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Ken Hyde Sr. Former LI Figure Eight Racer
by Bob Finan
The Long Island racing community was stunned Monday morning upon hearing the news that former Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway Figure Eight driver Ken Hyde Sr., 50 of Medford passed away suddenly.
Hyde was seen as recently as Saturday afternoon in the pit area of the Riverhead Raceway for the pre-season practice session that his son, 2013 Figure Eight champion Ken Hyde Jr., 21 was partaking in. Ken Sr. seemed fine at the track which made the news of his passing even more shocking.
Ken Hyde Sr. was an accomplished Figure Eight racer starting his career at the famed Islip Speedway before the class moved to Riverhead Raceway in 1985. Adfter many years of trying Kenny finally grabbed the brass ring with his first career win on Saturday August 5th, 1989. He'd then drive to another 11 career wins taking his last checker flag in August of 2008.
With Ken Jr. quickly becoming of age to race in the Figure Eight class Ken Sr. after running a two car team for a season or so hung up his helmet so he could put all his resources and effort into Ken Jr.s career. That sacrifice paid the biggest of all dividends this past September when just days removed from his 21st Birthday Ken Hyde Jr. clinched the 2013 Riverhead Raceway and Suffolk Association of Figure Eight Racing championship at Riverhead Raceway.
Not only did the father & son tandem race together but they also worked together daily owning and operating K&K Towing & Junk Car Removal out of their Medford, LI home. K&K is named after Ken Jr. and his twin sister Kimberly, 21 who spent several years working as a scorer at Riverhead Raceway before pursuing a Criminal Justice career for which she'll graduate college in May.
Ken Hyde Sr. is also survived by his mother, Lois as well a brother Ronnie and sister Lisa. Information concerning viewing and a cremation was pending as of press time.
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