<%@ Language=JavaScript %> ..:: Maryland Int'l Raceway  -  Budds Creek, MD  ::..

    


Maryland Int'l Raceway  •  27861 Budds Creek Road  •  Mechanicsville, MD  20659

301-884-9833 (Office)  •  301-884-9878 (Fax)  •  info@mirdrag.com

 
  2011 MIR Legends Hall of Fame Inductee
  


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Bill Gray
October 27, 1938 - July 3, 2010
Longtime Track Official & Groundskeeper

Bill Gray went by many names over his lifetime and decades of service at MIR, and depending on the era, folks may remember Bill differently.

To his brothers and sisters, he’ll always just be “Junior,” which others might find surprising for the towering man with the vice like grip! To a grateful country, Bill was known as “Veteran,” after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1972.

To 60s era racers, Bill was known as “crew chief” -- he crewed on Joe "Woody" Wood’s '63 Ford that match raced Mousey Brown's '62 Chevy at St. Marys Drag-O-Way in the early days of this track.

After Woody provided Bill with a '55 Chevy, Bill turned it into a drag car and earned yet another nickname. His wild driving style and occasional encounters with guardrails led to the title of “Guardrail Gray!"

In 1973, new track owners Tod Mack and Larry Clayton officially brought Bill into the MIR family after seeing how he watched over all the cars during a car show at the DC Armory. Bill worked on the starting line and maintained the facility, a job that he never left. He lived on the track property from 1973 until his death in 2010, just after he was honored in advance at that year’s Legends event. Everyone in the nearby Budds Creek community knew and loved Bill, who was a regular fixture at Stone's Store. Bill’s earned a new name over those years, that of a friend and advocate for MIR racers, young and old. As Tod Mack put it, "He was the most loyal and the most fun of any person associated with MIR. He became the racers’ voice to and from the the MIR staff."

During the last 10 years or so at MIR, Bill earned a new nickname -- the “Music Man.” He was well known for his "rolling jukebox" golf cart with tunes playing from the loudspeaker on the back. You always heard Bill before you saw him!

Above all, Bill’s final nickname is being remembered today: Legend. No other person spent as much time at MIR as Bill did. He looked after the racers when the gates were open and he looked after the property when the gates were closed. For nearly four decades, Bill Gray was the one constant at MIR, through different owners, employees, racers, and fans.

Current MIR track owner Royce Miller puts it this way, “I had the privilege of knowing and working with Bill for over 20 years. He loved the track and all the folks who attended -- racers & fans alike. It was his life. He had the biggest heart of anyone I've known and it's not the same around here without him. However, every day there's something I see here at the track that reminds me of Bill, or someone will share a story about him. So Bill Gray lives on at MIR and always will."

 

 

 

 

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