Ron "Red" Griffin
Nominated by Tracy Sleeter
Story by Tracy Sleeter
Bloomington, Illinois' Ron "Red" Griffin...even though he was a driver since he was sixteen,
he has been a race fan since I believe 1975 when his son Rocky Griffin started driving
sportsman car.  

Red Griffin, Jason and Austin Feger's grandpa raced stock cars starting in 1952. As a young
man he raced with Junior Snow and other local heros in Lincoln, Illinois. Red joined the
service as soon as he was out of high school.

While being stationed in Germany he met and married Maria Gruber. After returning to the
states in 1959, Red soon hit the tracks again. He raced when ever possible at what ever track
was close to an Army base.

Red returned to Bloomington in 1966 and was soon driving a car for Don Erlenbush of
Bloomington. The car was #27 an old Buick, Baby Huey, which they ran at Fairbury every
Saturday night and at the 1/4 mile track in Springfield.

Red also drove cars for Cleve "Smitty" Smith of Southtown Wrecker Service. Smitty owned
an orange red Chevelle #25. They raced at almost every track in Illinois. Another car was
owned by Harold Rotamel.

Red, Ed and Bob Griffin built a 65 Mustang stock car in the late sixties with the help of their
young sons, Bruce Griffin and Rocky Griffin. Cars that followed were a Challenger, an
Charger and than another Chevelle owned by Cleve. Most of the cars he drove were number

Red had raced at the following Illinois tracks in the 1950s, 1960s and early1970s:  Fairbury,
Farmer City, Peoria, Charleston, Springfield, Lincoln & Kankakee and the old Rolla
Speedway in Missouri.

Red quit driving in 1974, due to a extremely bad racing accident at Champaign County
Fairgrounds in Illinois.

They raced the cars on the flat horse track, he flipped and went through a wooden fence.  He
had over 175 stitches in his side due to the wood embedding in him, the wood went right
through the sheet metal.  He wouldn't have been hurt if it were not for the wood.

He was in the hospital for nearly 3 months and unable to work for nine, the doctors did not
think he would be able to walk again, but proved them wrong.

Today, you'll find Red up in the stands supporting Austin and Jason while they compete in the
purple #25.

For the last six years he has been Jason Feger's number one fan regardless of how his
grandson competed.  He has always been a die hard racing fan, attending as many events as
possible, including auctions, trade shows and racing parties.  Nearly all of his friends are racers
or all involved in racing somehow.

Up until the end of last summer he would be ready to go to any track which Jason was racing
at.  If able, he would get there in time to watch them pack the track, hot laps and so on.