Dillow Memorial Saturday

Published 2:35 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PORTSMOUTH — It’s the 15th on the 15th.

The 15th Annual Fred Dillow Memorial Race will be held on Saturday — which happens to be Aug. 15 — at Portsmouth Raceway Park.

Dillow was a local dirt track racer who died in 1990 after a bout with leukemia. The race has been held in his honor.

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Dillow, who was 54 when he died, began racing in 1968 at local dirt tracks. Another top area driver, Delmas Conley, and local promoter Gary Cheek thought so much of Dillow they approached his family with the idea of a memorial race.

“Each year the race gets bigger and bigger,” said Susan Dillow, Fred’s daughter.

“We’ve always had a large fan base and high car count. It’s one of Portsmouth Raceway Park’s most popular races. We get a lot of great cars and a lot of great fans. The drivers love this and the fans get their money’s worth.”

Four divisions are featured: late model, limited late model, bombers and modifieds. The difference in the memorial races from other races is the sponsor money is randomly placed throughout the field in all four races, thus the drivers are unaware as to where the bonus money is until the end of the night when they step into the payoff line.

Josh McGuire won last year’s race. Eddie Carrier Jr. and R.J. Coley have won the memorial three times each and Jackie Boggs twice.

A 15-lap shootout sponsored by R&W Rentals of South Point has been added to the regular program. The 15-lap race will have 15 late model drivers competing for $1,500. The drivers participating in the race will be selected by random pill draw.

Admission for the race is $12for 16 and older, $5 for ages 12-15 and $2 for ages 7-11. Anyone 6-and-under is free. Pit passes are $22.

Dillow’s family is expected to attend. Besides Susan Dillow will be his wife, Edna, daughter Sherri and husband Mike Willis, son Steve and wife Michelle Dillow, and grandchildren Shayne Willis, Brayden Dillow and Addison Dillow.

Further information is available on the internet at freddillowmemorial.homestead.com or portsraceway.com