Born in Buhl, Idaho and raised in Washington State before coming to Ashland, Oregon in 1960, where he lived, Harold Hardesty made his money in excavation and construction, and his pastoral estate on Bear Creek is home to the evidence of his passion; collector cars and the photos and trophies from his hall of fame stock car driving career.
In 1956, Harold drove nine NASCAR Grand National races, with six top finishes (including a 7th at Redwood Acres), only once finishing worse than he qualified due to a bearing failure in Portland, the only race he was not still running in the end. In 1957, he raced in four GN races, but was plagued by car trouble and a crash, and only finished running in Eureka. In 16 Grand National races, he had eight Top Tens, which included five Top Five finishes.
In 22 Pacific Coast / Winston West races from 1966 to 1973, he had 16 Top Tens, including seven Top Five finishes and two wins, one coming at Redwood Acres Raceway in 1968.
A member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, Harold by all accounts won hundreds of races around the country, a major factor in his being one of only a handful of west coast drivers, along with Herschel McGriff, who have been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Harold owned and operated the track in Medford, traveled regularly to races all over Oregon, Washington, and California, and was a frequent visitor to Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka from the 1950s to the 1980s, where his reputation preceded him. We love and miss you.
Harold is survived by his son, Steve Hardesty and wife, Donna of Burbank, Washington; stepson, John Hardesty of Medford, Oregon; nephew, Neil Hardesty and wife, Tammy of Burbank, Wash.; and other nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Arnold Hardesty; mother, Virgie Hardesty; and brother, Normon Hardesty, all of Pasco, Wash.
A memorial is being held Saturday, May 26 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., at the Eagles Lodge in Medford.