Ray Motes - Honored in 2021

  • photo of Ray MotesOlathe High School Class of 1960

    (March 9, 1941 —          )

    Ray’s love of speed came at an early age when a scooter in sixth grade eventually led to racing cars as a high school senior. With the mentoring of Olatheans Earl Weaver and Bill Kline, and high school teacher Howard Smethers, Ray broadened his love of cars to include body and mechanical work. Longtime Olathe teacher Ralph Dennis instilled in Ray a sense of humor that helped him through tough situations in life. In 1965, Ray set the American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) record and won his first world championship. From then through the mid-1990s, Ray competed in several racing categories: AA altered, gas and fuel dragsters, fuel and alcohol funny cars. He was one of the first drivers to reach 240 MPH in a fuel funny car. In his career, Ray earned a total of five world titles from the AHRA, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and American Drag Racing Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement in Drag Racing Award from the Heartland Hot Rod Association. Ray was inducted into the NHRA Division 5 Hall of Fame in 2001 and into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.