Bunker Hill Dragstrip
The Big Bad Wolfe
With a total of 22 Bunker Hill track championships, Peru, Indiana native Randy Wolfe, is one of the winningest drivers to have ever crossed the finish line at the historic dragstrip. In the early 90’s Wolfe went to the track to watch his uncle Kenny McCoy race. He left the track with the desire to follow in his uncle’s footsteps. Encouraging his son to give racing a try, Randy’s dad, Ron Wolfe, a former class racer in the 60s at Bunker, had a car lot, Wolfe Auto Sales, and told his son to pick a car from the lot and take to the track. The car Wolfe chose to make his drag racing debut was a 1978 Monte Carlo with a 305 engine. A first round win at the first race he entered was enough to get Wolfe hooked on the sport of drag racing.
A year later, the father son duo would go to a car auction and buy a 74 Nova. In 1992, Wolfe ran the Nova in his first season racing and received the most improved driver award. The following year, he would win the track championship in the Pro class. It was that same year, that he would drive his Nova to Indianapolis to attend his first bracket finals. Wolfe has qualified for every bracket finals since, and if you are counting, that is 30 years straight of making the bracket finals team.
In 1998 Wolfe would add a Camaro and his current 75 Nova to his program and compete in up to three classes at each event. Joe Wildman Wiles gave his Camaro a complete overhaul in 2016. Though the overhaul gave Wolfe more of a competitive advantage in the Top class, he hasn’t seriously tried to contend for points in that class, keeping his focus on racing his Nova, in which the short block hasn’t been touched since the day it rolled off the factory floor, in the Sportsman class.
Wolfe entered the 2023 season racing his faithful Nova in the All Seasons General Contracting Sportsman Class and his Camaro in the Bellman Oil Top Class. Parking both cars in the Coan Engineering Winner’s circle multiple times, he continued to keep his primary focus on winning the Sportsman Class Championship. In an exciting twist at the last points race of the season, Wolfe would finish tied for first place with up and coming Sportsman class racer and former Jr. Dragster champion, Jesse Morgan. Having experienced racing under pressure in the past, the veteran racer showed up to the starting line for the runoff calm, cool, collected and confident. Wolfe would turn on the most exciting win light of his 2023 season and would be crowned the 2023 Sportsman Class Champion, his 22nd championship title.
While some people credit their success to luck and other’s to skill, Wolfe attributes his success to many different things.
“I’ve been a proponent of ‘luck favors the prepared mind’. My homemade log book was embossed with ‘Preparation+Focus = Win Light’.”
In 1992 Wolfe made the decision to move up from Street to Pro.
“I got better by pulling up next to the most seasoned, successful racers in the class. For many weeks, I suffered loss after loss. Eventually I got better thanks to racers such as John and Mike Gerhart, Bill Pratt, John Nifong, and a host of others. To be the best you have to beat the best, and I was able to be the best in 1993”.
That was the year of his first championship win. Wolfe also credits his parents Ron and Linda Wolfe, wife Connie and Son Chevy for being an integral part of his success. His dad taught him the K.I.S.S method, which stands for Keep it Simple Stupid, and his mom has always given her son her love and support. His wife Connie is at the track every weekend cheering him on and as he describes is “the best crew person he could have”. His son Chevy is one of his biggest fans and will soon be a big part of the Wolfe family racing program. In addition, Wolfe’s long time sponsors, Grams Racing Engines and Dishon Transmissions have played a vital role in his success on track.
With the number of wins and championships Wolfe has experienced, there are sure to be many great memories made and stories to tell. One memory that stands out to him dates back to 2002. Wolfe was representing Bunker Hill as the Race of Champions entry at the bracket finals. The week prior he would blow his engine. Rick Lay loaned him a 427. Thrashing to get the motor in the car, they got it done with only one day before Wolfe would need to leave for the bracket finals. The Bunker Hill track owner at the time, Steve Daniels, invited him to the track to tune his car. Wolfe did what he could with the tune up, then headed to Indianapolis to race. After 5 rounds of racing in the Race of Champions race, Wolfe would ultimately get the race win and earn his very first Wally. This was also the first time that his now wife Connie, who he had started dating that summer, would be attending a bracket finals with him. Seeing Connie in awe of the prestige of the event, and getting that win after thrashing to put a borrowed motor in the car undoubtedly created a memory that will last a lifetime.
There are memories that last a lifetime and there are memories that change your life. Wolfe's favorite racing memory was one that was life changing. Despite what one would think, it isn’t the “too many to count" race wins, the 22 track championships or the 9 Wally trophies Wolfe has won, that provided him with his favorite racing memory. His favorite memory came in 2005 after he won the championship in both Top and Sportsman. On stage at the banquet that was held at the Literary Aid in Peru, Wolfe got down on one knee and proposed to the love of his life, Connie. They would find out the very next day that she was pregnant with their son Chevy, who at 3 days old would end up attending his first bracket finals.
Chevy, who is now 17 years old, recently decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Chevy started racing this past season in the Sportsman Class and plans to race for points next season. As far as what's next for the elder Wolfe, he is completely satisfied with all he has done and accomplished in racing. While he will continue to race in 2024, his focus will be shifting.
“It’s now time for Chevy Wolfe. He is starting 11 years sooner than I did at 28. I will still be around, but my focus will be on my son.”
Submitted By: Cori McMillen