship in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Kettering was still one of the area's leading drivers in 1976 when tragedy struck.


He was involved in a freak accident on the track which ended his life at the age of 42 on June 11th, 1976. The contributions made by this Northwestern Ontarian racer will not soon be forgotten.


Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25, 1982


Barry Kettering

Inducted: 
1982
Sport:
Auto Racing
Community:
Fort William
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Exhibit Gallery and Library 

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