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chuck amati obituary

Discussion in 'St. Louis Area Auto Racing Discussion' started by amati, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. amati

    amati New Member

    thank you all for the nice comments and support. good friends and family are what get you through tough times like this!!

    Freeman Spur- CHUCK A. AMATI, age 68, of Herrin, passed away at 8:46am on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at Herrin Hospital.

    Chuck was born in Freeman Spur on November 16, 1940, the son of Tony and Minnie (Barnett) Amati. He married Debbie Riley and together they shared thirty-one years. She survives in West Plains, Missouri.
    Chuck had tremendous success as a sprint car driver in a career that spanned six decades, from 1959 to 2002, and included hundreds of race victories. His nicknames included “The One-Armed Bandit” (earned when he raced with his right arm in a sling in 1964 after crashing through a board fence) and “The Rhinestone Cowboy,” reflecting his colorful personality and style. His career began at Murfreesboro, Ill. in 1959, and by 1962 Chuck began to travel to a wide variety of tracks throughout the region. In 1967 he moved to Greenfield, Tenn. to drive the Hil-Bilt racer owned by Les Hill and maintained by famed racing craftsman Jack Elam, and together they won dozens of races throughout the southeastern U.S. In 1971 he teamed with car owner M.A. Brown and extended his travels to include nearly every region of the U.S., including a third-place finish in the prestigious Little 500 in Anderson, Ind. In 1972 Chuck finished a close second in the national IMCA sprint car standings. This was a pivotal time for Chuck, and for sprint car racing. He, along with Rick Ferkel and Bobby Allen, are widely credited as the “original Outlaws” who proved a competitor could be successful by racing an itinerant schedule outside of formal sanctions such as USAC. He returned to the Freeman Spur area in 1973 and raced several different local cars, winning often at area tracks. In 1976 he teamed with car owners Sam and Richard Short of Marion, Ill., and the trio posted nearly 50 feature wins that season alone. The following year Chuck posted 30 more victories before being sidelined with an arm injury midway through the season. In early 1988 Chuck teamed with longtime friend and mechanic Darryl Tate and began racing throughout Indiana, winning more than 60 feature races over the next three seasons. They captured the Indiana Sprint Week title in 1989 and ’90, and won track championships at Bloomington Speedway (1989) and Paragon Speedway (1989, ’90). Chuck curtailed his driving following the 1991 season, and made a brief return to the cockpit in 2001 and 2002. That autumnal period marked the only two seasons of his long career in which he did not win at least one feature race.
    In recent years Chuck returned to racing in a different role, as he served as mechanic and coach for his grandson Shane Wade as they raced throughout the Midwest. Chuck’s influence on sprint car racing is significant, as his free-spirited style captivated three generations of race fans. Known for his outgoing, fan-friendly personality, Amati amassed a loyal following that stretched literally into all corners of the U.S. His racing laurels included induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa in 2004 and the Hoosier Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

    Survivors include one daughter- Debra and Marc Wade of Carterville, IL
    One son- Tony Amati of Las Vegas, NV
    Lifelong Companion- Debbie (Riley) Amati of West Plains, MO
    Step-children- Toni and Chris Baker of Toone, TN
    Andy and Tracy Mclure of Olive Branch, MS
    Jody and Dee Mclure of Oakland, TN
    Grandchildren- Sean and Jennifer Wade of Marion, IL
    Shane and Andrea Wade of Herrin, IL
    Falon Mclure , Andy Mclure, Jr., Jace Baker, Pace Baker, Dylan Mclure, Ethan Mclure
    Two great grandsons- Conner and Hudson Wade
    One great grandson on the way- Jackson Wade
    Brother-in-law- Ruel and Jean young of West Frankfort, IL
    Nieces and Nephews- Pam and Courtney Hughes of Carbondale, IL and their son- Sean
    Dr. Tony and Charlie Norman of Marion, IL
    Lisa and Bob Brewer of San Diego, CA and their children- Beau and Max
    Jimmy Kittila of Louisville, KY
    Sidney Kittila and partner Kerry Runyon of Ft. Myers, FL
    Beloved dog- Sassy
    Many cherished friends and fans

    Chuck was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters- JoAnn Kittila and Felicia Young.

    As per Chuck’s wishes, his body will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin with Rev. Don Colson officiating. A time of gathering will be held from 5-8pm on Friday, November 21, 2008 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home.

    For those who prefer, memorial donations may be made to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame or the American Heart Association. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home; 201 S. 13th Street; Herrin, IL 62948. For more information, or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.hughesfuneralhomes.com
  2. retired

    retired Member

    Chuck Amati

    We have many fond memories of watching Chuck Amati during his great racing career. He was a great showman and a colossal competitor. He was a great representative for racing.
    RIP Chuck. The Schroeders
  3. jumpinjack1dw

    jumpinjack1dw Tami H. you are missed

    Chuck was a great racer, he will be sadly missed.
  4. Trashdog

    Trashdog Moderator

    Very sad to hear of Chuck's passing, he was one of the best. My thoughts and prayers to the Amati family.

    John Barr
    The Trashdog

    Attached Files:

  5. Crate51

    Crate51 hendrick fan 4 life

    I dont get a chance to get on here much and being that I moved away I dont here any news. I have to say when I logged on today and I found this I was shocked.My dad used to tell me stories of Mr. Amati.I heard his name many many times when people start talking about some of the best sprint car drivers.I would like the family members to know that I will be thinking of them and rememeber although Mr.chuck amati is no longer with us his memories will never die. God Bless you all.

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