Brian Lake, better known in the drag racing community as ‘Scruffy,’ was recently celebrated as part of a select group of Gallagher Volunteer of the Year award recipients.
Scruffy has been an active member of the West Coast Junior Dragster Association for the last two years and his tireless efforts to do what he can to support not only drag racing’s next generation but the sport as a whole is legendary within his community.
Amongst a long list of contributions, Scruffy currently supports eight junior racing teams in WA and interstate; has been an active and passionate supporter of the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association’s Junior Nationals event as both a sponsor and a volunteer; is a sponsor of the WCJDA; and crews for three junior racing teams, undertaking a range of duties for our next generation of racing stars.
He is also well known for giving gifts to the racers and their siblings during race meetings, going out of his way to include everyone into the drag racing family.
Scruffy was presented with his Gallagher Volunteer of the Year Award at the Perth Motorplex on October 18.
“Anything I receive is a surprise as I don’t do what I do to receive anything in return. I don’t even ask the sponsored teams to put my business advertising on their vehicles and I have sponsored teams all the way up to Top Fuel,” Scruffy said when asked if he was surprised to receive the award.
“This means the world. I am blown away with the recognition. Standing up and speaking in front of everyone to receive the award was the first time I had ever done anything like that. I usually am lost for words in public, but I feel comfortable around this group of youngsters and their families and I just felt good and able to speak to everyone. That was amazing.
“I will continue to be passionate about this sport and the people in it, and go about what I do in the background.”
Scuffy’s involvement in drag racing started back in 2002 when he assisted a Super Sedan team and has progressed from there to see him today helping many teams both in WA and also across the country. His involvement with one team in particular has been very special to him.
“My chance involvement with the Board family came at a time when I was a bit disillusioned and a bit overwhelmed with how busy my life and my business were at the time. I have to say that Ian, Sonja and Zara have been very welcoming and supportive of me and also the other teams I help out,” Scruffy said.
“Bringing Rachelle Splatt over to Perth for the funeral of Anita Board, before I had ever met Ian and Sonja, triggered my chance meeting with them, and a relationship I treasure. My biggest thanks goes to Ian and Sonja Board for getting me involved with a great group and reigniting my interest in Drag Racing and being part of the sport where you can make a difference with the kids that will progress it.
“I would also like to thank everyone who voted on the award, it means much more to me because it came from a group of people, and not just given out ‘randomly’ like I have seen some awards given out in other sporting codes I have been involved in. Thank you also to ANDRA and Gallagher for putting up the award.”
West Coast Junior Dragster Association (WCJDA) President, Doug Green, said Lake is a very deserving recipient of the award.
“Scruffy is one of the first members of our Association to arrive at the race track for every event, assisting our team with set up and also helping with Association duties even though he isn’t required to do so,” Green said.
“He also assists other race teams including Top Doorslammer teams and he works very hard to help our junior racers to build their confidence, taking the time to speak with them individually and doing what he can to help them instil a sense of pride and acceptance.
“As an Association and as parents of racers, we are not only very thankful for the kindness and friendship that Scruffy brings to our Association, but also for the time and effort that he consistently gives to the sport of drag racing in general.”
Gallagher is the official insurance broker of the Australian National Drag Racing Association and offers competitive, no obligation quotes on everything from your race trailers, to your business, to your race track. For more than 90 years, Gallagher’s tailored insurance, risk management and consulting solutions have helped businesses, communities and people face their futures with confidence. For more information, visit www.ajg.com.au
To learn more about the West Coast Junior Dragster Association, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/westcoastjds
For more from ANDRA, please visit www.andra.com.au
IMAGE COURTESY OF ALISON STALKEY