In Memorium

In Memorium
This site is dedicated to the memory of
Lennie Calinoff

Miles Nelson

John Levan 

They freely dedicated their time to starting these racing sites so we could read about and see pictures of the sport of AUTO racing.
Len, Miles and John!

Dec 2014
from Scott Daloisio
(Perris, CA, December 18, 2014)    Funeral services for 1970’s and 80’s CRA Sprint Car Star Steve Howard will take place at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress at 11:30 AM January 23rd.  The announcement was made by Howard’s longtime friend Mike English on Wednesday evening.

 Howard, who won five main events in his racing career, passed away in his sleep on Monday night.  His last appearance at the races was at the Turkey Night Grand Prix on Thanksgiving.

 Steve Howard on the throttle in the famous Morales Brothers Tamale Wagon
at Speedway 117 in Chula Vista, California in 1980.

 photo BY Scott Daloisio.

 After his racing career ended, Howard remained active in the sport working with his late father Glenn at So. Cal Performance in Downey.  In addition to supplying racers with parts, competitors always looked to the longtime driver for helps on setups as well.  Over the past decade, he was instrumental in getting the Louie Vermeil Classic off the ground at the Calistoga Speedway in Northern California and he raised thousands of dollars every year for the Glenn Howard Memorial race, which was named after his father.  Howard was also a noted authority on the history sprint car racing in Southern California and his vast knowledge was considered second to none.

 In addition to his funeral, a celebration of his life is planned.  Details including the time and place will be released within the next few days.

 The Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress is located at 4471 Lincoln Avenue.

July 2 2014

Gary McKeon,

Passed away from a massive heart attack.On June 26.

 Gary was still a relatively young man in His Early 60s when the Good Lord called him home with a massive heart attack.

 Gary's services will be held at 1:00 PM, on Monday, July 7th, at the Green Hills Mortuary and Gardens in Rancho Palos Verde.

May 12 2014
       AJ Watson 1924 to 2014

from USAC A.J. WATSON, 90
   Legendary car builder and chief mechanic A.J. Watson died Monday in Indianapolis at the age of 90. Inducted into the USAC Hall of Fame last year, his expertise as a car builder and mechanic earned his cars seven victories at the Indianapolis 500. Drivers Bob Sweikert, Pat Flaherty, Rodger Ward, Jim Rathmann, Parnelli Jones and A.J. Foyt all piloted Watson creations to victory lane. A member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Watson scored 27 wins as a USAC Sprint Car owner and is also a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. In 1958 Rathmann piloted a Watson-built car to victory in the “Race of Two Worlds” 500-mile event at Monza, Italy. A.J. was awarded USAC’s Eddie Edenburn Award in 1983 and Lincoln Electric Mechanical Achievement Award in 2006. Between 1961 and 1969 A.J. participated as a member of the USAC Board of Directors. Services are pending.

from Suzi Elliott, I M S
       INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 12, 2014 - A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles about the death early this morning of four-time Indianapolis 500-winning chief mechanic and prolific car builder A.J. Watson:
      "AJ Watson was one of the most innovative and successful mechanics and car builders in the 105-year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Watson roadster that was so prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s remains one of the most iconic racing cars ever constructed. The thoughts and prayers of the entire
     Indianapolis Motor Speedway organization are with the Watson family and the many friends and fans of A.J. Watson, who will always remember him for his passion for racing and his friendly and approachable personality."
    Watson, 90, had four "500" wins as chief mechanic (Bob Sweikert in 1955, Pat Flaherty, 1956, and Rodger Ward in both 1959 and 1962) and six as the winning constructor, in 1956, 1959 and 1962; plus 1960 (Jim Rathmann),  1963 (Parnelli Jones) and 1964 ( A. J. Foyt).

April 25 2014

From Goodale Memorial Chapel Obituaries

    Age 80, of Lockport, passed away on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

Warren is survived by his loving family, wife, Rita White (Wright), son, Les (Kris) White, grandchildren, Bryan (Autumn Schultz) White, Rhiannon (Tyler) Keith and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Warren was preceded in death by his parents, Wrey & Alice White (Voight) and brother, Larry White.

Warren was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He was Co-Owner and Operator of White Excavating in Lockport and a member of the UARA for 25 years. Warren was also a member of the Homer Congregational Church in Lockport.

 In lieu of flowers, donations to the Homer Congregational Church or the American Kidney Foundation would be appreciated. For information, 815-838-1533 or 

  Warren "Newt" White
      Stan Kalwasinski Photo

Lockport, Ill.—Former leading Chicago area midget racer, Warren “Newt” White, 80, passed away at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox on April 17. White was the driving champion of the old United Auto Racing Association (UARA) in 1973.

A resident of Lockport, White was UARA’s “rookie of the year”in 1957. White also raced midgets with the United States Auto Club (USAC) and other Midwestern racing associations. He teamed with car owner George Holterman to win the UARA crown in ’73 after finishing third in the 1972 point standings. White won five UARA feature races during his title-winning year.

Stan Kalwasinski Photo

One of the biggest wins during White’s career was a 100 lapper at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway in 1973. White was crowned the Florida Winter Nationals Champion in 1975. He was inducted into the Mazon Speed Bowl/Grundy County Speedway Hall of Fame in 2004.

White is survived by his wife, Rita, son, Les (Kris) White, and grandchildren, Bryan and Rhiannon. Services have been held.
         by Stan Kalwasinski
I found this sad news on and I want to thank Stan for sharing this news and the great picture of Newt and thank Gary Gasper posting it for race fans. I was around Newt alot in my early racing years and I know he was a good little driver and I believe he was well respected amongst racers for many years. Newt was a brother to Larry White who owned the yellow #82 midget that Jigger drove to the 1961 UARA Championship and numerous track championships that year. I've often wondered why Newt didn't drive Larry's midget since they were brothers! I guess I should pose that question to Jigger since I never have asked him if he knows any answer to my thought!! My sympathy to Newt's remaining family and friends. May he RIP as he continues his racing at the next level!!
      from Racer Rich

April 11 2014
Joseph Gregory Fullan

Joe and His wife Phyllis
Photo taken in the early 50s I believe.
 given to Me by Joe a couple of years ago.

3/12/23 - 3/27/14
Resident of Sunnyvale
Joseph Gregory Fullan passed away peacefully on the morning of March 27th following a short illness. Joseph will truly be missed by his family and many friends.
Born in Brooklyn, New York he developed his love of aviation working as a mechanic for the flying service at Roosevelt Field on Long Island. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps at the beginning of World War II and served with the 20th Air Force stationed on Tinian Island. After the war he became involved in the early East Coast racing scene building and racing sprint cars.
Joe moved his family to California in 1959 working with the Marvel Oil Company. He went to work for the Santa Clara Valley Water District in 1962. While at the Water District he earned his private pilots license and shared his love of flying with family and friends long after his retirement in 1982. Joe was a proud member of Ye Anciente and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen.
Joseph is survived by his loving wife Phyllis, Patrick & Janis Fullan, step-son Jim Flot and grandchildren Ryan and Anna Flot.
A private service is being planned for family and friends.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Apr. 8, 2014
- See more at:

In Memory of Mark P. Beck who passed away on March 27 at Carson City, Nevada Son

There will be a Memorial Service in Carson City, Nevada on April 26, 2014 at Walton's Funeral Home, 1281 N. Roop Street beginng at 2:00 PM with Services at 3:00 PM and
 a Celebration of Mark's Life afterwards.

April 7 2014
Mickey Rooney in THE BIG WHEEL

RIP Billy Coy!, 1920-2014

Mickey Rooney just passed, he was 93. Who didn't love this guy in THE BIG WHEEL? He took his final checkered flag RIP Mickey.

Mar 17 2014
Robins millers Obituary for Gary Bettenhausen

Mar 16 2014
You are invited to the Tom Palmer Memorial service ,

Mar 5 2014
Denver, CO. (March 04, 2014) - Retired RMMRA Midget owner and
2013 Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Bob Olds passes away at the age of 86.

Don Holbrook
Freebird Motorsports

  Bob Olds was born in 1927 in Denver. At age 13, while on his paper route in Park Hill, he was invited into Buddy Martinson's garage to polish wheels and clean his midget racer. He did such a good job that the crew even snuck him into the pits at Gilmore for Turkey Night. Bob went to East High School and bought a 31 Model A Roadster for $120, took off the fenders, and started drag racing all over town, including timing and speed trials at Lowry Field and old Tower Road - which is why he is a charter member of the Denver Timing Association.

  He continued drag racing until joining the Army in 1945 and when on leave he would help Harry Duff and Bob Van Buskirk work on their midgets. In 1946, he bought a Ford roadster (an old Pikes Peak car) and raced it at Englewood Speedway for a few years. Starting in the late 1940s and into the 1960s, Bob travelled to races all over the country and worked on pit crews with 1948 national midget champion, Johnny Tolan, and local drivers Joe Giba, and Buddy Shay.

 In the early 1950s, Bob took his 32 Ford Coupe with a blown Flathead to Bonneville and turned 107 mph, but wanted to go faster, so Bill Kenz loaned him some wheels and tires and he got up to 112 mph. While there, he met Tom Beatty and helped him work on his belly tanker. Doing him a favor, Tom let Bob drive his car on the trip out where he turned 186 mph, and Tom did the return trip and ran 192 mph. Bob never lifted and was puzzled by his slower speed so Tom finally told him that he had a headwind and it wasn't his fault.

 He also worked on Leo Dobry's pit crew for Indy style cars at Centennial Racetrack, and on the Pikes Peak car of Bus Hammond, who won there in 1953. During the month of May each year from 1959-1965, Bob went to Indianapolis, Indiana. Doing whatever he could to help his friend and car owner, Myron "Buz" Osborn, Bob was on the pit crew, and was also the body and paint man for numerous cars including the Radsco Battery Cable Special, the Myron Osborn Special, the Greenman-Casale Offy, the Denver Chicago Special (Watson-Offy), cars sponsored by Denver Chicago Trucking, White Spot Restaurant, Apache Airlines laydown Offy, and, the Wilbur Clark rear-engine Offy.

 From the early 1970s through the 1980s, Bob had many celebrated Colorado drivers in his midget racers, including: Sammy Sauer, Jim Beckley, Don Wilson, Gene Pastor, and Frank Mantello. Because Bob's cars were clean, competitive, and considered first class rides, he also had several notable, national champion drivers, including: Bob Olivero, Sleepy Tripp, Larry Rice, Bob Wente, Lonnie Caruthers, Doug Wolfgang (1st Midget drive in Bob Olds' Lulu's Honker Offy), Steve Cannon, and Danny McKnight.

  In 1974, Bob bought one of the early VW powered midgets from LTC in Costa Mesa, California. Bob's son Scott began re-building the VW engines for his dad, and in 1975, Larry Rice set a one lap record at Englewood Speedway of 15:39 in the Bob Olds Motors VW (also known as Lulu's Luv Bug). In 1977, Bob hired Sam Sauer to drive and Frank Peterson to build the engines; the team worked well with a track record at Colorado National Speedway (dirt) of 18:47 and victories in eight trophy dashes, eight heats, and eight main events resulting in the 1977 Owner's championship for Bob and crew. In 1978, Bob was elected president of the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association, but tragedy struck on May 20th at CNS in the first heat race of the season when Sam Sauer was killed in a violent North turn crash in Bob's new VW midget. After Sammy's death, Bob ran his cars competitively for a few more years and helped numerous other racers set-up their midgets and sprint cars.

    Through the 1980s, his son Dave ran a Formula Ford in SCCA and other local clubs, usually finishing in the top 10 during his first year, but after Bob tweaked on his car a few times and provided some instruction, Dave consistently finished in the top five. With a Fine Arts degree from Denver University, Bob is an accomplished artist and has created hundreds of paintings, including some beautiful, professional quality paint jobs on numerous race cars, and even airplanes. Currently, Bob uses his artistic gifts painting Hall of Fame drivers and cars at our favorite tracks of yesteryear, and he shares his mechanical expertise with his sons and other Colorado Vintage Oval Racers with their vintage racecars, all while running a successful car sales business for more than 44 years.

  Bob is survived his wife Bonnie and five childrens.

  Services will be held this Saturday (March 8) at the St. Joesph Catholic Church 969 Ulysses ST, Golden Colorado at 10.00 a.m.
Feb 8 2014
by Rick Holbrook Bay Cities Racing Association
It is with extreme sadness that I have to announce our BCRA family lost two great members yesterday. Past Business manager

Thomas William Palmer,
10-29-1928 to 2-11-2014.

Tom spent many years directing this club, one of only three Business managers we have ever had. Tom and his wife Virginia, really laid the groundwork and provided stability to BCRA for many years. We all owe Tom a debt of gratitude for his efforts.

Not five minutes after I found out about Tom's passing I received a phone call from Bob Roza, informing me that my buddy

Wayne Albright

lost his battle with pneumonia. Wayne fell ill at the Chili Bowl out in Tulsa. A past board member, two time Midget Lite car owner champion and good friend too everyone. Wayne was a true competitor, he provided cars for several drivers over the years including me. He really loved racing with his son Dakota and was extremely proud of their accomplishments together. For me, Wayne will be missed beyond words.
God Speed my friends.

 Chicago Whispers

By Stan Kalwasinski  January 26, 2014

Chicago, Ill.—Richard “Dick” Potts, 76,  the ‘Hurry’n  Hoosier’,  passed away on January 22.

Dick Potts, pictured here in 1982
(Stan Kalwasinski photo)

    During his racing career of some 50 years, Potts won a reported 521 stock car feature races and numerous track championship titles, nine of them coming at the old Rensselaer Raceway, which was only a short trip east of Potts’ longtime home of Morocco, Ind., and the location of Dick Potts Auto Parts.
    Potts began racing in 1960 at the Rensselaer fairgrounds dirt track, racing a ’34 Ford coupe.  The coupes turned into modifieds with Potts moving into late model competition in 1971 when the Rensselaer oval reopened after a year layoff.
    Potts would win a total of nine late model track championships at Rensselaer, the first one coming in 1972.  He would win a total of three more in a row, having a total of seven track titles during the 1970s.  A couple of more Rensselaer championships came in 1982 and 1985.  Records show Potts scoring 75 feature wins at Rensselaer, making him the track’s winningest driver before the third of a mile dirt oval shut down in 1987.
    Potts won Rensselaer's season-ending special, the Brooks Ford 100, five times.  His first victory came in 1976 with the last one coming in 1982.  If Potts didn’t win, he was usually among the top contenders.
    Potts competed at other local tracks – Henry’s Speedway in Boswell, Ind., the Broadway Speedway in Crown Point, Ind., and Illinois’ Kankakee County Fairgrounds oval.  Records show that he won a career 10 feature races on the dirt at Kankakee and scored his last feature win at the Crown Point dirt track on May 4, 2002.
    Potts’ trademark number was “92”although he drove a car for Buddy Pullins, lettered “007” during 1965 - 66.  Numerous sponsors and supporters were part of Potts’ career.
    “My best sponsor was Johnson Well Drilling of Valparaiso,” Potts told Newton County (Indiana) historian Beth Bassett in 2010.  “We had two cars on our team at the time.  We were a team for five or six years until Mr. Johnson’s passing.”

 Potts biggest racing rival was the late Earl J. Hubert of Aroma Park, Ill.
    “We were friendly rivals, a lot of beating and banging, knocking around at each other,” Potts told Ms. Bassett..  “During one season, I was leading him in points and it was the final race at Rensselaer Raceway.  I had arrived at the track not seeing Earl J. anywhere, so I just figured he not was going to show up and I was going to win the championship right then.  (Later), I  looked up at one time, and there was Earl J’s car being towed into the track by him in MY tow truck.”
    Potts’ biggest win was the Budweiser 200 in 1979 at the Yellow River Speedway in Marshfield, Wis., collecting over $10,000 for his victory on very cold day.  A $10,000 second-place payday in 1985 at the Dirt Track World Championship at West Virginia’s Pennsboro Speedway is also a highlight of Potts’ career.  Ironically, Potts was involved in a serious accident at Pennsboro in 1995.


Dick Potts chases Paul Shafer (#20) and Bob Line (#313) during early evening action at Rensselaer in 1980.
 (Stan Kalwasinski Photo)

    Potts told racing historian Bob Markos, “(After coming home), they found out I had a concussion, my leg was fractured in four places, I had a chipped bone in my knee and a fractured elbow.”
    Between 1979 and 1981, Potts ran a number of races on the old United States Auto Club (SAC) stock car circuit,  Driving from car owner Gilbert Read of nearby Lake Village, Ind., Potts ran both paved and dirt tracks with a 10th place finish at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway, the high-banked half mile paved oval.  Potts also tried his luck on the pavement at several local tracks.
    Potts was inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in 2006.
    Potts’ final full season of racing was 2010 – his 50th year of speed.  Rest in peace, Dick.

The address for news and comments is 9618 Cypress Ave., Munster, Ind. 46321-3418 or e-mail to

Reprinted with permission from RaceStar Publications

Feb 4 2014
We Lost long time race memorabilia collector Eddie Hitze (82) of Lafayette, IN.
Last night Viewing is Tues at Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home in Laf. Eddie and wife Lorraine always set up at the various memorabilia shows over the past 25 years. (including the one at IMS two weekends ago). Ed Hitze Sr.and Eddie campaigned a USAC offy midget for several years - back in the glory days. Sr. was a well known auto racing photographer from the 40's and published the Kurtis Kraft Story book in the late 70's. Eddie probably forgot more about open wheel midget and big car racing history than most of us know. RIP Eddie

Jan 9 2014
Midget Car Owner  George Zarounian dies at 93

By Lewis Griswold
The Fresno BeeJanuary 7, 2014

George Zarounian of Visalia with one of this midget race cars. He had Midgets for over thirty yearts (Special to the Bee)

  George Zarounian of Visalia was a car dealer who took pride in selling quality vehicles, a diehard poker player and a savvy Monterey real estate investor. Mr. Zarounian died Friday of natural causes at home surrounded by family. He was 93.
  Mr. Zarounian was born in Goshen to Armenian immigrant parents and grew up on the family farm near Monson-Sultana.
  He was mechanically inclined, enjoyed working on cars and in his senior year at Dinuba High, "he took five shop classes and one P.E. class," his son Gary Zarounian said.
  Following a tour of duty in World War II, Mr. Zarounian married Hasmig "Jessie" Peloian, and they had three children. She died in August 2012.
  He opened George's Auto Sales in Dinuba in 1948, and George Zarounian's Selected Automobiles in Visalia in the mid-1950s.
  The sign at the Visalia dealership at Ben Maddox Way and East Main Street stated "Cleanest Cars in California," a testament to his pride in selling quality cars.
  "He was very meticulous," his daughter Gail Groefsema of Bakersfield said. "His tools were lined up perfectly."
  He was equally careful about his appearance, often wearing a cowboy hat that was the same color as his clothes. If he couldn't find the right color hat to buy, "he'd spray paint his cowboy hat," she said.

In 1993, he and his son opened a Cadillac/Oldsmobile/Isuzu dealership. For a hobby, they spent 30 years building midget race cars and racing them at tracks around the country.

George Zarounian
Born: Dec. 28, 1920
Died: Jan. 3, 2014
Occupation: Car dealer, entrepreneur

Survivors: Son Gary Zarounian, daughters Carol Hovannisian and Gail Groefsema; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren.

Oct 29 2013
Hal Needham,

unknown photographer
'Smokey and the Bandit' director, dead at 82

BY Tim Kenneally,
Monday, October 28, 2013

Oscar recipient, veteran stunt performer and director Hal Needham arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 4th annual Governors Awards in Hollywood December 1, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES - Hal Needham, a stuntman and film director, died in Los Angeles on Friday at age 82, a representative for Needham told TheWrap.

The cause of Needham’s death was not immediately available.

Born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1931, Needham got his break in the business as a stunt double in the TV western “Have Gun, Will Travel,” and provided stunt work in films such as “How the West Was Won,” “The War Lord” and “Little Big Man.” He frequently served as a stunt double for actor Burt Reynolds.

In 2012 Needham received an honorary Oscar for his work as one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen of the 1960s and 70s.

His working relationship with Reynolds extended when Needham branched into directing, with 1977s “Smokey and the Bandit.” Needham would direct the actor in other films including “Hooper,” “Stroker Ace,” and “The Cannonball Run.”

Reynolds hailed Needham as “a friend, a colleague, and a mentor” in a statement to TheWrap.

“I have lost a friend, a colleague, and a mentor. Words cannot describe the sense of loss that I feel right now,” Reynolds said. “Hal was one of a kind -he really could do it all-he directed top films, developed creative innovations for the film industry and became the world’s highest paid stuntman-all with a great attitude of having fun, and working hard. He was my partner in the Skoal Bandit NASCAR team, my roommate, and a true friend-I always knew he had my back whether directing me on film, doing a stunt, or simply looking out for me.

“There will be a huge empty space left by him, and now there is nobody you can call that can handle a horse gag or a 75 foot fall out of a helicopter.

“I was shocked to hear the news, nobody knew he was sick, but that is the way Hal was, not wanting to burden anyone else, but to shoulder it himself. I loved him like a brother. And I miss him already.

Oct 10 2013
from Perris Auto Speedway
18700 Lake Perris Drive
Perris, CA  92571
  (Perris, CA, October 8, 2013)  A memorial service for legendary auto racing mechanic Ray Scheetz, who passed away on Monday morning, will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday, October 14th, at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.  Rose Hills is located at 3888 Workman Mill Road.  The services will take place in the Sky Rose Chapel.  Everyone is welcome to attend and when you arrive at Rose Hills, please enter at gate #1.

 Following the service, a reception will be held at the Swiss Park Banquet Center, which is only a couple miles from Rose Hills.  Directions from Rose Hills to Swiss Park will be passed out at the service.  At the reception there will be a slide show on Ray’s life and all of his family and friends will be able to share stories, thoughts and smiles on him.

 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Ray’s name can be made to the American Lung Association

Oct 82013
From Perris Auto Speedway Promoter Don Kazarian

(Perris, CA, October 7, 2013)                        
     Ray Scheetz passed away early this morning from complications with Emphysema. Ray’s auto racing career began at the end of World War II when his Dad started preparations for the post war competition aboard his Track Roadster. Ray took to the mechanic trade and by his mid teen had caught the attention of racing Mechanic, John Pouelsen who noticed Ray's attention to detail and his organized approach to servicing the race car for the next event. Pouelsen offered Scheetz an opportunity to join his crew at Indianapolis as they took the Agajanian Special and Parnelli Jones to the Brickyard and victory in 1963. Pouelsen moved to the Bowes Seal-Fast team in 1964 through 1966 and took Ray along while campaigning with A.J. Foyt on the USAC trail.

 Ray returned to southern California racing action in 1968 as the Racecar Preparation Specialist for the Morales Brothers, Don Peabody, Bill Sykes, Chuck Tucker, Billy Wilkerson, Skip Schuck, and the Kazarian Family. Some of the drivers that raced in Scheetz prepared racecars were Howard Gardner, Nick Valenta, Ray Douglas, Bob Hogle, A.J. Foyt, Chuck Hulse, Rick Goudy, Colby Scroggin, Billy Wilkerson, Booby Olivero, Bubby Jones, Don Johns, Bob Coulter and Ron Shuman with Ray collecting ten season championships. Combined these drivers worked with Scheetz to amass a total of 155 sprint car victories during his career.

 In 1995 and 1996, Ray was very active in the building of Perris Auto Speedway, fabricating many parts of the state of the art catch fence. Over the years, he devoted his efforts in track preparation in much the same way as his race cars. Ray has been an important member of the staff that keeps the PAS a top notch facility.  

 I have lost one of my oldest and best friends! Ray loved Sprint Car Racing! In his honor, we dedicate the 18th running of the Oval Nationals to Ray. All of us at the PAS will miss Ray and our thoughts are with Leanne and his Family.

 Don Kazarian

Oct 2 2013

Veteran Indy 500 mechanic George Bignotti dies at 97

by Tony DiZinno

George Bignotti (left) with Sir Jackie Stewart (IMS Archive)

Legendary IndyCar mechanic and crew chief George Bignotti, who turned the wrench as chief mechanic on Al Unser’s winning cars in 1970 and 1971, died Friday at age 97.

A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles reads as follows:

“We’re saddened to learn of the passing of George Bignotti. George is a true legend. He set a standard for mechanical excellence and preparation at the Indianapolis 500 that has yet to be matched and may never be reached. George’s love and loyalty toward the ’500' never waned throughout his wonderful, long life, and he had countless friends and admirers in Gasoline Alley and the IndyCar community. Everyone at IMS extends their thoughts, prayers and sympathy to the Bignotti family.”

Meanwhile, from Parnelli Jones, the 1963 Indianapolis 500 champion and someone who worked with Bignotti from 1969 to 1972:

“George Bignotti was a super guy and was a key to our success winning at Indianapolis (Al Unser 1970 and 1971) and an important part of our National Championships with Al Unser (1970) and Joe Leonard (1971 and 1972).

“George was strong minded and gave us very reliable cars that were not always the most innovative or flashy but always fast enough to win.  George’s cars were always prepared to go the distance – whether it be 100 or 500 miles – dirt or pavement.  Reliability back then was different than it is now and George made sure that both the chassis and engine were buttoned-up and capable of winning. George was meticulous and had an eye for detail.

“He was great to work with and he taught a lot of mechanics the trade.  Everyone on the circuit learned by watching him, some as team members and some as rivals.  We always wanted to think outside the box and constantly be innovative but George pushed back to make sure we were steady and could go the distance and finish – that’s what wins races, finishing every lap.  George will be missed by everyone in the racing community and our thoughts go out to his family.”

George Bignotti: Robin Miller's Great Tribute

September 27, 2013 Forwarded to Us by Ex USAC Official Dennis Johanson    
Photos courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway

    Before there were engineers, aerodynamicists, shock dynos and computers, there was George Bignotti.
  “As far as I'm concerned, he was the greatest mechanic that ever turned a wrench on an Indy car,” said A.J. Foyt on Friday evening after learning that Bignotti (LEFT AND BELOW, with Foyt in 1961) had passed away earlier in the day at age 95. “In his day, there was nobody better and I'm quite sure if he was still around today he'd be just as tough to beat.”
  Bignotti was synonymous with success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he was the chief mechanic on seven winners with Graham Hill (1966), Gordon Johncock (1973), Al Unser (1970 and '71), Tom Sneva ('83) and Foyt ('61 & '64). A native Californian who was a good midget racer, Bignotti had a knack for tuning engines and chassis when he showed up at IMS in 1958.
  “George was ahead of a lot of people,” continued Foyt, who scored 23 Indy car wins and four USAC national championships in the five years (1960-'64) he spent with the man who became known as the Master Mechanic.  “He was a very good engine man and knew a lot about racing fuels and he was also a good chassis man.

In 1964, Foyt and Bignotti captured an amazing 10 of 13 champ car races and then split up.

  “I was bullheaded and we hollered at each other quite a bit but it went in one ear and out the other for both of us,” recalled Foyt with a chuckle. “Sure, we had our differences but we always respected each other. I gave him 110 percent and what I liked about George is that he gave me the same thing. I was wanting to start my own deal after '64 anyway, but we did something together that season that nobody's topped yet.”
Working for Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing and paired with Unser, Bignotti worked his brilliance for back-to-back wins in the Johnny Lightning Colt in 1970 and 1971.

    Parnelli Jones (kneeling, ABOVE, with Unser, Bignotti and co-owner Vel Miletich after '71 Indy win),

“George was a super guy and was a key to our winning Indianapolis from his office in Torrance, Calif., “but he was also an important part of our National Championships with Unser in 1970 and Joe Leonard ['71 and '72]. He was strong-minded and gave us very reliable cars that were not always the most innovative or flashy but were always fast enough to win. His cars were always prepared to go the distance, whether it be 100 or 500 miles, dirt or pavement. George was meticulous and had an eye for detail. He was great to work with and he taught a lot of mechanics the trade.
  “Everyone on the circuit learned by watching him, some as team members and some as rivals. We always wanted to think outside the box and constantly be innovative but George pushed back to make sure we were steady and could go the distance and finish. That's what wins races, finishing every lap. George will be missed by everyone in the racing community and our thoughts go out to his family."

Johncock (with Bignotti after his '73 Indy win, ABOVE)
While A.J. and Bignotti butted heads, took the other approach with his ace mechanic.

  “I wouldn't tell George how to fix the car – he knew a lot better than I did,” said Johncock, who also had Bignotti's Wildcat in front at Indianapolis in 1977 before breaking down. “I just let him go about his business because I trusted him and he was very sharp. Look at his record. He had good people around him but they all wanted to learn from him because he was the best.”
  An avid golfer, George was still playing at age 90 and Foyt stayed in touch. “He'd had a little stroke sometime in the last couple years but I just talked to him a month ago and he was as sharp as a tack,” said Indy's original 4-time winner. “I understand he went to sleep last night and didn't wake up, so that's not a bad way to go. He lived a long time and had a hell of a run.”

Suzi Elliott, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 - George Bignotti, the most successful chief mechanic in the history of what is now known as IndyCar racing, died Friday, Sept. 27 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 97.

From an era when legendary chief mechanics like A.J. Watson, Clay Smith and Clint Brawner were as well known as just about any of the drivers, the name of George Bignotti would rank right at the top. Winner of the Indianapolis 500 a record seven times, his total number of wins as a chief mechanic in IndyCar racing totaled an astounding 85, also a record.

The San Francisco-born Bignotti always seemed to have the remarkable ability of aligning himself with the very best in the business, whether it was the car owners, the drivers, the equipment, sponsors or the support staff, with many a future chief mechanic having benefited greatly from a stint under his guidance. The conclusion that it could well have been him alone who was the magic ingredient within a team could understandably be drawn because his seven Indianapolis 500 victories came with six different teams: A.J. Foyt with Bignotti-Bowes Racing in 1961, Foyt with Ansted-Thompson Racing in 1964, Graham Hill with John Mecom Jr. in 1966, Al Unser with Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing in both 1970 (leading 190 of the 200 laps) and 1971, Gordon Johncock with Patrick Racing Team in 1973 and Tom Sneva with Bignotti-Cotter Racing in 1983.

In addition to a few other potential "500" victories which slipped away, Bignotti-wrenched cars finished either second or third on eight other occasions at Indianapolis with Johnny Boyd, Roberto Guerrero and Joe Leonard, plus Foyt, Johncock and Al Unser. Others who drove Bignotti-prepared cars in the "500" - some of them leading - included Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti and Rodger Ward, while still others at various times and at other tracks included Jimmy Reece and George Amick, John Surtees, Fred Agabashian, Wally Dallenbach, Bob Veith, Bobby Marshman, Swede Savage, Jud Larson, Walt Faulkner, Kevin Cogan and Geoff Brabham.

For year after year in USAC National Championship competition, Bignotti enjoyed a virtual stranglehold on the series. He won the season title with Foyt in 1960, '61, '63 and '64, with Al Unser in 1970, and yet again in 1971 and 1972 as co-chief mechanic with Johnny Capels and driver Leonard.

Originally introduced to racing by his brothers, Al and John, George Bignotti became a major force in Northern California midget car racing right after World War II, winning the Bay Cities Racing Association title with Agabashian in 1946 ,'47 and '48, and again in 1951 with Boyd. Bignotti was so successful in the then-lucrative sport that he gave up his job in the ship building business to devote full time to racing.

"I was actually on the Golden Gate Bridge when I came to that decision," Bignotti once said, laughing. "I had to cross that darn bridge twice a day, and I got fed up with the traffic jams. When I was inching along at a snail's pace and got rear-ended by sailor, I decided that was enough for me!"

When the popularity - and corresponding financial benefits -- of midget car racing plummeted in the late 1940s, Bignotti continued to race on the side but became involved in profession most unlikely for a racing mechanic.

"I became a florist!" he once said with a chuckle. "It was actually my mother-in-law's business. Meanwhile, I was still involved in midget racing, and I never had any intentions of ever going back to Indianapolis, although Agabashian kept pressuring me. I always told him, 'No, but if ever you run into an emergency situation, call me.'

"One day in May 1954, I was balancing on top of a ladder in the flower shop, putting the finishing touches to some redecorating we had done, when the phone rang. It was Fred pleading with me to go back because he was with a team which had a chief mechanic who hadn't worked out. He told me there'd be a plane ticket and a hotel room, so back I went. By the time I arrived, my old friend Frankie Del Roy (later USAC technical chairman) was already on board to do the engine, so I became the chassis man and we finished sixth with Agabashian."

After a fifth-place finish with Walt Faulkner and relief driver Bill Homeier in 1955, Bignotti entered the entrepreneurial side for 1956 by joining forces with Bob Bowes II to form Bignotti-Bowes Racing. Boyd later laughed that not only had He taken a "cut in pay" to drive for Bignotti by signing on for a retainer of only $350, but that when he and Bignotti loaded up the brand-new Kurtis/Offy to tow it back to Indianapolis and Boyd learned that they had no spares, he returned the retainer to Bignotti to purchase an extra set of shocks.

After coming close to winning several times with Boyd during the next three years, Bignotti finally scored a USAC win with Jud Larson on the Phoenix 1-mile dirt track at the end of 1958.

Then, from the beginning of 1960 until June 1965, history was to be made time and time again by the fabulously successful, albeit frequently tempestuous pairing of Bignotti and Foyt. Over that five-plus year period, punctuated by a stormy parting of the ways and a regrouping not of their own doing, the iconic pair netted an amazing 27 wins, including 10 in 1964. There were only 13 races total that year, and Bignotti always would stress that he was not the chief mechanic on the two less-than-successful outings Foyt had with a rear-engine car.

That record was matched six years later when Al Unser won 10 out of 18 events in Bignotti-wrenched cars for Vel's Parnelli Jones in 1970. An 11th race also was won by Leonard in a team car. Between 1968 and 1971, Unser won 25 times for Bignotti.

Never complacent, the canny Bignotti always looked for an advantage and often found one through rather unconventional channels.
Choosing to work in a long white coat, which made him look more like a doctor or a dentist, his garage always was open to visitors.
It seemed to attract a procession of engineering types who would generally tend to be mechanically inclined enthusiasts who had no connection with racing. While other crew chiefs were generally never particularly open to suggestions by outsiders, Bignotti was an exception, discreetly escorting an enthusiastic physics professor or an aerodynamicist to a quiet corner and then hanging on their every word.

But as Parnelli Jones has noted within the last few days: "George was strong-minded and gave us very reliable cars that were not always the most innovative or flashy, but always fast enough to win. We always wanted to think outside the box and constantly be innovative, but George pushed back to make sure we were steady and could go the distance and finish - that's what wins races: finishing every lap."

Ever the strategist, Bignotti always enjoyed telling the story of Al Unser winning the "500" pole in 1970.

"We drew a really bad number and were all the way down near the end of the line," Bignotti said. "Qualifying started, and for the next couple of hours, we'd be pushing the car forward another few feet every time another car would go out at the head of the line. Everybody thinks you are just passing the time by talking to your friends, but what I was doing was listening to the P.A. Every time another driver qualified and was being interviewed, I'd listen to what he was saying. You know, 'It was pushing in Turn 3,' or 'It was loose' or 'It's pretty windy up at the north end.' Well, I would consider who the driver was and whether or not I thought he really knew his stuff, and I'd make a decision. Some of my crew guys were starting to get a little irritated with me, but you know what? By the time Al finally went out, we had made five separate changes to the setup just sitting there without turning a single lap. And we won the pole!"

Honors amassed by Bignotti throughout his career were justifiably numerous. In 1975, he was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, followed in 1993 by induction into the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Possessing talents well beyond racing, he was a shrewd businessman, an avid golfer (typically playing three times a week until quite recently and able to shoot "beneath his age") and perhaps rather surprisingly, in the words of an admiring lady friend a number of years ago, "Positively the best swing-dancing partner I ever encountered."

He was a wonderful story teller and was extremely sharp until very near the end when his health began to fail. He was cared for in his final years by his estranged second wife, Kay Meyer, the daughter of three-time "500" winner Louis Meyer and the sister of "Sonny" Meyer, both fellow Hall of Famers.

In addition to Kay Meyer, Bignotti is survived by his daughter, Mary Mendez, and two grandsons by his late son, William "Billy" Bignotti, who was also a chief mechanic.

Although primarily a "West Coaster," Bignotti was a devoted fan of the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Yankees, and he chose to be interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

There will be no public ceremonies, although a celebration of Bignotti's life is envisioned for some time next May in Indianapolis.

Bob Westphal   6/ 10/2013

Kelly Westphal Bobs son posted this on His face book page
Well, my dad took the checkered flags of life about 1:30 this morning.
 Details for memorial service to follow soon.
 Thank you.
Thoughts and prayers to the Westphal family on the passing of Bob
Memorial Service for Bob Westphal.
 Tuesday June 18, 2013 @ 2:00pm
 Crossroads Fellowship
 100 W. Dawes
Bixby, Ok. 74008

More later when We get more information on Bobs passing.

Richard 'Dick' Trickle dies at 71

from Fox Sports
Dick Trickle, a former NASCAR driver whose larger-than-life personality and penchant for fun won him legions of fans despite a lack of success beyond the nation's small tracks, died Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. He was 71.

DICK TRICKLE: 1941-2013
•Trickle dead at 71
•SPEED: Ex-driver character and winner
•SPEED: “Significant racer” of his era

According to a release from the Lincoln County (NC) Sheriff's Office, Trickle died from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound. The incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. ET at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Highway 150 East in Boger City.
The release states that the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call apparently from the victim that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Communications Center workers tried to place a return call to the number but did not get an answer.
The first emergency units arriving on the scene located the body lying near the victim's pickup truck.
Trickle was a Lincoln County resident and had lived there since the early 1990's.
Trickle made 303 Cup starts from 1970-2002. He earned 36 top-10 finishes, 15 of them top-fives.
''Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today,'' NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. ''Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed.''
Trickle earned his reputation as a successful short track driver before joining the Winston Cup series and earning rookie of the year in 1989 at age 48.

He competed in more than 300 Cup races. Although he never won a Cup race and won just two Busch Series races, Trickle earned cult status. Former ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann would regularly mention where Trickle finished after each NASCAR race.
Former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine said there was only one way to describe Trickle, a native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
''Fun,'' Bodine said. ''Just plain fun.''
Trickle was never one to be told how to live his life. He was known for cutting a hole in his racing helmet so he could have a smoke break when the caution flags flew.
''He always kept a cigarette lighter in his car,'' Bodine said in a telephone interview. ''It's all just sad. We don't understand why he would do this. Hopefully we will all learn why he would do that. There was something that triggered him to take his own life. We are all really saddened by this in the racing community.''
NASCAR does not keep track of short-track records, but according to the (Milwaukee) Journal-Sentinel, Trickle won more than 1,000 short-track races throughout the country during his prime. He was a seven-time winner in the regional ARTGO Challenge Series in the late 1970s and mid `80s. Trickle also captured the ASA AC-Delco Challenge Series in back-to-back years in 1984-85 before turning to Cup racing.
Trickle lived in Iron Station, N.C., for more than 20 years. Bodine said Trickle was full of stories and popular because of it.
''People everywhere knew his name,'' Bodine said. ''That's why they used his likeness in that movie `Days of Thunder.' He was such a character.''
The main character in that popular niche racing movie, played by Tom Cruise, was named Cole Trickle.
Bodine said that a few years ago he had to back out of a celebrity cruise for patients who were on kidney dialysis. He asked Trickle to fill in.
''He made such an impression on people on that ship that everyone wanted to know when Dick was coming back,'' Bodine said. ''They loved him. They tell me he was the last man to leave most of the bars on the ship and I believe it.''
Bodine also recalled inviting Trickle to compete in one of his bobsled events in 2004 at Lake Placid, N.Y.
He said Trickle went down the first time and crashed. After being cleared by doctors to continue, Trickle tried again and crashed in the same place.
''They were doing interviews with him on TV and he was like, `I don't know what happened, I did the exact same thing I did the first time,''' Bodine said. ''And we're all looking at him like, hey Dick, maybe that was the problem.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dean Jeffries,

Dean Was A Car Customizer and Painter, Dies at 80
Dean Jeffries, a car customizer, designer and painter who was considered one of the pre-eminent artists of American racecar and hot-rod culture, died on May 5 at his home in North Hollywood, Calif. He was 80.

 His death was announced on the Web site of the company he started in the 1950s and operated until recently, Dean Jeffries Automotive Styling.

 Mr. Jeffries was a virtual one-stop shop in the world of custom cars. His creations were featured perennially in magazines like Rod & Custom, in the hard-baked gloss finishes of Indianapolis 500 racecars and in dozens of movies that celebrated cars, including “Bikini Beach” (1964) and “The Blues Brothers” (1980).

 He was equally renowned for the precision detail of his brushwork on cars driven by the racing champion A. J. Foyt and the actor Steve McQueen; for his steel and fiberglass novelty cars like the Monkeemobile, used on the 1966-68 sitcom “The Monkees”; and for the indestructible, supercharged stunt vehicles he designed and built for movies and television series.

 As a sideline, Mr. Jeffries also drove the stunt cars he built, developing a specialty in overturning and rolling at high speeds. He retired from stunts, but not until three years after he broke his back in 1981 while shooting a scene for the action comedy “Honky Tonk Freeway.”

 He recovered and was shooting another movie, “Romancing the Stone” (1984), when he reinjured himself in a stunt requiring him to drive a five-ton truck off the edge of a ravine, steer it over a 100-foot chasm and crash-land on the other side.

 “That’s when I decided to retire,” he said in an interview posted on his Web site. “I finished — I did the jump — and decided it was enough.”

 Movie stars discovered Mr. Jeffries early. Gary Cooper, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Martin and Harry Belafonte were among those who had cars customized in his shop. In 1955, James Dean, who raced competitively, asked Mr. Jeffries to paint his new Porsche 550 Spyder with the number 130 and the words Little Bastard, a racing number and nickname he had adopted.

 A month after Mr. Jeffries finished, Dean, 24, was killed in an accident while driving the car at high speed on a winding California mountain road.

 Edward Dean Jeffries was born on Feb. 25, 1933, in Lynwood, Calif., the son of Viola and Edward Jeffries. His father, a car mechanic, tried to teach him the trade. But he preferred drawing and hated the grease and dirt of mechanical work, he told Tom Cotter, the author of the 2009 biography “Dean Jeffries: 50 Fabulous Years in Hot Rods, Racing & Film.”

 Mr. Jeffries is survived by a son, Kevin Dean Jeffries, and a sister, Evonne Jeffries. His first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, Rosalee Berman, died in 2008.

 Though Mr. Jeffries wanted to attend art school, his family could not afford the tuition, he told Mr. Cotter. Instead, he apprenticed throughout the 1950s with some of the custom-car artists in his neighborhood — a group that included George Barris and Kenneth Howard (known professionally as Von Dutch).

 Tom Wolfe later described those men, in the title essay of his 1965 book, “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,” as pioneers of a new American art form.

 “Anything I wanted to learn,” Mr. Jeffries said, “I tried to find out who was at the top at it and learn from the best.”

 Mr. Jeffries’s entry in a 1964 Grand National Roadster Show competition, an asymmetrical and elegantly futuristic racecar he called the Mantaray, received wide acclaim from custom car critics; Hot Rod magazine called it a masterpiece.

 The publicity led the producers of “Bikini Beach” to cast the Mantaray in the film’s starring automotive role.

 In the movie’s dramatic conclusion, in which Frankie Avalon faces his rival for Annette Funicello’s heart in a drag race, Mr. Avalon wins it all, including the girl, from behind the wheel of Mr. Jeffries’s masterpiece of an automobile.

John D. ‘Johnny’ Shipman,

‘Johnny’ 96, of Terre Haute passed away on April 23, 2013 in Union Hospital.
 He was born in Chicago, IL on August 10, 1916.  Johnny retired in 1965 having served in the U. S. Air Force.  He also had retired from Pinkerton Security Services in 2003.  His membership include Humboldt Masonic Lodge, F&AM # 42 where he was a past master; Prairieton Order of Eastern Star # 163;  charter member and lifetime member of the 500 Shrine Club of Indianapolis Murat Temple;  Zorah Shrine, Valley of Terre Haute; Scottish Rite; and Vigo County Past Masters Association.
He was well known for his involvement in automobile racing and was a charter member and life member # 110 of United States Auto Club (USAC); Indy 500 Old Timers Club; a founding member of the Terre Haute Quarter Midget track; for 23 years he was the assistant starter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He also assisted ISU with their tandem bicycle and trike races since 1962 and was involved with the Newport Hill climb for over 30 years; and the Midwest Vintage Race Car Club.  He was also a life member of VFW # 972; member and 1st Vice-Commander of AMVETS  Post #2; and Voiture 21 40/8.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Shipman in February 2006, a daughter-in-law Gloria, one brother and three sisters and one nephew and step parents Kyle Bert Compton and Laura Compton.  His survivors include his two sons, John A. ‘Jack’ Shipman and William D. ‘Billy’ Shipman and his fiancée Tina Slaven, six grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.  Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. in DeBaun Springhill Chapel with Revs. Rusty Deckard, Brett Wilson, and Brian Lester officiating.  Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park with military graveside rites by honor guards from VFW # 972 and the Indiana Air National Guard from Hulman Field. Calling will be on Thursday beginning at 3 p.m. with Humboldt Masonic Lodge memorial services at 7 p.m. Calling will also be on Friday beginning at 11:00 a.m.  The family is asking that memorial contributions for Johnny be made to the Shrines Children’s Hospital or the Indiana Special Olympics.  Online condolences may be offered at


from  J. Douglas Boles, IMS
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, April 1, 2013 - Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Art Malone died Friday, March 29 in Tampa, Fla. He was 76.

Malone was a star in drag racing who also competed in open-wheel racing and NASCAR. He also was the first to lap the Daytona International Speedway faster than 180 mph.

Both of Malone's Indianapolis 500 starts - 1963 and 1964 - came at the wheel of one of the legendary, supercharged V8 Novi cars, his assignment there coming as somewhat of a surprise at the time. Perhaps it was his breathtaking 181.561-mph lap Aug. 28, 1961 at Daytona which had drawn the attention of new Novi owner Andy Granatelli. Partnered with fellow drag racer Bob Osiecki,
 Malone had taken "Mad Dog IV" - a much-modified 413-cubic-inch Chrysler "Hemi"-powered Kurtis "roadster," which had recently served as Firestone's tire test car - and had manhandled it around the 2½-mile speedway more than fast enough to claim the $10,000 prize posted by Bill France for turning Daytona's first 180-mph lap.

Malone had finished 10th in NASCAR's Firecracker 250 on July 4, 1962 at Daytona and had raced the short tracks around Tampa for years. But because Malone needed at least a couple of open-wheel, oval-track races under his belt before he could be permitted to tackle the Novi at Indianapolis, Granatelli supplied him with a dirt car for the 1962 season-ending events at Sacramento and Phoenix. He "missed the show" at Sacramento but qualified fifth at Phoenix.

Perhaps to the surprise of many, Malone qualified for the 1963 "500," the first time three Novis had ever qualified for the same race. His Novi was quite distinctive due to the large triangular-shaped stabilizer fin mounted on its tail. Clutch trouble intervened even as the race was starting. After four pit stops in the first 18 laps, Malone was obliged to call it a day.

In 1964, he returned to pull off something which had been achieved only five times previously with a Novi. He was still running when the race ended, flagged off in 11th position with 194 laps completed. As a further historical footnote, Malone would be the last person ever to be running at the end of a "500" while driving a Novi.

Malone had a total of 10 USAC National Championship starts up through 1965, his final appearance coming in 1966 when he crashed Wally Weir's rear-engined Gerhardt in practice on the morning of the first qualifying day at Indianapolis and jumped out to reveal that he had elected to drive in stocking feet.

For many years, Malone's drag racing shop in Tampa was located only a couple of blocks from the shop of the great "Big Daddy" Don Garlits. The pair had been tight friends ever since Malone was 8 years old. Garlits was older, but they both rode the same school bus.

Malone drove one of Garlits' famed "Swamp Rat" dragsters when Garlits was injured in the late 1950s, and the pair teamed up for a very emotional reunion in 1984 at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Going in as huge underdogs, they came out on top, Garlits winning the race.

Malone had not been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in many years when he returned in May 2011 for the 100th anniversary of the first running of the "500." The 500 Oldtimers Club was honoring the living drivers who could claim at least one "500" start in a front-engined car, and of the 14 survivors, Malone was one of nine on hand to be honored.

His attendance in 2011 at IMS was quite noteworthy. Just over a week short of his 75th birthday, Malone drove up from Tampa in a 45-foot motor coach, nursing a broken leg and towing a little "drive-around-town" vehicle behind the motor coach.

Two days later, on Saturday morning, May 28, there he was again as one of 161 "500" veterans who were on hand for that never-to-be-forgotten "class" photo taken in the Pagoda Plaza.

Malone is survived by his wife, Sandra; daughters, Stephanie and Pam; and four grandchildren. Calling hours are from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 at the Garden of Memories Chapel in Tampa, with a funeral at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at the same location.

  Gene Heffley

Former Creator/Owner of Colorado National Speedway Passes

   Denver, Colorado (April 1, 2013) - Gene Heffley former Colorado National Speedway creator/owner and 2009 Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Gene Heffley passed away on March 27, 2013., he was about a week shy of 95 years old.
   He is survived by his wife Gerda, his two daughters Helene and Patty, granddaughter Jessica and great grandson Calvin.
   Gene moved to Denver from Missouri Valley, Iowa in 1957, after serving five years in the military.  In 1951, he met and married his wife Gerda.  They started a trucking company and had two daughters, Helen and Patti. By 1960 this couple was operating four trucks.  A year later he began to operate a salvage business in the Denver metropolitan area and sold parts to two individuals that were building race cars.  When one could not pay for the parts, they ended up with the race car. With some help from some friends, Harry McCool and Bart Manley, they ran the #70 car at Lakeside Speedway.  That is when he really got hooked.
   In 1964, one of their drivers was Hall of Famer, Sam Sauer.  Later that year they all went to a big race at Hanford, California.  It was the first time they had seen a real late model race and he and Gerda decided to build a speedway designed car for late models.  But that was just part of the story.  In 1965, using the money from their trucking company they purchased an 80 acre parcel of farmland.  On that site they designed and built a speedway, and called it Colorado National Speedway.  They worked every day possible mid-year until the track was able to run a very short season.  In 1966, they raced a full season with the idea of making racing possible for anybody that wanted to participate.  The track had four foot retaining walls for the safety of spectators and they continued to make improvements both on and off the track.  During the years they added motorcycles, sprint cars and midgets to their racing program.  In 1972, after Gene was diagnosed with cancer, they decided it would be best to sell Colorado National Speedway. They were truly pioneers in short track dirt racing.

RIP John Cardinale

 “Courtesy Sonoma Raceway” 
 By Kevin Triplett
John Cardinale, 47, one of the most respected marketing and media relations officials in motor sports in his 15 years at Sonoma Raceway, died Thursday night at his Martinez California home after a two-year battle with gastric cancer. He is survived by his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters. Cardinale first wrote for the Ledger Dispatch newspaper in Antioch California and later became the bureau chief at the Valley Times newspaper in Pleasanton California before he went to work for Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Cardinale rose to be become vice president of communications and marketing at Sonoma Raceway.
Cardinale implemented a number of innovative programs aimed at youth driving safety, drunken driving prevention, blood drives, food drives, and local efforts to aid low-income families around the holidays. With his responsibilities, Cardinale oversaw fund-raising and grant distribution for the raceway’s chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Cardinale worked successfully to expand news coverage of motor racing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also helped develop an Emmy-nominated NASCAR Winston Cup Preview Show on the local FOX Sports Net affiliate. For his efforts in promoting the raceway, Cardinale was named NASCAR Track Public Relations Representative of the Year for 2008.
A memorial fund has been set up on behalf of the Cardinale family. Donations may be sent to the John Cardinale Memorial Fund, care of Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476

RIP Marcus Johnson, 
He was a champion go-cart racer. He won over 200 races

From Les Stark
Marcus Johnson who was killed at Marysville Speedway in Northern California last Saturday was a champion go-cart racer. He won over 200 races. His great grandfather Frank Johnson age 89, who raced under the name Johnny Franklin was the 1955 Bay Cities Racing Ass'n. Hardtop Champion. His grandfather Bob Johnson raced Midgets with B. C. R. A. in the early 70's.

Fred Curtis Ede

 (February 19, 1928 - January 3, 2013)   
Fred Curtis Ede, 84, of Fresno, Ca, died January 3, 2013. Fred was born February 19th, 1928 in Fresno to Fred Ede and Dorothy L. Bates. He grew up and attended Roosevelt High School. He was an outstanding football player and was voted to the all-conference team. At Roosevelt, he made many life-long friends. He was known for hosting extravagant class reunion celebrations as well as attending monthly lunch gatherings with special friends.

In 1948 he married Bobby Whitley. They were married for 46 years. During that time, Fred worked side by side with his father at the Fresno Planning Mill. After working with Oscar Spano, he in turn established M&L Plumbing in 1966, a successful company that is now run by his son, Fred and grandson, Chad. In addition to the plumbing business, Fred was a farmer of plums, nectarines and oranges. Over-seeing his many orchards was a job he truly cherished.

Fred's heart also belonged to his race cars. He traveled the country racing. He groomed drivers such as Al Pombo, Bill Scott, Jeff Gordon, Kenny Erwin and Ryan Newman, resulting in numerous championships. His race cars remained a huge part of his life. One recently restored race car is on exhibit in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Iowa. In 2011, Fred was inducted to the Legend of Motor Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.

In Fred's spare time, he enjoyed traveling to his beach house in Shell Beach with his family, and visiting friends. He was also a huge supporter of the Fresno State Bulldog Football team. While his grandson, Chad was a player, he never missed a game and traveled across the country to show his support.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Bobby Ede and brother Lowell Ede.

He is survived by his son, Fred Ede Jr. and his wife Terry; daughter, Karen Bessey and her husband Steve; four grandchildren, Tracy Kirby, Chad Ede, Kevin and Cory Bessey; eight great grandchildren who adored him; and lastly his faithful dogs, Lacy and Dakota.

A graveside service was held Wednesday, January 9, 2012 at 10:30 am at the Clovis Cemetery. Following the service, the family hosted a luncheon at Pardini's in Fresno.

Evan Wayne Rutherford(1947 - 2012)

Evan Wayne Rutherford, 64, passed away unexpectedly Friday, July 27, 2012. Funeral: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Greenwood Chapel. Entombment: Greenwood Mausoleum. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Greenwood Funeral Home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Richland Hills Christian Church, 3908 Ruth Road, Richland Hills, Texas 76118. Evan Wayne Rutherford was born Nov. 18, 1947, in Tulsa, Okla., to John Sherman Rutherford Jr. and Doris Jean Rutherford. He was a 1966 graduate of Castleberry High School and attended Texas Wesleyan University before pursuing a racing career. After a racing accident in 1989, he retired and became a local businessman where he created and distributed motor vehicle performance products. Wayne was an amazing husband, father and grandfather. He loved anything outdoors, hunting, fishing and watching his girls play ball. He loved his Lord and Savior and on Friday he sat on the pole winning his biggest victory. Survivors: Wife, Sandy Lankford Rutherford; daughters, Tobi Rutherford Laing and husband, Jared, Ragen Rutherford Reed and husband, Dan, and Sidney Rutherford Hupp and husband, 2nd Lt. Daniel Hupp; grandchildren, Landri Jo Laing, Lincoln Daniel Laing and Ryland Randall Reed; brother, Johnny Rutherford and wife, Betty; sister, Beverly Rutherford Tuggle and husband, Benny; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He loved them all.
Published in Star-Telegram on July 29, 2012


Indianapolis 500 Driver Salt Walther Dies at 65
By Mike Thomsen - | @Thomsen500

(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

Indianapolis 500 driver Salt Walther, who was badly injured in one of the most spectacular crashes in the history of the race, has died at the age of 65, WIBC has learned.

Walther drove in the “500” six times, finishing last three times, including the first two times he started the race.

Walther was best known for the devastating crash he was involved in at the start of the 1973 “500”. As the field came down for the green flag, Walther’s car touched wheels with another, sending the Ohioan’s car up into the catch fencing. The impact exposed Walther’s legs and sprayed fuel into the stands, injuring several spectators. Walther’s car finally ended up upside down.

Walther received serious burns and had several fingers amputated.

Walther returned to the “500” the following year, finishing 17th. His best finish in the “500” came in 1976 when he placed 9th.

Walther also raced unlimited hydroplanes and competed in NASCAR.

In recent years, the former driver has had several brushes with the law, and battled an addition to painkillers.

Walther’s death was confirmed by the Montgomery, Ohio County Coroner’s Office.

Jack Hitt, WWII bomber pilot died at 93
  1. August 17, 2011 
Jack Hitt stands in front of "Aluminum Overcast," a B-17 bomber similar to the one he flew in World War II. Hitt, a retired Tulsa businessman who earned many decorations for his war service, died Friday at age 93. Tulsa World file

By TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer

At 30,000 feet above the ground and a frigid 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, pilot Jack Hitt could barely feel his extremities.
     His toes always had it the worst. 
    But the cold wasn't the only thing the thin aluminum sides of his B-17 bomber failed to keep out very well.
      Rounds from German fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns seemed to rip through nearly unimpeded.
     Unimpeded, that is, except by flesh. 
     Hitt lost his top-turret gunner that way once. He called out for him, and turning, found the man lying dead in a pool of blood. He had been hit in the neck.
     Another time, shrapnel pierced the cockpit and lodged in Hitt's own leg. 
     It was impossible to feel secure, especially as the pilot. 
     Hitt "said the German fighters' first goal was to kill the pilot," good friend and fellow veteran Jack Wells said. "He knew they were gunning for him.
      "It would wake him up at night for the rest of his life," Wells said. "He used to say 'I can still see those guys in my sleep, coming at me head-on.' "
      Hitt completed nearly 80 missions as a pilot with the 8th Air Force. Among his many decorations were two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals and a Purple Heart.
      A longtime Tulsa-based real estate developer, Edward Jack Hitt died Friday in Aurora, Mo. He was 93.
      A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home of Aurora was in charge of cremation arrangements.
      In a 2009 Tulsa World article about a local visit by a touring B-17, Hitt remarked about getting to ride along as a passenger:          "It's great. It's like going home after 65 years."
      Despite the dangers and conditions he'd flown in, Hitt liked to revisit the experience. He was active with the Tulsa chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, a group based at Jones Riverside Airport that restores WWII-era aircraft.
      Flying on the restored planes was uneventful, though. During the war, Hitt's B-17 was even shot down once, forcing him and his crew to bail out over Belgium.
     Hitt also served briefly as part of the 8th Air Force's 3rd Scouting Force, where, as the pilot of a P-51 Mustang, he helped scout ahead in advance of major bombing missions. The secretive Scouting Forces were formed in 1944 and continued for six months.
     Hitt was discharged in 1945 with the rank of first lieutenant. 
     Born and raised in San Antonio, Hitt moved to Tulsa in 1956 from Corpus Christi, Texas.
      In Tulsa, after a successful career in pharmaceutical sales, he moved into real estate development and built shopping centers, nursing homes and other projects.
     In his spare time, he indulged a lifelong love of cars. 
     Hitt owned several race cars and was a familiar personality for years at Tulsa's annual Chili Bowl Nationals. Vintage midget racing was his passion, and he lovingly restored many old midget cars.
      Wells and others worked to gather and scan more than 400 photos and documents chronicling Hitt's war experiences.
      The originals soon will be archived at the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Ga., Wells said.
      Hitt's son Joe Hitt said his father "had a very kind heart. He always believed in helping the down and out, almost to his detriment."
      Hitt is survived by three sons, Joe Hitt, Jim Hitt and Jay Hitt; a daughter, Julia Metcalf; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Dr Mattioli
left Poconos a 
remarkable legacy of philanthropy

Apr 14,1925 --Jan 26, 2012
     Dr. Mattioli was the loving and devoted husband of Dr. Rose C. (Nocito) Mattioli. They celebrated their 63rd Wedding Anniversary on August 5. He was born in Old Forge, on April 14, 1925 and the son of the late Joseph R. and Mary E. (Marzzacco) Mattioli-Nolf. He was a member of St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Lake Harmony.
     "Doc" as he was known to friends and associates, was one of the most respected and admired men in automobile racing. He founded Pocono Raceway in the early 1960's and has been at the helm of Pocono ever since. Under his leadership, the track grew in stature and has hosted 68 very successful NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Events. His passion and drive helped Pocono Raceway succeed when other tracks fell by the wayside. Pocono Raceway is the one of the last remaining family owned and run track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. He was always concerned that race fans and race car drivers and their families were treated with the upmost respect and constantly upgraded procedures and Raceway facilities to meet that goal.
     He kept his fingers on the pulse of stock car racing and read everything printed concerning the sport. He was in the office daily, until last fall, and oversaw all aspects of the Pocono Raceway operations. Doc always had an eye towards the future. In August 2011, he turned over the reins of the raceway to his grandchildren to carry on his legacy.
     Dr. Mattioli was also well respected in the community. In 2009, he received the Philanthropic Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his generous and continuous contributions to local civic organizations, hospitals, schools and charities. He served on the board of directors of numerous organizations and was dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
     He served our country with dedication and courage in the Pacific during World War Two as a Navy medic. Using the G.I. bill, he enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University (where he met his wife, Rose.) Upon graduation, he developed his dental practice into a very lucrative business by working 12 to 14 hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week. He then began investing in and developing properties in Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania, where he became involved in the start up of Pocono Raceway.

Championship RMMRA Midget car owner Harry Conklin
passed away on January 10, 2012 at the age of 91.
    Harry Conklin became a race car owner in 1946, owning Midgets, Modifieds and Sprint Cars.  Conklin won his first of fifteen RMMRA Midget Owner Championships in 1964 with Jimmy LaManna as driver.  His Midgets have won seven Mile High Classic Nationals and scored two wins at the Belleville Midget Nationals.  His Sprint Cars have won four Colorado championships and early on his Modifieds won two championships. His last RMMRA Owner Championship came in 2004 with Gary Taylor at the wheel. Also, Conklin also had 150 plus Colorado Midget Feature wins in his career. His Sprint Cars have won four Colorado championships and early on his modifieds won two championships.
     He had over 50 drivers that ran for him and Louise (his wife) over the years.  Notable drivers were: Jimmy LaManna, Steve Troxell, Sam Sauer, Randy Roberts, Kenny Lewis and Gary Taylor.
     Conklin was inducted in the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006
       Along being a Championship Midget car owner and Championship Sprint Car owner, Conklin operated Harry’s Transmission Shop for many years.
 Funeral arrangements are pending

Ross Kloeber aka-Rosco

Passed awayin the early morning of Saturday, January 7, 2012.
He was a great man in every way! Instead of mourning his death please celebrate his life! He will be loved & missed forever, by myself & many many others. 

Jakki Kloeber (his daughter)

Kloeber Jr., Ross Ogden
74, of Litchfield Park, AZ passed away on January 7, 2012, at home in the company of his wife and daughter. Ross was born in Santa Monica, CA on October 21st, 1937 to Ross O. Kloeber Sr. and Irene Gladyce Kloeber. He became involved with racing early in life and that remained his biggest passion throughout life. It didnt matter what type as long as there were wheels and an engine. His life was a very full and successful one, both personally and professionally. The generosity he had for his family and his knowledge was endless. Ross was a great man (in every sense of the word), a one of a kind. He touched many lives, crossed many paths and left a lasting memory to those he touched. He will be missed beyond words and remembered forever by his family and many many others. We love you dad! RIP- He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years Irene Kloeber; by children, Mike (Sylvia) Bailey, Michael Kloeber, Ross O. (Dayna) Kloeber III, Cathy Curiel, Micheline (Mitch) Davis and Jakki Kloeber; by brothers, Dave, William, & Pete Kloeber; by grandchildren, Matt Bailey, Michael (Leah) Bailey, Ross O. Kloeber IV, Jake Kloeber, Madison Kloeber, Jordan Dybas, Mitchell Davis, Rusty Ramirez, Renee Ramirez, Mykol Curiel and Kala Kloeber, and also by four great grandchildren.- Services are being held on Friday, January 13th, 2012, 10:00am @ St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 13720 W. Thomas Rd., Avondale, AZ 85392. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to: The University of Arizona, Sarver Heart Center at
1-800-665-2328- - 

Retired Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association owner Richard Kaylor
passed away on January 6 at the age of 78.

     Richard bought his first midget in 1958.  It was a Solar Ford V-8 60 driven by Tommy Clark and in the last race of 1958, Tom Davey drove it.  After 1959, he sold the Solar Midget and he bought his second Midget in 1974.  It was the old Danny Organ Offy and he hired Gary Staggers.  From 1974 until he retired in 1989, Dick raced Midgets on a regular basis with the RMMRA.
     He served on the RMMRA Board of Directors in 1977, 1978 and 1980.  In 1982, Dick was the RMMRA Vice President.  On August 15, 1980, Randy Roberts won Kaylor only RMMRA Feature win at Colorado National Speedway; it was the first Feature win for both Randy and Dick.
     Drivers that drove for Kaylor over the years were Tommy Clark, Tom Davey, Bob Hock, Dick Long, Dave Bartlett, Gary Staggers, Pat Myers, Dave Strickland JR, Randy Roberts, Steve Troxell, Ralph Houser Mitch Guttormson and Rod Ullery.
     Dick also owned Sprint Cars in the 1980’s.
     Proceeded in death by Hiram (Bud) Kaylor, Loran and Helen Clark. Survived by 4 children, Ruth Patrick, Rick and Dan Kaylor, Randy Dionne, granddaughter Hannah of AZ, sister Margaret (Kaylor) Lawson (husband Russell Lawson), nephew Kurt Lawson, niece Susan Lawson, grand nephews and nieces. Viewing is at 1895 Wadsworth Blvd. on Wednesday 5-7pm at the mortuary. Services is on Thursday, 9:30am at St. Paul's Community Church, 8001 W. 23rd Ave. Lakewood. Interment is at Ft. Logan National Cemetery. 
Contributing to the report:  Gary Martelon - RMMRA Historian 

Jim Rathman

by J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 - Jim Rathmann, winner of both the 1960 Indianapolis 500 and the international 500-mile "Race of Two Worlds" in 1958 at Monza, Italy, died Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Rathmann passed away in a hospice in Melbourne, Fla., nine days after suffering a seizure at his home. He was 83.
Rathmann, who was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007, already was a three-time runner-up in the "500" (1952, 1957 and 1959) when he scored his greatest victory. And if the 1960 race, with its record 29 lead changes, was not the finest "500" ever held, there can be no question that Rathmann's epic two-hour duel with defending winner Rodger Ward continues to stand out as the Speedway's greatest sustained two-man battle of all time.

Tommy Morrow, 

long-time BCRA midget driver, Official and past BCRA Business Manager passed away Nov 20 2011. In recent years Tommy resided at the California Veterans Home in Yountville and played a lot of golf. He made it a point to attend any and all of the races at Calistoga he could.
 Tommy began his racing career in the Track Roadster era during the early 1950's.
 After discharge from the Army in '53 he became a stand-out midget  competitor with Bay Cities Racing Association.
 After his active driving career, he officiated for N.A.R.C. and later still with B.C.R.A. He took over the office of Business Manager from Jack London in 1979 due to London's ill health. Tommy retired from that position in 1993.
 He is survived by his brother, Bobby Morrow of Santa Cruz. A memorial service will be held at the Veterans Home in Yountville on Thursday, Dec. 15th at 10:00 AM.  Rest in peace Friend

Sergio Scaglietti,
 ‘maestro of aluminum’ who designed Ferraris, dies at 91

By T. Rees Shapiro, Published: November 21

He was 91. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo announced Mr. Scaglietti’s death in a statement, noting that he was “a man who had his name forever connected to the Prancing Horse,” the Ferrari logo. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Scaglietti, the son of a carpenter, was regarded as the Italian automotive industry’s modern-day Michelangelo — a sculptor whose medium was metal. He was known as Ferrari’s “maestro of aluminum.”
Hammer in hand, he shaped his designs by pounding sheets of the light metal over bags of sand. Many of the classic cars he built are said to still bear lumps on the bodies from the swing of his “martello.” Blemishes to some, the imperfections often increase a car’s value, said David Gooding, president of the Gooding & Company collector car auction house.
In August, the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype that Mr. Scaglietti designed was sold at auction for $16.4 million. Known by its chassis number, 0666, the car was thought to be the most valuable ever to be sold at auction.
Mr. Scaglietti’s designs are “revered by historians and collectors as some of the most beautiful cars ever created,” Gooding said in an interview.
The Testa Rossa, Gooding said, is the “Sophia Loren of automobiles. It’s curvaceous. It’s voluptuous. It’s quintessentially Italian — wild, extreme, beautiful, of course beautiful, but also unique. It really looked like nothing else from the time.”
Compared with American cars of the day, Gooding said, the Testa Rossa was “so radical, so wild, and yet had such dramatic impact that it had tremendous influence on everything” designed since.
Sergio Scaglietti (pronounced Ska-yeh-tee) was born Jan. 9, 1920, in Modena, Italy. He was forced to drop out of school at 13 after his father died. To support his family, he went to work in a local garage, where he learned to repair by hand the bent and dented bodies of cars banged up in accidents.
It was by chance that the shop where Mr. Scaglietti worked was near the entrance to the Scuderia Ferrari factory in Maranello. Soon, Mr. Scaglietti’s handiwork was noticed by the race-car company’s imperious founder, Enzo Ferrari, who asked the young mechanic to repair a mud flap.
That seemingly trivial test led to more Ferrari assignments for Mr. Scaglietti, who opened in 1951 his own custom coach-building business, Carrozzeria Scaglietti.
Shunning pencil and paper, Mr. Scaglietti worked out his designs in his head and with his hammer.
In 1954, Mr. Scaglietti was commissioned by Italian movie director Roberto Rossellini to design a custom Ferrari 375 MM for his then-wife, actress Ingrid Bergman.
Mr. Scaglietti’s other well-known Ferraris include the 250 GTO, of which only 36 are said to exist, the 500 Mondial and the California Spyder.
His repertoire “embodied not just Ferrari beauty, but extreme beauty,” Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, said in an interview.
“They weren’t just low slung, they were impossibly low slung. They weren’t just sexy,” he said, “they were impossibly sexy.”
Some of Mr. Scaglietti’s design had value beyond aesthetics. His famously bulging “pontoon” fenders on the Testa Rossa, for example, helped cool the car’s drum brakes.
How the Testa Rossa accidentally got its name was a tale of Ferrari lore that Mr. Scaglietti enjoyed telling.
As he explained to the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call in 2000, the company’s chief of production told Enzo Ferrari that the company had to stop building the proposed car because it had run out of black paint to coat the engines’s cam shaft covers.
“Enzo asked, ‘What color do we have?’ ” Mr. Scaglietti said. “The chief of production said ‘red.’ Ferrari said, ‘Paint the engines red, and we’ll call it the Testa Rossa’ ” — red head, in Italian.
Mr. Scaglietti sold his business to Ferrari in the 1970s and retired in the mid-1980s. In 2004, Ferrari named in his honor its four-seater sports car, the 612 Scaglietti.
A list of Mr. Scaglietti’s survivors could not be determined.
Mr. Scaglietti’s clients for his high-end vehicles included many of the world’s richest people, including royalty.
In 2004, the London Mail on Sunday reported that members of European aristocracy had once given Mr. Scaglietti two precious racing pigeons.
Mr. Scaglietti, apparently unaware of the birds’ competitive qualifications, inquired how best they should be prepared for eating.

Rod Harper 19??-2011
A Harder working and nicer individual You would be hard pressed to find. RIP Rod
I First Met Rod when He was a Mechanic on the Ray Bussel midget Danny Oniel drove to several second place BCRA championships in the early seventies.

From His shop web site  
Rod Harper opened R & D Chassis in California in 1995 and moved his shop to Penrose, Colorado in 1998 to give him and his wife Drucie a chance to enjoy a slower pace of life.  Working in a small town lets him focus on satisfying his customers rather than on the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the big city.

Harper first recognized his love for building race cars and motors in his early 20s.  He first started drag racing his own car, The Silver Bullet, He then spent some time with the Ray Bussel Midget team out of Central California and then moved on to racing quarter midgets with his sons in California.  Once the boys grew up, he was once again able to build a car (Just Bullet) for himself and his wife and return to racing.

During his quarter midget days with his boys, Rod worked for a very large Dodge dealership where he began as a technician, promoted up to a transmission specialist, and finally advanced to a service manager.

-Rod Harper, Owner/Operator R & D Chassis
Moving from CA to CO allows R & D Chassis owner Rod Harper more time to focus on satisfying his customers.His combined experiences from the Dodge dealership and the drag strip along with his obsession with going fast led Rod to open his own chassis shop.  Since then, he has used his talents of fabrication to work on everything from hill climbers, circle track cars, quarter midgets, full-size midgets, door slammers, super gas, and right up to dragsters.He has fabricated headers for almost every line of drag vehicle there is, making the performance of that vehicle 1/10 faster, which has been proven by a Dyno.

From building one of his sons a NHRA national record holding F/SA Truck, to a fun '51 Henry J for his wife, Harper's projects all represent quality and skill.

 Forrest F. "Dinger" Deininger 

Forrest F. "Dinger" Deininger, age 84, of Darlington, passed away Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at UW Hospitals in Madison.
He was born Sept. 4, 1927, in Monroe, the son of John W. and Elsie (Pfund) Deininger. Forrest graduated from Monroe High School in 1945. Following his graduation from high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Force Cadets in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1947.
Forrest was united in marriage to Joyce Berget on Nov. 22, 1952, at West Wiota Lutheran Church. He co-owned and operated the McNett Chevrolet Auto Dealership in Darlington with Arlin Erickson until 1970. Forrest worked in the construction business for the next 20 years in Iowa and Lafayette counties. He then worked as a rural mail carrier in the Darlington and Shullsburg area until retiring in 1999. Forrest continued to maintain a woodworking shop in Darlington throughout his life.
Forrest is survived by his wife, Joyce at home; three daughters, Kris (Morris) Andrews of Madison, Joan (Rick) Waniger of La Crosse, and Lisa (Eric) Nelson of Mequon; six grandchildren, Ben and Annie Waniger, and Lauren, Michael, Joe and Kitty Nelson; and a sister-in-law, Hedy Deininger of Monroe. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Nathan Deininger.
Forrest was a member of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Darlington, Darlington Lions Club, Darlington Fire Department, and Veteran of Foreign Wars Lafayette County Post No. 5268 of Darlington. He was an accomplished trumpet player for the "Past and Present" band of Freeport, Ill., and various regional bands. 

As a young man Forrest earned his pilot's license and raced midget cars with the Badger Midget association. 

Forrest enjoyed having coffee and trading stories with his friends at the Darlington Mini Mart.
A public visitation will be held Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at ERICKSON FUNERAL HOME, 508 Main St. in Darlington. A private family funeral service will be held Friday at 3:30 p.m. at ERICKSON FUNERAL HOME with the Rev. Dr. Connie Peake of Immanuel United Church of Christ officiating. A private family burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Monroe on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, at 10 a.m.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Forrest's name.


by  J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 - What is believed to be the final link to the treacherous but colorful era of the "riding mechanic" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been severed with the passing of Joe Kennelly, who died Friday, Sept. 16. He was 97.
There are now no pre-World War II on-track participants still living.
Kennelly, born in Seattle but an Indianapolis resident since childhood, rode in the 1936 Indianapolis 500 with former motorcycle racing standout Johnny Seymour, whose sixth and final "500" start came while driving a car which had several local connections. Owned by driver Shorty Cantlon, an Indianapolis resident at the time, the Miller-powered car was sponsored by Sullivan & O'Brien, a downtown automobile dealership which had been in existence for only three years.
Seymour qualified with an average speed of 113.169 mph (10 laps, 25 miles at the time) but lasted only 13 laps before being eliminated by clutch failure.
Kennelly returned in 1937 and rode a few laps of relief at the mid-point for his colleague Freddie Mangold in a car started by Cantlon, but this was the final year for riding mechanics. The role became optional for the next few years, and not surprisingly, there were no takers.
Kennelly, who attended Butler, San Diego and Purdue universities, later hired on at an Allison Engineering plant just south of the Speedway and retired in 1982 after 42 years, having become a superintendent for the Allison Gas Turbine division of General Motors. He returned in 1984 as a consultant and remained as such until 1989.
Viewing will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23 followed by a funeral Mass at noon, both at The Church of St. Pius X, 7200 Sarto Drive, Indianapolis.

Don Maxwell 

Don Maxwell passed away in Santa Rosa on August 14, 2011 at the age of 71. Don was the beloved husband of Doris Maxwell of Santa Rosa for 41 years. He will be missed greatly by his son Darrell Maxwell of Santa Rosa, daughter Staci Smith of Santa Rosa, son Jeff Maxwell and his wife Jennifer of Auburn and grandchildren Kyle Smith, Clay Smith and Mallery Maxwell. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. His parents Marshall and Florence Maxwell, his brother Dick Maxwell and his auntie Mae Leu preceded him in death. Don graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1958, but began his lifelong career as a truck driver in 1956 for his parents' trucking company. He then became truck owner and operator of Don Maxwell Enterprises in 1985 and continued on until his retirement in 2009. He was an avid auto-racing enthusiast and enjoyed owning and maintaining a successful open wheel midget racing team in the 70's and early 80's. He continued his passion by traveling to and attending various auto-racing events. A special thanks to Olivia and staff from North Coast Hospice for taking wonderful care of Don and their support to Doris. A memorial service celebrating Don's life will be Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa. Private inurnment, Santa Rosa Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the North County Hospice or the Sonoma County Humane Society. Daniels Chapel Of The Roses Funeral & Cremation Services 525-3730
Published in the Press Democrat from August 24 to August 26, 2011

 Glenford Vincent Dennee Jr. 

April 9, 1936 - July 11, 2011
A Resident of Saratoga California
Glen went home to be with the Lord and to join the love of his life, Loretta, whom he married 50 years ago. Glen grew up in Saratoga, CA, attending Saratoga Grammar School and graduating from Los Gatos High in 1954. Glen was a member of Saratoga Federated Church and his love for the Lord showed through his generosity to AFnet and many other charitable organizations.
Glen spent his life as a real estate investor and developer being a member of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. Along with his many real estate endeavors, Glen was also the proprietor of the Chez Yvonne Restaurant.
His many passions included auto racing, boating, fishing, woodworking, and metal working though Glen always put his family first. His kids and grandkids were the most important people in his life. 
He was a member of the Discovery Bay Yacht Club and Country Club, Bay Area Roadsters, Prowler Club, the Lunch Bunch, the SCTA - BNI and the Eliminators Club with four landspeed world records.
Glen's immense energy and passion for life was contagious. He was always ready to learn new things. His creative mind never stopped pursuing the next great adventure or project. Glen's wisdom, off-beat humor and generous heart will be greatly missed. He loved many wonderful and dear friends and was loved in return. 
Glen was an extraordinary father and grandfather who was kind, strong, encouraging, gracious and who loved his family unconditionally. He is survived by his children Michele (Mark) Brading, Sue-z (Lonnie) Gaskin and Glen (Sunny) Dennee III and his grandchildren Matt and Megan Brading,  Haley and LG Gaskin and step-grandchildren John (Stephanie) Patterson and Joe Patterson.
Visitation will be held Sunday, July 17th, 3-7pm at Darling and Fisher Mortuary at 615 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos. Memorial service will be held Monday, July 18th at 11:30 am at Saratoga Federated Church, 20900 Park Place, Saratoga with reception immediately following.
Donations can be made to AFnet Ministries, 3630 Charter Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95136 or to Book of Rememberance, Mount Hermon Assoc. Inc., P.O. Box 413, Mount Hermon, CA 95041

Glen Dennee
Hi Dennis,
Glen's daughter here....
Just wanted to let you know, my Dad passed away yesterday, very unexpectedly.
Michele Brading 
More on Glen's passing when We get more information. Glen has been a good friend for more than 50 years.

Dallen McKenney 

from The Fresno Bee
Dallen McKenney of Clovis — diagnosed with leukemia last summer, just two years after a near-fatal sprint car accident that ended his racing career — died Sunday at age 42.
A memorial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Clovis Hills Community Church.
McKenney started racing in motocross before a severe accident led him to switch to mini sprints and finally sprint cars.
“If you didn’t break a bone every season, you weren’t trying hard enough,” McKenney told The Bee in a 2003 story on his switch from motocross to USAC Midgets.
McKenney was hospitalized and in a coma for five weeks after an open-wheel sprint-car accident Sept. 20, 2008, at Madera Speedway. He soon retired from racing but remained involved in the sport, setting up cars for his sons, Dustyn and Carson


Kent Roger Gandy 

June 2, 1936-June 13. 2011    

   Ken passed away June 13, 2011 at his home in Concord after his strong fight against cancer.    Ken was born on June 2, 1936 in Pittsburg, California to Clyde and Helen Gandy.  He was a very passionate man full of charactor and tenacity. His life was devoted to supporting his family and to his love of racing. He retired from PG&E afrer 32 years as a gas service man. Ken's infamous 30 year racing career began at the age of 24 and ended with his final races athe age of 54 at Antioch Speedway. In his racing career, Ken drove modified hardtops, sprint cars, super modifieds, and midgets. His love for racing never ended even long after his career. In his final days, he was able to fullfill his dream of visiting Indianapolis Speedway and the Indy 500 Museum. He was a simple kind of man who, in his retirement, loved going to the movies, watching old westerns and spending time with his family.    He is survived by his wife Nancy, his daughters Lori, Kelly, and Stacy, Son inlaws Tom and Paul, and his 8 grandchildren. He is now reunited with his daughter Robin who's death preceeded him.     A celebration of his life will be held on July 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at the Willow Pass Community Center in Concord.


  July 26, 1951-April 22, 2011    A Resident of San Jose

Ray will be remembered for his love of auto racing, He even tried His hand at racing midgets in the Bay Cities Racing Association. 

Raymond spent his life in Santa Clara Valley, graduated from Cupertino High School.
For many years, he worked primarily as a service writer at various car dealerships, including Ford and Honda.

He was also a big baseball fan and his sense of humor will be missed.

Raymond entered eternal life on Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011.

He is survived by his two sisters, Raylene (Curt) Nunes, Carolyn (Stan) Thomas, his step-mother Kathleen Bergthold, who cared for him during the last three years, his step-brothers and sister, Alan (Mary) Mello, Steven (Angie) Osborne, Jim (Dawn) Osborne, and Carolyn (Rene) Retuta. He was a loving uncle to many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Resurrection and Life was celebrated on Wednesday, April 27th at 10:00am at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, San Jose, CA followed by burial at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, CA.


  Jim O'Brien 

passed away on April 4th
from complications of an aortic aneurysm repair
at New York Presbyterian Medical Center.
He was 69 years old. He was a dedicated NEMA
car owner for over 40 consecutive years.

Funeral services will be on Saturday (April 9, 2011) at
9 AM from Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, to St. Gregory Church, 235 Maltby St., Bristol,
for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM.
Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol, CT.
The Northeastern Midget Association lost one of its most dedicated competitors and contributors Monday with the passing of Jimmy O’Brien. As a car owner and officer, O’Brien helped to write over four decades of NEMA history.

O’Brien, a NEMA member since 1970, said his greatest moment came in 1990 when son Matt jumped into his #16. That relationship carried into this season.

Introduced to the Midgets by his father, O’Brien got involved back in the early 1950s. After two years working with others in NEMA, he joined the owner ranks with the Ray Kelly #33. He always referred to Kelly, a NEMA legend, “as my mentor.” Chuck Daniel and Len Thrall also played key roles in O’Brien’s early career.

A member of the NEMA Hall of Fame, he built his own cars and motors for almost his entire involvement with the club.

His drivers included Johnny Evans, Hank Stevens, Doug Cleveland, Steve Eldridge, Paul Stoehr and Roy Daniel. Cleveland and Evans won in O’Brien equipment; Stevens won the 1975 dirt track title.

He was a walking NEMA encyclopedia, always willing to share a wealth of club history. He was part of several “eras.” Always a defender of the low-buck competitor, O’Brien, elected to the Contest Board in 1973, was a guiding force for many years. A one-time vice president, he stepped down in 2003 after 13 years as the club treasurer.

“Jimmy’s dedication to NEMA was incredible, an inspiration really,” says club president Mike Scrivani Jr. “He loved the Midgets and NEMA in particular. He was an officer under several presidents.
In all the years I knew Jim, seldom did he raise his voice. And over the past 10 years watching Jimmy and Matt was just a great thing.”

Melvin McGaughy "Mel" , born Oct. 4, 1916 in Colgate, OK, died on Feb. 19, 2011 in Puyallup WA at 94.
A PHS grad c/o 1936, F.O.E. member, Machinists Union member, and avid midget race car driver, locally & nationally.
He loved to travel and was his happiest anytime he was behind the wheel of any car.
Mel had 20 WMRA wins in taking WMRA Championships in 1954 & 1955.

Preceded in death by a son Larry McGaughy, brothers Floyd & Orville & sister Edith.

He is survived by his wife Lorraine "Lori" of Puyallup, daughter Dianne McGaughy of Tacoma, step children Roger (Janet) Norbon of Tacoma, Doug (Sandy) Braun of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, Dennis (Sharon) Braun of Puyallup, Bob (Susan) Braun of Yakima, Robin (Fujio) Pele of Kennewick, 16 grandchilren, numerous great grandchildren, nieces & nephews.
He will be missed.


Sonny Ates 
by Tim McKinney
"Last week we lost another of our great racing heroes. Sonny Ates got his start racing flat track motorcycles; and that was really what he loved. However, somebody offered him a ride in a TQ midget; and he was so good that he just couldn't avoid being a race car driver. Former Columbus radio personality Jerry Castor was in the process of trying to get a racing career of his own started at about the same time as Sonny; and he remembers, "Sonny had a distinct advantage over many of the rest of us. He weighed about 120 pounds; and that advantage was hard to overcome."

Ates earned his reputation in a sprint car on the high banks of Salem, Dayton, and Winchester. He would set a new track record just about every time that he pulled onto the track. He was so masterful that everyone thought that he must really love running on the banks. However, apparently nothing could be further from the truth. Castor said, "He told me that everyone thinks that I love the banks; but they actually scare me to death."

 Ate's Indy Car career was contained in the seasons from 1968 to 1970. He made 15 starts; and finished in the top 10 five times with his best finish being a fifth place at Michigan in 1968. His lone appearance in the Indianapolis 500 came in 1969 when he finished back in the pack due to turbocharger failure.Soquel, CA Place of Birth: San Jose, CA

Castor offered high praise to Ates when he said, "Ates was much like Pat O'Connor. Like O'Connor as long as there was someone who wanted to talk to him, to have their picture taken with him, or just wanted an autograph. He had time for his fans." Rest in peace Sonny."

Kenneth Arthur Molica

Kenneth (Ken) A. Molica passed away on June 30, 2010 in San Francisco. He was 65. Ken was born in San Jose, Ca on August 31, 1944. 
He has been a resident of Soquel for the past 34 years. Ken attended Bellarmine Preparatory High School, and then got his Bachelor's in Business Administration from San Jose State University. 
He worked as a Probation Officer with Santa Clara County. Ken was a long time race car driver. 
He raced super modifieds and midgets. 
He was due to be inducted into the Bay Cities Racing Association's Hall of Fame next month. His wife Janet owned the race cars. Ken lived an additional 22 years due to the generosity of organ donors. Ken was the recipient of three heart transplants, and a kidney transplant. The Kidney he received 11 years ago was actually donated by his son. 
Ken was predeceased by his mother, Elizabeth Molica in May of 2010. 
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Janet Molica of Soquel; his son, Joe Molica of San Francisco; and his brothers Ralph Molica and Peter Fitzsimmons. 

Mary Parks 1917 - 2010 

Mary Parks passed away today, Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm at her home in Corona Del Mar.  Her family had assembled and was there when she passed on peacefully.  She was 93.  Mom was born on January 6, 1917 in Pocatello, Idaho.  Her parents were Newton Osborne Mant and Myrtle Howells Mant.  She grew up in South San Gabriel, California during the Great Depression.  It wasn't a very pleasant time for most and her stories show just how desperate people were.  Yet they were better off than some, for they had a home and her mother raised chickens and sold eggs, a ready source of cash and barter.  Homeless men would come by the house, hungry and dejected, but Myrtle would tell them to go and cut some wood and she would prepare a meal for them.  Mom learned, for she always had a can of soda or a sandwich for anyone who looked like they could use a bite of food.  She taught us to be generous as well.  We had a name for Mom; Mimi.  Her oldest grandchild couldn't pronounce Mom or Mary and so called her Mimi.  She liked that and so it became her nickname.  Mom was the second oldest child in the household.  Her eldest sibling, Fanny, died of diphtheria when Mom was about 3 and so Mimi became the elder statesman in the family.  Her sister Helen came next, followed by Bob, then Virginia and finally the surprise baby, Carol.  If ever there was a family blessed with personality and character traits, it was this family, but they got along and they loved each other. 
Mimi was working as a waitress at a restaurant when a man walked in to order a hamburger.  She told the story to us and to her grandchildren many times.  A premonition came to her that told her, "This is the man that I am going to marry."  She married that man, Wallace Gordon (Wally) Parks in 1935 and they lived in the South Gate/Huntington Park area of Los Angeles.  For Mom this was what she always wanted, a loving family, with children and grandchildren.  Her first child was Richard and he came along just a few weeks after her birthday in 1944, during World War II.  At that moment, most Americans weren't sure that we would win that war or that our soldiers, sailors and airmen would ever make it back home alive.  Dad had left to go into the military and was fighting in the South Pacific Theater of Operations at that time.  He sent pictorial postcards with cartoons that he drew and a few words of love.  After the war Dad built a garage house in Downey, California and Mom finally had her home and her family.  She also attended the Downey Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and this was one of the happiest times of her life.  Mimi was there in the beginning when Dad was elected as the president of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), then became editor of Hot Rod magazine and finally founded the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).  She was proud of what her husband had accomplished and told everyone about him.  Dad would take us out to the dry lakes to see the cars race; it was an all-day trip over dirt roads to get there.  He also took us to see the boat races and sometimes to see his brother Kenny Parks run his Jalopy on the oval tracks.
We moved to a new tract home in Pico-Rivera in 1950 and soon thereafter in 1952 her second son was born, David, in March of that year.  She named him David after a beloved uncle of hers and also because the name David means "Beloved," in Hebrew.  Our parents separated and Mom made the decision, aided and abetted by her sister Helen, to move down to Corona Del Mar, a lovely beach town, in 1956.  She loved the beach and the bay and often had vacationed there with her friends, sisters or children in the summer.  At that time it was a very isolated little town and far from the Los Angeles County area where we grew up.  She bought a pretty little yellow house and in 54 years never changed the color; the brightest yellow I've ever seen.  Mom attended church in Laguna Beach and made life-long friends there.  She also loved to play bridge with her friends well into the night.  She lived on a hill, just a half block from a supermarket and told all her friends, "That will be good exercise for me to walk to the store and back with the groceries," she said.  She never did walk up that hill, but she drove down to the beach to watch the ocean constantly. 
In 1967 she welcomed into the family her first daughter-in-law, Epi, who would be a constant help in her life.  Epi and Richard gave her three sons; Scott, David and Michael Parks.  Scott would marry Stacy Rauch and give Mom a great-grandson, Brock Parks.  David would marry Michelle Corbin and give Mom two great-granddaughters; Allison and Jennifer Parks.  Michael would marry Tara Hafen and give Mom a great-grandson; Trevor Parks.  Mom's youngest son would marry Barbara Coddington and they would have two wonderful daughters; Mari and Tamara Parks.  Mari wed Matt Bell, another six and a half footer, for it seems the Parks' are tall people.  Mom's health began to wane and a caregiver was called in to help her.  This lady's name was Delia Asuncion and she became as close to her as if Delia was her own daughter.  Mary Parks lived to be 93 and saw Fanny, Helen, Bob and Virginia pass on before her.  Bob's widow, Olga Mant, and Mom's sister Carol Mant Eves are still with us.  Her life wasn't always easy and there were many trials and tribulations, but her friends and family remember the times when she whistled and sang and called people on the phone to wish them a happy birthday.  In fact, so entrenched was this "Western Union Birthday-gram," that we all looked forward to our birthdays so that we could "get the call."  The phone was her life; she could use it to chastise or to praise and when she lost her voice, the link to the outside world and her many friends began to close to her as well.  At her passing she was surrounded by loved ones and I think the hardships and misfortunes in her life drifted away and she found peace at last in another world with those who have gone before her.  Rest in peace, Mom, we love you very much.

Richard and Epi Parks

Richard “Moon” Burgess  
New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Member
(DURHAM, CT.) Pioneering New England stock car racer Richard "Moon" Burgess passed-away on Wednesday, March 17 after suffering a serious stroke earlier in the month. 

Burgess started his career in the midgets during the 1940’s, switching to stock cars later in the decade. He competed with success at virtually every track in the region including Thompson, Waterford, Plainville, Riverside Park, Kingston, Candlelight Stadium, Cherry Park, West Haven, and others. 

Teamed with car owner Joe Fontana, Burgess experienced his greatest degree of success while behind the controls of the potent “Flying Eagle” #1 coupe. He retired from the sport in 1953 after a relatively brief but spectacular career in which he won over 200 races including 63 feature events in addition to a track championship.

Burgess was a founding member of the New England Antique Racers (NEAR). He was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

Mass will be on Saturday March 20 at 11:30 A.M. at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 272 Main St. Durham, CT. Friends and family are invited to later attend a celebration of Moon's life from 2:00-5:00 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell, CT. 

Burgess leaves his wife Rita, children Rich, Jr. and Sharon, and grandchildren. 

Harold E. "Hal"Minyard  
1925 -2010

Harold E. "Hal" Minyard 85, Speedway, Indiana died Thursday March 4, 2010. He was born January 8, 1925 in California the son of Sidney and Edith Minyard. Hal was a professional race car driver and he retired as a mechanic from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1999 after 25 years. Mr. Minyard was an Army veteran of W.W.II. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 8, 2010 in Conkle Funeral Home Speedway Chapel. A memorial service will be at a later date. Survivors include wife, Dawn Minyard; seven daughters; son and his best friend, Freddie; 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Hal was the originator of the McHal helmets


Gene Angelillo   
1936 - 2010

Waterbury, CT – Gene Angelillo, a 14-time Northeastern Midget Association owners champion, died Monday after a short illness at St Mary’s Hopsital. Angelillo, 74, also had an ARDC championship on a 30-year plus resume that included over 112 victories, 107 of them in NEMA.
Calling hours for Angelillo will be Thursday, March 4, 1-to-3 and 5-to-9 at Chase Parkway Memorial, 430 Chase Parkway in Waterbury, CT.
Funeral services will be at Sacred Heart Church, 910 Main Street South in Southbury, CT on Friday at noon.
A Waterbury native, Angelillo’s team was “Dumo’s Desire” in recognition of his late father Dominic and more recently “Marilyn’s Desire” in honor of his late wife.

Marilyn and Gene, both officers, brought a passion to Midget racing in general and to NEMA in particular.

Survivors include daughter and son-in-law Laura Kibbe and granddaughters Tiana and Brooke.

Angelillo and Drew Fornoro formed one of the greatest owner/driver combinations in Midget history. Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne also won features and championships for Angelillo. He won races with Johnny Kay, Nokie Fornoro and Ted Christopher as well.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent for the
NEMA   261 Lincoln Road   Sudbury, MA 01776

Uihlein, David Vogel 
1921 - 2010 
David Vogel Uihlein was born in Milwaukee on July 27, 1920, the son of Joseph E. Uihlein Sr. and Ilma Vogel Uihlein. He passed away peacefully at his home in Mequon, WI on Friday, January 29, 2010 at the age of 89. He is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Margery Holley Uihlein "MM", his children Lynde Bradley Uihlein of Milwaukee, and David Vogel Uihlein Jr. (Julia) also of Milwaukee; grandchildren Sarah Olson Zimmerman (Steven), Milwaukee; John Uihlein Olson (Ellen Blakstad) of Oslo, Norway; Dr. Alexander Uihlein (Lily), Boston; MA; Elizabeth Uihlein, Chicago, IL; Charles Uihlein, Milwaukee; great-grandchildren Joseph and Nathaniel Zimmerman, Milwaukee, and Hedda Olson of Oslo, Norway. He is also survived by Margery Uihlein's children Barbara Kuehn Frank (Richard) and Philip Gregg Kuehn (Kathryn) of Milwaukee; John Corliss Kuehn (Cris Mulvey) of Missoula, MT; her grandchildren, to whom he was also "Poppo", John Frank (Elsie Sunderland), Peter Frank (Katy); Charles Kuehn (Jane); Andrew Kuehn; Seppe Kuehn (Hope Mechelson); Erika Kuehn; and great-grandson, Reid Frank.
Mr. Uihlein was a 1939 graduate of the Hill School, Pottstown, PA. He worked at the Schlitz Brewing Company for a year before heading to the U.S. Brewers' Academy in New York City. He attended University of Wisconsin in 1940-41where he was one of two walk-on freshman football players who received letters. He proudly served in World War II as an ambulance driver for the American Field Service in Italy, Austria, and India. A businessman, he acquired the Banner Welder Co. in 1949. It continues as a successful business today. Carrying on his family's heritage in the brewing industry, he also purchased and ran the Oshkosh Brewing Co. in Oshkosh, WI, from 1961 to 1969. He served on corporate boards including Schlitz Brewing Co., Briggs and Stratton, Allen-Bradley Co., and First Wisconsin Bank. Mr. Uihlein was a man of many enthusiasms. He had a colorful personality, and was a wonderful storyteller. He was an ardent naturalist and outdoorsman. He was happiest hunting or fishing in northern Wisconsin or Canada with "MM". He was the founder and president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society and active in his support of Ducks Unlimited, the Trout and Salmon Foundation and the Nature Conservancy, among others. Mr. Uihlein was an avid collector. He collected antique cars, especially 1930's Indianapolis 500 race cars, as well as old boats, airplanes, and duck decoys. He restored many of his classic cars with his own hands. A 1925 Bugatti, a gift to Mrs. Uihlein, won a blue ribbon in 1989 at the Concours D'Elegance in Pebble Beach, CA. In 1995, he founded the Harry Miller Meet. This national show and race car event is held every year at the Milwaukee Mile for collectors and aficionados of antique race car engine designer Harry Miller. Mr. Uihlein will be deeply missed by family and friends for his great love of life, his capacity for friendship, fun, and devotion to causes close to his heart. The family wishes to thank all those who have provided devotion, care, and comfort for Mr. Uihlein. A visitation will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, from 4 to 7 PM. A private memorial service will be scheduled at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ruffed Grouse Society, National Audubon Society, The Hill School, or the charity of your choice.


Michael BOTELHO, SR 


Michael Botelho, 52, was born in Santa Cruz, CA, on March 14, 1957, passed away on December 15, 2009 after a year long battle with cancer.
Michael was a graduate of Reno High School and a local business owner. Michael will be missed by his family and all of his friendships that he developed over the years as a driver and co-owner of MMS Karting in Reno. Michael raced Go-Karts as a youngster and made the transition to midgets and sprint cars from age 18 to his late thirties.
Michael is survived by his parents, Bill and Betty Botelho, wife, Corrina Botelho, children Michael Jr, Christina, Jamie and Johnny and his grand children Qualik, Jaylynn and Azia.


 Granville W. Warke

Granville W. Buster Warke, Walnutport native, nationally known race car driver, restorer and Offenhauser engine builder, of Center Valley, passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 20, 2008, at the age of 93. In 1934, Buster met Walt Killinger and made his debut as his driver in 1935 at Charlestown, W.Va., and he also ran midgets for Major Hawley at the Nutley, N.J., Velodrome. Buster served as a rifleman with the unit known as The Big Red One during World War II in the European and African campaigns. After World War II, he drove Jimmy Wilburns sprint car with the International Motor Contest Association throughout the Midwest during the 1946 season. Buster was a steady AAA sprint car performer with the ODay Offy and Dutch Culp Offy before retiring from driving in 1956. In 1957, he was the chief mechanic for the Ed Stone sprinter in which Bill Randall won the USAC Eastern Sprint Car Championship. Buster served as chief mechanic for several Indianapolis teams in the 1950s and 1960s, and in 1958 went to Monza, Italy, with the Amos-Sclavi team. In May of 2005, he was the Grand Marshall of the vintage race car celebration at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and on June 3, 2006, he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and member of Saucon Masonic Lodge 469, and one of the premier restorers of Offenhauser engines and vintage race cars. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruby, in 2003. Services: A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 26, and friends may call from noon till the time of services Tueday, at Weber Funeral Home P.C., 1619 Hamilton St., Allentown. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to the Eastern Auto Racing Historical Society, P.O. Box 333, Orefield, PA or the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing, P.O. Box 688, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. 

Published in the Morning Call on 2/23/2008. "


Kenneth James Lay "Kenny"
 1930- 2010

Kenneth James "Kenny"  Lay, 79, of Sarasota, FL, formerly of Ottawa Hills, passed away Friday, January 1, 2010, at The Toledo Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was born May 17, 1930, in Toledo, Ohio, to Reinhart and Mary (Vetter) Lay. He graduated from Macomber High School in 1949, where he was All City in basketball. Kenny was drafted into the United States Army in 1951, served during the Korean War. He married Betty Borden in September of 1956 in Toledo, Ohio and she preceded him in death in 1996. An established businessman and entrepreneur, Kenny started the Lay Transmission Company in 1956. A trusted business, Kenny established contracts with city of Toledo, the state of Ohio and the Canadian Government. In addition to his transmission company, he owned and operated the West Toledo Recreation Center, Lay Industries and maintained numerous real-estate holdings. Kenny was very active in car racing, owning various racing teams. His numerous accomplishments in racing, included an IMCA Championship, a National Drag Racing Championship and in 1970 he won the Sprint Car USAC Championship. In addition to his car racing, Kenny was an avid collector of classic cars; winning many awards, most recently 1st place in the Ford Nationals at Auburn Indiana, with his 1940 Ford Convertible. Among the many positions he held, Kenny was past president of the Automotive Service Association of Toledo (ASA), a member of the Toledo Opera Guild, The Apollo Society of the Toledo Museum of Art and a member of Gulf & Bay Club, Sarasota FL. He also was a longtime member of the Inverness Country Club, The North Cape Yacht Club in Lasalle, Michigan, and a Wood County Sheriff's Office Special Deputy. Kenny was a world traveler. He was most happy when working on a car or spending time in Siesta Key, Florida with family and friends.
Kenny is survived by his son, Kenneth James (Debra) Lay Jr. of Rossford, OH and their children, Kenneth James III, Kaitlyn E., Kyle R. A. Lay; son, Bradley E. (Lisa) Lay of Ottawa Hills, OH and their children, Brittany B., Bridgette A., Bradley E. Lay, Jr.; Brother, Paul (June) Lay of Wauseon OH, and son-in-law, Tim Gladieux and his children, Kendra M., Monica B., Marissa P. and Virgil A. Gladiuex II., all of Ottawa Hills, OH, and special companion, Rosalie Richards of Perrysburg, OH. Along with his wife Betty, Kenny was preceded in death by his daughter, Laurine A. Lay-Gladieux and sister, Eleanor Lay-Roberts.

Hans, Schmidt, 1928-2009

Hans,81 a retired supervisor for Western Electric and A.T.&T., died Sunday, October 25, 2009. Service, 10 a.m., Friday, October 30, Downing & Lahey Mortuary West. Preceded in death by wife, Helen; sister, Gretta Stenson. Survivors: sons, David of Houston, TX, Duane of Goddard; daughter, Danette Koehn of Furley; grandchildren, Heather Koehn and Gus Schmidt. In lieu of flowers, memorials to american Heart association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674 and Wichita Toy Train Club, P.O. Box 4091, Wichita, KS 67204. Tributes may be sent to the family via

 Dad at about age 3 immigrated from Germany with his Mother and Sister. Grandpa had come over a couple years earlierHe graduated from Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, and then after he and Mom were married he started working at the Western Electric plant on Shadeland Road. In 69 he was transferred to the Shreveport plant and about 75 he went to Wichita where he retired.

Dad was a racer when he was young and real race fan most of his life.

Dad who ran midgets with the old C.O.R.A. group out of Indy in the late 40's and early 50's. If anyone knows any of the old CORA group, especially Carroll Sandy, please pass this
on to them.

He was working at the Speedway the day Vuky was killed. He never forgave Ward for that deal. He loved the midgets and sprints and when the foreign drivers took over in Indycar he hated it and migrated to NASCAR.
My fondest memories are of sitting in his unfinished midget driving the wheels off it. If he ever knew how many times I yanked on that wheel while I was winning the 500 he didn't say anything. That and all the nights at Kitley with him watching my heroes in their midgets. He sold that midget in the early 60's and I never did get to see him race. Mom made him quit when little brother came along.
He got me started in the model airplane game when I was a freshman in high school. And boy did he ever love his Lionel trains. That was what he and kid brother were doing the Sunday afternoon before he died. Off to a train show in Wichita. Duane said he was happy as a clam when he took him home Sunday afternoon, got him settled in for the evening and when he went back to check on him Monday morning he was gone.
David Schmidt

ROBERT Grant MOORHEAD, 1921 -2009 

Maj. General (ret.) Robert Grant Moorhead 88, of Indianapolis, passed away on October 11, 2009.
Mr. Moorhead served as USAC Chairman of the Board from 1982-2001 after serving as a Board Member since 1968. A past president of the 500 Festival Committee, he conceived the very successful USAC Winners’ Circle Club. He was born on Sept 4, 1921 to Robert L. and Roxanne Sanders Moorhead in Orleans, Indiana. He was a graduate of Indiana University where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After college, he began Officer Candidate Training School and soon found himself in Europe as a replacement officer assigned to the 115th Infantry, which had been decimated on D-Day. When he returned from Germany as a young Captain, Bob joined the Indiana National Guard, eventually rising to the rank of Major General and Division Commander. He later was appointed Deputy Commander of the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command. He earned numerous military decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. One of the high points of his military career was being elected president of the Association of the United States Army. Bob joined Central Publishing Company in 1947 and was its President and owner from 1960 – 1989. He loved the Indianapolis 500, and was one of a handful of city leaders that founded the 500 Festival Association, serving as its President in 1963. He continued his involvement, heading the 500 Parade Safety and Security for decades. A longtime member of the downtown Kiwanis Club, Bob was instrumental in the relocation of the Kiwanis Headquarters from Chicago to Indianapolis. He served Kiwanis faithfully at every level; as a club President, a District Governor and as International Foundation President. As a tribute for the many Kiwanis clubs he built, members he recruited and hours he devoted to the children of the world, Bob was recognized just last year when Kiwanis unveiled a state of the art facility, the Robert G. Moorhead Auditorium and Leadership Education Center. He was a Member of the Indianapolis Board of Public Safety, the Police Merit Board and the State Traffic Advisory Committee. Bob served as President of the State Armory Board for decades, and was proud to have the downtown Armory renamed the Tyndall-Moorhead Armory. Until his health failed him, he never missed an American Legion Convention, continuing the legacy his father began in 1919. Growing up on a farm in southern Indiana, Bob never had the opportunity to participate in Boy Scouts as a child. He certainly made up for that as an adult, serving as President of the Crossroads Council of Boy Scouts of America. He cherished his Scouting Silver Beaver Award. Whether the call was for help developing a public television station in Indianapolis or for the American Cancer Society or the Salvation Army, Bob was always "front and center." And, in the end, he would hold a key leadership position in whatever organization sought out his expertise. For his tireless dedication to his community Bob was awarded a total of five Sagamore of the Wabash awards from five different Indiana Governors! He also found time for camaraderie and fellowship. He was a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church, the Columbia Club, the Indianapolis Athletic Club, Meridian Hills Country Club, Tippecanoe Lake Country Club, The Army Navy Club in Wash. D.C., and the Skyline Club. Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Margaret (Maggie) Bachelder Moorhead. Bob had known Maggie since the day she was born. He also leaves five children, James (Martha) Moorhead of Little Rock, Ark; Richard (Margy) Moorhead of Fishers, IN; Barbara (Danny) Hockett of Carmel, IN; Sandy (Ed) Hale of Dallas, TX; Janet (Ed) Hourigan of Indianapolis. He was the proud grandfather of 19 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren who will cherish memories of time spent with Papaw at Lake Tippecanoe. He was preceded in death by his sister, Anne Moorhead Burge and grandson, Robert Daniel Hockett, Jr. The family would like to thank all of the staff at Marquette Manor for making the "General" feel at home these past six years. Special thanks to Alaa, Victoria, Tony and Jerry, his wonderful care-givers, whose individual attention was so appreciated. Visitation will be Sunday, October 18 from 1:30-5:00 pm at Crown Hill Funeral Home, 700 W. 38th St. Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, October 19 at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Boulevard East Dr, Indianapolis. Military Burial to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Kiwanis International Foundation, 3636 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268 and to the 38th Division Association, co Monument Fund, 3912 W. Minnesota St., Indianapolis, IN 46241. Online condolences may be sent to Arrangements entrusted to Crown Hill Funeral Home.

Timothy L. Behmer, Sr 1950 - 2009
Timothy L. Behmer Sr., 59, of New Providence, passed away on Saturday evening at Lancaster General Hospital.
He was the husband of Clara V. Kline Behmer, with whom he would have celebrated 41 years of marriage this coming December 7th. Born in Lancaster , he was the son of the late Daniel W. and Phyllis Rittenhouse Behmer.
Tim had worked for Barstools and Billiards as an installer for 17 years until 2006. Prior to20this, he had worked in the mobile home industry as an electrician from 1973 to 1982, and also with John Zook Construction for 8 years.
He served as a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Tim was the car owner and pit crew for his son, Tim’s, TQ Midget race car. He also was a great pool player, playing in and winning many tournaments locally and in Las Vegas . He was a former president of the Lancaster County 8 Ball League to which he is a member of the league’s Hall of Fame. He also served as president for the Riverside Camping Association.  He loved shuffle alley, the outdoors, hunting and skiing, and was an avid NASCAR and Dallas Cowboys fan.
In addition to his wife, Tim is survived by his son, Timothy L., Jr. married to Danielle of Mt. Joy; his grandson, Troy; and his sister, Frances married to William McFalls of Manheim. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Terry Behmer and William Kurtz, and his sisters, Cinda Frizinger and Doris Whitmoyer and the many additional family members. 
Friends will be received on Friday from 1230PM-2PM at the Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home, 414 E. King St. , Lancaster , with the funeral service to follow at 2PM , the Rev. Hadyn McLean officiating. Military Honors by the US Marine Corps. 
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Merv Furtado  


Merv Furtado 1922 - 2009 Born in San Jose, California on May 22, 1922. Entered into rest on August 7, 2009. From an early age Merv loved cars. He started racing midgets in the 40s and progressed to hardtops in the 50s. In recognition of his racing career, Merv was inducted into the San Jose Speedway Hall of Fame in 1997. His love of racing carried on through his son, Rod, and grandson, Tony. He further left his legacy on the racing fraternity, working side by side with Rod, as owner of Furtado's Automotive and subsequently Furtado's Auto Machine. Merv loved the SF Giants, the 49ers, fishing, car racing, Western movies, and animals of all kinds. Survived by his wife of 43 years, Sandy; daughter, Suzie (Danny); stepchildren Connie (Ron), Sherrie (Arin), Jackie, and Mike (Andrea); daughter-in-law, Lorrie; siblings, Fern, June and Fil; grandchildren, Tony, Shawna (Phil), Bret, Randy (Monica), Bobby, Anthony (Erin), Shanna, Marissa, Audra, Atalie, and Justin; great-grandchildren, Hunter, Austin, Alfred, Taylor, and Randy Jr.; various brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws; and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by son, Rod (2002) and step-daughter, Elena (1989). A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, August 30, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at Darling-Fischer Chapel of the Hills, 615 N. Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos.
Private internment at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.

John M. LeVan  

1948 - 2008                                                   

John M. LeVan, publisher, webmaster and editor of www. passed away on Thursday,  December 18th 2008, just ten days shy of his 60th birthday, having been born on December 28, 1948.

He is survived by his wife, LuAnn (Craig) LeVan, their children, Craig, Michael and Ashleigh, Craig’s fiancée, Sarah Grable, and their son, Kaydin, all at home.  He is also survived by his father, Kenneth H. LeVan and his sister, Barbara L. LeVan, both of Greenfields, Pa.

He was pre-deceased by his first wife, Judith E. (Paup) LeVan, who passed away on June 13, 1981, and his mother, Barbara V. (Pluta) LeVan who passed away on July 17, 2008.

John worked at Cott beverage in Reading, Pa. prior to going on disability a couple of years ago.

He was an Army veteran, having served our nation in Turkey during the Vietnam era.

He was involved in many areas in auto racing in the Pennsylvania area, having been a reporter and photographer for Keystone Auto News and doing public relations work for the United Racing Club.  He was also a member of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association.

Around 1999, he first heard of a man named Lenny Calinoff.  Eventually, they would hook up together and they both got involved in Lenny Calinoff’s  Slowly, with a lot of hard work, they managed to get the website grown into one of the most respected websites devoted to motor sports.

On December 1, 2004, Lenny Calinoff passed away.  For a short period of time, after his death, the website was run by Mr. LeVan.  Some minor problems arose and Mr. LeVan was, more or less, forced to create a new website, and it was named

John was able to devote countless hours to this new website, usually working at night so the next days edition would have up to date information for his readers.

John was quite a “story teller”.  You could give him the name of a driver, either local or in a lot of cases, a nationally known driver, and John would have stories about them.  He was, to many, a walking encyclopedia of auto racing.

John, along with Lenny, were quite instrumental in bringing along new writers – not only for their website, but for other areas in the media, as well.

I got involved with both Lenny and John a few years ago – like around the year 2001.  Lenny and John both pressured me into writing for their website.  Eventually I tried it, liked it, and have had a great time writing for OWR.

There were times when John and I would travel together to various events, like to Richmond for the IRL/USAC races, or going to the EMPA Conventions, when we would share a room together.  And, yes, he’d tell me quite a lot of stories, too.  He would confide in me about the website and how he wanted it to prosper and be one of the best that would be devoted to auto racing.  He was so proud of what the website had become.
  By Tom Avenengo                                                  

Harry F. Stryker  1931 - 2009 

Harry was born on October 22, 1931 and passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2009.

You go through life meeting some very good friends then you meet some that are just outstanding, The guy below Who wrote that piece was one of the outstanding ones. I had written Him asking for this information so I could write an article on Him, Not knowing I probably wouldn’t get another chance to hear from Him then.

I knew Him since the mid 60’s when He lived up in the Santa Cruz mtns I had gone up there several times to visit and watch Him do His magic on His midget. Met His whole family up there, Same mold as Him. You couldn’t meet a nicer Family.

Sad to say But Harry passed away a couple of months ago. I never got the chance to write the article.

HARRY STRYKER was one of a kind, May He Race for Ever From Now On.

Hi Den, "Sorry for the delay but had a few doctor appointments too take care of .I will try and answer your questions in the order you asked them.

Went too my first race in 1946 at Bayshore stadium in San Francisco and then worked for the Kelleher Bros. who had a midget, also met Charlie Lawlor in high school who was my classmate in auto shop. We were racing nuts and went to every race in the area, big cars, roadsters, stock cars and midgets. We bought a 1934 Ford and tried our hand at Hard Tops, One race and we said No way We need a real race car

We then bought a KKV/8 60 from Buzz Balfiore that Tommy Copp was driving, He was not to happy.

I went in the Navy in 1951 and Lawlor ran the midget as He was exempt as head of a household.

In 1961 or 62 we bought a KK offy from Jack London

In 1963 we won the BCRA indoor championship==13 fast times 1 –2nd 1966 BCRA overall champ with Vukie jr driving, Stockton champ with Dee Hileman, 2nd in the northwest with my son Mike Driving 1984 1985

I learned most of my Offy knowledge from Jack London

I can’t tell how many I have overhauled 1 to 2 hundred maybe

Some of my drivers were—Vukie Jr, Gary Bettenhausen, Chuck Rhode, Billy Cantrell, Don Machen, Dee Hielmam, Dean Holden, Bob Tattersall, Mike Mc Greevy. Bob Dejong. Charlie Lawlor, and my sons Harry and Mike.

Just overhauled one last month

Always willing to help anyone with a problem

Yes I still have one

Now I am passing the gathered knowledge too my son Mike who is well equipped to due the job right."


       Miles Nelson 1941-2008

Miles Nelson, 66, of Wendover UT, passed away on Memorial
Day May 26th. He was born on Aug 25th 1941 in Paget,Bermuda, to George and Olive Nelson. He grew up in Bristol, CT. and then proudly served our country in the U. S. Air Force.  Miles was also an avid auto racing fan and had a passion for golf.  He is survived by a wife Joann, four children, Michael, Sandra(Conner), James, and Sheri (McCammon), a granddaughterMackenzie (Conner), and a sister Norma (Blair). Services will be
held in West Wendover NV. and St. Petersburg FL.

Miles Nelson another one who helped bring Me up on the internet. And one of the few I had the pleasure of actually meeting in person.
Miles was another of the mid week forum chatters with Lenny and the “GANG” way back around 10 years ago. Good name for that bunch for sure. Most nights it was a race to see who got who going first. Miles was no slouch when it came to standing up for what He said(preached) . And He would not back down from His view point very often . One thing can be said about Him He never forgot very much, His mind was like a walking encyclopedia about Indy cars and more so eastern modifieds. He at one point drove some of those cars .
When We got together on the net it was sure some fun days.
His own site had quite a following of Indy car lovers. With Miles probably the biggest lover of those cars and that big race.
Well another one gone to soon, But He did it pretty good while here. If you ever saw Him the night before the 500 you would surely understand that one.

Miles I hope the golf game is good where ever You are.

RIP Old Friend

Jack McCoy  
1937 - 2009

Winner of more races than anyone in the history of NASCAR's West Coast circuit, died Tuesday at 72.

Mr. McCoy, who also was in the tire business much of his life, died suddenly on April 16 2009 at a Modesto hospital, his family said.

Friends and racing colleagues remembered him as a skilled stock car driver who would have ranked with national legends had he raced full-time.

"Nobody could drive a short track like Jack McCoy — nobody," said Dick Hagerty of Oakdale. "He was just in a class of his own."

Mr. McCoy, a Dodge driver, won a record 54 races in the 1960s and 1970s in NASCAR's regional series, known at various times as Grand National West, Winston West and Pacific Coast Late Model Series. He finished first in the final standings in 1966 and 1973 and second four times.

Mr. McCoy balanced the racing with his work at McCoy Tire Co. and his home life with his wife, Peggy Joyce McCoy, and seven children.

Mr. McCoy was born March 29, 1937, in Los Angeles and later moved with his family to a ranch near Ceres. His father, John McCoy, opened McCoy Tire on Ninth Street in Modesto in 1950.

Jack McCoy, who attended Turlock High School and Modesto Junior College, went to work in the family business.

He later opened his own tire shop on McHenry Avenue, eventually branching into specially made tires and other supplies for race cars.

Mr. McCoy is survived by his wife; his son, Dr. Harry Brown of Modesto; six daughters, Gina Vance of Modesto, Tracee Collins of Kansas, Kathleen Lengel of Ripon, Kim Tofanelli of Sacramento, Cindy Brown of Modesto and Christine Brown of Incline Village, Nev.; sister, Louise Barnick of Modesto; brothers, Dan McCoy of Atascadero and Robert McCoy of Modesto; and 14 grandchildren.

A service will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Franklin and Downs, McHenry Chapel, 1150 McHenry Ave., Modesto.

Remembrances may be made to the Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, 301 Downey Ave., Modesto 95354, or to a favorite charity.

Published in Modesto Bee from April 16 2009


JONATHAN BYRD 1942 - 2009
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Aug. 21, 2009 – Jonathan Byrd,
co-entrant in 1996 of Arie Luyendyk’s all-time Indianapolis 500 record qualifier, passed away Aug. 20 in Greenwood, Ind. He was 57.
Byrd, who had been disabled by a stroke since 2004, was a "500" entrant from 1985 until 2001, having aligned himself with a variety of other entrants, including Leader Card, Inc., A.J. Foyt, Ron Hemelgarn, Dick Simon, Alex Morales, the Machinists Union, Clayton Cunningham, Dennis McCormack and Team Xtreme.
Strongly associated for many years with sponsorship of cars at the Indianapolis Speedrome short track, located on the east side of the city, Byrd even sponsored NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip at one point. He developed a very close friendship and partnership with Rich Vogler, which parlayed into several USAC Midget car titles and numerous wins, eventually taking the pair to the Indianapolis 500.
The charismatic Byrd, with his infectious laugh, never was rewarded with an Indianapolis 500 victory. But he saw several of his drivers land top-10 finishes, including Gordon Johncock (sixth in 1991), Scott Brayton (sixth in '93), Vogler (eighth in '89), Stan Fox (eighth in '91) and John Andretti (10th in '94).
In 1996, Luyendyk's original front-row qualifying run was disallowed when his car failed to meet the minimum weight requirement in a post-qualification technical inspection, but Luyendyk stormed back the following day to obliterate the one- and four-lap qualifying records. This being the final year for turbocharged engines, Luyendyk’s marks with the Tim Wardrop-prepared Byrd/Fred Treadway-entered Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria/Bryant Heating and Cooling Reynard/Cosworth were 236.986 mph for the four-lap run and an amazing 237.498 mph for the fastest single lap.
Those records still stand.
Byrd is fondly remembered by the "500" fraternity for the many months of May in which he would set up a huge marquee near the garage area and permit literally hundreds of race personal and media per day the opportunity to experience his magnificent cafeteria food.
While Byrd never won at Indianapolis, John Paul Jr. drove one of his cars to victory in the IndyCar Series race in September 1998 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Byrd was a successful businessman who operated Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises and then opened his Jonathan Byrd’s cafeteria and banquet hall in Greenwood, Ind. He also operated several hotels and operated a business trading in rare books, ancient Bibles and theology books. He also was very active in founding and supporting Christian ministries.



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