Dave Eshleman Biography
The racing bug bit Dave Eshleman in 1968 when he walked into the Racecar Technology Program at Chaffey Community College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
By 1971 Eshleman was in the Chaffey College Ford Mustang for an SCCA event, a warm-up event to the Formula 1/Questor Grand Prix at the Ontario Motor Speedway on March 28, 1971. For the next decade he was a regular face on the SCCA circuit, Formula A and the BF Goodrich Radial Series, racing at Ontario, Riverside, Willow Springs, Laguna Seca, Sears Point, Phoenix, Daytona, Sebring, and Las Vegas. Eshleman won regional championships in both the SCCA and Formula A classes.
Eshleman remained a regular face behind the Chaffey College Mustang, too. With the sponsorship of Ford, he set a world speed record for a modified street car of 185 miles an hour.
By 1985, with both Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside Speedway closed, Eshleman quit racing and focused his efforts on business and raising a family. In 1990 he was elected to the City Council of Fontana, CA. He was elected mayor four years later.
There was energy for a major motorsports facility in Fontana from many quarters and Eshleman was instrumental in putting it all together and pitching the concept to Roger Penske. The facility, now the Auto Club Speedway, opened in 1997.
Two years later the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, a half-mile oval track facility opened nearby. Soon after Eshleman purchased a racecar and was behind the wheel, both at Irwindale and the Orange Show Speedway.
In 2003, Dave Eshleman ranked high enough to get invited to the inaugural Showdown Series at Irwindale. He continued to race in the K&N Pro Series until his retirement from racing in 2008. Almost immediately, however, he was back at it with his three sons behind the wheel. Although they all race, Matthew Eshleman, 17, goes to college in Sterling, Kansas, and has his eyes on a career as a professional baseball pitcher. Michael Eshleman is an officer with the California Highway Patrol. Jeff Eshleman is the shop foreman at Eshleman Racing and chief test driver.
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