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Hillen "Hilly" Rife
BORN: September 1, 1927  -  DIED:September 17, 2010 
Age: 83
Home: Ormond Beach, FL & Pennsylvania

NASCAR pioneer Hilly Rife passes away

Obituary:

Rife, Hillen “Hilly” –who celebrated his 83rd birthday on Sept. 1, was born in New Oxford, PA and succumbed to this life on Sept. 17, 2010. A 5:00 PM gathering followed by a 7:00 service will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, at the Ormond Chapel of the Lohman Funeral Home. New Oxford, PA Services will be under the direction of Fred Feiser’s Funeral Home, 302 Lincoln Way West. Visitation will be Thursday from 6-8 and funeral service Friday at 11:00 AM with interment to follow at the New Oxford Cemetery. Hilly shared most of his life with his wife of 65 years, Becky, on their family farm in New Oxford, but moved to Ormond Beach in 1991; they periodically returned to their family farm, which has been in their family for nine generations. He was the son of Vernon Rife and Edith Griffin Rife, who along with his siblings, Harold Rife and Dorothy Deardorff preceded him in death. Hilly was a very colorful individual who lived more than nine lives. He survived three airplane accidents, three serious racecar accidents, a mugging at gunpoint, among other close visits with death, but it was the ravaging disease of cancer that he finally submitted to. Anyone who knew Hilly knew many of the stories in his life; there was never any need to exaggerate because his life was unbelievable enough. He was a member of the First Lutheran Church, past president of the New Oxford Lions Club, a Rotarian, a member of the New Oxford Chamber of Commerce, an Honorary member of the Elks and Moose Lodge of Hanover, PA and Ormond Beach, FL. He was on the Board of Directors of the Conklin Center for the Blind, the past Northeastern Regional Director for NASCAR in the early 70’s, Vice President of Motor Racing Heritage, and instrumental in the founding of the Living Legends of Auto Racing in Daytona and Ormond Beach, FL, for which he was recently honored and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Hilly built Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, PA and strongly promoted the “Outlaw” Sprint Car Racing in its infancy. He also promoted racetracks in Bedford, Dorsey and Susquehanna Speedway. He was a racetrack owner, driver, promoter, but most of all a fan of the sport of racing, and did all he could to promote the sport his entire life. In his earlier years he had a Used Car Lot in New Oxford, and then later sold airplanes before retiring to Ormond Beach. He loved flying almost as much as racing, but even more than racing he loved his wife, family, and dogs. He was remembered by people in PA always with his cigar; in Ormond there was the cigar, his Stetson hat and bolo. Mr. Rife is survived in death by his remarkable wife, Elizabeth Rebecca “Becky” Wenschhof Rife, who he always thought was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, his daughter Vicki Hughes-Micheli of Ormond Beach, two sons Hillen “Hilly” Rife Jr. of New Oxford, PA, and Larry Rife of Hanover, PA, nine grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and numerous extended family and friends that he would have considered close family as well.

Memorials: Donations can be made in his honor to the Conklin Center for the Blind or Motor Racing Heritage / Living Legends of Auto Racing. Arrangements are under the careful direction of Lohman Funeral Home Ormond.

Services:
7:00PM at Lohman Funeral Home Ormond Chapel on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 (map/driving directions)

In a sport Rife with colorful characters, Hilly stands out

By GODWIN KELLY, Motorsports editor  DB News-Journal   

One of the benefits of covering motorsports on a regular basis is meeting some of the sport's many characters along the way, guys with names like "Cigar" Joe and "Chocolate" Myers or the many Pee Wees and Cannonballs.

You might not see their names in the newspaper a bunch, but, believe me, they help make stock-car racing a fascinating study in human behavior.

And that brings me to one Hillen Rife. Folks that know Rife would ask, "Who the heck is Hillen?" because the racing legend has been called Hilly most of his life.

Hilly looks like the typical Florida retiree, living the good life in a comfortable house in a nice neighborhood.

You never would guess that at one time in his career he made a living by repossessing airplanes or that he led a one-man campaign to get drugs out of professional racing.

"There were drivers who taped these pills called 'bennies' to their dashboards so they would not lose their focus during a race," Hilly said. "They would tape four or five of them and take them as the race went along."

The term "bennies" is a slang for the drug Benzedrine, an amphetamine that according to medicine journals produces a euphoric stimulation.

Hilly didn't think drugs and racing mixed, so he worked with the FBI for some 30 years on various cases involving folks who pushed this type of poison into the sport.

As an aviator, Hilly said he "only crashed three times," and acknowledged several other close calls with the yoke in his hands.

"I'm still here, right?" he said with a chuckle.

RACING CIRCLES

In racing circles, Hilly Rife was known as a track operator and master promoter.

He helped engineer, finance and build the three-eighths mile racetrack known as Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa., in 1952. It was on that track where he suffered his worst racing injury, a gash to the head.

Rife survived a nip-and-tuck operation, which was paid in full by William Henry Getty France, also known as Bill France Sr., Big Bill or just Bill, the guy who founded NASCAR.

Rife helped France save racing from legislative extinction and Big Bill returned the favor by saving his friend's life.

I got to know Hilly Rife way back when after writing an opinion piece on why races at Dover International Speedway should be shortened from 500 to 400 miles.

He sat me down and talked sense -- promoter sense -- for a good 30 minutes until I found the escape hatch.

"Racetrack owners make a lot of their money on concessions," he explained to me, pointing the ever-present cigar in my face. "The longer the race, the better. Why on Earth would we want to shorten the racing program?"

FRY KING

Almost everyone 50 or older in the racing business has a story or two or three about Hilly Rife, the only man in America (other than Ray Kroc) to make a fortune selling french fries.

"You just cut them up and fry 'em," said Rife, revealing his long-held secret recipe. "Potatoes cost practically nothing. Sold a lot of 'em during rain delays."

Of course, that goes back to the longer the race, the better for the promoter.

Rife was the consummate promoter. Anybody calling Lincoln Speedway for a weather report -- "Is it raining at the track?" -- would get the same answer from the guy running the show.

"It's bright and clear," he would say, even in street-flooding conditions.

It wasn't a fib at all, because that is the way this racing man, Hillen "Hilly" Rife has always looked at life, sunny-side up.

An interview with Hilly Rife and Patty Teague about Marshall Teague

 

 

 

Big Bill's friend fights

By AUDREY PARENTE, Staff writer  DB News-Journal  

Spinning tires spit dirt at Pennsylvania's Lincoln Speedway during a Saturday night race in 1957.

Track owner/driver Hilly Rife had just taken the lead in the No. 999, a burgundy-and-ivory painted Ford modified, when he was bumped hard enough by Johnny Mackison Sr. to launch Rife's car over a steel railing.

As his car crumpled, Rife's skull fractured. He remembers nothing about what happened for a month after that, but a swirling drama followed. It's the kind of stuff that followed Rife his whole life.

 

 

Among NASCAR insiders, Rife is well known. He retired to Ormond Beach in 1992 to drive Bill France Sr. around for a year before the Daytona International Speedway founder died.

Since then, Rife has been an unheralded figure behind Speed Weeks fundraisers and racing legends groups activities that honor race heroes -- never himself.

Now, at 82, he's fighting for his life again, this time against cancer. Rife is undergoing chemotherapy to fight small cell lung cancer, which has spread to his liver and bones.

More than 50 years ago, Rife showed he's a battler.

In a recent interview he told how, in 1957, he was in a coma, not expected to live the morning after the Lincoln Speedway crash when France Sr., who owed Rife more than a few favors, made a call.

"Bill France called Dr. John Chambers of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, one of the best neurosurgeons in the country," Rife said. "Chambers lived on (what once was) Hitler's yacht, but a storm was coming up, so he was in Pennsylvania. He drove 80 miles to operate on me."

After a six-hour surgery and 28 days unconscious, Rife awoke. Nine days later he walked out of the hospital. France paid the bills, Rife said.

Seven months later Rife scorched the sands of Daytona Beach at more than 122 mph in a Plymouth Golden Commando.

Rife's list of calamities is long, as his is penchant for being involved in interesting tales.

He lost a thumb in a wreck while outlaw racing, suffered broken legs in a trackside accident and as a pilot survived three plane crashes. Rife also worked secretly for the FBI to clean out drugs from racing, his "largest-ever track insurance" policy made headlines and his speedway sold what he said were the country's best french fries.

"It's amazing when you think about it -- Hilly was still a relatively young man in his mid-20s when he built Lincoln Speedway and absolutely made it work," said Buz McKim, historian at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

"He was a pioneer in the art of promoting and realized early that it was show business as opposed to sport," McKim said. "His overall appearance tickles me -- with his bolo tie, cowboy hat and cigar and a booming voice with the quintessential gift of gab."

McKim said Rife was great at lining up fans, but his driving experience let him know what drivers needed. "He tried to make it work for both sides, treating his people right."

Rife's relationship with France Sr. is "a little-known story," McKim said.

One incident that cemented Rife with France happened in the mid-1950s, when an Oregon senator proposed a national race ban after a series of deadly crashes at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway and Indianapolis. AAA stopped sanctioning races as anti-racing sentiment mounted.

France worried, so Rife, who owned a farm adjacent to President Eisenhower's farm, arranged for NASCAR representative Ed Otto to meet in Washington, D.C., with Ike and Pennsylvania State House Rep. Francis Worley, in the hopes of heading off a ban.

Eddie Roche, archivist at Motorsports Images and Archives, said Rife always does for others.

"He helped Bobby Allen become the No. 1 World of Outlaws sprint car driver," Roche said. "Here (in Daytona Beach) he's been very big in the community and gives his all to charities."

Former Conklin Center for the Blind employee Jill McConville said Rife serves on the Conklin Board and is "the best volunteer." He has provided fundraising ideas, business contacts, memorabilia and countless volunteer manpower hours.

Hilly during Birthplace of Speed Events with Sue Davis, head of the Stanley Steamer Museum in Maine - 2003"Hilly would sell tables to the annual Race Week Celebrity Auction and provide racing related auction items," McConville said. "He would show up with such racing greats as Tim Flock or Bobby Allison."

Roland Via, former host of "Totally Racing" on local radio, said Rife was a "kingpin" in starting Living Legends of Auto Racing and Motor Racing Heritage.

"He also was pivotal in putting together some of the initial people for the Birthplace of Speed events (in Ormond Beach) and brought beach racing back," Via said.

For the first few years Rife worked as a flagman, arranged for entertainment and paid for trophies and T-shirts.

"He didn't like cheap trophies and knew, as a promoter, that people liked trophies that represented something," Via said.

Rife said he plans to conquer cancer and is inspired by a Bill France photo on his wall.

"I thank him every night as I go to bed," Rife said. "If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here."

THE HILLY RIFE STORY  Old Story by Bob MaGinley, Illustrated Speedway News - Speedway Personalities

Some say Hilly is “crazy,” a spendthrift and fool, Others state that he is a “Promoter’s” promoter always working to further the reputation of his already famous “Fabulous” Lincoln Speedway.

Farm boy, race driver, auto dealer and track owner, Hilly Rife at 38 years has parlayed a love for auto racing, sharp business mind and an effervescent personality into a three-track stock car circuit promotion.

The Dorsey Speedway, Elkridge, Ms., the “Fabulous” Lincoln Speedway and the Susquehanna Speedway, Newberrytown, Pa. to go make up the operation.

Born Sept. 1, 1927 on a dairy farm in New Oxford, Pa., Hilly spent his youth as a farm boy doing chores and dreaming of his ambition to become an aircraft pilot.

He attended New Oxford, Pa. High School and in 1945 married Beckey E. Wenschhof. They now have three children, Vickie Diana, 20; Hillen G, 18, and Larry E., 18.

Hilly’s interest in auto racing dates back to the resumption of the sport in the Penna. Area, following World War II, Ted Horn, Bill Holland, Bill Schindler and Tommy Hinnershitz became his idols.

In 1949 Hilly Rife started his racing career. He purchased a ’37 Ford coupe from Bob Mundorf of York, Pa. and competed in his first even at the Mason Dixon Spdwy., Oxford, Pa.

From 1950 to 1953 the Lancaster, Pa. Speedway and Mason Dixon provided the experience he needed to become a winning driver.

Hilly became President of the newly formed Lincoln Speedway Corp. in 1953 on the strength of his racing knowledge.

Late model competition in 1953 with the Penn-Mar Racing Assn., in addition to his Sports-Modified activities, led to NASCAR Grand National rides in 1954.

Driving the Kuhn Auto Sales 1954 Dodge Coronet, the late and great Joe Weatherly paid the then handsome sum of $85.00 for Hilly to appear at his Virginia Beach, Va., Speedway with his fast and sharp appearing Dodge.

During 1955 Hilly copped 17 features. A nasty spill at Lancaster cost him his right thumb. Four weeks later, he won his first feature race at the Lincoln Speedway.

1956 saw the driver-promoter finish 2nd in points at Lincoln and Lancaster without a feature win.

The untimely end of what could have been a brilliant driving career came in a near-fatal flip over the first turn bank of the Lincoln Speedway on June 29, 1957. Prior to the accident Hilly copped seven features in the famous #999 Ford.

After 12 weeks of convalescence, it was confirmed that Hilly was sidelined from oval competition and relegated to the role of full time promoter.

In 1958 driving a “showroom” Plymouth Golden Commando, on the sands at Daytona Beach, Fla. During “Speed Weeks” Hilly out scored the “factory” Plymouths with a blistering 122.256 through the measured mile traps.

In 1959 the ambitious New Oxford promoter became sole owner of the Lincoln Speedway and a new era of race promoting came to light in the Central Penna. Area.

Flamboyant advertising, diversified competition, introduction of split shows, added attractions, and the Institution of Modified racing at Lincoln headed a long line of “firsts” that appealed to the race fans and packed the Lincoln Speedway for every race meet.

To show his appreciation to the fans for their loyalty, Hilly presented a full show of racing, paying $3,100.00 in purses while allowing all spectators into the Speedway for FREE.

Langhorne’s co-promoter Irv Fried, witnessing a regular weekly Modified race program dubbed the action “Fabulous.” Hilly quick on the uptake incorporated it into the track name.

The Hilly Rife promotional methods have earned him the reputation of a “Free Swinger.” Close studies of the operations reveal a definite purpose behind every move that pays of at the box office.

In 1964 the Lincoln Speedway and Hilly Rife attracted National attention after Hilly negotiated the “impossible” insurance coverage, the broadest in THE WORLD for ANY speedway. Today the entire racing industry has broadened its coverage of competitors and spectators alike as the result.

Asked the formula for his success, Hilly states, “A love for racing. You have to be aware of the problems of drivers and owners, try to please the spectators at all times. Present new and interesting shows that will keep the fans coming back.”

Good quality food at sensible prices at the concussion stands in another must. His record of 5300lbs of French Fries for one race meet is proof that fans like their food.

When questioned about his promotions, Hilly said, “I feel that cleanliness and safety are the two most important factors where the race plant is concerned. We have a doctor in attendance at Lincoln with our own hospital. Two ambulances assure the show continuing the case of an emergency.

The condition the racetrack is in reflects itself in the type of show that results. We work on all of our dirt surfaces all week long in an attempt to have the best surface possible.

Some say I’m a nut and a “show-off” with some of the ideas I get. As a promoter I do my best to attract attention to the sport, and my operations are as it should be, at least that’s my feelings.

Racing, next to my family, is my life. I try to make it a success, and will continue to improve the sport in any small way that I can.”

A big cigar, horned rimmed glasses and cheerful smile are the trademark of this hustling impresario of speed, that is in the thick of things at all of his race meets. Some say he’s “way out,” others respect him for what he is, a “promoter’s” promoter.

Hilly takes it all in stride with a chuckle and sly smile, doing what he loves best, promoting. Along the way he has acquired a “multi-engine” pilot license logging 2,100 hours in the air, “as a hobby.”

Source: Illustrated Speedway News, Year: Unknown
From: Rife's Racing by Austin Rife WEBSITE

Notes: I spoke with Hilly Rife on March 7, 2009. What a fun guy to talk with! Here’s some things Hilly thought would be interesting to share with the race fans.

  • The first sprint car that raced at Lincoln Speedway in 1968 was Gus Linderman in the #69 sprinter.

  • The winner received $1,000.00 for the first feature win at Lincoln Speedway (a LOT of $ in those days).

  • The admission for the first race at Lincoln Speedway was $1.50 per person.

NASCAR Got Right With Ike
By Audrey Parente, Staff Writer - News-Journal Corporation

A cigar-chewing race-promoter sidekick of Bill France Sr. sat down with President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Gettysburg, Pa., restaurant to save auto racing from oblivion.

During the mid-1950s, an Oregon senator proposed a national ban on the activity, after deadly racing accidents at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, Pa., and Indianapolis.

Efforts to curb racing also were under way in Italy, Switzerland and France after a disastrous accident at a LeMans race in France in 1955. A Mercedes plunged into the spectators, killing the driver and at least 80 people and injuring more than 100 men, women and children.

"People alive today have no idea about how many people used to be killed in and around auto racing -- not only race drivers but cars regularly went into the grandstands," said Edgar Otto of Boca Raton. His father was the fast-talking promoter, Ed Otto, who met with the 34th president on behalf of NASCAR.

At this time, AAA also sanctioned auto races but pulled out as anti-race press and public sentiment mounted. France was getting worried, Otto said in an interview in Ormond Beach, where he recently promoted his book, "Ed Otto, NASCAR's Silent Partner."

"France said to my dad: 'You are a Yankee. Why don't you go on up to Washington and see what you can do about this?,' " Otto said.

Otto's father called Pennsylvania race promoter Hilly Rife, who owned a farm adjacent to President Eisenhower's farm, used for weekend retreats.

Rife, now of Ormond Beach, said he called Pennsylvania state Rep. Francis Worley.

"He was a friend of my family and would do everything for me," Rife said. "I said, 'Can you get me in touch with Ike?' And in two weeks he had it worked out."

A meeting was arranged at a downtown restaurant. Rife drove Otto into Gettysburg and met Worley.

"I waited across the street. Francis Worley took Ed into the restaurant," Rife said. "Ed came out first, and Francis came out later with Ike.

"Ed said Ike told him: 'Don't worry about a thing; it won't go any further, and if it does, I will stop it. You can go back to Daytona and tell them they don't have to worry about it,' " Rife said.

Otto said NASCAR followed up by making racing safer, "not only for the drivers but for the spectators."

Source: 2007 News-Journal Corporation. ® www.news-journalonline.com.

 

LINCOLN SPEEDWAY ANNIVERSARY
1952–2002


With Barry Skelly, Bryan Householder,
and Doug Rothenbach


This Lincoln, PA, history, published on the track’s 50th anniversary in 2002, is in glossy program format.

It covers
Hilly Rife’s world-class speedway from the early modified shows, through the invasion of the “bugs,” to the sprinters in the current era.

Soft cover, 80 pages, over 250 photos, some color, and yearly stats.    
S-957    Price: $9.95

Hilly was an innovator and instigator. He did create controversy at times. He once said "If you ain't creatin' controversy so they're talkin 'bout you, you ain't doin' nothing!"

Buck Guilfoy:  Interviewed by Dave Zortman
Okay... Hilly Rife (controversial Lincoln Speedway promoter)?

Buck: Well... I know this is gonna be a sore spot in some people's sides, but I'm sorry... Hilly Rife, as far as I'm concerned, was a good guy. He done things for me for five... for more than five years. He sponsored my race car. For the whole five years I ran the car that I have now, he sponsored it. In fact, Hilly Rife painted it, had it lettered and everything, when we built it. It's got "The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway" on top of it. If I needed anything, I went and talked to Hilly and I got it. 

One time, at Lincoln Speedway, and the back of the quick change rear broke off. He comes walking over and says, "Why are you loaded up? Why are you going home?"  I showed him. Dick Tobias had the parts truck at the race track. He walked down to Dick Tobias and here he come back with a rear in a box. At that time, you got the ring and pinion, jack shaft and everything. He threw it on the tailgate of the truck and said, "Here, now go home and get it fixed." An, he said, "By the way... you gotta go down and get a set of gears because I didn't know what gears you needed." They gave you a set of gears with a rear back then. 

But, Hilly Rife, he's living in Florida now. I see him every time I go down there. As far as I'm concerned, and this is my opinion and not a lot of other's people's opinion, but he's a great guy. He done everything for me that he could do. And, he went past that at times for me. So, you know, I can't say nothing bad about Hilly. He never did nothing bad to me. That's it. I just will not say nothing bad about him. I mean, I had people really jump on me about that, but I'm sorry. That's the way it is. 


Hilly and his beloved wife Becky


At home in Ormond Beach, Florida


Know these guys with Hilly? Email HERE with names


Rex White, Walt Keller, Ron Piasecki, Debbie, Hilly in Holly Hill, Florida


Edgar Otto, son of Ed Otto and Hilly Rife


Hilly Spins in Turn 4 at Marlboro in 1953


Gary Jenurm, Timmy Rivers, Roland Via, Hilly (Flagman)
Birthplace of Speed Event

Yes, It's TRUE!
HILLY RIFE: NASCAR Racer (as told to Roland Via by Hilly Rife)
Hilly always spoke of THE Nascar race he ran..... ONCE.  September 17, 2010

THE race was June 27th, 1954 in race number 21 of 37 on the NASCAR Grand National schedule being held at Williams Grove Speedway in his home state at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It's unknown what his starting position was in the 41 car field for the 200 lap event on the half mile dirt oval, but Hilly claims it was next to Lee Petty, in 16th place in the 8th row. Petty was also racing a new '54 Dodge just like Hilly's and would go on the become the 1954 Grand National Champion in his dependable finishing Dodge finishing with 7 victories.

A little lack of horsepower and minor mechanical maladies relegated Hilly to a 23rd place finish but Hilly bragged about how wide he made the car when the likes of Herb Thomas, Dick Rathman, Hershel McGriff, Buck Baker, Lee Petty and other hot shoes of the day had a hard time passing him initially. He knew they wouldn't bump him out of the way as he was a track owner and promoter and they knew not to "bump the hand that feeds them". He did it just "too aggravate them" and then gave way to them the rest of the race. He knew that with 21,600 people in the stands that the Lincoln Speedway sponsored and lettered car was getting attention. "Hey," he said, "it's free advertising!"

Dick Rathman earned the pole in his Pure Oil sponsored '54 Hudson owned by John Ditz with a speed of 54.945 mph and was the only car to finish on the lead lap, four car lengths back of eventual winner Herb Thomas in his famous '54 Hudson number 92. Thomas, who was in his heyday of racing winning 12 of the 37 races and the reigning Grand National Champion, averaged 51.085 mph with no caution flags (on a DIRT track!?). Thomas led 150 laps in the one hour and 57 minute race and earned a whopping $1,000 for his victory. Hilly earned.....nothing! $0!

Later, Rife participated in Daytona Beach Measured Mile Speed Trials, but not in the beach races themselves. From the Hilly Rife Story article above, it reports that in 1958 Hilly drove a “showroom” Plymouth Golden Commando and out scored the “factory” Plymouths with a blistering 122.256 through the measured mile traps.

Every Birthplace of Speed event in Ormond Beach we would hear the story over and over again on how he "conquered the sand". He said he would light his cigar before the run and he would run so fast that the wind would burn his cigar quickly down to a stub. "Damn near burned my lips!" he would exaggerate. And every time we would laugh and revel at his story.

Hilly was very instrumental in forming the Motor Racing Heritage Association which eventually because the organization to bring the Centennial of the Birthplace of Speed. He approached me as I was doing a radio show at the time and he knew that he could get some free publicity if he got the radio guy to do the announcing for the event at the beach. How could you say no to Hilly? His enthusiasm was contagious. Come to think of it, I don't think he ever asked the question, he just assumed you would do it if he wanted to do it.

We had some outstanding committee people promoting the races, but he always brought up that it was me through the radio promotion who "brought out the most people, from 500 one year to over 5,000 the next year to the beach event."

"No, Hilly," I would remind him, "it was YOU."

He remains to this day the only person who could repeat all his stories over and over again, but you would never tire hearing them. They were polished and finely honed over the years and this story of his one and only Nascar race was one of them.

Can you just imagine what kind of races that Hilly, Big Bill and Junior are cooking up at the big track in the sky? And I know they have been missing his stories too and they are smiling ear to ear with Hilly telling them once again.

Roland Via


Hilly Rife 1954 Grand National Racing Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1954   1 of 37 0 0 0 0 174 0 0 179   23.0
1 year 1 0 0 0 0 174 0 0   ? 23.0
Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
21 Mechanicsburg 41   23 30   Dodge 174/200 0 running 0
 1 start, 174 of 200 laps completed (87.0%), 0 laps led
 Win:     0 (  0.0%)     Average start:     ?     Total Winnings: $0
 Top 5:   0 (  0.0%)     Average finish: 23.0     (excluding bonuses)
 Top 10:  0 (  0.0%)     DNF: 0
Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
1   92    Herb Thomas Herb Thomas '54 Hudson 200 1,000 running 150
2 1 3    Dick Rathman Pure   (John Ditz) '54 Hudson 200 650 running 50
3   14    Hershel McGriff Frank Christian '54 Oldsmobile 199 450 running 0
4   82    Joe Eubanks Oates Motor Co.   (Phil Oates) '51 Hudson 199 350 running 0
5   80    Jimmie Lewallen George Hutchens '54 Mercury 197 300 running 0
6   87    Buck Baker Griffin Motors   (Bob Griffin) '53 Oldsmobile 197 250 running 0
7 15 42    Lee Petty Petty Enterprises '54 Dodge 196 200 running 0
8   23    Ralph Liguori George Miller '54 Hudson 195 150 crash 0
9   1    Elton Hildreth Elton Hildreth '51 Nash 193 100 running 0
10   100    Blackie Pitt Gary Drake '54 Oldsmobile 193 100 running 0
11   121    Dean Pelton   '51 Studebaker 193 25 running 0
12   7    Jim Reed Jim Reed '51 Hudson 192 25 crash 0
13   43    Whitey Brainerd   '49 Ford 187 25 running 0
14   21    Laird Bruner Carmen Amica '53 Oldsmobile 185 25 running 0
15   44    Bill Blair Elmer Brooks '52 Oldsmobile 184 25 running 0
16   11    Eddie Riker   '51 Oldsmobile 183 25 running 0
17   126    Dave Terrell Dave Terrell '54 Dodge 181 25 running 0
18   81    Bill Barker   '50 Plymouth 181 25 running 0
19   111    Joe Bill O'Dell   '49 Ford 180 25 running 0
20   74    Peck Peckham Peck Peckham '51 Hudson 178 25 running 0
21   2    Jack Clarke   '49 Plymouth 176   running 0
22   119    Ray Duhigg   '49 Ford 175   running 0
23   30    Hilly Rife   '54 Dodge 174   running 0
24   34    Gene Holcomb   '54 Nash 172   running 0
25   93    Ted Chamberlain Ted Chamberlain '50 Plymouth 170   running 0
26   6    Dick Kable Ralph Liguori '54 Dodge 168   oil pressure 0
27   150    Dick Hallock   '50 Lincoln 167   running 0
28   41    Ken Fisher Ken Fisher '54 Hudson 161   running 0
29   71    Ed Paskovich   '50 Ford 153   running 0
30   40    Frank Hannellburg   '53 Hudson 147   running 0
31   17    Charles McDuffie Jim Reed '51 Ford 109   fuel line 0
32   47    Harvey Eakin Harvey Eakin '53 Nash 97   bearing 0
33   212    John McGinley John McGinley '53 Hudson 94   crash 0
34   48    Shelby Colby   '53 Dodge 82   brakes 0
35   148    Chuck Hansen   '53 Oldsmobile 78   wheel 0
36   172    John Dodd, Sr.   '52 Willys 62   brakes 0
37   69    Volney Schulze   '50 Ford 46   overheating 0
38   58    Pete Moxley   '54 Nash 40   piston 0
39   120    Russ Hepler Walt Chapman '53 Hudson 40   spindle 0
40   4    Charlie Cregar   '54 Chrysler 24   wheel 0
41   171    Dizzy Dean   '51 Hudson 1   wheel 0
Lap leaders: D. Rathmann 1-5, H. Thomas 6-10, D. Rathmann 11-15, H. Thomas 16-21, D. Rathmann 22-61, H. Thomas 62-200


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