DeGRAFF — Shady Bowl Speedway will honor the memory of one of its most famous alumni when it hosts the “Lee Raymond Memorial” for modifieds on Saturday. The open-wheelers will compete in a 67-lap feature. Raymond was a local driver who went on to find fame in the ARCA Racing series.
The two-time ARCA Racing Series national driving champion died from lung cancer in 2013. He was 59 at the time of his passing. His ARCA career stretched from 1979 through 1993, Raymond made 136 career ARCA starts, earning back-to-back championships in 1985 and 1986. Raymond’s ARCA titles came in car owner Jim Coyle’s famous orange No. 1 Riverside Auto Parts Chevrolet.
Raymond also finished second in the championship standings in 1982 to Scott Stovall and again in 1987 to Bill Venturini. The 1982 ARCA Rookie of the Year, he won seven times during his ARCA career on a wide variety of tracks, from his career-first win at ARCA’s quarter-mile Flat Rock (Mich.) Speedway on May 29, 1982 to his final series win on the 2.5-mile triangular Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on June 18. He also won the Jiffy Lube 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in November of 1985, holding off Brett Bodine for the victory.
He also won the Southern Illinois 200 race event at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds dirt mile in September of 1985. Other ARCA wins were at Flat Rock and at Muskingum County (Ohio) Speedway in 1982, and at Spartan (Mich.) Speedway in 1984. He won nine pole awards over his career at Atlanta and Pocono in 1988, two at Flat Rock in 1983, two at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1984 and 1985, two at the Illinois State Fairgrounds dirt mile in 1984 and 1986, and at Kil-Kare (Ohio) Speedway in 1986. He earned 45 top-five finishes, 66 top-10s and led 1,117 laps in 43 races overall. He made his first ARCA start at Flat Rock in 1979, finishing 15th in 1979. Lee won the late model stock car track championship at Dayton the following year, which helped launch his ARCA career.
His final ARCA start came at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1993, finishing 22nd. One of only a handful of father-son ARCA winners, his father Joe Raymond won an ARCA race at Dayton Speedway.
In addition to the modifieds, the street stocks, pure stocks, tuners compacts and spectator drag cars will tackle the oval on Saturday. The compacts will be a non-points night. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.