Wayne Nicholsen

DATE OF INDUCTION: February 19, 2011
CAREER SPAN: 1969–2000


An icon of oval racing for three decades, Wayne Nicholsen of Greenville, New York combined an unwavering work ethic, athletic prowess and passion for excellence to become one of the most successful oval racers of his era. Renowned for his focus on the big-sled Stock and Formula III classes, Nicholsen captured dozens of class championship titles in USSA, OSRF, CCMQ, PRO and WSRF, in addition to victories in five Eagle River World Championships.

Credited for helping Ski-Doo refocus its efforts toward Stock class competition in the early 1980’s, Nicholsen was a dedicated ambassador for his longtime sponsor and for the entire sport of snowmobile racing. In the ultra-competitive environment that typifies racing, Nicholsen rose above trivial rivalries with his pleasant, thoughtful demeanor to earn the respect of his fellow competitors. Well-spoken and helpful to aspiring racers, Nicholsen’s impact on the sport extended far beyond his innumerable successes.

Nicholsen notched several legendary single-event performances, including his “perfect weekend” at Ironwood, Michigan in 1986, during which he won every heat and final in three Stock classes, in addition to winning every Stock class at the 1985 World Series of Ovals in Owen Sound, Ontario. Yet despite his hundreds of oval race wins and class titles throughout North America, in nearly every circuit, Nicholsen credits his two (1980 & ’81) Jim Adema Memorial Awards and USSA Sportsmanship Award, voted on by fellow racers, as his most significant career accomplishments.