Bill Dentinger, a longtime member of the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, passed away last Sunday (Jan 17) in Las Vegas, NV.
We were fortunate to meet Bill and his wife Shirley at a VSCDA event at Road America more than a few years ago. Soon after, we became honorary, non-racing members of his Beady Eye Racing family, and still cherish the many special memories made with Bill, Shirley and Bill’s close friend and race car co-owner Bob Wismer.
It was Bill and Bob’s easy friendship – characterized by Bill’s outgoing, never-met-a-stranger personality seemingly in contrast to Bob’s quiet, understated nature, along with their shared, conflict-free ownership of three race cars — that prompted us to select them for a Vintage Motorsport magazine Pick of the Liter feature in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue. Bill and Bob had been fans of the magazine for years and relished their “15 minutes of fame” from the article about the 2009 Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival.
After Bob’s passing and then making the decision to step away from vintage racing, Bill described — with his typical humor — the hobby he enjoyed from 1981-2015:
“I have raced at some 39 different road racing circuits, from Mosport in Canada to Sebring in Florida and Lime Rock in Connecticut to Hallet in Oklahoma. Truth be told, I have logged more laps at Road America (my home track) than Mario Andretti. The difference is that Mario went faster in the pits than I went out on the track. I started racing at age 41, and continued until I was well past 76. I was more half fast than fast, but I sure had a good time.”
Additionally, Bill’s son, Dick Dentinger, wrote a wonderful tribute here for the Masonry Contractors of America website.
We send our sympathy to Bill’s family and friends. Rest in peace, our friend.