Tim Fleenor (Crew Cheif)

Tim Fleenor

Tim started his love of racing in 1969 when the Indianapolis 500 was televised on a big screen (movie theater) for the first time. By his 18th birthday, he had been to most major racetracks in the U.S. He enjoyed his time and experience being involved with professional racing teams, working as a shop boy or on the crew. Sometime after this, Tim met Bill Osborne when Tim was at Rialto Tool Company getting his car ready to race at Ontario Motor Speedway. They instantly hit it off, as Bill helped Tim get ready for that race and many more. The friendship blossomed from there, and they spent lots of racing time, family time, and down time together. In 1980, Bill and Tim were testing at Riverside Raceway for a Winston Cup race; Bill, having done work on Dave Ward’s personal cars in the past, introduced the two. They both had a love for racing and building, so it was a great friendship, and they kept in touch through the years. Bill and Tim, along with another friend, Chester Becker, built Winston Cup cars, Trans Am Cars, SCCA Cars, and short-track cars for both professional and private teams.

In 1987, Bill started building a new project. He called Tim and said you need to come by the shop. It was Dan and RJ Gottlieb’s 1969 Camaro that they were going to use for open-road racing. Little did Tim know at that time how much this car

would be a part of his life and his lasting connection to Bill Osborne and his family. In 2003, the Gottliebs ask Dave Ward to retrieve Big Red from Don Laughlin’s Riverside Restort Hotel & Casino car collection museum and make it race worthy again. Since Dave and Dan had previously raced IMSA, SCCA, and at Mesa Marin Raceway, they already had a working relationship, so Dan knew Dave would be a great fit for this task. Dave called Tim and asked him if he could assist in making this happen. Tim and Dave updated the racing equipment and put a fresh coat of paint on Big Red. Over the next six years, Tim would help Dave work on the car and get it prepped for race days. In 2009, Tim started being more involved in the races and taking care of Big Red. Since that time Tim, with his wife Jackie, has not missed a race.

When it came time for Big Red to go to Texas in 2011, Tim reminded Dave that Mark Ewing lived near the track. Dave called Mark and asked him to be a part of the Big Red team due to his proximity, and to have another pair of hands at the track. Both Tim and Dave knew Mark through Bill as well. Mark used to hang around Bill’s shop when his dad, Don Ewing, was racing. After that, the team grew from Mark being at a few races to now being full time on the Big Red team.

Tim has enjoyed his time with Big Red. He has lots of respect and appreciation for Bill Osborne, the Gottliebs, Dave Ward, and the rest of the crew for allowing him to be a part of this special piece of iconic history.

The Big Red's Crew