Ray Godman was a successful stock car driver in the late 1940's
tearing up tracks like Fairground Speedway and Riverside Speedway.
A sniper's bullet in the Korean War in 1951 may have slowed Godman
down, but not by much. About that time, drag racing was beginning
to take hold in Tennessee which interested Godman.
found an ad in HOT ROD magazine placed by Wally Parks, founder of
the NHRA. Wally Parks was looking for 'racing advisors' east of the
Mississippi. Parks was trying to promote the sport of drag racing
and the NHRA nationwide. Ray wrote Parks asking for information.
The NHRA Safety Safari, an organization appointing regional advisors
to find racing areas, contacted Ray. Back in 1947, the "Memphis
Rodders" organized with Ray Godman as one of it's original members.
It was with the help of these members that the first sanctioned drag
race was held at an abandoned air base in
Halls, Tennessee in 1955. After this event Ray was made an
official NHRA advisor. The Memphis Rodders then pooled their
earnings to buy equipment and a truck. They transported all the
equipment, setup and ran meets.
Ray and driver Red Dyer attended the first NHRA Nationals in Great
Bend, Kansas in 1955. They won class running a flat head 27-T Ford
roadster. Ray's cars participated in the Nationals for the next 27
years. Ray Godman was a partner in the construction of LakeLand
Dragway which opened July 4th, 1960.
Godman campaigned cars in T/F, AA/FC & AA/MR with the following
drivers: Jim McCrutchen, Preston Davis, Larry La Due, Sonny Adkins,
Bob Gibson & others. Godman participated in the first NHRA Nationals
in 1955 and had a perfect Indy attendance record through 1970.
Sixteen consecutive years!
Ray founded GODMAN HI-PERFORMANCE in 1977. The 15,000 sq ft
facility has over 30 years experience in research, building,
and design of high performance plumbing systems for all types of