courtesy ofÂ Larry Tomar:
Greensboro, NC â€¦This coming weekendâ€™s 7th Annual Shriners Drag Racing & Hot Rod Expo will be highlighted by the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.
Roy Hill from High Point, NC, Max Hurley from West Jefferson, NC, Dee Simmons from Greensboro, NC, Billy West from Selma, NC and Dick Rosberg from Rockingham, NC will be honored in a special Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday at 11:00 AM.
The two day event will be held this coming Friday and Saturday, January 30 &31st at the Greensboro Coliseum Complexâ€™s Special Events Center will have over 200 cars, 100 Swap Meet participants, and over 50 commercial vendors on display. Known as the â€œBiggest Indoor Show of Its Kind in the Southâ€ it continues to grow in size and stature.
The gigantic event to benefit the Shriners Children Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina features a huge display of Drag Cars, Drag Motorcycles, Muscle Cars, Classic Cars, Street Rods, Custom Cars, Motorcycles and Trucks.
Show hours are Friday from 5:00 PM-9:30-PM. Saturdayâ€™s hours are from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.Â
BILLY WEST – Billy West of Selma, N.C. started his career in 1952 at the East Street Dragway near Benson, N.C.Â From 1956 thru 1982 Billy won races up and down the east coast in his famous 1962 Plymouth “The Little Pilgrim”.Â Billy was nicknamed ‘High Gear” because of his famous Big End MPH charges that left many racers in the dead in their tracks.
Billy lists his national event wins at Rockingham and Richmond and having Petty driving “The little Pilgrim” to the winners circle at Charlotte Motor Speedway as his most memorable days in racing.Selma is said to be one, if not the most elaborate collections in the world.Â Unfortunately Billy lost his courageous battle with cancer on November 20th, 2008.Â Fortunatly, Billy was aware ofÂ his induction to the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame before his death.
Billy became a close friend of master Mopar engine builder Maurice Petty and credits him and Petty Enterprises along with his wife Jackie as being his greatest influences and supporters.
Billy and Jackie’s Mopar collection in
A great racer – an even better person – He will be missed!
Dee SimmonsÂ – Dee Simmons of Greensboro, N.C began his professional dragracing career in 1968 and for the next 20 yearsÂ campaigned his Alcohol Funny car up and down the east coast.Â Calling Piedmont Dragway his home track, Dee was one of the finest men to campaign a professional funny car and received his encouragement to race from his college instructorsÂ in the Automotive Engineering Department at A&T State University.Ohio to Florida in his car the “Big Black Gorilla” for his showmanship and crowd pleasing driving.Â In addition to his match racing, he also won major events at dragway 42, Camden Alabama and Gulfport Mississippi.
He was known from
Dee was a forerunner in dragracing in the East Carolina’s in the 60’s and 70’s and was supported by Gene & Herbert Holloway, Ralph Moore, Lloyd Miller and Chief Engine Builder Edward Johnson.Â Â
Max Hurley – From West Jefferson, NC, Max was one of the most respected racers in North carolina.Â For 28 years he raced throughout the United States and has won approximately 280 races.Â Along with his loving and supportive wife Wanda, Max also provided help and guidance to fellow drag-racers with his “Max Hurley Speed Shop”.Â
Among his many victories, Max also won 13 national events driving the cars and engines that he personally built.Â One of his ultimate achievements was winnning the prestigious “Hemi Challenge” at the 1978 Indy race.Ultimate Racer and a True Hall of Famer!
Roy Hill -Â Roy’s passion for drag racing began in 1969 as a water boy for local legend Sam Kennedy and after 40 years of racing, he has never lost his passion for racing.1969 Plymouth Road Runner, which is not surprising since Petty Enterprises was only a few miles from his house.Â Soon after Roy began racing, Maurice Petty and Petty Enterprises were doing his engine work.Plymouth and the “Hillbilly”, as he was tagged, soon became a crowd favorite throughout the country.Â Roy has a gift of communication that has been with him since the very beginning.Â Match racing and 1/8 mile burnouts became synonymous with Roy Hill.Â Being the winner of 12 IHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock races, a World Championship and over 50 major event wins are a few of Roy’s accomplishments.Â Roy’s favorite memory was when his Ford Probe, driven by Mike Bell, won the 1995 IARA World Championship and the Pro Stock Shootout on the same day.Roy also owned Rockingham Dragway with Steve Earwood and started the “Roy Hill Driving School“, which he still owns and operates today
Max credits the support and contributions from his wife Wanda, Jim McLaren, long-time crew members Ty Kinder and Jim Bare to his success.Â Â