The Shark was still in his garage, so he made a deal with Milodon to put a new engine in it. It was a very moving event, with the Road Kings and other friends remembering the early days. By , it was so crippling he sometimes had to resort to extreme measures. Somehow I look at my nicks and dings from racing in a different light now. He had multiple strokes and vascular dementia, so he was severely debilitated by the time he finally passed in

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Kenny and Carolyn agonized over the offer. It was a wonderful time. The Shark was still in his garage, so he made a deal with Milodon to put a new engine in it. Dyer would serve as crew chief and take a one-third cut, Safford would get another third of the proceeds, and the rest would become the racing budget. He was a special man.

I was only 10 years old, and it was the first time I had been away from my mother. So Kenny again saffor out for Chicago and prepared for a season on the road, and for the first time his son went with him.

There were lots of smiles and good times, but no one smiled more than Kenny Safford, the gregarious, big-hearted giant.

Drag Racer Kenny Safford Passes Away

Look down to the end of the whole thing. I had pulled his hub caps off and put them behind the tires. Kenny was far from finished. Then I hit the starter button, with it in reverse gear on a stick shift.


Tommy Ivo Remembers Kenny Safford and Rod Pepmiller | Hotrod Hotline

Kenny was working in the same shop, so I hooked up with him. That car was sold after a handful of outings and Kenny, who worked daytimes as a line mechanic at a Chevy dealership, began work on a Top Gas dragster sadford Don Gaide.

kebny We dated for about a year and got married. Toward the end of the s, Kenny helped me form a drag-racing club at a Chicago high school where I taught English. How many guys would congratulate their opponent after destroying a engine? It was a Ford with stout Buick V8 power, just the kind of ride a guy needed if he was going to date at Hollywood High.

Among those he met was Gary Dyer, driver of the Mr. As the racing season got underway, Dyer was busy building a Pro Stock Hemi Colt while also making superchargers for pro drag racers as well as the street-machine contingent.

Please don’t hesitate to ask. Well, he did, and when the bike started with a roar, I went head over heels, cartwheeling down the hill.

Asfford nicknamed them the Sour Sisters. With the Road Kings showing him the way, Kenny went right from the classroom to the dragstrip.

With a potential sale in the works, Kenny went out to the garage to air up the tires so safforrd could load the car in its trailer.


But I just chocked it off to him being an eastern guy from Chicago! He was a teacher who took disadvantaged kids into his business and gave them vital skills. But as a tuner and mechanic, Kenny had an edge on me.

Safford made the switch to Funny Cars indriving first for the Stone-Woods-Cooke team on the new Coca-Cola Cavalcade of Stars program, which allowed them to make contacts with many more racers, track promoters, and manufacturers.

Our lives revolved around drag racing. I even forgive Kenny for crossing my wires on my funny car, when he went to Pomona with me, to make test runs with it. The highlight came toward the end of the season when the Safford-led team qualified third at the U.

Drag Racer Kenny Safford Passes Away | SEMA

There will be a memorial for the two of them at the NHRA museum. The first time was in my chassis shop and then in an auto repair business. Of all the Road Kings, Muravez was probably closest to Kenny.