S&W Race Cars
Devoted Wife, Mother, Businesswoman and Adventurer
Vonda was an extraordinary woman. She was born in Pennsylvania on May 16th, 1937 and grew up on her parents East Coventry Township, PA farm. That is where she developed her love of animals, appreciation of nature and taste for adventure. Vonda’s grand adventure began in her late teen’s, when she married her high school sweetheart, Walter. After the birth of her fourth child, the young dynamic homemaker decided to continue her education and become a travel agent. At the same time, she assisted Walt in every imaginable way as they established their first business, S&W Race Cars. As S&W grew, the couple started three additional businesses, which Vonda also managed. During her adult years, Mrs. Weney also worked as a bookkeeper, township auditor and logged many hours as a volunteer at the Avalon Garden Club and Pottstown, PA Hospital.
She always found a way to balance family, business and adventure. Vonda enjoyed the company of her family, beloved cat Smokey, friends and socializing at the drag races. One of her greatest accomplishments was learning how to scuba dive, because she didn’t even know how to swim. She also earned her pilots license so she and her husband could fly their small plane together. Some of her favorite hobbies included; sailing & motor boating, painting, crafts, reading, exercising & walking. Having fun was important to her, but she was very competitive when it came to skiing, golf and other physical sports. In her 60’s, Vonda finished in the top 5 of her age group, during a national rowing competition!
Devoted Husband, Father, Businessman and Drag Racer
Spring City, PA – The Weney family announced devoted husband, father of four children, accomplished businessman and drag racer, Walter Weney Jr., ran out of horsepower and passed away peacefully on May 15th , 2020.
Walt was born in Pennsylvania, during the 1930’s and from an early age he was determined to make his mark on the world. Weney was 22 years old when he teamed up with friend and racing partner, Jim Amole, to launch S&W Speed Shop, in 1959. They quickly became recognized for producing state-of-the-art drag racing chassis and components. The sport continued to grow and so did S&W, by 1964 they were able to move their speed shop out of Walt Sr.’s 15 ft. x 20 ft. basement garage, into the first of three stand alone S&W Race Cars & Components manufacturing facilities. In addition to building his company, Walt won many races, championships and set drag racing records from the 1950’s until the early 1980’s. He was also the recipient of numerous racing industry achievement awards. In 1994, Weney expanded S&W to its current 27,000 sq.ft. size and continued to add new equipment and technologies, until his retirement in 2005. Even though he ‘handed the keys’ to the next generation, Walt continued to lend support from behind the scenes and attended the drag races whenever he could. He credited much of his success to his wife of 66 years, Vonda, their children, talented employees, business partners and loyal customers.
“My father committed himself to everything he decided to do. His true passion was drag racing and that was the driving force behind building our family business brick-by-brick,” stated daughter, Terri (Weney) Gdowik. “He was always on-the-go with running S&W, traveling to the races and managing his other commercial and residential investment properties. Our family is very proud of his accomplishments and grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at home, at work and at the races.”
The Weney Family Passing of the Torch
Spring City, PA – The S&W Performance Group announced today, Terri (Weney) Gdowik will helm the family owned 61 year old performance racing industry powerhouse, as its new President. Terri’s appointment from Executive Vice President to President comes after her brother, Michael Weney, completed his successful 4 year term as S&W’s President. Their new EVP will be named at a later date.
“Terri has been a key part of the business for over 38 years. I’m confident in Terri’s leadership and experience, to lead us through this new decade and beyond,” stated S&W company founder, Walt Weney.
She discovered her passion for motorsports at a very young age. Terri, her Mother Vonda and Brothers Gary, Scott and Michael were Walt’s trusted crew, both at the drag strip and at his rapidly expanding race car business. She officially joined S&W Race Cars in 1982 and quickly set a personal goal of learning every job position in the building, including but not limited to: sales, shipping, accounting, advertising, IT, project management, cutting, bending, machining and fabricating. Terri was also natural behind the wheel of a drag car, competing in North East Division Super Pro and Super Comp classes.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue the hard work that my family and team members have been doing for the last 60 years, and build upon our ongoing success,” said Mrs. Gdowik. “I want to thank my family, employees, customers and business partners for their long-standing support.”
Spring City, PA – S&W’s has promoted veteran Sales Representative, Randy Krause, to the position of Car Sales & Service Manager. Mr. Krause’s current responsibilities have been expanded upon to include; new race car and shop service quotations, sales and scheduling.
“Due to increasing and unwavering demand, it was time to seek an additional qualified person to assist with managing our car sales growth and service scheduling,” said S&W’s President, Michael Weney. “Randy’s 32 years of drag racing experience, combined with his sales expertise and outgoing personality, made him the perfect candidate for the newly formed position. During the past 26 months, I’ve had the pleasure of planning customer car builds again, and look forward to sharing the experience with him. Our group is extremely pleased that Randy answered the call”
The S&W Performance Group is pleased to announce they are an official VP Racing Fuels dealer. The entire VP product line including; Racing Fuels, SEF Small Engine Fuels, Additives ‘Maddatives’ and Performance Products such as Specialty Lubricants, Performance Chemicals, Traction Compounds and Fuel Handling Accessories are now available through S&W. Due to VP’s large distribution network, most products will be delivered within 2 business days within continental USA. “VP Racing Fuels is a powerful addition to S&W’s expanding Made in the USA line card, said S&W President Michael Weney. “They offer a wide range of products that will ‘fit’ our race industry and commercial client needs.”
S&W will arrange for drop shipments either direct to the customer’s location or to S&W’s facility for customer pick-up. They encourage local customers to call ahead, as they will carry a limited supply of the most popular fuels, lubricants and accessories at their Spring City, PA location. The complete VP product line can be viewed at http://www.vpracingfuels.com/ Your order can be placed with a S&W Sales Representative by calling Toll Free 1-800-523-3353. In addition, you will soon be able to purchase VP’s Top 10 best sellers on S&W’s secure website. http://www.swracecars.com/
Elverson, PA – 2016 will mark both Rod & Jill Fazekas’ 40th year in Motorsports. They will be celebrating this milestone together, by moving forward with the build of their two-car Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car exhibition business and team, which is appropriately named PerfectMatch Pro Exhibition Motorsports. The couple first met when they were six years old, racing AMA District 6 Flat Track motorcycles. Now, only a few years later…they will be on the track together again. This time it will be on 4 Wheels, with 7 additional cylinders and 4,000 more horsepower!!
“Rod and I are very enthusiastic about our new venture. Although our program is in its infancy, we are making progress every day,” said Jill. “We are fortunate and thankful to have our sports most experienced tuners, and many other long-time affiliates lending us advice and support. I see Wicked Fast and Fun Times ahead.”
Father & Daughter Drag Race Team Chase Championships with S&W Performance Group Support
Spring City, PA – S&W is pleased to announce their 2016 race program support of long-time S&W Sales Representative, Randy Krause and his Daughter Kaitlyn. All eyes will be on this well known Father-Daughter drag racing team, as Kaitlyn has graduated from the Jr. Dragster ranks to join her Dad in the big leagues!
Randy will continue to campaign his Championship and Race Winning Super Pro S&W Dragster in 2016. His impressive $10,000.00 WIN at the 2015 ‘Fun in the Sun-Bradenton, FL’ Tribute Race was the Hi-Light of this past season, but he’s also scored big money at Mason Dixon and won a $5,000.00 Big-Buck Bracket race at Numidia. Randy is no stranger to victory lane, he’s a seasoned veteran who has won multiple track championships at Numidia in 2000 & 2004, and many other big money race wins during his racing career. He will be racing the weekly points series at Numidia, and competing at many East Coast Big-Buck bracket races.