Billy Kimmel 
September 22, 1979 - September 2, 2007

To all of our disbelief, Billy passed away Sunday night September 2, 2007 due to injuries sustained from a sprint car crash at Williams Grove.    Please keep Billy & his family in your prayers.  During this time of need is when family matters most. 

A person like Billy Kimmel is not one that can be replaced or forgotten, he was a person who would stop what he was doing, jump in the truck and come down to help someone else with there race car or whatever.  He was a rare breed, a person who's word you could trust, a person with 'flare and charisma', a person that you cannot replace, not now, not in time, not ever.  

About Billy Kimmel:  I first met Billy from when he ran 305 sprint cars, he started coming to the store to help do things, our friendship grew and I began see how much he loved to race.  The 305 motor Billy had built himself and ran up front in that division, he moved to a 360 class using a motor that he had also built, but after running it only a few times - he knew that the 410 sprint car is what he wanted to do. After going racing with Billy over the years he had become a best friend to me, almost like a brother, he taught me things about engines, set up, and even personalities.  Billy took just a few weeks off to get the 410 ready, building with FIT (George), Billy was ready to run with the big dogs.  He ran Susky, Lincoln, and the Grove and he went out and just drove that car for all he had everytime out.  His first heat race win in the 410 came at Susky, I was not there but Brian was wrenching on the car that night, Fred Rhamer was in that heat and some other notables - - when Billy came in after winning his heat in a big fashion - Brian said it was like a feature win to Billy.  Billy went on to race at the National open at the Grove and other big events.  Billy would show up on an open trailer with the truck full of spares, and a tool box.  He made a small budget race with people that do not have a budget - Billy wanted to race bad enough to make it work. 

Two "Billy stories"

Susky had a practice night on a Sunday, and Billy wanted to go.  Well I wanted to go and run also, but I had parted ways with our driver a week or so back and the motors went also.  Billy said come on down, bring your helmet and stuff and drive my car.  So, I did just that, we took my trailer, his car, his mom came with food (as usual), and we both drove the 410 car that night.  I smile about that story now, because I think - how many people would do that for a friend?  That is the kind of person Billy Kimmel was.

A guy needed a used sprint car frame for Friday night, Billy had one, so he said "how much" - Billy said "awe give me $50 bucks for it".  If you know Billy, he always had a sprint car frame around - heck usually had 5 or 6 used frames there. Anyway, the body was not the buyers 'normal' color, so Billy sanded it down and painted the body for the buyer at no charge, so when he came to pick it up... it was all ready to bolt together.  Just another fine example of what type of person Billy was.

 

Enjoy a few of the pictures below - Smile for Billy.
Billy running the #93 top wing Hammer down at Williams Grove!
Billy ready to be pushed out for another 410 race at Williams Grove. One of Billy's beautifully prepared race cars, here it is at a show in York, PA.  (notice the orange Hoosier's and the cool show headers)
Billy signed his autograph cards at this show until they were all gone.  He developed a huge fan following.  Billy's fun truck - he used this thing to tow the car or just play in the field behind his shop!
Billy wheelying it off turn 4 at Lincoln Speedway in the 410 sprint, in the all white car. Billy sets it into the turn at Susky in another 410 sprint race.

 

 Above Billy in doing what he did best - letting the clay fly!  What an awesome picture!  A candid shot of Billy after a long day of helping at one of our annual Open House events.  
   
Billy often brought his race car down to the store to put on display outside, here he stands proudly by the #47. ALL SMILES, Billy was a tall boy and strong - so here are some shots in the store of Billy wrestling himself into a micro sprint - what a good time for a camera.
   

Billy Kimmel was all Smiles once he was in the micro.......

But getting him out was a different story!
   
 Last words, I was at the track when Billy passed away, I had no words, only tears - still no words.

But I am damn glad I went that night.  I got to see & talk to Billy just an hour before he passed.  He came to the parts trailer to talk and get some bolts, I asked him how it was going and he said it "felt good", we talked for a few minutes, then he turned, I said "Good Luck", he said "Thanks" - and in a flash he was gone.  I am glad I knew Billy Kimmel, glad he was a best friend of mine, glad we went racing together, glad my sons & wife knew him, and glad to know that Billy Kimmel will never be forgotten.