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Richmond Dragway Founder Dan Weis passes (updated with photos)

Published by Johnny Davis on May 28, 2014

 

UPDATED:  May 29 - John Hampton and Will Farmer helped to honor Dan’s memory with special lettering on their Corvettes in his honor.  Both drivers cut their teeth on the RD track and have picked up the habit of racing again during Friday Night Street Fights in the past few seasons.  Thanks John and Will for an awesome tribute – Dan would have loved it!

Weis, John Daniel “Dan” Jr of Glen Allen, VA entered into eternal life on Friday, May 16th after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was born to the late John D and Mary E Weis on December 13, 1936.  Dan was a lifelong daredevil and the owner and promoter of Richmond Dragway for 50 years. 

His lifelong obsession with cars and speed began as a young adult and with the help of his family, Weis was the first driver to race an un-supercharged dragster to 200 mph.  An avid entrepreneur, Weis started a small speed shop in the back of his family’s auto repair center and later expanded to promoting drag racing events on the airstrips at Petersburg and Emporia.  At the time, his tracks were among the first 10 sanctioned drag racing facilities east of the Mississippi.  He began Richmond Dragway with the help and support of his parents, siblings and friends and hosted NHRA, NASCAR Drag Division, NAAR and IHRA drag racing at his track over a 50 year career.  

Weis was honored as a member of the East Coast Drag Racing Hall Of Fame and will be remembered as a pioneer of the sport.  Dan also loved to support many charitable causes and enjoyed entertaining friends and family around meals at many local restaurants.  In his retirement, he was active in real estate and especially treasured his time and friendships in Virginia Beach. 

Dan leaves behind to cherish his memory his sister, Mary W Oliver, his brother George H Weis (Kerry Jo), his son Daniel Chris Weis (Bonnie) and daughter Cathy W. Kennedy (Terry) along with 24 grandchildren and many devoted nieces, nephews and caring friends and family.   He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Wayne G. Weis and his son, Craig F. Weis.

Weis will be honored at his favorite place in the world, Richmond Dragway, 1955 Portugee Road, Sandston, VA 23150.  The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 22 from 2-3:15 pm with a celebration of Dan’s life to be held Thursday at 3:30 under a tent on the Starting Line of the racetrack.  In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Virginia, 5540 Falmouth Street, Suite 101, Richmond, VA  23230

Richmond Dragway racers are invited to bring their racecars to display on Thursday for the service.  If you would like to bring your car for display, your truck and trailer MUST be parked in the spaces PAST the fuel station towards the top end of the track.  Cars will be displayed in the staging lanes and must be parked by 1:45 pm to be displayed.  The track will be open to recieve friends and guests at 2 pm and no racecars will be added to the display area after that time.  Gates will open for display car setup starting at 12 noon on Thursday.

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