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 Roland Leong

 

RolandLeong (born 1945), whose "Hawaiian" Top Fuel Dragsters swept the National Hot Rod Association's two National Events, the Winternationals at the Pomona Fairgrounds and the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, two years consecutively, in 1965 and again in 1966. This feat by Leong's entries was accomplished with two different drivers, as Don "the Snake" Prudhomme scored the back-to-back victories in 1965, followed by Mike Snively in 1966. In 1967, Leong failed to three-peat at Pomona or Indianapolis, but did triumph that year at two popular independent drag races, the notoriously fierce March Meet in Bakersfield, and the Hot Rod Magazine Championships in Riverside, CA.

In 1969, abandoned campaigning Top Fuel Dragster in favor of the burgeoning Funny Car class. The following year, with driver Larry Reyes, Leong campaigned a 1970 Dodge Charger AA/Funny Car that won its class at the 1970 NHRA Winternationals. In 1971, Leong's "Hawaiian" Funny Car repeated at Pomona, winning Funny Car Eliminator again, this time with Butch Maas driving.

Throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s, Leong campaigned a variety of "Hawaiian" Funny Cars, both in NHRA competition, as well as "match racing" at smaller, independent tracks.

In 1980, having hired Ron Colson to drive in what was that man's final year as a professional race-car driver, Leong tuned his "King's Hawaiian Bread" Corvette Funny Car to victory at the NHRA Winston World Finals in Ontario, California. Besides being Colson's last race, the event was also notable as being the last drag race at Ontario Motor Speedway. In 1983, with MIke Dunn at the helm, Leong's "Hawaiian Punch" Funny Car won the Bakersfield March Meet. The car crashed and was destroyed later that year at the NHRA World Finals at Orange County International Raceway.

After Leong and Dunn parted ways in 1984, Leong and his new driver, Rick Johnson, won the 1985 Bakersfield March Meet, followed later that year by a victory at NHRA's Le Grandnational-Molson in Quebec, Canada.

In 1991, Leong once again won the US Nationals at Indianapolis, this time in Funny Car Eliminator, and with Jim White driving. Later, at the Chief Nationals in Dallas, Texas, his "Hawaiian Punch" Funny Car was the first in the class to break the 290-mph speed mark.

Following the 1991 season, Roland relinquished his role as car owner. In 1996, he began serving as a crew chief for the Red Line Oil Dodge Avenger Funny Car of Ray Higley. Despite the entry's limited finances, with Leong's input and expertise, Higley posted his career-best 1/4-mile elapsed time, posting a 5.00-second clocking at the 1996 US Nationals. In 1998, Don Prudhomme, then retired from driving and now a multi-car team owner, hired Leong to tune his "Skoal" Funny Car. With Ron Capps driving, Prudhomme's Leong-tuned entry won Funny Car Eliminator at that year's Winternationals. Despite winning more NHRA National Events than anybody else in the class, the Prudhomme-Leong-Capps collaboration finished second in NHRA points, behind winner John Force.

In 2009, after having taken a hiatus from the sport, Leong returned to drag racing, now acting as crew chief for "vintage" Nitro Funny Cars racing primarily in NHRA's new Hot Rod Heritage Series. In 2014, Canadian drag racer Ron Hodgson hired Leong to tune the Troy Lee Designs Nitro Funny Car driven by Tim Boychuk, for competition in the NHRA Heritage Series.

In 2015 Leong took on the roll of Crew Chief for Jim Murph's Nostalgia Top Fuel car and quickly had it running stronger than ever.

 


 

Daniel Wilkison


Born: 5/5/1952Residence: Cloverdale, CA
Occupation: Owner WEE Manufacture of Special Purpose Products
Favorite Food: Mexican
Favorite Track: Famosa, CA
Duties: Assistant, to the assistant Crew Chief
Hobbies: Golf
Attended 1St Drag Race: 1966, Half Moon Bay, CA Racing Career :Here is when I started racing. I was driven to win then in 1960 and I still am 57 years later.

 

Daniel re-joined Jim in 2007 in the WW II effort after some years away from drag racing. He had toured with Jim's '72 and '73 Holy Smokes funny cars. Then in the late 70's, he campaigned his own twin-turbo pro comp car, which Jim drove to top speed of 232 MPH, 25 MPH over the national record in 1978. Daniel brings to the WW II team years of racing experience as an innovator and skilled craftsman, with an emphasis on research and development. He currently serves as Car Chief.

 

 

Ron Rapadas

Ron's racing goes all the back to the 1960s as he was involved in Top Fuel racing during the earliest fazes. Ron's various fuel dragsters had many of the top drivers as their pilots, Larry Leventon, Bill Alexander, and the late Gary Ormsby are some of the better known. Ron retired from racing in the late 60s to raise a family and continue as parts manager for a local new car dealership. Ron's return to racing came in 1988 when the WW2 race team was formed.

Ron continues in the parts business and one of his responsibilities are the assembly of all new engines and is one of the best in the business. Without Ron staying on with the team and wanting to continue racing I would not have bought the operation from Cheri after Jim Herbert passed away last year. Ron is my right hand at the races when it comes to making decisions how we want to run the car and is a wealth of information as well as a good friend.

 

 

Dan Maggard


Born: 3/15/1961 in Santa Clara, Ca
Resides: Guerneville, Ca
Occupation: General Building Contractor
Duties: Clutch Specialist, component maintenance and installation, Rear Ends
Favorite Music: Classic Rock
Favorite Foods: Fresh Abalone, Homemade Tamales, Hot roasted Cashews
Hobbies: Drag Racing, Golf, Kayaking, Skin Diving, and playing my drumsFavorite

Race experience: I cut my teeth racing amateur Go-carts at age 9&10. At age 12 my elder sister took me to Fremont dragstrip where I met starter Chet Carter. He made me an offer that for every morning I swept the staging lanes, I would get in for free. So I rode my bicycle (9 miles uphill each way in the snow) all summer long to get my Nitro fix. I spent my teen years building dozens of engines with my dad, and in 1983 I built engines for Pat Harvey's #20 outlaw Sprint car to great success. Fatherhood ensued, but I still found time to turn an occasional wrench. Most recently I spent 13 years at Phoenix Motorsports starting out on the Top Sportsman Stingray, and leaving as co-crew chief on the '59 Pro-Mod Corvette.

 

 

Matt "Ace" Zurschmiede


Born: 1964 Torrance, CA
Residence: Windsor, CA
Occupation: Master Field Technician, Garton Tractor, Santa Rosa, CA
Favorite Music: Rock & Country
Favorite Food: Sea Food, Steak
Hobbies: Racing (NASCAR), Riding Quads, Golf, Mountain Biking
Duties: Right Side Cylinder Head, Piston Racks & Tires
Year Joined WW2: 2009
Race Experience: Sportsman Dirt Car Modifieds, New York Modifieds, 3 years; NORCAL Asphalt
Modifieds, 4 years; WW2

Racing, 8 years
Comments: It is always a pleasure to work with my Teammates.

 

 Kevin Lynd

Born: 1995 Santa Rosa, CA
Residence: Glen Ellen, CA
Occupation: Engine Machinist
Favorite Music: Country
Favorite Food: YES !
Hobbies: Dirt Biking, Snowmobiling, Wakeboarding, Snowboarding, Working on cars or
anything with a motor
Duties: Bottom End
Year Joined WW2: 2016

Race Experience: None, well at least not the organized kind of racing
Comments: This Team has sparked a whole new passion for cars and Racing ! Go WW2 !

 

 Russ Denner

Born: 1951 Santa Rosa, CA
Residence: Santa Rosa, CA
Occupation: Master Vineyard Rancher
Favorite Music: 50's & 60's Rock
Favorite Food: Beef
Hobbies: Cars & Guns
Duties: Race trailer inventory & preparation, truck & trailer "Clean & Shine", utility player.
Year Joined WW2: 2007

Race Experience: High school Street Racing, AA Degree in Automotive
Comments: This ten years helping the Team are the most fun of my life.

 

 Mike Irwin

Born: 1967 Whittier, CA
Residence: Antelope, CA
Occupation: Owner of Window Tinting Specialties in Citrus Heights, CA
Favorite Music: Eighty's Metal, Van Halen, Dokken & Y & T
Favorite Food: Mexican
Hobbies: Too busy Racing, boating when we find time
Duties: Left Cylinder Head
Year Joined WW2: 2016

Race Experience: Started racing at 16 in a V W drag car. Then a blown gas Funny Car in CIFCA in 1988. Built my own CIFCA blown alcohol Funny Car in 2000 and raced it for 9 years. I was licensed in Nostalgia Top Fuel in 2011 and drove Dave Smith's Nitro Fever car. Drove and crewed for Mike Fuller's Forever Young Nostalgia Top Fuel car. I have been very fortunate to drive several other blown alcohol Funny Cars and Nostalgia Top Fuel cars.
Comments:

 

 Jerry Inonye

Bio to follow.

 

 

 

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