Former pro road racer and racing business owner Brett Ray died of a heart attack at his home in Marion, Illinois, on May 6. He was 59.
Ray grew up racing motorcycles in motocross, flat track, drag racing and even did some car racing, but he loved motorcycle road racing most of all. Through the 1990s and early 2000s he competed in AMA Pro Superbike, usually under the R & R Racing banner.
He later shifted to the AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-ST/Moto-GT endurance series, where he and Paul Schwemmer co-rode an Aprilia Tuono RSV1000 to third place overall in the race at VIRginia International Raceway.
He later came back to participate in the 75th Daytona 200 in 2016, qualified 38th in the field of 54, but DNF the race.
Away from the track, Ray turned his passion for racing into a business, also called R & R Racing. Ray started R & R Racing in 1991 and produced rear subframes, front fairing brackets, and bike stands, among other products.
Later in life Ray switched to pursuing a career in video and film production and worked on many commercial and film projects.
He is survived by wife Lana Ray; mother and father, Deanna and Lecil Ray; sister, Ellen Denise Sumrall; son, Brandon Ray; three stepdaughters, Morgan Thomas, Ashley Waldrop, and Makenzie Johnston; stepson, Taylor Wicks; six grandchildren; and a large extended family.
A visitation has been scheduled from 4:00-7:00 p.m. (Central Time) on May 11 at Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 North Court Street, Marion, Illinois, (618) 993-2131, www.wilsonmcreynolds.com. The visitation will be immediately followed by a memorial service, which will be streamed live on the funeral home’s Facebook page.