Shady Bowl honors engine builder


DeGRAFF – Shady Bowl Speedway will honor the memory of Columbus engine builder Bruce Meihl on Saturday night. Meihl was one of the best builders of high-performance engines in the tri-state.

He began his career by building engines for the Rod Shop in Columbus. In 1986, he opened his own shop, Fast Racing Engines. His engines were a force to be reckoned with the local oval track teams, drag teams, tractor pullers and truck pulling teams.

His shop produced everything from quarter midget engines to 800-horsepower drag cars. Along the way Bruce and wife Mary were blessed by twin daughters. In a rare move the daughters also learned to build engines helping to produce up to 250 engines a year.

The girls married local late model drivers. Yvette married Tim Ice and Dawn married Mike Ward.

Ward and Ice became a threat to win at any track they pulled into. Both won several track championships and countless features. One of the biggest wins was by Ice at Jennerstown Speedway when he won the Grand Old Gang race that paid $20,000 to win.

Ice will return to run in the 65-lap feature Saturday. Ward has been preparing his car, also. Ice will be behind the wheel of a Smith Sports car. It is a great gesture by car owner Jerry Smith to put Ice behind the wheel. Jerry’s son Josh won his first late model feature in a car powered by Fast Racing Engines. The shop closed with the passing of Meihl in 2010. The 65-lap feature will be sponsored by Smith Sports and CS&SS, It will pay $3,500 to win plus lap money.

In addition to the Dave Nagel Excavating Late Models, the Amsoil Street Stocks and Noble Armor Coating Mini Stocks will be on the card. A 100-lap Enduro will cap off the night. Racing will start at 7 p.m.

Frankie Oakes (pictured) won the Heath and Sons Farms Thundercar main last Saturday night at Shady Bowl. Oakes (pictured) won the Heath and Sons Farms Thundercar main last Saturday night at Shady Bowl.

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