DeGRAFF – Saturday’sracing at Shady Bowl Speedway will be dedicated to the memory of Bill “Pappy” Lewis.
Lewis was a builder and owner of some the quickest cars ever to compete at Shady Bowl. Lewis began his racing career as a mechanic for Fort Wayne driver Cliff Setser. He moved his family that included six children to Dayton in 1962. He soon was building his own cars. Lewis was a fellow who chased his racing dreams on a very limited budget. He never had the best of parts or a high dollar sponsor, racing out of his own pocket. The names of some of the drivers who piloted his cars included Dick Eder, Art Scott, Clyde Bail, Hank Hoerner, Bill Mullins and his youngest son Rick.
Lee Raymond, a two-time ARCA champion, was also a driver of his stock car. Lewis garnered several awards for his efforts including The Dick Freeman Memorial Award, The Outstanding Service Award from Shady Bowl Speedway and the KilKare Speedway Golden Wrench Award. The team posted many wins and track championships over the years. He was also a founding member of the Dayton Auto Racing Fan Club (DARF). Lewis passed away in 2011. Jim Lewis and his son Jim Jr. are carrying the Lewis legacy now. The street stock that is now being driver by Lewis Jr. is the last car Lewis built.
In his honor the modifieds will run a 50-lap feature paying $1,500 to the winner. The late models, street stocks, compacts, pure stocks super compacts and the spectator drag racing cars will also see action. Racing will start at 7 p.m.
It will also be “Kids Night,” one of the most fun-filled nights of the season. Young fans will take to the oval as they will compete on big wheels. There will be three age groups, with the oldest bracket running a full lap around the 3/10th mile oval. There will also be a penny scramble. Parents should bring a bag to put the pennies in.
In addition the race teams, fans, local businesses and track employees have donated either cash or products and backpacks. The backpacks, full of school supplies, will be given to children. The back packs are free of charge while supplies last. If you want to help out with backpacks, donations will be selected Thursday and Friday at the track (10-4 p.m.) or you can drop off items in the tower on Saturday.