27/9/1940 - 3/12/2007
Harry Schilling was pretty decent NASCAR driver though he only competed for three seasons, he’s better known as a promoter. Harry Schilling died 15 years ago, he was 67 , He would have been 82.
Harry William Schilling was born in 1940 in Oakland, California. His father, who opened the first Chris Craft boat dealership in California, had a truck rental business and once owned the Oakland Speedway.
Harry played football and graduated from Fremont High School and Diablo Valley College, where his team played against a group of inmates at San Quentin Prison. He joined the Marines in 1961, trained as a marksman and a pilot and became a boxer. He left after three years and joined the Marine Reserve.
He married Jeannie Krug in 1963, had two children and moved to Clarksburg. He owned the Spindrift, a small yacht club which he and his father acquired in 1964. He expanded the marina to 140 covered berths, added a bar and restaurant and opened a mobile home park. Harry also ran a Chris Craft dealership and owned another 40-boat marina on the Sacramento River.
His NASCAR debut came in 1971, when he competed at Riverside. Starting 35th in the field of forty, Harry lost an engine very early in the event and finished 37th. He fared little better the rest of the year, recording a decent 25th place effort at Ontario and another mechanical issue plagued 32nd at Riverside.
Harry also competed in three races in 1972, again finding it hard to get good results. It started off poorly, recording a 31st at Dover and 30th at Charlotte after early mechanical failures. But in his final race that year, he finished a career-best 23rd at Texas World.
His final race came in 1974, when he competed at Riverside. Starting 29th in the field of thirty-five, he completed just half the race before a clutch issue put him back to 24th.
After a divorce, he married Dayna Duckworth in 1980 and had two more children. He sold the Spindrift in 1989.
Apparently Schilling was a 'dapper guy'. His clothes were tailored and he wore Italian shoes long before they became popular. He was a man of integrity who for a while owned West Capital Speedway. His son ran Pacific Coast Late Models.