Bob Acheson thought there was a mistake when he got the call telling him he was going to the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame (CDRHF).
“I told the man: ‘You’re talking to Bob, not Rob,'” said Acheson, 82, from London, referring to his son, a world champion in speed racing.
“He said, ‘No, I want to talk to you, and also to Rob. You’ll be the first father and son on stage.’
Bob is already a member of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, and a former stock car racer, while Rob recently retired after a long and successful career on the track.
“I am deeply honored to finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Rob, 48, told CTV News London. “All my accomplishments and the passion and dedication we put into this sport, this is like the final chapter in my racing journey.”
Bob Atchison started drag racing in the 1950s and became the champion crew chief for his son Rob. (Source: Atchison Racing)
The two spend every day together working on engines at their family machine shop on Clark Road. It is fitting that father and son – who are best friends – would go to the CDRHF together after all they have accomplished on the track.
The two traveled to Montreal with their family last weekend to receive the honor at the seventh annual induction ceremony.
“Drag racing is a family sport,” Rob said.
Bob Acheson wears his Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame and Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame (CDRHF) rings while his son Rob displays his new CDRHF ring. (Brent Lall/CTV News London)“There are a lot of generational families racing,” he explained. “To have my dad with me and then to see my dad get drafted as well and how emotional it was for us and our family and how special. He was there at every race. I could see his face before I made the pass, and he was giving me a thumbs up.” Through the car window and every step of the way. We were together, and finally being together was a fantasy come true.
Rob’s nearly 30-year career on the track was certainly Hall of Fame worthy. During his peak 20 years ago, he was one of the best players in the world. He won three straight IHRA Alcohol Funny Car Championships (2003-2005), the 2003 IHRA Professional Driver of the Year, and won 21 IHRA national events.
Rob Acheson from London, Ontario. He won three IHRA Alcohol Funny Car Championships in a row from 2003 to 2005. (Source: Atchison Racing)Rob, who retired from sport to spend more time with his wife and children, said: “I am humble about the things I have done and this was the day I could highlight our amazing achievements.”
“It’s very un-Canadian to say, ‘Hey, look at me,’” Rob added. But that was a great night to say, “Hey, look at us.” Look what we did. Look at what we have accomplished.”
A man of few words, Bob summed up all the good times he had traveling to the track and racing together.
“There are a lot of good memories,” he added.