Billy Decker 54 Years of HO Slot Car Racing

Billy Decker is one of the original Racers here at Randy’s Raceway and has a long and interesting story of Slot Car racing.  My personal connection and friendship with Billy began in 1997 racing with him at Tom Hiester’s Speedway in Reading.  I quickly set Billy as a goal to be able to race with at Hiester’s.  He always fielded very fast cars and is a skilled racer.  I had fun driving his NASCAR one season at Randy’s and we had some good runs.  I will tell Billy’s story below but above all he has been a constant mentor to new racers and has helped numerous drivers over the years with rides, car building, advise and a friendly smile and sometimes vise crack to keep us honest.  It is an honor to be able to count Billy Decker as a friend.

Billy began racing slots in High School around 1963 with friend in his hometown of Easton PA.  A side note about Billy was he was a long time crew member and crew chief for his Easton friend Tom Hager.  This explains his passion for Dirt Track Modified racing.  Billy joined the Army in 1967 and when he got home in the early 70’s a friend of his Charlie Bray had a 6 lane track in Nazareth that he raced on for many years.  This track was a road course and oval which went way up the wall at one point.   In the early 70’s he raced with Ace Lane and Joe Connelly in NJ and then ran into the Hiester family at the Novelty stand at Big Diamond and found out about their slot car racing series.  In the mid 70’s Billy and Linda moved to the Pocono area and Billy set up his own track and had weekly racing there and also was part of a series with a Harrisburg area track.  Now would be a good time to mention Billy’s wife Linda who has supported his slot car racing over the years.  Linda has always encouraged Billy to race and is still his biggest supporter.  Billy continued to race at Hiesters in the late 70’s as well as Trains and Lanes in Nazareth.  This track was 30 ft long with some road course turns as well.  Billy won the first four classes in his first ever race there and the owner asked him to slow down and give someone else a chance.  In the 80’s Billy won 2 championships at Junior Snyder’s Raceway in Nazareth and also raced at Ed Reifinger’s. Billy spent a lot of time building cars and encouraging kids to race and was a big supporter of this at area tracks.  In the 90’s Billy was busy racing at the Hiester track and then was an original member of a new start up track in Kutztown.

Here the plot thickens.  Billy began his career at Randy’s and has been a weekly racer and constant mentor and recently stepped up as a parts supplier to the group.  Billy is on the board of directors and is involved in the groups activities.  At the end of season one Billy was crowned the inaugural Modified Point Champion at Randy’s Raceway.  Billy loves to race and enjoys the friendships formed as much as the close competion over the years.  Beside the extremely long racing resume at Randy’s Raceway, Billy has also competed in the PA Tyco series and the Berks Lebanon series winning a feature.  Billy is truly a nice guy and a valuable asset at Randy’s Raceway and the Hobby of H.O. Racing.

Billy’s career stats at Randy’s include 7 career feature wins placing him 14th all time.  He has also won 391 segments which puts him ninth on that career list.  Billy has won 3 Modified features and in addition to his championship he was also runner up in the season Modified title in 08/09.  His most segments won in a single year was 32 in 08/09.  Billy has 6 top five point finishes in Modified and has only been outside the top 10 one season.  His last modified feature win was 11-13-12.  In NASCAR Billy won the opener this past season and finished strong with a fourth place in the standings.  Billy has 3 career NASCAR features wins and 113 segments placing him 7th all time in that division.  His best finish in the points was 08/09 when he was runner-up.  He has been a top five driver 8 times in the season champ runs.  Billy has had good years in IROC although the late hour has not always allowed him to stick around due to his long commute home.  Billy has traveled a long way over the years to race with us. His best finish in IROC points was 5th in 06/07 and won a feature on 3-17-09.

In the Sprint division Billy’s best finish was 5th in the 06/07 season.  Also in Sportsman his best finish was 5th in the 11/12 season.

At Hiester’s Speedway Billy finished 45th in Modified in 01/02, 9th in 00/01, 7th in 98/99 and 6th in 97/98.

I appreciate Billy taking the time to give me some of the facts about his slot car racing history and feel it’s important to document it.  Billy Decker is a true gentleman and a great asset to our group.  And after 54 years of racing he is making plans for next season.  I hope it will be his best yet.

Respectfully written by Mark Williams.