Book Now
||Bill Schultz

Bill Schultz

Unlike a lot of racers Bill didn’t dream about becoming a professional racer. In fact, early in his life he was exposed to another sport, baseball, by his father who was an avid baseball fan and his mother who competed in women’s softball. This led him to dreaming about becoming a pro baseball player, but around his mid high school years he was bitten by the fishing bug. He dreamed of someday spending his time by the lakes and streams near where he lived. Still like so many others who lived in Southern California, Bill loved working on cars and he had a 1939 Chevy that he used to take to the races, “just to see what it would do”. The fact that it just happened to win trophies at tracks like San Gabriel and Irwindale was simply, “Icing on the cake”.

After graduating from high school in 1955, Bill joined the Navy as a machinery repairman thinking that he would make that his career. With the thought being after retiring from the service he would have plenty of time to go fishing. His Navy training classes gave him an opportunity to learn how to make and repair machinery and after tours of duty in the far East in Australia Bill was assigned to the Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California, as a machinist. This allowed him more time to pursue other interests. With all of that going on he still had time to buy another 1939 Chevy and equip it with an Oldsmobile engine and that became his latest streetcar.

In 1959 Bill chose to leave the Navy and go to college where he first chose engineering as major. He soon switched to a math major, but his engineering interest and background paid off for him later on in his racing career. That same year he and good friend, Jerry Estep, built an Olds powered B/Roadster which was Bill’s first strictly competition car. The roadster was fun but shortly after fielding it successfully, Estep purchased a K-88 chassis and the pair promptly dropped the Olds engine into it and they were hooked on the dragster world. Later that year Bill was introduced to Donnie Johansen from Howard’s Rods and by mid-1968 they had formed the Schultz & Jones Racing Team; promptly winning the Top Gas Title at the 1968 NHRA Indy Nationals. To prove that wasn’t a fluke they repeated their Indy win in 1970.

After the 1970 Indy win Bill brought Jerry Glenn on as a driver, but Jerry had his own dragster and he wanted Bill to build a fuel engine for. Before long the pair hit the circuit with a blown Chrysler powered AA/Fuel dragster racing under the Glenn & Scholz banner. This combination worked very well for them but the car was heavy so Bill designed the “motor out” chassis. Billed as Scholz and Glenn Racing they successfully ended 1971 with the PDA and the NHRA world Championship trophies. Facing a lack of backing to continue racing Bill retired from racing and move to an automotive machine shop where he built street engines. While this was fun the street guys didn’t really want to spend the money to build a first-class engine so he moved on. In 1978 he teamed up with Gary Reed and Jim Polopolus to field a Chrysler powered rear engine AA/Fuel dragster. By 1979 the pair had added many members to the team including Sonny Diaz and driver Kelly Brown. This proved to be a great move as they won the NHRA Gatornationals, the NHRA Cajun Nationals, the NHRA Mile High Nationals, as well as the NHRA 25th Silver Anniversary US Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Now known as the “Over the Hill Gang”, even with their winning season it was still hard to get adequate funding for a full-blown assault on the quarter-mile. With Sonny and Kelly retiring the group took a chance and built a fuel funny car with the hope of securing funding. Just before its debut race, “In-N-Out Burger” came on board with what was supposed to be a four-race sponsorship. This relationship grew into a full tour sponsorship which lasted through 1997. Once again Bill had the “best of the best” driving his cars including Dale Pulde and Mark Oswald. After the 1997 season without funding again Bill decided to permanently retired from active competition and finally go fishing. Actually, he has “Morphed back into the days of my second 1939 coupe where I just enjoyed building and cruising my street rods”.

As the history books will show during Bill’s career, he posts an impressive total of almost 40 major NHRA, IHRA, an independent event wins in top fuel, top gas, and funny cars. He is considered one of the best owners, engine builders, and crew chiefs in the history of the sport.

By | 2019-04-08T19:01:45+00:00 April 8th, 2019|2015 Inductees|