Lubbock, TX: To say that the staff at Sunset Racecraft has endured a difficult week would be an understatement of monumental proportions. Like the rest of the sportsman drag racing community, the team at Sunset Racecraft was shocked to learn of the passing of their leader, co-worker, and friend Tracy Dennis late last Thursday night. They watched in a combination of horror and disbelief as Dennis, an icon in the sportsman racing community, was laid to rest Monday afternoon and they struggle to come to grips with their loss both personally and professionally.
"It's tough," explained longtime Sunset Racecraft engine builder Darrell Burgoon. "It's so hard to come into the shop and not see him – for 18 years he's been my best friend and mentor. He taught me so much about racing engines and life in general ."
Sales Manager Alan Bracey shared his thoughts. "When Tracy first brought this business to Lubbock I remember being so excited by it that I would drive out here after working my regular job, just to help Tracy and hang out. After a while he told me that I was spending so much time here that I needed to get paid. At that time, I didn't know the first thing about operating machinery or running the shop equipment. He knew that, and he didn't care. He hired me, knowing he'd have to teach me, because he saw the passion that I had for what we were doing. That was always a constant in his human resources plan: he wanted people who loved this business like he did."
In his estate plan, Tracy Dennis was very specific about how he wanted his Sunset Racecraft business to proceed in the event of his death. His documented wishes were to leave the business in the hands of three longtime employees who share his love and passion for the company that he founded and the work that they do. Thanks to his forethought and planning, those documents have been approved by attorneys, insuring that the legacy of Sunset Racecraft will live on in capable hands.
"Given the events of the last week, and the roller coaster of emotions we've been through it doesn't even seem fitting to talk about the future of the business," explained Sunset Racecraft engine builder Joe Jolly, who Dennis brought into the Sunset team because of his experience and understanding of pro stock technology. His talents have helped take the Sunset Racecraft research and development program to the next level. "But we've been confronted with a lot of questions, speculation and rumors, so we wanted to go ahead and make an announcement to put our customers at ease more than anything. As much as possible, business here at Sunset Racecraft will go on like it did when Tracy was leading the charge. That's what he wanted, and we'll do our best to continue the tradition of excellence that he put in place."
The business that Tracy Dennis started in 1990 has since established itself as one of the premier engine builders in the high performance industry. Sunset Racecraft builds hundreds of engines each year, for applications ranging from a myriad of sportsman drag racing classes and categories to pump gas motors for hot rod enthusiasts. In addition to complete engines and machine work, Sunset Racecraft offers an extensive line of racing products from hundreds of trusted manufacturers. Sunset Racecraft can be reached at 806-747-2700. The online home for the Lubbock, TX based business is www.SunsetRacecraft.com.