LOOKing Back at Kenny Delco's First Win. by Kelly Wade

March 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

2008-052942008-05294When the postponed Amalie Motor Oils NHRA Gatornationals reappear on the schedule, the entry list will have a spot reserved for Pro Stock's Kenny Delco.

When the postponed Amalie Motor Oils NHRA Gatornationals reappear on the schedule, the entry list will have a spot reserved for Pro Stock's Kenny Delco.
 

2008-011432008-01143For engine builder Frank Iaconio and Pro Stock driver Delco, a return to Gainesville is always special. It's where both earned their first career wins as Pro Stock drivers.

For engine builder Frank Iaconio and Pro Stock driver Delco, a return to Gainesville is always special. It's where both earned their first career wins as Pro Stock drivers.
 

9011-87-119011-87-11Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.

Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.
 

1990GF1_Delco WC_011990GF1_Delco WC_01Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.

Kenny Delco, crew and friends are all smiles after beating Rickie Smith to take home the Pro Stock honors.

 

9011-100-029011-100-02Deb Britsen, Miss Winston, looks on as legendary announcer Dave McClelland interviews Kenny Delco after his 1st Pro Stock win at the 1990 Gatornationals.

Deb Britsen, Miss Winston, looks on as legendary announcer Dave McClelland interviews Kenny Delco after his 1st Pro Stock win at the 1990 Gatornationals.

9011-100-099011-100-09Mike Lewis interviews Kenny Delco about what it's like to win the Gators.

Mike Lewis interviews Kenny Delco about what it's like to win the Gators.
 

9011-87-019011-87-01Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

2008-052972008-05297We've always done well here and run fast, and we were hoping to win that day & but no, we didn't expect it, said Delco at the 2016 event. Of course you go to any race and want to win, but the truth is that I just like racing.

We've always done well here and run fast, and we were hoping to win that day & but no, we didn't expect it, said Delco at the 2019 event. Of course you go to any race and want to win, but the truth is that I just like racing.

9011-96-059011-96-05Delco beat Rickie Smith in the 1990 Gainesville Pro Stock final.

Delco beat Rickie Smith in the 1990 Gainesville Pro Stock final.

8820-39-098820-39-09His first Pro Stock final round was in 1988 in Memphis, where he was runner-up to Tony Christian.

His first Pro Stock final round was in 1988 in Memphis, where he was runner-up to Tony Christian.

9011-87-019011-87-01Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.
 

1978GF1_PS Final1978GF1_PS FinalNotably, Iaconio also earned the first win of his Pro Stock career at Gainesville Raceway. In 1978, he beat iconic driver Bob Glidden for the Gatornationals title. 10 more wins would follow in the ultra-competitive class before Iaconio would hang up his driving suit.

Delco, whose crew chief is Jamie Yates , son of two-time Pro Stock champ Jim Yates , has a lot of years in the category. He also has a not-so-secret weapon in his veteran engine builder: Frank Iaconio.

Notably, Iaconio also earned the first win of his Pro Stock career at Gainesville Raceway. In 1978, he beat iconic driver Bob Glidden for the Gatornationals title. 10 more wins would follow in the ultra-competitive class before Iaconio would hang up his driving suit.

 

1978GF1_PS winner1978GF1_PS winnerDelco, whose crew chief is Jamie Yates Ð son of two-time Pro Stock champ Jim Yates Ð has a lot of years in the category. He also has a not-so-secret weapon in his veteran engine builder: Frank Iaconio.

There is definitely meaning to it, coming to this race, said Iaconio, who raced in his first final round at the 1976 running of the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Wally Booth got the win that day. I remember our Gainesville win. It was only the second year Ray Allen and I raced. We built the car the year before and only went to a couple of races, and we were runner up at Indy, the second race on the car. We went to Pomona ,Winternationals, and back then Gainesville was the second race. We ran good and won the race. It was memorable. Hopefully, this is still a good track for us.
 

 


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