One Of The Great Georgia Drivers: Rance Phillips


Dave Roberts and the Snow Brothers

Phillips was the driver of the #90, owned by Laverne Kendrick and built by Eddie MacDonald. Rance won 77 features with this car 1981 and 1982.

Phillips was the driver of the #90, owned by Laverne Kendrick and built by Eddie MacDonald. Rance won 77 features with this car 1981 and 1982.

“Dave Roberts was from Jacksonville and he was the reason the Snow brothers got into the car building business,” Rance said.  “They worked together for three or so years. They were friends. Dave went to work with Alan Kulwicki and he retired from Jack Rousch. He worked for several Cup teams – he was that good. He was an excellent chassis man. He wasn’t the fastest. You would have to get with him six months in advance in order to get it when you needed it.

“The Snow brothers were Mike and Dennis. Mike worked for the railroad out near Baldwin (FL) and they had a layoff. Then when they called him back, he was so successful in the car building business he never went back. They had bought out his contract when they laid him off so he had a choice. He is one the better car builders out there. Mike is still at it. He won the car building award from the National Late Model Series for 3 or 4 years in a row.”

“I would say I won four or five championships there at Waycross,” Rance said.  “I won a championship in Brunswick. I won a championship in Lake City. I won a championship at the ole’ Jacksonville Speedway. But I don’t think I won any at the new track down there because I didn’t go down there that often. I would go down there for the big races, take their money and go home.

“The last race I ran there was a 100-lap championship race. Got there late, had no practice, started sixth and led all but eight laps. It took me eight laps to get to the front. Probably in 1989 or so. It was right before I sold out all my stuff. My wife and kids were religiously there at the races. The oldest was Lynne – she lives with me in Jasper. Nancy is the middle and she lives in Cleveland, GA. She just graduated from RN school. My son Randy lives near Inverness, FL. He is a foreman for a construction company and travels mostly in Florida.”

“I hardly ever blew an engine – maybe five or six engines in all those years,” Rance added.  “With the big blocks I never blew an engine in 20 years of racing them. All my competitors use to say to me, ‘When do you break down?’ A lot of times when I raced I wasn’t the fastest car there but I was always there in the end. That referred back to the Dyson brothers and good machine work. Most of the time I built my own engines. I never bought an engine until recent years.”

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