R.I.P. Ron Chaffin



Ron giving a high sign


Ron with zero coke


Ron with Bruce Brimme Jr and Mrs Wags

Ron with Eric Kaufman

Ron with Frankie

Ron and Bruce Jr

Ron with Eric Kaufman

Ron with his winning team the 2012 Champions

Ron with Mike Spencer

Ron with his race car

Ron and his mechanic of the year crew chief Bruce Bromme Jr

Ron with Bruce and Mrs Wags

Ron when Damion Gardner drove for him

Ron and Mrs Wags

Ron at the K Rail at Perris

Ron in the pits at Calistoga

Ron hanging

Ron and Bruce

Ron in the pits

Ron with Frankie

Ron on his pit 4 wheeler

Ron with Ellen Ellis


Ron on the move

Ron watching the crew work

Ron at Ventura waiting for chili

Ron with Bruce, Sonia and Mrs Wags

Another view of the four

Ron helping push the car

Ron with Bruce


Ron with Dwight Chaney

Ron Chaffin was a car owner like no other in our racing world as he spent the last 21 years racing with SCRA and CRA and pretty much dominating the West Coast scene for that time. He never missed a race when his car was on the track and only parked the car one time when Mike Spencer’s wife was having a baby. Without question, he always provided his teams anything they needed to be competitive, and yet he also helped other drivers and causes he believed in. His signature smile was always there for all. The only reason not to like him was his car beat yours consistently over the last two decades.

Having Bruce Bromme Jr taking care of his equipment didn’t hurt, but the success of the little red sucker was far above any other teams in his time of racing. His 13 championships will never be threatened by the mere mortal racers he competed against, or those that will come along in the future. He was the Babe Ruth of West Coast sprint car racing.

And thru it all Ron was the same happy guy, win or lose, that we will miss from now on. His red Corvette was always on the road when the little red sucker went racing, and if you knew where he hung out in the afternoons before a race, he would share some time and a drink with you.

There was an obvious aura around him and his teams over the years, as they went about their way working on the race car before, during and after the races. His jovial attitude was felt when you were around and he didn’t mind jousting over a point or opinion he liked, or not.

Ron had been racing a yellow # 52 for a few years, mostly in Northern California, without much success and showed up with SCRA with the now famous red # 50. I remember the first time I met Ron was in the pits at the opening race at Manzanita in 1995. He was watching as Lealand McSpadden was getting his seat installed in his new ride. I asked Ron what he knew about his new driver and he responded he heard he was pretty good. Pretty good? His eyes lit up when I described the Tempe Tornado’s exploits to him and told him he would be in the winners circle very soon! In fact, I don’t know if he believed me or not, but right away on March 18 of that year was Ron’s first win with his car, but not nearly the last. Lealand went on to win 10 races that year and they grabbed the SCRA championship to boot! That combo could have continued on winning if Lealand hadn’t decided to call it quits after beating Ron $human for the title.

Ron went on to have Damion Gardner, Richard Griffin and Mike Spencer drive the # 50 car to many exciting wins. Wow, that driver list alone is an amazing story when you step back and look at it! Two of those drivers are in the Sprint car Hall of Fame today. And the other two probably will be some day. I expect Ron too will be in there! Those 4 drivers have accumulated over 125 victories for Ron in his legacy as a car owner, with the Gasman winning the most with 40. Obviously Bruce Bromme Jr shared in all of that winning and it seems shocking that both Ron and Bruce are both gone from us now.

There is so much more under the obvious success of the Ron Chaffin Motorsports, because he wasn’t an attention hog, just a contented man enjoying his race team and life without fanfare. With the day of the racing scribes done on the West Coast, someone will have to step up to spread the word on what fans already know. The end of an era has just happened and like other famous drivers, race cars and mechanics of our sprint car lives, we will have to face going on without Ron Chaffin, and that is not a good feeling. Rest in peace Ron, I know you are a proud man up there with a legacy that will never be forgotten. You leave a lot of thankful people behind, just being you.

Updated 9/8/17