Shady Bowl to host Sceva Memorial


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The late Neal Sceva of Urbana is pictured with the famed 2JR car he won races in all over the Midwest in the late 1960s.

The late Neal Sceva of Urbana is pictured with the famed 2JR car he won races in all over the Midwest in the late 1960s.


Submitted photo

DeGRAFF – Saturday night, Shady Bowl Speedway will pay tribute to perhaps the most popular driver to race at the rural oval.

It will be the “Neal Sceva and Neal Sceva Jr. Memorial, Remembering a Legend” night.

Sceva called Urbana home, where he lived with his wife Ruth, sons David and Neal Jr, daughter Becky and stepson Roger Gillespie. Ruth and Roger have passed along with his eldest son Neal Jr.

Neal Jr. passed away after a lingering illness in Florida this spring.

Neal Sr. raced and owned a Sunoco Service station on the north edge of Urbana. He won races throughout the Midwest during his career. He was a NASCAR state champion in the early 1950s and went on to post over 600 feature wins. Perhaps the biggest win was at Salem Speedway (Ind.) when he and Joe Ruttman dueled for the win in an American Speed Association race. The duo crashed coming to the checkered, with Sceva being awarded the win. Sceva battled cancer in the twilight of his career for a second time and passed away in June of 1985.

This year’s Sceva Memorial will be a 51-lap (in honor of Sceva’s most used car number) feature for the Wooten Automotive and Towing of Urbana Street Stocks. The race will pay $2,051 to win. Dave and Becky Sceva have stepped up in a big way and added a Mac tool box with a retail value of $8,499, a 3,000-pound aluminum racing jack with a retail value of $869 and a top liner worth $1,230.

In addition, the Scevas have also donated a trophy that Neal won. There will also be Mac hats and sunglasses for the fans and free pass outs at the grandstand ticket booth (while supplies last) telling of Neal’s career. That brings the winner’s share to over $12,600 in purse and prize value. That amount of money will make this one of the top paying street stock features anywhere this season.

In addition to the Sceva Memorial, the Wooten Towing and Automotive of St. Paris Modifieds, the Harrod Septic Solutions Compacts and the Bullet Liners of Dayton Thunder Cars are also on the schedule. The King of the Enduros will compete in a 100-lapper to round out the night. Racing will start on Saturday with dashes and heats at 6:30 p.m.

The late Neal Sceva of Urbana is pictured with the famed 2JR car he won races in all over the Midwest in the late 1960s.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2022/07/web1_sceva.jpgThe late Neal Sceva of Urbana is pictured with the famed 2JR car he won races in all over the Midwest in the late 1960s. Submitted photo

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