DeGRAFF – Bill “Hot Rod” McElfresh of Columbus will be honored Saturday night at Shady Bowl Speedway.
The race will be 55 laps paying $1,022 to win. In addition, there will be several other awards for the drivers.
The 65-year-old driver has run a limited schedule thus far in 2020. He started his racing career in 1979 in the Big Bomber class at Columbus Motor Speedway. The first car he built was a 1966 Impala, his wife’s personal car. It’s a story in itself how the car came to be. McElfresh kept taking parts off the car until it was no longer driveable. He told his wife the parts were stolen and would cost more to make it driveable. She gave in and told him he could have the car to make a race car.
McElfresh magically had the parts to get the car running. Near the end of the 1979 season he tangled with Debby Curry and destroyed his Chevy.
In 1980, he began a 10-year run on dirt tracks. He took some time off and began working on and driving front-wheel drive cars at CMS. Jimmy McElfresh and Bill Ramey, Bill’s sons, competed in the compact class and both notched feature wins in cars wrenched by Bill. Bill has retired and spends his days working on the family race cars and friends’ racers. He spends a lot of race nights going car to car helping solve problems.
He says Burgess White and the late Denny Dean are his favorite drivers.
“Those two guys have made it with no big-time sponsors and very little help. Dean and White showed you can make it to the top. I had to do it the same way,” he said.
The Wooten Automotive Modifieds, The Heath and Sons Farms Street Stocks and the Pines Home Solutions Thunder Cars will join the Harrod Septic Solutions compacts. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.