Gord Alberg, a friend of Victoria race car driver Billy Foster, reads a letter at a book release in Langford. The event celebrated the release of a book, written by Portland author Bob Kehoe, about Billy Foster and the history of motor sports in Victoria. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Famed Victoria NASCAR driver memorialized in book form

Billy Foster raced at Western Speedway and was the first Canadian to race in the Indianapolis 500

Car racing enthusiasts and community members gathered at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Langford Friday to celebrate the release of a book about Victoria race car driver Billy Foster.

Foster raced at the Western Speedway and was the first Canadian to race in the Indianapolis 500. He was best friends with the popular and successful race car driver Mario Andretti.

In 1967, two years after Foster’s professional career kicked off, his car hit a wall at the Riverside Raceway in California and Foster lost his life.

Fifty-five years ago today, Foster won his first Strawberry Cup which racers will be competing for again this weekend at the Western Speedway in Langford.

READ MORE: Portland author pens biography about Victoria race car driver, Billy Foster

Now, Foster’s legacy and the history of race car driving in Victoria can be remembered and recognized in book form.

Gordon Alberg, Foster’s friend and a Saanich resident, was at the book release and signed copies for those that purchased them. Alberg read a book about Art Pollard, an American race car driver, written by Bob Kehoe a few years back. Shortly after, Alberg reached out to Kehoe to get working on a book about Billy Foster.

“I went over and bought [a book about Art Pollard] and I said you’re just the guy I wanted to meet,” Alberg recalled. “I said you’re going to do a book on Billy Foster.”

Unfortunately Kehoe was unable to make it to the event from his home in Portland, Oregon due to an injury.

Alberg read a letter written by Kehoe to the crowd, adding in some of his own sentiments about Foster as he went along.

“So many of these race car books are just pictures there’s no history so I’m really pleased with the book,” Alberg said.

In the letter, Kehoe explains that as he did his research about Foster he discovered there was a rich history surrounding motor sports in Victoria. He was also able to learn more about Foster.

“The more people I spoke with and the more articles I came across the more I got to know Billy,” Alberg read from the letter, smiling slightly as he went on. “He was quite a guy, even as a youngster he was fully dedicated to the sport. Beyond that he was a lovely husband and father…and he loved playing jokes on everybody.”

READ ALSO: Victoria man pens novel on historic labour strike

The book is more than just a biography of Billy Foster. It is a biography with Victoria’s rich motorsport history woven throughout it.

Langford Coun. Matt Sahlstrom said he received a phone call and e-mail from people who heard about the book as well.

“Anyone that is a fan of auto racing on Vancouver Island should take time to read this book,” the e-mail read. It was from Larry Pollard, a former Canadian NASCAR Busch Grand National Series driver.

“It was sad his career was ended at such a young age but in racing there are no guarantees.”

The book, Billy Foster: The Victoria Flash…plus a walk through the history of motor racing in British Columbia is also available at amazon.com, coastal181.com and through Kehoe himself at bkehoe@gmail.com or by phone at 503-746-4134. It will also be available for purchase at Western Speedway this weekend.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

Impaired driving charge approved in Saanich hit and run that left woman in coma

‘This was a significant crash that caused serious injuries,’ say police

Vancouver Islander spots online photo of stolen totem pole 11 years later

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VicPD called to Beacon Hill Park after body found

Suspicious circumstances not ruled out in apparent sudden death

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team to soar to soar over Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Red Arrows fly past Sept. 26 over the parliament and Inner Harbour

John Fogerty bringing the spirit of ’69 to Victoria

Legendary classic rock tunesmith touring Western Canada with My 50 Year Trip

Tour de Rock kicks off on Saturday morning

The 22nd annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride will take two weeks to complete

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

Most Read