Fred Dillow Memorial Winners History

1995 - Barry Bragdon
1996 - Jack Boggs
1997 - Jack Boggs
1998 - Shawn Holliday
1999 - R.J. Conley
2000 - R.J. Conley
2001 - R.J. Conley
2002 - Steve Lucas
2003 - Eddie Carrier, Jr.
2004 - Jackie Boggs
2005 - Jackie Boggs
2006 - Eddie Carrier, Jr.
2007 - Eddie Carrier, Jr.
2008 - Josh McGuire
2009 - Eddie Carrier, Jr.
2010 - Tim Dohm
2011 - Eddie Carrier, Jr.
2012 - Steve Casebolt
2013 - R.J. Conley
2014 - R.J. Conley
2015 - Jackie Boggs
2016 - Devin Moran
2017 - R.J. Conley


About Fred Dillow...

The late Fred Dillow began his racing career in 1968 at Champion Speedway in Kitts Hill, OH.  Fred was recuperating from a back injury and his doctor told him to get into something to do with his hands and Fred ended up behind the steering wheel of a 1955 black primered Pontiac with the gold #83 on it.  He eventually competed at Southern Ohio Raceway in Portsmouth, OH, Checker Flag Raceway in Ashland, KY,  Atomic Speedway (nka K-C Raceway), in Alma, OH, and at Eldora Speedway, in Rossburg, OH, as well as many other tracks in OH, KY, WV and PA.  Dillow drove the #83, which he decided because it was his clock number where he worked, the Cement Solvey; until 1987 and at that time he began driving the Dillow-Willis Racing #84 and followed the All-Star Circuit of Champions.  In 1989, Fred was diagnosed with leukemia and retired from racing. Fred would later die on December 1, 1990.

In the early 70's, Fred's wife Edna won several awards in Powder Puff races where she competed against the wives of other drivers.  She is known as the "Powder Puff Queen" because she was undefeated throughout her career.  Fred's daughter, Sherri, also got behind the wheel in the early 80's for a few races.  Fred's youngest daughter, Susan, was responsible for lettering the race car and videotaping races.  Steve, Fred's son, and son-in-law Mike Willis were the Pit Crew members that kept the car going from week to week.

In July 1987, Fred was involved in a tangle with Larry Moore at Skyline Speedway and the impact dislocated his left shoulder.  He didn't know it until he pulled in the pits and tried to raise himself out of the car.  The movement caused his shoulder to pop back into place and he raced the next night at Muskingum County Speedway, where he won the B-Main and finished 10th in the feature.  That's the kind of man he was.  He loved the sport!

The following quote was taken from an article written about Fred Dillow that was published in the Ironton Tribune 09/20/87:  "I love it," he said.  "Nobody makes me do it.  I may not win every race, but I play fair and square.  I don't believe in bumping into other cars and causing wrecks."  That was the type of driver Fred was and he just loved going out on that track every Friday and/or Saturday night and giving it his best.

Fred was the third oldest of sixteen children of the late Delbert and Katherine Dillow of Flatwoods, KY. Fred was forced to quit school while in the 8th grade so he could work on the family farm to help provide for the family since his Dad had been injured.  He later earned his GED and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. His brothers Ken and Carl Sr. and nephews Tim and Carl, Jr. evenutully got into racing at local tracks in the tri-state area.  Carl, Jr. still races at Portsmouth Raceway Park and other tracks in the area.

He is survived by his wife Edna, who is retired from the State of Ohio; daughter Sherri Willis, who is a substitute teacher; son-in-law Mike Willis; grandson Shayne Willis, a Parole Officer with the Ohio Adult Parole Authority; daughter Susan Dillow, who is retired from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction; son Steve, who is in management with Coca Cola and also is an assistant high school basketball coach; daughter-in-law, Michelle, who is an Assistant Elementary School Principal and assistant high school volleyball coach; grandson, Brayden, who is being in middle school and a member of the cross country and golf teams. Also races go karts and plans to move up to dirt track racing within the next two to three years; granddaughter, Addison, who is 7th grade, runs cross country and plays volleyball, softball and basketball; and great-grandson Braxton Willis who is 4.



Thanks, Dad. Even though Leukemia took the life of Fred Dillow 13 years ago, his legacy lives on.
And not just in the annual Fred Dillow Memorial Race. Dillow's son, Steve, has been racing for two years thanks to his father's influence. And not only is Steve in the racing game, many members of the family have followed suit in some fashion. "We went out to Grayson (KY), and they let us run 50 laps. I was thinking I was going really fast and my sister said afterwards, 'It looked like you were really going slow,' " Steve Dillow said with a laugh. "But after I was in the car that first time in Grayson, I knew why Dad loved it so much. It's a rush. A sudden rush. You have to hit the corners so hard." A lot of Fred Dillow lives on in his son's car. The number 83 on the side of the car is the same number his father used. It also happened to be the badge number of his father when he worked at the old Ironton Solvey plant. Steve also has a similar philosophy about his car racing. "I don't want to conquer the racing world. Sure, if I could support my family racing, I would, but it's just not possible," Steve Dillow said. "Dad never took away from us, the family. If we had a junior high game or my sister had something going on, he always made racing second." Dillow's First Family of Racing consists of his wife, Michelle, who teaches at Ironton St. Joseph, his mother, Edna, who is a former Powder Puff Racing Undefeated Champion, son Brayden, 2, and daughter, Addison, 3 months. There's also his borther-in law Mike Willis, who heads the pit crew. His sister, Sherri, is a race scorer for Portsmouth Raceway Park, nephew Shayne Willis, and Steve calls his sister, Susan, "our lead cheerleader." "There are three or four guys who work on the car all year," Steve said. "Mike's the chassis man. The last race (we finished second) the car was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better car. I couldn't do it without him." Being a family racing team has helped Dillow draw various sponsors. Not only his mother, Edna, who is his biggest supporter, he also gets advertising support from Cost Cutters Family Hair Care, Off-The-Wall Motorsports & Decals, Valvoline, Accent Home Health Care, River's Edge Cafe, Hanes Golf Shop, Fine Line Team Wear , and George Caldwell Performance Racing Engines. "If not for sponsors and mother, there would not be a car on the track," Dillow said. "Mom will criticize me. She'll tell me I'm running too high or that I his that guy. Michelle came up to me after a close situation on the race track a while back and said, "You got a little anxious back there, didn't you?'" Dillow has moved along the racing ranks steadily. After beginning his career at the age of 28, Dillow ranked 14th in points this past season in the Limited Late Model Division, where he ran four out of nine races, including a second place finish, his best ever. "Last year (2002), we started up front a lot and didn't finish real high. This year, we didn't start out in front all year," Dillow said. "Last year we ran every race at Portsmouth and we ran just four this year. I've increased my race knowledge 100 percent over the last two years." One of Dillow's highlights this past season was racing at Southern Ohio Speedway. "One of the places I've always wanted to race was SOS, and we got a chance this year. A lot of these guys are second generation drivers," Dillow said. And if imitation is the ultimate compliment, son has repaid his father several times over. "I kind of modeled my racing style after dad. I respect others out there. I don't put myself in a position to hurt myself or anyone else. But it's not 100 percent safe out there," Dillow said. "I'm not comparing myself to him. Dad was just doing what he could to compete. I just wish he could see his grandchildren." Memories of his father continue to flow when Steve talks about his family. He said racing has the family back together at the track and having good, clean fun. Steve said he remembers his father building a car he got at a junk yard. "We've had a lot of emotional moments in the last two years, missing dad, thinking about how he's not here," Dillow said. And just like his father, Steve Dillow will continue to race for the fun it brings to him and his family. "It would be a dream come true for someone to call and say 'I've got a NASCAR or Busch car I'd like you to race,' but that's never going to happen. It's more of a hobby. A very expensive hobby." Steve said. "I have no doubt in my mind that in four or five years I'll be watching him (son, Brayden) race Go-Karts on Friday and I will race on Saturdays." Thanks, Dad.