14, 2019 | Don Lee, a longtime employee of
Cornett Racing Engines, died yesterday following a brief battle
with liver cancer. He was 59. Lee worked the parts counter,
among other duties, during two stretches spanning nearly 15
years for the venerable engine builder. According to Cornett
Racing Engines founder Jack Cornett, Lee was diagnosed with
stage four liver cancer six weeks ago. He last worked in the
engine shop in early February.
"Don basically answered the phone for me," Cornett
said. "All of my customers that called the shop all talked
to him and all knew him well because Don took a lot of pressure
off me. He handled a lot of things that I didn't have to. A
lot of people knew him, a lot of racers, all of our vendors,
because he ordered all the parts. He truly was one of the hardest
working, most dedicated guys at his job that I've ever had work
for us. He took serious pride in his job and he went above and
beyond a lot of times."
Cornett said Lee's first stint with the company beginning in
the '90s or maybe the late '80s lasted nearly a decade.
"He left and then he came back and he's been with us about
five years," Cornett added. "He's been a great friend
to me and my family during this whole time, even when he wasn't
working for us... just one of the super nicest guys you'd ever
want to meet... not a mean bone in his body. He was a great
racing fan. He loved Dirt Late Model racing. He loved racing
and that's really why he liked working for us."
Southern Oaks Funeral Home in Somerset, Kentucky is handling
the arrangements. - Story Courtesy of Robert Holman / DirtOnDirt.com
20, 2018 | Congratulations to Red and
Jack Cornett on their 2019 induction into the National Dirt
Late Model Hall of Fame! The Somerset, Kentucky engine
builder is one of the most successful in modern-era Dirt Late
Model racing, powering cars to victories in the 'World 100'
and scores of other major events, as well as nine national titles
on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and World of Outlaws
Craftsman Late Model Series. Ira Jackson "Red" Cornett
founded Cornett Machine Shop in 1948 and was joined in 1976
by son Jack, who guides racing operations today. The elder Cornett
continued working until his 2012 death at the age of 95. Successful
drivers over the last 35 years include Scott Bloomquist, Josh
Richards, Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Owens, Jack Boggs, Bart Hartman,
Rick Eckert, and Jonathan Davenport, amongst many others!
27, 2018 | Congratulations Red Waka
Motorsport! Cornett Racing Engines is proud to have
exclusively partnered up with Wayne Hemi from Red Waka Motorsport
in New Zealand for over 15 years in building & maintaining
their superstock racing engines. Last weekend they raced in
the World 240 Superstock Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand
which Jordan Dare finished 2nd with Wayne Hemi right behind
him in 3rd. New Zealand superstock racing is full contact and
you have to watch it, to believe it, as these men from Down
Under are absolutely crazy!
9, 2014 | Cornett Racing Engines was named
the winner of the 2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Engine
Builder of the Year award, which was determined through the
DIRTcar Horsepower program. Among the Kentucky-based engine
builder's successes this season was powering Darrell Lanigan
to his seventeen (17) series victories with no engine failures
on the season!!!
26, 2013 | The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
will hold it’s annual Championship Awards Banquet next
month, on Thursday, December 12th, at the magnificent Lucas
Estate in Carmel, IN. Along with honoring Jimmy Owens as the
2013 National Champion and Billy Moyer Jr. as the JRi Shocks
Rookie of the Year – Presented by Dunn-Benson Ford, the
series will hand out a copious amount of cash and product awards
to the various point category winners of the 2013 season.
In the quest for the COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Award,
Cornett Racing Engines won the prestigious award for the sixth
time in a row and recorded 12 feature wins on the series in
2013. Cornett Racing Engines will receive a cash award and several
product awards from COMP Cams, Edelbrock, CV Products, Roush
Yates Performance Parts, and Dyer’s Top Rods!
28, 2013 | Craig Reece and his No. 74 National
Title Pawn stock car celebrated the Memorial Day weekend with
a trio of top-five performances. The highlight of the holiday
‘tripleheader’ was a dominating effort Sunday evening
at Rome (GA) Speedway. Reece – the 2012 Crate Late Model
Division season champion at the track – picked up where
he left off last year winning his heat race before blistering
the competition with a start-to-finish victory in the evening’s
“I started fifth and my heat race and I knew right away
that our car was really fast,” Reece stated. “It
took me until last turn to do it, but I took the lead there
and was able to win the heat.
“In the feature, I stated on pole and it was light’s
out,” Reece continued. “I led wire-to-wire over
a great field of cars. It was a solid victory for us and an
awesome win for our new Ford 347SR Crate Engine. I can’t
believe how good this engine was all weekend. It never skipped
a beat - especially at Rome where it really dominated. The more
I race it, the more I really love this Ford engine.” [more]
7, 2012 | Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN captured
his second consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National
Championship in 2012. Owens, also known as the “Newport
Nightmare” capped off another great season on the series
by winning the season’s final event, the “Red Buck
Dirt Track World Championship” and the $50,000 first place
prize money. The Reece Monument Racing Team, owned by Mike Reece,
put up some amazing stats during the 2012 LOLMDS season and
will take home the $75,000 points check, along with numerous
other awards at the series year-end awards banquet on December
Owens won seven Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events during
the 2012 season. His wins came at Batesville Motor Speedway
(AR) in May; Lucas Oil Speedway (MO) in May and July; Lawrenceburg
Speedway (IN) in August; Brownstown Speedway (IN) in September;
Dixie Speedway (GA) in October and Portsmouth Raceway Park (OH)
again in October. Owens also recorded eleven (11) runner-up
finishes in 2012 and an amazing 37 top ten finishes out of 38
points paying series events in 2012. The lone finish out of
the top ten was a 16th place finish at Rome Speedway, only after
leading most of the event to suffer a flat tire that set him
back in the field out of the top ten. Owens took over the series
championship points lead after the March 30th event at Jackson
Motor Speedway (MS) and never relinquished the points lead the
remainder of the season, beating out Don O’Neal by 470
4, 2012 | Darrell Lanigan's dream season on
the World of Outlaws Late Model Series officially came to a
close on Sunday night. The 42-year-old star from Union, Ky.,
was crowned the 2012 champion of the renowned national tour
– and collected a $100,000 points-fund check – during
Sunday's annual WoO LMS 'Night of Champions' Awards Banquet
at the Great Wolf Lodge.
Lanigan rewrote the circuit's record book en route to becoming
the second two-time WoO LMS titlist since 2004. He established
new standards for wins in a single season (15), consecutive
victories (six) and alltime triumphs (41), leaving the typically
reserved driver even more at a loss for words.
"Wow...what a year!" Lanigan told a filled ballroom
when he was called to the stage to accept his championship honors.
"Unbelievable, just unbelievable. That's all I can say."
Lanigan seized the points lead with a victory in the 2012 season
opener on Feb. 11 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.,
and never relinquished it, becoming the first driver to remain
atop the standings from start-to-finish. His final championship
margin of 228 points over 2011 titlist Rick Eckert of York,
Pa., was the largest in series history!
12, 2012 | A member of the International Motorsports
Hall of Fame and owner of a successful NASCAR racing team expressed
sadness upon learning of the death Tuesday of “Red’
Cornett, owner-founder of Cornett Machine Shop and Cornett Racing
Engines. Jack Roush, founder, CEO and co-owner of Roush Fenway
Racing, called Cornett “a prince of a fellow.”
“Cornett built the engine for my first serious race car
in 1966,” said Roush, who has won 32 championships and
more than 400 races in drag racing, sports and stock car racing.
Roush Fenway Racing is headquartered in Concord, North Carolina.
Roush, a member of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, got acquainted
with Cornett at Berea College and “ ... after college
I interviewed for a job with him.” [full
11, 2012 | Pulaski County, the state, the nation
and the world have lost a champion. Ira Jackson Cornett, better
known as “Red,” founder of Cornett Machine Shop,
died yesterday morning at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.
He was 95.
“Red” Cornett was probably the most talented; the
most dedicated man to his business and his family; the hardest
worker Pulaski County has ever known. Who among us, like “Red,”
will report to work every day as we pass our 95th birthday and,
even at that age, personally care for a loved one, like Mary
Elizabeth, his beloved wife of more than 70 years?
“He was a good man,” said his son, Jack. “He
cared about people, especially about people in need. He always
wanted to help people in need.” [full