The Storm is upon us. The Stormin’ Mormon Showdown will be in town at the Pahrump Valley Speedway on March 11 at 5 p.m. The race is a tribute to the racing career of Ray Wulfenstein, who passed away on Jan. 13 in a plane crash in Oregon.
This will be the largest Modified feature race of the year, with a payout of $3,000 to the winner and a guarantee of $300 to start. Bryan Wulfenstein, Ray Wulfenstein’s grandson and frequent racer at the speedway, said there might be as many as 30 Modified cars at the race.
According to Chad Broadhead, owner of the Pahrump Valley Speedway, the race will not be a memorial race but will be a tribute race to Ray Wulfenstein.
“We are doing this race as a thank you to him and the family,” Broadhead said.
Regardless of the attendance, the payout makes it the biggest race of the year.
Will this be an annual event?
“It might be just a one-time thing,” Pahrump Valley Speedway owner Chad Broadhead said. “This is the biggest payout of the season. We are putting some money up, and we are getting help from the Wulfenstein family and John Morris from Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch.”
Even the Stringer family, (Sam Stringer Memorial Race) is chipping in some money. Ray Wulfenstein was a dear friend to the family.
“I really don’t think there would be a Pahrump Valley Speedway without the Wulfenstein family and all the help Ray has donated to the speedway,” eldest son Steve Stringer, racer and one organizer of the Sam Stringer Memorial said. “Whenever heavy equipment was needed or even loads of clay for the track — and I am pretty sure they were instrumental in building the track. My Dad and Jim go back a long way. I remember my dad painted all of Jim’s construction trucks. The one thing about the Wulfenstein family is that they don’t do a thing for praise or recognition. Everything they do is from the heart.”
Bryan Wulfenstein also confirmed that a lot of the money is coming from Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch owner, John Morris. He said that Wulfenstein Construction helped to build Spring Mountain.
He added that the Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch driving instructors and Morris will compete in a trophy race for extra entertainment.
“It will be a four-car event and they will be racing Modifieds wrapped like the Spring Mountain cars. These guys have a little experience in Modifieds but not much. They are used to racing on asphalt and not dirt. It will be pretty good entertainment. The owner got to drive a Modified on the dirt track and afterward said, ‘I can see how this can be addicting.’”
Broadhead said that Ray Wulfenstein was a good friend of the speedway and he first met Ray in Salt Lake City.
“I had heard of him in Salt Lake City,” he said. “He was racing at the fairgrounds in the early 70s. What a small world it is. Ray then ended up helping me with the track here. He had the kindest of hearts, like his whole family. I didn’t see him a whole bunch but always could count on him for help.”
Broadhead added, “He just was there when I needed him, if I had problems with the water rights, he was there. And so has Jim and Bryan (son and grandson). Ray was also there for me spiritually.”
Ray Wulfenstein was not known to race a lot at the Pahrump Valley Speedway, most of his racing was done in the 60s and 70s at Craig Road Speedway in Las Vegas.
Bryan Wulfenstein said that his grandfather raced at the speedway in Las Vegas for about 10 or 12 years and he drove the Modified racer of the day, a Chevy Bel Air.
“I even got to see him race one of my dad’s late models at the Las Vegas Bull Ring and he won,” Bryan Wulfenstein said. “That was in the 1990s and I think my dad couldn’t race that day and he just said ‘let me see if I can win’.”
But when he did race in Pahrump, he did it in a big way.
“I remember when he raced a Super Stock,” Broadhead said. “It was about a year and a half ago. He wrecked it. He hit the bank and jumped the wall and walked away from the car at 78.”
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org