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 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
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.