DeGRAFF – Saturday’s racing at Shady Bowl Speedway will be dedicated to the memory of Bill “Pappy” Lewis and Kenny Stookey.
Lewis was a car builder and owner of some of the quickest cars ever to compete at Shady Bowl. Lewis began his racing career as a mechanic for Fort Wayne (Ind.) driver Cliff Setser. He moved his family that included six children to Dayton in 1962. He soon was building his own cars. Lewis chased his racing dreams on a very limited budget. He never had the best of parts or a high dollar sponsor, usually 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 earned 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 died in 2011. Jim Lewis and his son Jim Jr. are carrying the Lewis legacy now. In his honor, the modifieds will run a 50-lap feature paying $1,500 to the winner.
The track will also host the annual Kenny Stookey Classic for street stocks. The event will honor the memory of Springfield driver Kenny Stookey. Kenny began his racing career in the early 1970s at the Springfield Fairgrounds. That started a career that spanned nearly 20 years and included over 100 feature wins plus several track championships.
He began his career in what would now be a hobby stock. The early years saw the C&A Auto Parts logo on his racers. Carl and Arnold Poole (C&A Auto Parts) played a huge part in his racing career.. He also drove for Donnie Long, Dick and Doug Ater, Bob Korn and Dick and Dennis Kelly.
He ran on nearly every racetrack in southwest Ohio. He also did some traveling to New Smynra (Fla.) and Winchester (Ind.) and was a contender to win anytime his car pulled in. A heart condition slowed his career and he returned where it all started when he drove his final race in 1992 in a car owned by Carl Poole. The heart issue took its toll as he died in 2003.
The race will be a 62-lap feature for the Street Stocks paying $2,000 to win. The winner of last year’s race was Piqua’s Josh Sage. There will also be a 100-lap enduro, as drivers tune up for the Clunker Classic in September. The September event will be a 300-lapper with $3,000 awaiting the winner. The second leg of the Van Hoy Shootout will also be on the schedule. That feature will be a 50-lapper for the Hobby Stocks and Thunder Car. The spectator drags will also be taking to the asphalt. Racing will start on Saturday at 7 p.m.