Old School DRIVERS
Mike McCreary, a two-time Northern Auto Racing Club driving champion passed away of pancreatic cancer Friday September 24, 2004. He bravely battled the disease to attend a final Saturday night of racing on September 18th at Carson City, NV.
His career started at Carson City in 1964. Mike was an innovator that made his own chassis and engines for either dirt or pavement sprint car racing. Mike won the first ever Scarborough Trophy at Calistoga Speedway. He was residing in Placerville.
A father, grandfather, and dear friend of many, Mike was born in Denver December 29, 1942 to Lee Fallek-McCreary and Wayne Fallek, a U.S. Army fighter pilot, killed in service to his country. McCreary, the eldest of three siblings, was raised in San Bruno, California where he graduated from Cappuccino High School and Healds Engineering College. The family relocated to Reno, Nevada where a young and mechanically skilled McCreary began auto racing at nearby Lemon Valley Speedway, Tahoe-Carson Speedway, Winnemucca and Lovelock Speedways in 1964. His driving skill was the equal of his mechanical excellence and racing success came quickly.
Racing with the highly competitive Northern Auto Racing Club, McCreary was named Rookie of the Year in 1966, honored as Most Improved Driver in 1967, and crowned Champion in 1968, and again in 1972. He was crowned Placerville Speedway Champion in 1981 highlighting his many championships and accomplishments.
McCreary’s Oval Chassis Research cars won races throughout the US, Canada and even Australia. McCreary and his wife Carla lived in San Jose, California where they owned and operated a full service Chevron service station in the neighboring town of Milpitas. In 1977 the McCreary’s moved to Placerville and purchased Mother Lode Automotive and established the Mother Lode Machine Shop and the Chevron Mini-Mart on Missouri Flat Road. McCreary’s Oval Chassis Research shop was housed in conjunction with the machine shop and was the unofficial “race central” to more race teams over the years than could be counted.
Though ultra-competitive and possessed with a serious will to win, McCreary was equally willing to help all racers who asked for assistance. McCreary’s occasionally gruff exterior could easily be penetrated to reveal a kind and friendly man. A proud member of Light of the Hills Lutheran Church, Mike was also actively involved with Carla in Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary where they were honored with the “Golden Paw Award” for their tireless efforts towards finding adoptive homes for healthy dogs and providing medical care and hospice for sick and elderly dogs. The McCreary’s contributed to the sanctuary’s ranch in Elverta using their machine shop and auto repair business to refurbish donated cars and trucks, which were sold to provide funding for saving countless numbers of dogs from euthanasia.
McCreary is survived by his wife Carla, and a large blended family including sons Michael Jr., David Wayne, David Lee, and daughter Debby; his mother Lee, brother Terry, and sister Valerie, as well as his grandchildren, Nicole, Ryan, Logan, Charlie, Cormack, Chelsea, Kristi, Thomas and great-granddaughter Brizsay.
A memorial service will be held at Light of the Hills Lutheran Church, 3100 Rodeo Road, Cameron Park at 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 1st with reception to follow.