The world of drag racing lost a true icon on December 29, 2023, when Roland Leong, a legendary figure in the sport, passed away at the age of 78. In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Roland Leong, explore the cause of his passing, and reflect on his lasting legacy in the world of NHRA drag racing.
Roland Leong: A Racing Legend
Roland Leong was born in Honolulu in 1945, and he quickly made a name for himself in the local racing scene in Hawaii. His remarkable skills behind the wheel and his passion for speed garnered him local notoriety.
Making Waves in Southern California
During the early 1960s, Leong decided to take his talents to the U.S. mainland, particularly Southern California, where he aimed to make a significant impact on NHRA drag racing. It was during this time that he gained the nicknames “The Hawaiian” and “The Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
Victories and Success
Leong’s career was defined by victories and success, especially with his “Hawaiian” brand cars, which he drove in both Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars. He achieved remarkable successes, including sweeping the NHRA’s two National Events in 1965 and 1966.
Influential Team Owner and Crew Chief
Leong’s influence extended beyond his own driving as he had renowned drivers like Don “Snake” Prudhomme behind the wheel of his cars. He played the role of a successful team owner and a skilled crew chief, contributing significantly to the success of his racing endeavors.
Despite facing challenges as a person of Asian descent in the racing world, Leong became a fan favorite and left an indelible mark on drag racing history. His determination and resilience in the face of adversity were truly remarkable.
What Happened to Roland Leong?
In the months leading up to his passing on December 29, 2023, Roland Leong’s health had been declining. Despite his challenges, he remained connected to the racing community, and close friends like Don “Snake” Prudhomme spent time with him, reminiscing about their shared experiences in the sport.
A Somber Day for Motorsports
Leong’s passing occurred just hours before the news of Gil de Ferran’s death, marking a somber day for the motorsports world, as it lost two influential figures in a short span of time.
The Cause of Roland Leong’s Death
On December 29, 2023, Roland Leong passed away at the age of 78. The cause of his death was attributed to declining health, a battle he had been facing in the months leading up to his passing. The drag racing community mourned the loss of a true icon, remembering the “Hawaiian” brand and the significant contributions he made throughout his career.
Roland Leong Cause of Death and Obituary – FAQs
- When did Roland Leong pass away?
Roland Leong passed away on December 29, 2023, at the age of 78.
- What was the cause of Roland Leong’s death?
Roland Leong’s death was attributed to declining health, a battle he had been facing in the months leading up to his passing.
- What is Roland Leong known for in motorsports?
Roland Leong is known for his expertise as an engine tuner, crew chief, and successful team owner in NHRA drag racing.
- What are Roland Leong’s nicknames?
Roland Leong was known by colorful nicknames, including “The Hawaiian” and “The Flyin’ Hawaiian,” reflecting his birthplace in the Hawaiian Islands.
- How long did Roland Leong’s career span in drag racing?
Roland Leong’s career spanned several decades, making a significant impact from the early 1960s until his passing in 2023.
In conclusion, Roland Leong’s legacy in drag racing is one of determination, passion, and success. His contributions to the sport will always be remembered, and his passing marks the end of an era in the world of NHRA drag racing.