Ray Scheetz passed away early this morning from complications with Emphysema. Ray’s auto racing career began at the end of World War II when his Dad started preparations for the post war competition aboard his Track Roadster. Ray took to the mechanic trade and by his mid teen had caught the attention of racing Mechanic, John Pouelsen who noticed Ray's attention to detail and his organized approach to servicing the race car for the next event. Pouelsen offered Scheetz an opportunity to join his crew at Indianapolis as they took the Agajanian Special and Parnelli Jones to the Brickyard and victory in 1963. Pouelsen moved to the Bowes Seal-Fast team in 1964 through 1966 and took Ray along while campaigning with A.J. Foyt on the USAC trail.
Ray returned to southern California racing action in 1968 as the Racecar Preparation Specialist for the Morales Brothers, Don Peabody, Bill Sykes, Chuck Tucker, Billy Wilkerson, Skip Schuck, and the Kazarian Family. Some of the drivers that raced in Scheetz prepared racecars were Howard Gardner, Nick Valenta, Ray Douglas, Bob Hogle, A.J. Foyt, Chuck Hulse, Rick Goudy, Colby Scroggin, Billy Wilkerson, Booby Olivero, Bubby Jones, Don Johns, Bob Coulter and Ron Shuman with Ray collecting ten season championships. Combined these drivers worked with Scheetz to amass a total of 155 sprint car victories during his career.
In 1995 and 1996, Ray was very active in the building of Perris Auto Speedway, fabricating many parts of the state of the art catch fence. Over the years, he devoted his efforts in track preparation in much the same way as his race cars. Ray has been an important member of the staff that keeps the PAS a top notch facility.
I have lost one of my oldest and best friends! Ray loved Sprint Car Racing! In his honor, we dedicate the 18th running of the Oval Nationals to Ray. All of us at the PAS will miss Ray and our thoughts are with Leanne and his Family.