July 24th - Street Stock Series, Hobby Stocks, Vintage Cars presented by Smith Drywall


by | Aug 28, 2023

Matt Guererri

The Les Whyte Top Gun Memorial Shootout for the Land of Legends Eldredge & Sons Scrap Street Stocks is the biggest event of the season for the division. The event will also be a part of the brand-new Empire Street Stock Series, paying $1,500 to the winner and $100 to start. The 40-lap feature will also pay bonuses, lap money and contingencies. The Les Whyte Memorial will be a part of the Gerald Haers Memorial Weekend on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16. The Shootout will be run on Friday. 


Les Whyte will go down as one of the all-time greats in the DIRTcar Pro Stocks at the Land of Legends Raceway. Unfortunately for Whyte, he lost his life in a horseback riding accident in August of 1999 at the age of 51. Les joined the short track racing ranks in 1993 in the old Canandaigua Speedway Rookie class. He would move into the DIRTcar Pro Stocks in 1997 and would stay there until his passing. He was also very active in getting current Pro Stock body styles changed.


His wife, Debbie, felt he would still be racing today if he was able. His best friend, Robert Thomas said that Les would’ve helped any driver he competed against. He was that kind of person and well respected on and off the track. Robert traveled with Les on the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series as well as Land of Legends Raceway Park. Les’s nephew, Rich Yahn was also a part of the crew and has continued to be an integral part of the speedway as he is responsible for preparing the track surface and leads the safety team at each event.  Les also served his country in Afghanistan.


One of the awards distributed during the Shoot-out is the Hard Charger award.  This award is significant as Les was the Hard Charger during the ProStock’s debut at Super DIRT week in 1997, having charged from twenty-fifth to fifth. The winner of this award will take home $250 donated by Debbie.

The event always brings back fond memories of Les Whyte and what he did for local racing.