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Thread: Part 20B - Bill Tenney and David Tenney

  1. #1
    Team Member hydrospeed77's Avatar
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    Default Part 20B - Bill Tenney and David Tenney

    Tonights “a little history” will be done in two separate emails. Part 20B continuation of Bill Tenney/David Tenney Racing and 21 Rick Fralick, Picton, Ontario, Canada. In both cases I am going to leave the writing as it came to me as this is the best way to keep accuracy and meaning.
    Special thanks to David Tenney and Willie Crear for supplying the following information.
    One thing I noticed was nothing mentioned about Bill Tenney’s passion for pike fishing throughout the world. Records set here as well in Tenney fashion.

    David Tenney born July 11, 1958 (62)

    Karl…Thanks for highlighting the racing exploits of my father. It is amazing how time flies and a lot of our sport’s history is being lost I was blessed to grow up watching my father’s dedication and intensity around racing and 2 cycle engines. We were definitely not a “stick and ball” sports family. Daily discussions with my father centered on 2 cycle engine theory and development. I remember at age 9 if I could explain to him how a Cox Tee Dee .049 model airplane engine worked……it was a crank induction rotary valve motor! The scary thing is I understood the basics of the induction system thanks to all the lessons from my father.

    The interesting thing is that one would assume the Bill would be really involved in my racing programs. While he was always there for advice, he wanted me to do everything on my own including the development work, race preparation and funding. The good news that when I was racing karts I was working at his company by day during the summer and then had full run of the machine shop after 5pm to do whatever I liked. Often times I would be at the shop until early morning.

    When I was car racing he and Patty came to all the National Championship races. A great memory is the victory lap at Road Atlanta in 1989 with Bill, Patty and my fiance and now wife Katherine riding on the car during the lap. That was really cool.

    There are many things that I learned from Bill that have allowed me to be successful in my own racing efforts and in business. I have taught many of these lessons to my own children. There is no substitute for hard work and dedication. An obsessive like focus is needed to really be successful. Creating a team with other like minded smart folks is a must.

    I thought I would share a bit of my own racing career….it is fun to reminisce which I have been doing more recently after retiring from race driving and transitioning to owner.

    On Sep 25, 2020, at 10:56 AM, Willie Crear <> wrote:


    It is 2007-2019, not 2008. You were at Devil's Lake for the Rockey Stone Kilos in 2007. You left the rag in the exhaust on Sunday morning....

    2008-U.I.M. World kilo record, 125cc Runabout, Rockey Stone Kilos, Devil's Lake, Oregon, 76.076 MPH. Old record had been set by Tim Small at 64? MPH.

    2010-APBA 125cc Runabout record, 3 mile/4 lap, 56.273 MPH, Ocoee, Florida, Jay Anderson driving.

    Both speed records, above, still stand 12 years later.

    2010-U.I.M. World Championship in 125cc Runabout, Lake Alfred, Florida, Davey Jones driving. That was the first race you ever won, either as driver or owner. Before that, we were just trying to get you across the finish line in all 3 heats.

    2011-Season High Point Champion in 125cc Hydro

    2011-Season High Point Champion, 125cc Runabout, Davey Jones driving.

    2012-Blew over the 175cc Hydro in practice at 86 MPH to end the season.

    2017-Season High Point Champion in 125cc Hydro.

    2016? 2017? Season High Point Champion in 175cc Hydro, tie 1st National Championship, driving a 125cc motor. Lost the tie breaker in the National. Final face-off was with Brad Dygert in the fall in Tennessee. You've got a plaque there someplace to get the dates right....

    I believe there were other 125cc High Point Championships. You have all the plaques.

    other: you missed the 2018 125cc High Point, although you won the Nationals that year, your carburetor fell off in Springfield, and Mackenzie Hellsten got the High your old Kala hydro.

    Keeping records in chronological order is a good thing….

    Steve Roskowski this AM:I actually have one of Bill’s Anzani engines. It has a gearcase that he must have cast up that is like a smaller Merc Quickie. I will try to get some photos this weekend. Some guy up by Lake Minnetonka was cleaning out some buildings on the Tenney property and had a bunch of kart parts and a small stash of outboard parts along with the engine. Strangely enough the powerhead is mounted transversely so the pipes point to the side.

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  2. #2
    Team Member hydrospeed77's Avatar
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    Default David Tenney Racing Bio

    David Tenney, born in Minneapolis, MN on July 11, 1958 is an American racer that has competed in karts, sports cars, and outboard racing boats.

    1975 - 1981

    David raced karts in the Midwest

    Competed in the 1977/78 IKF Sprint Nationals


    Won first SCCA National at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Sports Renault


    Finished in 2nd place in 6 SCCA National races in Sports Renault

    SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta qualified 10th and finished 13th


    Finished in 1st place in 6 SCCA National races in Sports Renault

    June Sprints winner

    7 Pole positions

    SCCA Runoffs Road Atlanta qualified on the pole and finished in 2nd place

    Cen Div Sports Renault Champion

    SCCA Chicago Region driver of the year in 1988.

    Featured in a Valvoline print and TV ad for Valvoline

    Competed in an indoor kart race in Chicago against the Soviet National Team. Other team members included Jon Andretti.


    Finished in 1st place in 7 SCCA National races in Sports Renault

    SCCA Runoffs Road Atlanta qualified on the pole and finished in 1st place

    SCCA Chicago Region driver of the year

    SportsCar magazine star search pick

    Competed in kart race against the Soviet National Team in Riga, Latvia


    Competed in SCCA and SISAPA Sports 2000


    SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta qualified on the pole and finished in 1st place in Shelby Can Am

    1st overall in the SCCA Shelby Can Am Pro Series


    SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta qualified on the pole and finished in 1st place in Shelby Can Am


    Did not race


    Inaugural SCCA Spec Racer Ford Pro in Des Moines qualified on pole and finished in 1st

    June Sprints winner


    Did not race


    Raced in IMSA ‘s World Sports Racer Pro series

    Qualified on pole and Finished in 1st place at Mosport


    Raced in IMSA ‘s World Sports Racer Pro series

    Finished 1st Road Atlanta, 3rd Mosport and 2nd Sebring

    1999 - 2007

    Mechanic and engineer for son’s kart racing effort

    Raced WKA and Stars of Karting

    2008 - 2019

    Actively involved in professional outboard racing

    US Title series National 125cc Hydro Championship 4 times: 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019

    Kilo world record for 125cc Runabout


    Retired from driving race boats

    Owns and sponsors a team that competes in the 125cc and 175cc hydro classes.

    Board member US Title Series, the organization the promotes and manages Pro Outboard racing

    What are my proudest moments over all these years?

    Winning that first SCCA Sports Renault National Championship against a full field of essentially identical cars.

    Winning the 1994 SCCA June Sprints against an enormous field of 91 Sports Renaults and Spec Racer Fords.

    Winning the first ever Spec Racer Ford Pro race on the streets of Des Moines.

    Wining both the SCCA Runoffs and the Shelby Can Am pro series in 1991.

    Winning my first Hydro National Championship on Lake Depue, on the very the same lake my father raced and won on years before.

    Winning my final National Championship in 2019 on Lake Depue with my sister and children cheering me on from the beach.

    I am most thankful for all the friends I made along the way and especially thankful for those like minded, and obsessed individuals that became part of the team. I could never have enjoyed any success without their help.

    Car Racing:

    Beau Martin
    Fred Cohen
    Mike Atkins
    Ron Valine
    Mel Lester

    Boat Racing:

    Rex Hall
    Dave Jones
    Mike Schmidt
    Craig Dewald
    Wille Crear

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