R.I.P. Rick CameronWe are saddened to pass along the news of the sudden passing of longtime Top Fuel sand drag racer Rick Cameron. Rick had competed as recently as two weeks ago at an event in California scoring a runner up finish. He had a life long love for burning Nitromethane competing on both sand and asphalt in a variety of dragsters. NSDN passes along our condolences to Rick's Family at this difficult time. Click “Read More” to view more photos of Rick in action and a neat story about Rick from a few years ago.
Rick with a great launch in Primm, NV April 2008 where he scored a great semi-final finish and ran a 2.53 in the process.
The Cameron Motorsports crew warming up the Nitro burner. Rick in the driver's seat with sons Rick Jr & Kenny alongside.
A great pic of Rick under power at The Dirt 300 in Albuquerque, NM June 2012.
This story below was put together in 2009 by Brian Chapman and I about Rick’s racing experiences over the years. The story ended up running in Sand Sports Magazine in the “Sand Drag Scene” column July/August 2009 issue. It chronicles Rick’s vast history in Drag Racing of all forms. Enjoy the write up and R.I.P. Rick.
Cameron Racing / By: Brian Chapman & Tom Bray / July -Aug ’09 Sand Sports “Sand Drag Scene”
From qualifier to big time contender, popular Top Fuel racer Rick Cameron has weathered the storm to race for a fifth straight decade! In 1999, Rick suffered a heart attack and happily lived through heart by-pass surgery. He credits his boys for his recovery and for aiding in re-lighting the fire (literally), to continue the family tradition and Rick’s passion “Drag Racing”.
Rick, 57 years young today, began his straight line quest in 1967 when he bought Glendale Speed Center’s Jr. Fuel dragster. After two years of piloting this dragster, he strapped himself into the AA/GS “Flower Power” car. In 1970, Rick had California Chassis build him a new Jr. Fueler which he ran until 1972. At that point the motor went to the rear as he purchased Vince Granittelli’s STP drag wedge, which was by far the baddest rear-engine Jr. Fueler of its time. Rick ended up driving this same car in A/FD trim! This became the car known as the “Italian Stallion”. From that point, Mr. Cameron stepped up to Blown Alcohol Dragster and in 1979 he took the plunge into Top Fuel, which at the time was dubbed AA/FD.
Rick continued on driving anything with that went fast in a straight line. In 1978, he drove the equivalent of a Fuel Altered on water, a Blown Fuel Flat Bottom Boat in the drag boat racing wars. Further more, Rick continued on to shoeing to “Mr. Ken” Blown Fuel Hydro to a 217mph in the mid-80’s. This man just wanted to go fast.
Sand drag racing first came about for Rick in 1980, of course in the Top Fuel class. Chuck Neal loaned Rick some paddle tires to slap on his Blown Alcohol Dragster and it was game on! The very first event that he entered, he won. This set the hook, and Rick has been on the sand since.
After several sand dragsters, including a dual tire Top Fuel car raced in the early ‘90’s, the story moves ahead to 2000. That is when Rick and George Britting built a new Top Fuel sand dragster so that the saga could continue. This car went together shortly after Rick recovered from the by-pass surgery. You just can’t keep a good man down! Since then, as most sand drag fans know, there have been several new cars!
In 2007, Rod Pepmuller rebuilt the 2005 car. It came to life in January of 2008 in Yuma where Rick stood it straight up on end. The damage would be the end of that particular chassis.
This set the stage for the newest Cameron Racing Top Fueler. It is a converted NHRA dragster built by Gaddy. A 4400 mile trip and eight day thrash led up to its debut in Primm of 2008. The car went a best of 2.536 @ 128MPH and went to the semi-final round in its first race out.
This story will continue indefinitely as Rick and his boys do not plan on quitting any time soon. Rick’s oldest son, Rick Jr., is the crew chief on the car. Younger son, Kenny, is also a huge part of the operation and races a dragster of his own in the Pro 2 class. Kenny started off his winning ways at the age of 16 winning his class at one of the Primm National Events. The boys are a huge part of the team effort doing everything from building the motor to between rounds maintenance to calling the tune up shots for each pass. They are very proud of the fact that they now have 19 passes on their current engine and it looks like new. With a nitro motor, that is saying a lot for having a handle on the tune up and making good passes consistently.
Rick would like to thank the many people that have fueled his fire and his operation over the years; STP, Torco, Mert Littlefield Blowers, Keith Black Racing Engines, Arias Pistons, Howard Cams, Champion Spark Plugs, Enderle Fuel Injection, and Deist Safety Equipment.