Nomination of David Wayne McCullough for CVAR Lifetime Achievement Award

Time to vote for the CVAR Lifetime Achievement Award. Please submit your vote via email to Herb at voting is now open and will be closed on April 7, 2023.  We will give out the awards at the ECR race in April.

Men devote their lives to many things. It is a lucky man who devotes his life to something he truly loves.  David McCullough was one of the lucky ones. Without question, David loved racing.  From the time he was a small boy in South Oak Cliff to the day he died, he was devoted, single minded and “pedal to the metal” in all things pertaining to racing.

In 1967, at age 19, David completed his first driving school in Penwell, Texas, running an HP Bugeye Sprite. His love of vintage cars began there and never waned. For the next two years he ran in the SCCA Texas Regional races in the Sprite and borrowed a Lotus Super 7 to get his SCCA national license. From 1969-1970 he raced an HP Sprite sponsored by Shepherd’s Automotive and Bill Cox of Cox Fencing in Dallas. They went to the SCCA Runoffs at Daytona in 1969 where David finished ninth. In 1970 he took the pole position in the Runoffs at Road Atlanta, but before the race he broke his transmission and with a sourced “bone stock” gearbox he finished fourth.  In 1971 David took a brief but fruitful break from racing to have his first child, Patty.  She became his lifelong cheerleader, going to as many races as she could throughout his career.  By the time Patty was one, David was back at it!  From 1972-1975 David competed each year in the SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta.  In 1973 he co-drove an IMSA Mustang with Danny Moore at 12-Hours of Sebring, 3-Hours of Daytona and 6-Hours at Mid-Ohio. That same year, David raced a GP Sprite and went to the Runoffs at Road Atlanta where he infamously rolled the Midget after getting “tapped” just after the bridge while racing down the hill. In 1978 he raced another GP Midget for Shepherd’s Automotive, finishing third at the Runoffs at Road Atlanta.  In 1983 David raced the SFD prepared FP Midget, finishing sixth at Road Atlanta.

Throughout David’s racing career, he willingly shared his mechanical knowledge, tools, driving expertise, tall tales and great sense of humor with all his race friends, both old and new.  He especially loved talking “shop” while teaching new drivers the turns, lines and ropes. He enthusiastically supported the accomplishments of other drivers and was always quick to congratulate them on all their achievements.  Through racing, David developed many lifelong friendships.  For 60 years, his childhood friend, Don Jordan raced alongside him, first racing slot cars at Action Speedway on Davis in Dallas with Mr. Clinkenbeard as their mentor. Then, in their 20’s, Don played a key role in developing the race motors that powered numerous cars that they ran together.  Don helped David by assisting track side for years, building engines with him, and encouraging him. With Don, David was able to race Datsun 510s, Midgets, Swift DB-6 F/C and Datsun 1200s.  

In 1978, David and Trevor Bond built their friendship as well as their first 125CC KF lay-down shifter Kart and won the SWRRA Mid-America championship. They raced 125CC and Enduro Karts at Oak Hill Raceway, Hallett, Lake Afton, Ardmore, San Angelo and the Austin Aqua fest.  For the next 40 years they would build their families together, work on cars together, race together (or against each other) and share their love of racing together. 

From 1982-1985 David worked for Stuart Crow, building, fabricating and offering track side service on various cars for the team. While there, David raced a Merlyn MK-29 and a DB1 Swift in Formula Ford.  In 1984 he ran the DB1 at the Runoffs.   

In 1994, David got his dream job as Shop Manager for Ishida Motorsports (formerly Pinnacle and now Concierge). There, his genius for fabrication and attention to detail promoted many of the cars that run in CVAR today. He built multiple MG Midgets and rented out FVs and FFs to many CVAR racers.  He also supplied track side service to many racers including Alan Hofeling, Tito Gallegos, John Schroeder, Gary Reed and others.  In 1996, David was Crew Chief for Russ Bond in the Mike Sauce Motorsports Reynard 93H Toyota Atlantic Championship. 

David retired from Ishida Motorsports in 2004, but not from racing.  For the next 19 years, David competed in CVAR, loving every minute of it and continuing to make new friends. The core group of racers in David’s circle called themselves the ROMEO Club…Retired Old Men Eating Out! Whether having breakfast at Mom’s Café in Justin or sitting under an awning in fold up chairs at the races, talking all things racing, these men brought such a spark to David’s life, and he to theirs!

In 2016 while David was racing the Datsun 1200 at TMS, he met Steve Smargiasso, a man whose love of racing and dedication to keeping David on the track proved fortuitous for both. Forming a fast friendship including Steve’s son Alex, they raced Datsun 510s together for the next six years. Steve sponsored the endeavor while David prepared the cars and Don Jordan prepared the motors. David and the team raced at MSR Houston, Hallett, Eagles Canyon, Texas Motor Speedway, MSR Cresson and COTA! Having the time of his life, David drove Steve’s Roadster at Hallett in October 2022. It would prove to be his final lap.  David passed away on December 14, 2022, at the age of 74 at 4:44 pm with over 40 friends and family members by his side. He leaves a legacy of love for his family, his friends and his beloved racing.  May his competitive spirit live on in the men and women who also love racing, vintage cars and CVAR.

Based on this extraordinary body of work, we would like to nominate David Wayne McCullough for the Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing Lifetime Achievement Award.