On Sunday, April 17, dirt track racing and the 33z lost one of the sport’s truly great guys and sponsors when Wayne Redmond died. Redmond passed away from head injuries sustained in an ATV accident on Saturday.
Redmond was a third generation racer that adopted the family’s number 61 on every car he drove.
“I was drug to the racetrack in diapers and never left,” he once explained.
A tough competitor with a great sense of humor, Redmond lived life to it’s fullest everyday.
Longtime friend Rex Merritt said, “Wayne lived life wide open.”
Redmond listed his hobbies as “Margaritas, Racing, Boating,” but it was his work at Aero Race Wheels that endeared him to racers across the nation. Redmond did a lot of the engineering and managerial work at the company, often coming up with a simple solution to a complex problem. He claimed that the Aero wheel bead straightening wrench was his invention to help the weekly racers.
When asked about the types of race cars that he has driven, Redmond said “Sprint Cars. Tried racing a Modified once … I got real good at doing 360s and keeping it going … but people were going to get hurt falling off the tops of the trailers laughing at me … so I gave that up.”
It was easy to see how Redmond was motivated as he listed as his heroes as his dad Stacy, his grandfather Jack, Jan Opperman, Doug Wolfgang, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt and Steve Kinser.
Although he gave it his all on the track, Redmond appreciated the camaraderie with his fellow racers afterwards.
“The people you are able to meet and the friendships that develop from it are the best part of racing,” Redmond said.
Redmond’s passing leaves a hole in the racing world that will not easily be filled. He will be truly missed. He believed in Zack very much, and was a great sponsor.