Hometown: Slippery Rock, PA
Born: May 30, 1960
Wife: Colleen Habbyshaw
Profession: Quaker Steak and Lube Manager

Gene Habbyshaw, 40, from Slippery Rock Pennsylvania, has been racing one type of car or another since he was 10 years old. His life long dream has been to build something unique and for the better part of the past 23 years, Gene has been tossing ideas around. About 3 and a half years ago, an idea took hold in Gene's mind.

"This boy must have crashed one time too many"

Habbyshaw's idea it seems, was to take a dirt-circle track sprint car, ("It's too short") apply modern day drag racing technology, ("It sits too high"), and race it down an asphalt covered drag strip. ("The steering won't allow it to go straight")

"We called the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and the IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) and they confirmed that, according to their record, it's never been done," said Habbyshaw. ("It won't pass IHRA and NHRA safety specs")

With a little help from my friends

Gene, who works for the Quaker Steak and Lube, a car theme restaurant corporation, approached the owners with the idea and was given the green light to pursue the project. The Lube's" owners accepted the major share of sponsorship responsibilities. With financial backing in hand, Habbyshaw proceeded to contact additional sponsors and to line up a team with the expertise needed to achieve success for this project. For this phase of the plan Gene hit the jackpot with the dream team of Russ Gabany and Greg Tebay. Gabany would build the engine, Tebay the car."

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Driving Experience:

  • 1972 - 74 Quarter Midgets
  • 1972 - Rookie Year - 5th in points at Jamestown Speedway, PA
  • 1973 - 3rd in points at Jamestown Speedway and 2nd in points at Hildburgh Speedway in Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1974 - Jamestown Track Champ in Quarter Midgets
  • 1974 - We ran go carts and was track champ at Jackson Center Speed Bowl in PA
  • 1975 - Mercer CO Mini Stock Car Club, AMA Races, Flat Track Racing, ran first Stock Car race at Mercer raceway April 23, 1975 (15 years old), the first race was in a flat 1600CC - leading until last lap when rolled., 3rd in points, won 2 125AMA races, won Butler Speedway flat track 125 div., and 2 at Sharon Speedway.
  • 1976 - Moved Up to 6 CYL Mods at Mercer Raceway, Old Hickory in New Castle, PA, and Lerner Ville Speedway - Mercer: 6 wins in 3 points, Old Hickory: 3 wins in 4 points, Lerner Ville: 4 wins in 2 points
  • 1977 moved up to late models ran mercer / tri city in Frankland PA/ Sharon speedway/ silver springs in Maryland, we had 15 wins in 77 moved around did not run for points
  • 1978 ran sprint cars and big block mods and mini stocks was track champ in PA, Ohio, TX, FL, NY had 7 wins in 78
  • 1979 ran sprints in mercer TX, NY 3 wins was hurt in July at Syracuse NY did not finish season
  • 1980 started back in July at mercer raceway a year after to the day from breaking back in 79 season. still could not walk very well, had to be lifted in to car, only 3 wins in 80
  • 1981 ran Newcastle pa old hickory speedway late models was 2 in points and 5 wins
  • 1982 ran sprint cars on a roaming bases ran 60 races that year won 15 many top 5 finishes
  • 1983 sprint cars at mercer was hurt in late August, finished 5 in points 5 wins
  • 1984 ran sprints and midgets on a roaming bases ran 63 races that year 14 wins
  • 1985 ran mercer Lernerville and tri city 9 wins
  • 1986 sprints roaming bases 10 wins
  • 1987 sprints and late models roaming bases 8 wins
  • 1988 big block mods 6 wins
  • 1989 sprints on roaming bases 5 wins
  • 1990 to 93 ran from TX to PA in sprints
  • 1994 to 99 - went drag racing was sunset track champ and Ohio drag city Oct 2 of 99 Sprintster was born, worlds first drag racing sprint car IHRA record 10:50
  • 99 to 01 Sprintster dominated western PA and Ohio racing
  • 2000 -  109 round wins
  • 2001 - 73 round wins