LeRoy Neumayer

LeRoy Neumayer

22/8/1930 - 7/5/2006

LeRoy Anthony Neumayer was born August 22, 1930 to Joseph R. and Teresa Poeppe Neumayer, the youngest of 5 children.

He started racing at about the age of fifteen, racing motorcycles. From there he got into drag racing Hot Rods on the street of Long Beach California.

He was inducted into the army in 1950 and served 3 years in Korea, getting out in 1953. He went back to racing and in 1953, set a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats of 233.31 mph, entering the famed 200 MPH Club.

he was on the cover of the 1955 July issue of Hot Rod Magazine, and went on to build a Belly tank racer out of a World War II fuel tank from a bomber.

He raced CRA sprint cars in the late 1950s to 1960, finishing 20th in 1958 CRA driver points, 54th in 1959 and 41st in 1960 when he went to the Midwest to race with USAC. Leroy even raced the Hank Henry-built Sterling Plumbing Chevy that the legendary Jim Hurtubise later raced to prominence with the No. 56 on it.

Leroy raced in the USAC National Sprint Car and Champ Trail circuits in the early 1960s. He raced his first Champ Trail race in 1961 for car owner Tassi Vatis, of New York. In 1962 Leroy raced the No. 19 Federal Engineering car for Dan Levine and Ollie Praether’s No. 15. That was the extent of his Champ Trail efforts and he gradually faded from racing circuits.

After that he worked as crew chief for racers at Indianapolis 500. He worked for racers such as Diz Wilson, AJ Foyt, and Roger McCluskey. In between, he raced in South Africa and from the tip of South America to Fairbanks, Alaska. He also raced in the Mint 400 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 1965 he came to the Circle S Ranch in Cora, Wyoming, with Elmer George, the son-in-law of Tony Hulman, who owned the Indianapolis Speedway. He fell in love with the country and stayed, helping Elmer George guide hunters, pack meat and put up hay.

In 1976 he married JoAn Hicks-Dyess. For several years after he and JoAn were married he hauled cattle, fuel, heavy equipment and worked on several ranches, moving cattle, etc.

LeRoy Neumayer died on Sunday, May 7, 2006, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He had been hospitalized for over a year.

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