Memoriam for Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins who passed away on March 27th
We lost the “Father of Pro Stock” Drag Racing today. We are all saddened by the passing of Bill Jenkins. He was so far ahead of his time and contributed so much to the sport of drag racing. Many of the Innovations he developed continue to be the main stay in Pro Stock Drag Racing today. He was a true pioneer and instrumental in creating the Pro Stock class.
I recall being dropped off at Englishtown Raceway Park in Old Bridge New Jersey as a young boy with my friends to watch the Wednesday night Pro Stock match races throughout the mid and late seventies. It was there that I witnessed first hand the excitement of Pro Stock when Bill Jenkins, Ronnie Sox, Billy Stepp, Bobby Yowell, Dick Landy, Dyno Don Nicholson, Butch Leal and many others competed. I especially remember talking to Ronnie, Don and Bill as they worked on their cars. They were all very accommodating to us, even “Da Grump”!
I feel very blessed and fortunate to have spent time at Bill’s shop bringing the Monza there and meeting all the guys. The first words Bill said when we rolled the Monza out of the trailer were, “Looks good, great job!” Having spent time with Bill this past year at the GM Nationals was terrific. It is amazing how many people he influenced throughout his career and to see all the fans who truly adored him. I also have to say that Charlie is an absolutely amazing person, watching him first hand assisting Bill and watching out for him was truly enlightening.
Bill will be missed but his Legend will live on.