We have had the good fortune to become acquainted with quite a cross-section of people at Firebird over the years. One in particular not only carried with him a keen interest in our sport of drag racing, but he also instilled a certain sense of automotive passion onto the next generation of their family, which makes this Blast from the Past a bit more uplifting. We are disheartened by the passing of Keith Shumway, 78, on Friday, March 18, 2011.

We came upon this mid-80’s winner’s circle photo featuring the nostalgic front-motored dragster driven by his son Kevin shortly after winning the “All Out Drag” class. Originally a big part of the family-supported race team, Keith is pictured standing in the background (center standing with sunglasses).

Today, his son Kevin, daughter Annette, and grandchildren have been actively involved in everything from the Club Series to the Chevy races, Oldies Drags, Nightfire Nationals and season closing Halloween Classic, too. More specifically, four members of the Shumway family (Tyler, Justin, Kevin and Annette) were actively involved in helping the Hot Shots win the season-ending Copper Cup championship in Club Challenge Series in 2010. Every member of the New family and the raceway staff are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Shumway. He touched many people. For all that he gave, we are indebted for everything he did in his lifetime, including his two-decade honorable service in the military. Not many will disagree with the fact that he was a true gentleman of the highest order.

With that said, we’re most definitely going to miss Keith Shumway. Our deepest condolences are extended to all the Shumway family members, close friends and acquaintances.

God speed.