Richmond’s Jeff Lee returns with rebuilt engine to win second straight sprint car race

Pt. Richmond's Jeff Lee bounces back from car trouble to win second straight sprint car race

It was déjà vu for veteran Richmond racer Jeff Lee.

Four months after badly damaging his engine while winning the Northern All Stars Wingless Sprint Car main event at Antioch Speedway, Lee returned to the same track on Saturday night with a rebuilt engine and won all over again. He’s in the No. 98 car in the photo above, which was published by Oval Motorsports Inc. and credited to photographer Paul Gould.

Lee even edged out Kyle Bakkie, the same young driver from Citrus Heights who finished at his bumper at the first event.

“We cracked the engine block when we won the first race of the year,” he told Oval Motorsports Inc. “We got it rebuilt by last week, and strangely, this race was a replay of the first race.”

Lee, 63, is a retired senior account manager who formerly served six years on the Richmond Planning Commission and assisted on the development of the General Plan. He currently serves as oversight board member of the Successor Agency to the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency.

He says racing experience was all he had against Bakkie, a chemistry major at UC Davis.

“I grew up in the Midwest and there’s not much else to do,” he told us.

Lee has been racing on and off his entire life, having raced midget cars for team USA in New Zealand in the 1980s.

But before these two last victories, Lee had never won a sprint car race.

We don’t have video of Lee’s races, but here’s what we’re talking about when we talk about sprint car racing: