Ray Nece *

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1989


NeceRay Head 72(1934 – 1985)

Ray Nece was born on March 18, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan. He began racing in 1951 at the age of seventeen. He drove for car owners Vern Windsor, Odie Skeen and Jim LaMay. Crewmen included Russ Angelo, Larry LaMay and Phil Windsor. He competed at many local and Midwestern short tracks – preferring dirt ½ mile ovals but making an occasional asphalt appearance. He raced against fellow Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame drivers such as Erv Baumgarten, Joy Fair, Jack Goodwin, Marv Parenteau, Benny Parsons and Art Sommers. He was the first and only four time super stock champion on dirt at his hometown Mount Clemens Race Track.

He also competed in some of the most prestigious dirt track stock car races of his era including the “Pittsburgher 200” at the Heidelberg (PA) Speedway, the “Hillbilly Hundred” at the Pennsboro (WV) Speedway – which he won in 1968 – and “World 100” at the Eldora (OH) Speedway. He retired from stock car racing in 1973 but returned in 1975 driving an Offy powered midget in the American Midget Racing Association finishing 5th in points and winning Rookie of the Year honors.

Ray NeceRay victorylane 72He was a major influence on the careers of 1982 CASCAR Late Model champion Larry Lamay and 1988 ARCA Supercar champion Tracy Leslie. Ray stayed active in the sport as owner of son John’s racing team from 1980 until his passing on February 14, 1985 while attending Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in November of 1989.

Career Highlights:

  • 1956 Set new one lap track record of 18.06 at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1956 Set new 25 lap track record of 7:52:27 at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1956 Qualified 10th at 47.57 for “Detroit 250” at Michigan State Fairgrounds.
  • 1957 – ’58 Served in the United States Army.
  • 1961 Won first career semi late 20 lap feature race at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1964 Set new one lap track record of 27.03 at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1966 Won 50 lap season championship race at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1966 Mt. Clemens Race Track Super Stock Champion – in 29 feature events had four wins, four 2nd place finishes and twenty-one top five finishes.
  • 1966 Qualified 3rd at 23.61 for “Pittsburgher 200” at Heidelberg Speedway (Pittsburgh, PA).
  • 1967 Won 50 lap Memorial Weekend, 50 lap Firecracker, 100 lap mid-season championship and 50 lap season championship races at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1967 Mt. Clemens Race Track Super Stock Champion – in 30 feature events had seven wins, five 2nd place finishes and twenty top five finishes. Was the first driver in MCRT history to compile over 5,000 points.
  • 1968 Won six 20 lap feature races at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1968 Won “Hillbilly Hundred” at Ritchie Raceway (Pennsboro, WV).
  • 1969 Won 100 lap “Spirit of ‘76” feature race at Ritchie Raceway (Pennsboro, WV).
  • 1969 Set new one lap track record of 26.15 at Mt. Clemens race Track.
  • 1969 Set new 100 lap track record of 48:01:37 winning season championship race at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1969 Mt. Clemens Race Track Super Stock Champion – in 28 feature events had nine wins, eight 2nd place finishes and twenty-four top five finishes.
  • 1970 Set new 50 lap track record of 22:11:10 winning season championship race at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • NeceRay 1967 #011970 Set new one lap track record of 24.72 for “Hillbilly Hundred” at Ritchie Raceway (Pennsboro, WV).
  • 1971 Set new 4 lap track record of 1:43:94 at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1971 Set new 6 lap track record of 2:35:81 at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1971 Won 50 lap Firecracker, 50 lap mid-season championship and 100 lap feature races at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1972 Set new one lap track record of 19.63 for “Michigan State Dirt Track Championship” at Auto City Speedway (Flint, MI).
  • 1972 Set new one lap track record of 23.46 at Clarke’s Motor Speedway (Lake Odessa, MI).
  • 1972 Won “Can-Am Independence Day” feature race at Checker Flag Speedway (Windsor, ONT).
  • 1972 Won 50 lap mid-season championship race at Mt. Clemens Race Track.
  • 1972 Mt. Clemens Race Track Super Stock Champion – in 30 feature events had seven wins, five 2nd place finishes and twenty-five top five finishes. First and only four time champion on dirt at MCRT.
  • 1973 Finished 4th in 100 lap ARCA race at Mt. Clemens Race Track and 8th in 100 lap NASCAR/ARCA Grand National East race at Toledo (OH) Speedway.
  • 1975 American Midget Racing Association Rookie of the Year.
  • 1989 Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame.

 

NeceRay & OdieSkeen 72

Race Tracks / Raceways / Speedways Competed at:

  • Adrian Fairgrounds – Adrian, Michigan
  • Attica Fairgrounds – Attica, Ohio
  • Auto City Speedway – Clio, Michigan
  • Avilla Speedway – Avilla, Indiana
  • Bay City Fairgrounds – Bay City, Michigan
  • Bob’s Picnic Park
  • Checker Flag Speedway – Windsor, Ontario
  • Clarke’s Motor Speedway – Lake Odessa, Michigan
  • Columbus Motor Speedway – Columbus, Ohio
  • Crystal Speedway – Crystal, Michigan
  • Dayus Speedway – Windsor, Ohio
  • Delaware Speedway – London, Ontario
  • Dixie Motor Speedway – Birch Run, Michigan
  • Eldora Speedway – Rossburg, Ohio
  • Flat Rock Speedway – Flat Rock, Michigan
  • Galesburg Speedway – Galesburg, Michigan
  • Heidelberg Speedway – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jackson Motor Speedway, Jackson, Michigan
  • Langhorne Speedway – Langhorne, Pennsylvania
  • M-59 Speedway – Pontiac, Michigan
  • Manistee County Fairgrounds – Onekema, Michigan
  • Mansfield Raceway – Mansfield, Ohio
  • Marion Fairgrounds – Marion, Ohio
  • NeceRay #84 midget 72Merritt Speedway – Lake City, Michigan
  • Michigan State Fairgrounds – Detroit, Michigan
  • Motor City Speedway – Warren Township, Michigan
  • Mount Clemens Race Track – Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • Muskingum County Speedway – Zanesville, Ohio
  • Owosso Speedway – Ovid, Michigan
  • Partington’s Pasture Speedway – Warren, Michigan
  • Raleigh Speedway – South Buxton, Ontario
  • Ritchie Raceway – Pennsboro, West Virginia
  • Sandusky Speedway – Sandusky, Ohio
  • Sunset Speedway – Port Huron, Michigan
  • Toledo Speedway – Toledo, Ohio
  • Tri-County Speedway – West Chester, Ohio
  • Troy Fairgrounds – Troy, Ohio