Title-winning UMP car owner dies
Dick Turner, the 1974 Late Model track champion at Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway and title-winning car owner of Kevin Weaver’s 2000 UMP Summernationals run, died Saturday at his Cullom, Ill., home. He was 77.
Turner, a 10-time Late Model winner at Fairbury in his No. 16, fielded cars for his son Corey, the UMP Rookie of the Year and a two-time champion in Kankakee, Ill. Weaver drove the Turner Bus Service-sponsored No. B12 for two seasons, including in 2000 when he won the Summernationals finale and two other series races en route to the championship.
“Dick loved racing. Even when I left, he didn’t want to quit,” said Weaver, who last talked to Turner a month earlier when he came by Weaver’s shop despite being in hospice care. “Racing was getting expensive and he needed to take care of his bus business. It was on good terms for us; I understand as you get older, you have to take care of finances.”
Turner’s racing legacy is carried on by his grandson, Torin Mettille, the reigning Crate Late Model champion at Kankakee County Speedway.
Besides his son and grandson, Richard K. Turner’s survivors include three other children: Becky, Shelly and Tracy. Visitation is 9-11 a.m. Thursday at Cullom United Methodist Church with a memorial service at 11 a.m. Inurnment will follow in Cullom’s West Lawn Cemetery. For a complete obituary, visit calvertmemorial.com. — Rocky Ragusa