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Passings......
East coast racer, Joe Jacono passes...........
Joe Jacono, from Philadelphia, passed away after a long battle related to heart issues. Joe was the runner-up at the first NHRA Winternationals in Florida, 1960. At that event he ran his Buick powered modified roadster before moving to a AA/Gas Lynwood-chassis dragster. During the early 60's he dominated at several tracks with his driving and tuning skills. In 1968 he earned the NHRA NED One Fuel Dragster title as the driver of the Barbin and Haywood "Hi Roller". During the 1970's he switched to Funny Cars and matched raced frequently against Jungle Jim Lieberman. In 1976 he quit racing, but was still very much in contact with his longtime racer friends. At the 2002 NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, CA a deal was put together with Bob Rosetty, who built a updated "Rollin' Stoned" Plymouth Barracuda. Joe at the time was 70 years old and got back behind the wheel of the car and for several years campaigned the car at nostalgia events, plus made exhibition runs. Joe was definitely one of the more colorful racers from the east coast and will be missed! (8/29/17)
Dave Reitz passes...................

Dave Reitz one of the standouts of the 60's and 70's passed away this weekend after a two year battle with liver cancer. Dave, the chief mechanic, along with driver Tom Sneden ran a string of Dodges out of the Bob Banning Dodge Plymouth dealership in Maryland. The team initially ran Super Stockers before moving on to Funny Cars. Both Dave and Tom recently attended the York U.S. 30 Reunion at Beaver Springs Dragway (July 7/8.) Dave was still racing right up to his passing with his familiar white and blue 1964 Dodge. Our condolences to the Reitz family. (7/16/2017)

Update: A memorial service for Dave Reitz will be held at Montgomery UMC on Saturday, July 22 at 11:00AM followed immediately by a luncheon. The address is: 28325 Kemptown Road, Damascus, MD 20872 in lieu of flowers the family would like donations be made in Dave's name to the Hospice of the Chesapeake. (7/18/2017)

Veteran Alcohol Racer, VERN MOATS dies at 77...............
Vern Moats, a drag-racing mainstay who raced into his seventies, died earlier this week at the age of 77. Moats, who was based in Des Moines as a driver, had a 48-year drag racing career that ended with his retirement in 2012. He had raced in Top Alcohol Funny Car since 1972, according to the NHRA, and was a venerated racer in that span. His career included 15 NHRA Division 5 championships and 56 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event wins, notably. His best season was 1983, when he four national events including the U.S. Nationals. Moats last won a national event in 2000.

He died Sunday (7/16/17) at his Grundy County farmhouse. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at the Ivester Church of the Brethren Grundy Center.
Stock Super Stock icon Arlen Vanke passes..................
Longtime racer , Arlen Vanke, sadly passed away on the morning of (6/15/17) after battling complications from a stroke. Arlen campaigned a variety of race cars out of the Knafel Pontiac dealership prior to moving to his familiar Plymouth. He started racing back in the early 1950's initially running a flathead powered 1940 Ford coupe. During the 60's he was first in line for the Hemi powered cars with his Mopar connection and eventually moved to his 1968 Hemi Barracuda, then on to a Duster Pro Stock car. As soon as we receive additional information we'll update here. (6/16/2017)
George Weiler longtime racer died over the weekend.............

string of "Smarty Pants" race cars dating back to 1959, George Weiler passed away over the weekend. George campaigned a string of cars, plus was one the competitors at the first Winternationals held at Daytona, FL in 1960. The event, then was co-sponsored by both the NHRA and NASCAR as part of "Speed Week."

George was an integral part of Maple Grove Raceway assisting and advising Alfred Stauffer during the construction of the facility in the late 1950's. George Case stated, that Weiler would stop by the track during every event to chat on the ins-and-outs of NHRA racing and spend an hour or so with the staff and racers. Case also went on to say, Weiler was a gentlemen and gifted mechanic using parts tossed away by others and making them work!

Weiler was part of drag racing from its inception first with a Crosley competition coupe, prior to moving into a 1964 Comet A/FX and then on to NHRA Pro Stock with a couple of Camaros and Vegas. In the mid-1960's he teamed up with legendary Mopar racer, Bud Faubel competing as well as wrenching Faubel's "Honkers." (4/17/2017)

"Bullet" Bob Reed passes...................
Although this may seem after-the-fact, but longtime Hemi Mopar racer, "Bullet" Bob Reed passed away on April 4th, 2017 at the age of 77. The previous Saturday, he competed at Rockingham. Bob was a character, to say the least, banging gears in his 4-speed Hemi and of course usual attire "cowboy boots!" Bob was also the former SS/A record holder prior to the NHRA combining both stick and automatic transmission cars changing the class designation to SS/AH. Bob did plenty of match racing running up and down the east coast hailing out of his Marion, OH home-base. Bob did have health issues, but was still in the shop daily. R.I.P. Bob! (4/2017)
GREG ZYLA 2012 DRHOF.com Inductee...............

NHRA Pro Stock racer Gordie Rivera, passed away on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack at his Yuma, Arizona home at the age of 73. Rivera began competing in 1969 and was runner-up in B/Gas at the Winternationals that year. In 1973, he entered the Pro Stock ranks behind the wheel of a small-block-powered Chevy Vega operated out of his Gordie’s Speed Shop in Yuma. Rivera competed in some 250 NHRA national events during his career, culminating in his final appearance at the Sonoma Nationals in 2012.

He made his only final round appearance in Pro Stock in 1990 at his home event, the Arizona Nationals at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (then Firebird International Raceway), losing to Bob Glidden. He finished a career-high fifth in the Pro Stock standings in 1985.

Gordie operated a speed shop (Gordie's Speed Center) since 1969 in Yuma, AZ.

Rivera is survived by his wife, Debbie, and sons Doug and Gordie, Jr. both of whom were integral parts of his racing endeavors.(2/15/2017)

Bob Fort, Jr. Nostalgia S/SRacer passes.............

Longtime racer and competitor Bob Fort Jr. passed away after battling cancer for the past several months, today. Bob, a fixture at many on the nostalgia events on the east coast ran a 1964 Plymouth "Jersey Duke II" Jack Werst tribute race car. Bob finished in the number six spot with his wheelstanding nine second Plymouth within the 422 Allstars Nostalgia Super Stock Drag Racing Series, this past season.Bob leaves his wife, Ann and daughters. Bob's son, Rob, passed away a few years ago suddenly at age 40.

As soon as we receive information on funeral services, etc. we'll post them. R.I.P. Bob! (1/28/17)

Peter Stayner passes..........
Although Peter Stayner's name might not be familiar in the world of drag racing, Peter's life was totally immersed in many forms of Motorsports. Peter worked at McLaren in the U.K. and was the Head of Partner Management. He worked with the sponsors, drivers and owners making sure all things went as planned with marketing and contract obligations. Peter also was the manager of Snetterton Circuit in the U.K. early in his career, his first job in Motorsports
Peter was the person responsible for hiring George Case as the Director of Drag Racing for Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management in the UAE. George stated, that when the two met it was like we had known each other our whole lives! Through Peter," I had the opportunity to become involved in several forms of Motorsports from F1, Aussie V8's Super Cars, etc. while we worked at Yaz Marina Circuit." During our stint at Yaz Marina Circuit, we assembled two Top Fuel teams with Don Schumacher Racing, plus a driving school featuring five Gary Stinnet powered Undercover Super Comp Dragster and five Camaros. YAZ/NHRA coverage Needless to say, this was a man liked and respected wherever he was and will truly be missed by his McLaren colleagues and those in the Motorsports world. As they say God Speed my friend! (11/27/2016)

 

John Dianna former Hot ROD Magazine editor, Drag Racer has died...
We lost another hardcore drag racer and friend on Wednesday, September 28th, John Dianna. John was a drag racer through and through and turned his love for cars into his advocation becoming the publisher, and group president of Hot Rod Magazine. John campaigned a series of NHRA Chevrolet Stockers. After leaving Hot Rod, John started his own publishing company Buckaroo Communications. John was without a doubt a strong figure in Motorsports and influenced many with his dedication to the sport and eye for detail. At the 2008 reopening of Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, FL John was recognized for his contributions to the sport and friendship with Dick Moroso, who passed away in 1997. (9/29/2016)
Anthony "Tony" DeMarcky..Island Dragway passes............
Longtime friend and cohort, Tony DeMarcky passed away on Sunday, September 25th at his home in Hackettstown, NJ, he was 60 years old. Tony was the track operator/manager at Island Dragway for many years and always in the midst of what was happening in NHRA NED Div. 1. Tony is survived by his wife Lynne and daughter Melissa, who currently operates the racetrack with her husband Carl. Back in the early 1990's, Tony and his daughter Melissa campaigned a JR Dragster aptly named "Island Girl" before she moved up to the family's S/Pro S/C dragster. Tony was a dedicated Mopar fanatic and still had his original Dodge Super Bee.(9/26/2016)
Legendary Drag Racer ART CHRISMAN passes at 86....

Legendary NHRA drag racer Art Chrisman died on July 12. He was 86 years old.

Chrisman, nephew of the great Jack Chrisman, holds a handful of firsts in the sport, including being the first dragster driver to go over 140 mph and 180 mph, and the first to go down the strip at the first NHRA Nationals in Great Bend, Kansas. He was also the fifth member of the Bonneville 200 club -- drivers who hit the double century mark at the Salt Flats -- which now features hundreds of members.

Chrisman was best known for his No. 25 car, with his partner Leroy Neumeyer. In fact, Chrisman only started driving the car after Neumeyer was drafted to fight in the Korean War.

Chrisman’s Hustler I slingshot dragster, with a supercharged 392-cubic-inch Chrysler engine, won the Best Engineered Car award at the 1958 Nationals, before gracing the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1959. That was the car in which he first hit 180 mph -- actually, 181.81 mph at Riverside Raceway.

Later Chrisman went on to work at Ford’s Autolite Spark Plug Division, before founding Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties with his son Mike.(7/13/2016)

 
Chuck Etchells
Drag racer, Chuck Etchells, 61 years old, passed away on Wednesday, July 6th. Chuck was a regular competitor on the NHRA circuit before retiring from racing in 2001. Etchells, of Putnam, Conn., earned 13 NHRA Funny Car victories during his driving career and 15 as a team owner. He is best known for driving the Kendall Oil Dodge Daytona to the sport’s first four-second Funny Car run in 1993. and they first F/C driver to record a 4-second pass (quarter-mile) in 1993. (7/7/2016)
 
Jere Stahl passes; Stahl Headers

Jere Stahl well known in drag racing circle's for the past six decades passed away on Monday night. Jere an innovator and designer of the "Total Tuned" rained for years as one of best header manufactures around. His equal length headers were beautifully designed and manufactured along with being credited for step-headers, adjustable primaries, adapter flanges and other inventions in exhaust technolgy.

In the 1960's, he campaigned a variety of smallblock Chevrolet powered vehicles culminated by a 1966 Hemi Plymouth that he won the NHRA Top Class at the three consecutive events he entered. (6/22/2016)

 

 

Anthony Pappas

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Anthony Pappas. Anthony, although a young 28 years of age, was an integral part of the 422 Motorsports' Nostalgia Super Stock Team and driver of several of the teams race cars over the past several years.

On Thursday evening while riding a friend's motorcycle he was involved in an accident that took his young life! Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and as is said over and over, "he will be missed." (5/27/2016)

 

 

 

 

 
Lamar Walden makes 2016 DRHOF.com inductee list............
Lamar Walden, who passed away last year (8/28/15) is the second DRHOF.com inductee for this year. Lamar long known for his prowess with the fabled "W" block Chevrolet engine is a well deserved addition to the DRHOF.com lineup.

Lamar built some of the quickest and fastest 409's on the planet and holds the distinction of owning one the original 1969 COPO Camaros and a 2012 COPO Camaro as well. His contributions to Drag Racing are numerous. (1/17/16)
 

George Phillips - NHRA

Longtime NHRA employee, George Phillips passed away yesterday (12/28/15) of kidney cancer. George was a supporter of the NHRA Junior Dragster program and did a great job helping to develop and make the program successful. George's tenure included stints at National Dragster and in the NHRA Field Department.

George was definitely one of the 'good guys" in drag racing that worked behind the scenes never getting the recognition he deserved! (12/29/15)

 

Roger Gustin passes

One of the most prolific racers, Roger Gustin, passed away yesterday! Roger a longtime friend and business associate campaigned race cars since the late 1950's, then moving onto being the person that made Jet Car racing an accepted attraction at tracks all around the country. His most famous car was the "Lava Machine" funny car. Roger worked tirelessly with the NHRA to develop rules and safety regulations for jet powered exhibition vehicles. Later in his illustrious career, he took over the Autostar Publications Super Chevy Shows prior to purchasing the show portion of the business. Roger always had his brothers Phil and Bill with him and they formed Gustin Racing. Gustin Racing campaigned and built a variety of jet powered race cars, plus the occasional jet powered track dryer for several tracks around the country. Needless to say, he will be missed! (12/15/15)

 
George Barris "The King of Customizers" dies at age 89......

George Barris passed away on Thursday (11/5/15) at the age of 89. The builder and creator of many of the now famous movie and television cars for the Munsters, Batman, the Beverly Hillbillies, Mannix, plus a plethora of custom cars like the Ala Kart and Bob Hirohata's 1951 Mercury to name a few.

Barris stayed involved right up to the end attending many car shows and events always ready to stop and talk to his m,any fans along with signing autographs. Barris is survived by his daughter, son and grandson. His wife Shirley passed away in 2001. (11/5/15)

Hubert Platt........gone September 26, 2015

We lost another great racer this week Hubert Platt. Hubert was diagnosed with liver and gallbladder cancer this past June before passing on September 26th.

Platt campaigned a series of Fords from Stockers, Super Stockers, Pro Stock and Funny Cars throughout the years and was one of the first to receive the now fabled 1968 Mustang Cobra Jets. Platt started his racing career in the late 1960 shoeing a 1938 (A/G and B/G) and then 1957 Chevrolet for the Terminal Transport Team, prior to becoming "Dyno" Don Nicholson's teammate driving a 409 Chevrolet in 1962, then a 1963 Z-11 Impala. After that he had a connection with Ford Motor Company and raced many different Ford products.

In later years, Hubert attended many events and reminisced with fans, plus racing buddies that he raced during his heydey! (9/26/2015)

 

 

 

 
Lamar Walden....gone August 28, 2015

Lamar Walden well known racer and undoubtedly the King of the Chevrolet "W" engines passed away on August 28th. Lamar is the only racer we know of that had one of the original 1969 COPO Camaro and then the new COPO in a 2012 model. Lamar performed magic with the 348-409 engines for over fifty years and holds the all-time record at 7.17 seconds at 196 mph for a 409 powered Pro Mod Chevrolet!

Throughout the years, Lamar kept tweaking the old W engine and developed an all aluminum 509/409 based on a Bill Mitchell Products casting.

In 2014, DRHOF.com's, Harry Laplatte spent some time with Lamar at his shop in Georgia and in Harry's words was magical. Lamar had one of the first 265 cubic inch Chevrolet engines on display, dated 1954. (9/20/2015)


Bill "Maverick"Golden passes................

Bill Golden, a.k.a. "Maverick," passed away this past week. Bill well known as the father of the wheel stander, "the Little Red Wagon" started his racing career back in the early fifties campaigning a new 1958 Dodge, then moving on to a series of Cross-Ram Mopars until 1964 when he received one of the first A990 426 Hemi Dodges. In late 1964, Bill was invited to Chrysler head quarters, in Detroit, where Frank Wylie (Chrysler's chief of public relations) proposed the opportunity to drive there companies A100 pickup with a Hemi engine in the rear. Chrysler actually built the truck to run A/FX, but the truck had the tendency to lift the front wheels in the lights! In early testing, the truck did break the national record for A/FX. Bill brought the truck back to California where they ended up using it for match-races and exploit the "wheelie truck". and so they say the rest is history. Bill from being the King of the Dodge Super Stocks to the King of wheelstanders.

Having known Bill throughout the years can only say, he was always a gentleman and one of the great performers on a drag strip. Bill made time for his fans stopping to chat and explain the intricacies of the "Little Red Wagon"

to all that would listen. Over the years, there were several "Little Red Wagons" probablt four or five, while the original truck was destroyed in 1975 crash. On a side note; the original wrecked truck is owned by a guy in Allentown, PA.

So we lose another legend from the era and as they say "God speed" to a gentleman and great person! (9/15/2015)








Bill Golden (far lane) racing the Hot Rod Magazine SS/SA Dodge and driven by Brock Yates in 1962. Look at Bill looking over at Yates with just about a fender lead!

 
Joe Lepone Jr. passes..................

Longtime racer and friend Joe Lepone Jr. passed away on Sunday, July 12th after battling cancer for the past year. Joe, from West Chester, Pennsylvania competed in the Pro Stock, Pro Mod and Pro Street categories starting in the early 1970's. His initial claim to driving fame came when he drove for Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins. In later years, Joe raced and became one of the great tuners using nitrous oxide assisting many racers. Joe used to come race and test at both Maple Grove Raceway and ATCO. His Mom (Ann) and Dad (Joe Sr.) were always staples of both tracks as well out watching their son Joe compete. Joe was 61 years of age upon passing.

Joe is survived by his wife Cynthia and sisters, whom still live in Pennsylvania. (7/13/2015)

"Father of the Hemi" Tom Hoover passes

Tom Hoover one of the founding members of the well-known "Ramchargers" a group of Chrysler engineers in the 1960's passed away after a long illness. Tom is credited in being an integral part of the design that came up with the Chrysler Hemi engines that are now run in every Top Fuel and Funny Car, plus a wide range of Super Stockers to the banning of the engines for use in NASCAR. Tom was also instrumental in the development of 440 Six-Pack, AAR Trans Am Challengers and Pro Stock race cars well into the 1970's. (5/1/2015)

HEMI HISTORY

ATI's Jim Beattie passes................

It’s with great sadness that we report that Jim Beattie of ATI Performance has passed away. Jim was responsible for a many innovations in the motorsport's industry. Jim was also a racer to transitioning into the car owner of the "Black Magic" Vega Funny Car, that was driven by R.C. Sherman back in the 1970's.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and we will keep you updated on any arrangements as we hear abut them. Please keep the family in your prayers. (3/29/2015)

Eddie McCardle 1921 - 2015

It is with great sadness of the passing of “Fast Eddie” on Wednesday March 18th. He was 94. Eddie along with his wife Rita were instrumental in the building of Beaver Springs Dragway. Bob McCardle (son) well known in the drag racing world, put the deal together and Eddie oversaw the complete construction. The Dragway set a record by being up and operating in only 30 days. Eddie was a racer as well racing AAA Midgets after World War II. He and his brother Guy, then  formed Penn Central Racing Association, and started the Stock Car Races at Port Royal Speedway in 1951. He was the first club president, and the first champion. He went on to win two more championships, and was the first driver to win a feature driving a Chevrolet V-8. He was the man behind the scenes with the running of Big Rita’s concession at Beaver Springs Dragway. Eddie was always involved with the track lingering in the background right up to the end of the 2014 season, marking 43 years in the drag racing business. Edward owned and operated Fast Eddie’s Used Cars and E&W Re-builders, retiring in 2003 at age 82. He was a sportsman, an avid racing fan and a loving husband and father. In retirement he became quite the Western movie buff, reminiscing to all of the old cowboy movies. Always by his side in later years was his faithful Westie, May he rest in peace!

Friends can call on Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Heller-Hoenstine Funeral Home, 200 N. Main St. Lewistown PA  17044. A brief service will be held on Monday at 10:00 AM at the funeral home. Internment will follow at the Juniata Memorial Cemetery. (3/19/2015)

Ciro Magione gone.........RIP
Ciro Magione one of the biggest supporters and competitors competing in the 422 Allstars Nostalgia Drag Racing Series has passed after a long illness. Ciro was admitted to the hospital last week, then released to hospice care at his home in New Jersey. Ciro a retired Police Lieutenant from the City of Newark, New Jersey campaigned a slick FE powered 1964 Ford Galaxie. He is survived by his wife Aurora. (2/23/2015)
Leo Taugher passes........
Leo Taugher one of the top announcers on the NHRA schedule passed away this week after a long illness. Leo started announcing near his home in Ohio at Quaker City Motorsports Park. Leo went on to announce doing the sportsman coverage at the NHRA national events around the country, plus Divisional events as well. He knew his craft well, plus he was a great announcer and a great person! RIP (2/2/2015) nhra photo
Jack Werst "Mr. 5 and 50" dead at 75

John 'Jack' Werst, often better known as "Mr. 5 and 50," died Tuesday Dec. 23, 2014. He was 75.

Born May 10, 1939, in Wilkes Barre, Pa., Jack was a longtime resident of Yardley before moving to Langhorne six years ago.

Jack was a Pennsbury graduate, Class of 1957. His achievements were on the basketball court, as well as on the football field. Although he was a graduate of Rider University with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce, as well as achieving an MBA at DePaul University, he was best known for his legendary track record of holding four National Records for the top speed 65 & 66, 68 & 69 on the NHRA Drag Racing Circuit in 'Top Stock Eliminator'. Jack was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998. Jack's ten year legacy ended when he started a family in 1972.Jack worked for Chrysler-Plymouth as district service manager and then Eastern regional manager for Winnebago Industry.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen J.; four children, Jeffrey R., Kimberly A., Allison M., and Erika K., and three grandchildren. (12/26/2014)

Stanley C. Shoppel passes..........

Stanley Charles “Buddy” Shoppel, age 72, of Mechanicsburg, passed away on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at his home. Born February 1, 1942 in Kingston, PA, he was a son of the late Stanley P. and Frances L. (Dombrouskas) Shoppel.

Stan was a retired PA State Police Trooper with over 27 years of dedicated service before retiring in 1992 from Troop T stationed in Newville, PA. From 1993-2001 he operated SCS Remodeling. He was a graduate of Exeter High School Class of 1959 and attended Penn State University. Stan was a US Army veteran serving from 1959-1963. Stan was a member of St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, the Mechanicsburg Club, AARP, National Nostalgia Drag Racing Association., the Antique Automobile Club of America, NHRA and the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. Stan also had several period correct drag cars with his twin blown flathead slingshot dragster being the most notable. (12/15/2014)

Scott Weney in memoriam- UPDATE 12/1/2014

Scott a longtime drag racer and President of S&W Race Cars passed away on Wednesday (11/19) after suffering a heart attack at Bradenton Motorsports Park, in Fl. Scott took over S&W Race cars from his Dad Walt, after his retirement, and continued building the business into one of the premier chassis fabrication shops in the country. Our condolences go to his family and friends. (11/20/2014)

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Racers for Christ, P.O. Box 1208, Gilbert, AZ 85299 (for Divisions 1 and 2). [12/01/14]

Ford legend PHIL BONNER passes..............

Longtime Ford Drag Racing legend, Phil Bonner, passed away this week. Phil who ran a series of Ford powered race cars through the 1960/70's under the "Daddy Warbucks" moniker was a legend in the early match-race days. Phil ran his cars out of the Al Means Ford dealership in Georgia, Phil's homestate. As we receive additional information on Phil's passing we will post it here. (November 11, 2014)

Top Fuel Motorcycle racer Russ Collins passes
Russ Collins #1One of the innovators of drag racing motorcycles has to be the late Russ Collins who passed away on May 14th at the age of 74. Collins ran a series of exotic bikes with multiple engines. His most successful ride with the twin engined 1000cc Honda named “The Sorcerer” that held Russ Collinsthe national record for eleven straight years. The bike was designed as he lay in the hospital recuperating after crashing his three 750cc Honda powered machine the “Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe” machine. Incidentally, the bike was the first motorcycle to receive the "Best Engineered Award" at an NHRA event in 1973. Collins continued to race motorcycles until the early 1980's when he turned to drag racing Top-Fuel cars. RC Engineering eventually became a leading maker of racing fuel-injection systems for Japanese-made sports cars. Collins was originally from Somerville, NJ prior to relocating to the West Coast. (7/15/2014)
Bernie Agaman former Super Stock Champion passes at age 71
Bernard G. Agaman, better known as Bernie died peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his family on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Born in Bayonne, NJ, he moved with his family to Oceanport, NJ in 1975 and then to Eatontown several years ago. He was the proprietor of Bridge Amoco in Bayonne, NJ for many years and part owner of Truppi Kling Racing Engines in Greenbrook, NJ. Bernie had a love of cars and speed; in 1972 he was the NHRA Super Stock Division 1 Champion and claimed the 1975 NHRA Super Stock World Points Championship. 1991 saw Bernie inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame and in 2007 received the Legion of Honor award for outstanding contributions to "Our Drag Racing Heritage." He transferred his love of auto racing over to boat racing where he was actively involved in building engines for Jersey Speed Skiffs. (6/25/2014)
JIM THORTON,"Father of the Funny Car" passes.......June 6, 2014

Jim Thornton, a key member of the legendary Ramchargers, died of cancer on June 6, 2014.  He was the technical and spiritual leader and a gifted innovator who led to the Ramchargers’ success. The Ramchargers were a group of engineers that built, campaigned and were very instrumental in the advancement of technology of drag racing for Chrysler Corporation in the 1960's and early 1970's. The group fielded a variety of Dodges with the familiar candy stripes on the roof of each car with the exception of their first venture, the "High & Mighty" 1949 Plymouth coupe powered by a 354 cubic inch Hemi sporting a sheet metal tunnel ram intake with dual carburetors. The car competed in the NHRA C/A category in 1959/61 before becoming obsolete due to rules changes.

Thornton designed the ’65 A-990 Super Stock cars and conceived the idea of relocating the wheels for better weight distribution.  The ’64 A/Factory Experimental car featured a modest wheelbase alteration that was greatly expanded for the ’65 A/FX cars, giving Jim the distinction of being the "Father of the Funny Car." (6/9/2014)

Dale Wilson passes........May 21, 2014

Alpharetta, GA - It is with sadness that we inform you the passing of Dale Wilson of a heart attck on May 21. Wilson a well respected automtive journalist having wriitten for Bracket Racing USA magazine and Drag Racing Online as well as many others. Dale was heavily involved in drag racing on the sportsman level and wrote and supported racers through the publications he wrote for.

Dale was one of the guys who got got it, stated George Case. The two became friends years ago being introduced by Steve Collision another great writer whom passed away a number of years ago (2000).

Dale will be cremated with details of a memorial coming soon from his wife, Fran Gaudsmith. (May 22, 2014)

Update: A memorial service for racer and photojournalist Dale Wilson, who died May 21, will be held on Sunday, June 22, with visitation starting at 1:30 and the service at 3 p.m. at  North River Baptist Church, 12090 Hardscrabble Road, Roswell, GA 30075

His ashes will be laid to rest with military honors in The Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia, on Monday, June 23, at 10:30 a.m.(6/4/2014)

Fred Dalton perishes March 13, 2014
We again report the loss of another racer from New Jersey, Fred Dalton. Fred was a longtime racer at Island Dragway and back in the day had a Hemi powered Super Bee. Apparently, a tree fell through his house killing him. The family has requested that memorial donations be made at Island Dragway. For further information contact Melissa DeMarckey at; 20 Island Road, Great Meadows, NJ 07838, phone (908) 637-6060 or email manager@islanddragway.com. (3/15/2014)
2011 DRHOF Inductee Buster Jackson passes

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Buster Jackson. Buster a regular competitor at Island Dragway during 1960's running his "Soul Shaker" 1963 Chevrolet Impala in Modified Production. He later moved into a Camaro with a 427 big-block engine that he campaigned as well. In 2011, Buster was one of the first inductees into the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com, where he was presented with his induction plaque at the Lead East Show in New Jersey. Our condolences go out to his family. Buster along with his son attended the Pocono Dragway Reunion and was recognized there for his accomplishments and competitive nature. Whether he was racing or just at the track to talk with old friends, Buster always greeted you with a "how are you!" R.I.P. (2/24/2014)

Ken Dondero passes

Ken Dondero, one of the standouts in the early years of PRO Stock, passed away on January 17th of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Ken's major fame came as the driver of one of Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins team cars and then to Gapp and Roush. Dondero claimed the AHRA PRO Stock title in 1975-76 in the Jenkins Competition Vega (75') and Monza (76'). Ken also ran a AA/GS Anglia with a four-speed transmission prior to his involvement in PRO Stock. Ken retired in the late 70's to operate his tire business in California, but did return to race a then current Pontiac Firebird with partner Bob Panella, R.I.P.!. (1/20/2014)

Bud Faubel Hemi Honker passes.....

Once again, time has claimed another of our racing heros, Bud Faubel on December 23, 2013. Bud campaigned a succession of Dodge Super Stockers throughout the 1960's culminating with a turbo charged altered wheelbase Hemi, which was way ahead of it's time. Faubel well known amongst drag racing enthusiasts was a very interesting person and a pilot during the Korean War as well as flying in Vietnam. He was well accomplished in many fields and will be dearly missed. (1/6/2014)

 

 
Joe Black...gone but not forgotten!
We are saddened to inform you that we have lost another great gentleman, Joe Black! Joe, the owner and driver of the 1965 Hemi Plymouth the "Green Hornet was a mainstay in drag racing throughout the 1960's and early 70's campaigning a variety of race cars from Super Stockers to A/FXers to nitro Funny Cars. Joe, was a great supporter of nostalgia drag racing and the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Joe sold his historic "Green Hornet" this year and was at the 50th anniversary Pocono Drag Lodge event this past August, where the car was on display by the new owner. (11/27/2013)

 

Norman Gray better known as "Stormin' Norman" passes
Wellington, FL - It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Stormin' Norman Gray (75 yrs.). Norman originally from Brooklyn, NY and well known in the Mustang drag racing world passed away yesterday from complications from diabetes and stroke. Norman was the originated of the Pro 5.0 Shootouts and successfully campaigned a 8 second Mustang and Cobra powered by a Roush engine as well as holding his own events, the Stormin' Norman Shootouts. To say people knew Norman would be like saying, who doesn't. He had a brash personality, but under his rough exterior Norman was a great person and wonderful friend and a guy that you could always count on! (6/3/2013)

Another Legend passes...Dean Jeffries

Famed custom car designer and builder, Dean Jeffries, passed away on May 5, 2013. Jeffries, one of the premier custom car builders constructed many vehicles for television, movies and a host of cars that claimed awards going back to the 1960's. Of the many vehicles he built, we are drawn to the Monkeemobile, which was created for the then popular TV show and group, the Monkees. Jeffries also did a variety of other vehicles such as the "Black Beauty" in the "Green Hornet", "Mantaray" used in Bikini Beach, James Bonds "Diamonds are Forever", "Roger Rabbit", the "Blues Brothers", James Dean and on and on! A special private memorial service will be held on June 2, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA.(5/23/2013)

2013 Inductee,Ronnie "Wildfire" Evans passes

Friend, Ronnie Evans passed away of a heart attack on Friday, May 10, 2013. Ronnie a well known drag racer from Gilbertsville, PA, started his racing career back in the 1960's running a 1955 Chevrolet with assistance from his father prior to stepping up to a 1962 Chevrolet. The car competed in B/S with a 409 engine. He campaigned the car for many years before taking over the driving chores of the 1967 273" powered Plymouth Valiant in 1968/69 from his friend Lamar Benner. The car ran out of the Stahl Headers shop and was capable of running .3 under the then current record. In the eighties he got to work on his 1962 "Wildfire" Chevrolet running at several tracks around the east coast and attending many Chevrolet car shows. Ronnie continued working on the "62 finally getting the car to run in the 9-second range still with the "old" W-motor! Ronnie, 68 years old, had battled diabetes for many years and despite the complications from the disease it never seemed to slow him down. In the past few years, Ronnie completed a frame-off restoration of the 1961 409 Biscayne tribute car of the famed "Old Reliable driven by Dave Strickler and tuned by Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins for Terry Brennan. R.I.P Ronnie! (5/11/2013)

Super Stock Legend Kenny Montgomery passes.....

Longtime Super Stock racer, Kenny Montgomery, passed away last week (1/28/2013) after a long fought battle with cancer. Kenny and his well known "555" or better known as the Triple Nickel 1965 Hemi Plymouth was a stalwart in NHRA Division 1 since purchasing his the in 1965. Kenny was always a four speed guy shifting his way into the winner's circle many times throughout his storied 50 year drag racing career. Kenny also campaigned a 1968 Hemi Barracuda in the late '60s, early '70s. Montgomery always a gentleman traveled to the races always accompanied by his wife Angie and son, Jen Jr. Kenny is survived by his wife Angie and children; Ken Jr., Shawn, Scott, daughter Stacey and seven grandchildren. (2/2/2013)

 

Aaron Green passes.....

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of longtime friend Aaron Green. He passed away this past weekend on the same floor of the hospital that his mother was in. Aaron was a great announcer having done stints working for the NHRA, Super Chevy, AHDRA and many other race organizations. He was a wealth of drag racing history. You will be missed! (12/26/2012)

 

 

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