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Ronnie Weedon

(Pleasant Valley, IA) – Few drivers live to realize they had become legends. Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley was one of the exceptions. He won more than 500 feature races in a career that began in 1948 – he was just 16 at the time – and he was still racing when he died at age 73. Few who knew him doubted that there were still some feature wins to be had, even though he raced against younger drivers, many of them more than 50 years younger. He switched from late models to modifieds in the last few seasons and he was in his garage, working on his car, when he was killed. His car fell off the stand, pinning him underneath. Ronnie Weedon won his 500th career feature on Friday, Aug. 15, 2003 at Davenport Speedway. The 500 career feature wins means Ronnie has captured, on average, 9.09 main events for every year he has competed. Weedon began his racing career at the Mahoney’s Track, now Lake Canyada in West Davenport. Weedon’s first race car was the same car he drove back and forth to and from the former Davenport High School. He was already driving race cars when he married his wife, Dee, in 1961. Dee was ‘just tickled to death’ when she watched her husband win for the 500th time. Not only did she become involved in Ronnie’s racing career, in later years it was just Ronnie and Dee working on the car. “We used to have a big crew, and all the women would sit together in the stands,” Weedon once said. “Now, I suppose, if she wasn’t so helpful with it, I’d have to quit. Without her, I’d be alone down in the pits.” Weedon was in his 70’s, but still young at heart. “It’s only true in how you feel. It isn’t true in how people look at you. To the younger ones, though, you’re still the old fart,” Weedon said. On his last race car, Weedon had printed on the back … “It’s not how old the dog in the fight is … it’s how much fight is in the old dog.” There was lots of “fight” in the “old dog” driving the familiar #00.