top of page


Dave Ray started his racing career at the age of nine racing go-karts in his hometown, Davenport, Iowa.  He won several local Championships, and showed talent at a National level winning the National go-kart Championship in 1966 in Quincy, IL.

In 1973, at the age of 18, Ray started racing midgets in the family owned No. 33 car (an Edmunds with a Chevy II engine built by his father, Ralph.)  He finished sixth in Badger points and was named "Rookie of the Year."  After a second place finish in the 1975 Badger points, Dave stepped out of the family car to allow his brother, Mark, to start his career.  

In 1976, Dave was hired to drive for car owner, John Heisdorf out of Kewaskum, WI.  The new team was a success from the start as they went on to win the Badger Championship title in 1977.  1978 saw Dave again behind the wheel of a Heisdorf Racing Team midget along with teammate, Ken Biertzer (both son-in-laws to John).  Ken claimed the Championship with Dave finishing in second place.  The Championship was just as sweet for Dave as he designed and built his first midget chassis,  the "Brand X," that claimed the Championship title.


Dave then started building more cars in his shop in Davenport, Iowa, and won the 1981 Midwest Auto Racing Association (MARA) Championship with a VW engine built by brother, Mark.  He is only one of two drivers to win both the Badger and MARA midget Championships, the other being the late, Kevin Doty.
In 1983, Dave finished third in the Badger Championship before going on to concentrate on running a full time USAC schedule in the late '80's.  There, he  finished a career best of fourth place behind USAC greats, Rich Vogler, Mel Kenyon, and Tom Bigelow.  They ran the full season coast to coast with Dave's chassis and VW engines built by Mark, all while holding down a full time job to support his family.

Dave won a total of 24 features at 14 different race tracks around the country before stepping out of the car in 1997 at the age of 42, for son Davey to drive.

Dave also built go-kart frames for his son and two daughters that also won several go-kart titles, and the chassis and Sesco engine son Davey drove to the 1997 MARA "Rookie of the Year" title.  He built a three quarter midget chassis for nephew, Robbie, who won several winged three quarter midget titles with it.  Most recently, Dave built the Chevy engine Davey won the preliminary feature with at the 2007 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. 

Dave retired from the Rock Island Arsenal (Rock Island, IL) in 2010 after 37 years as a tool designer, and now resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife, Debbie, where he runs his own business, RayPro Engineering.  Dave and Debbie continue to support their son traveling to as many of his races as they can.  In his spare time, Dave enjoys spending afternoons giving his grandchildren, Cali Malone and Layne Light tractor and 4-wheeler rides, and letting them tinker with tools in his shop.

bottom of page