Randy Bateman, a long-time competitor as a driver and team owner in USAC’s Silver Crown and National Sprint Car series, passed away Sunday night, Jan. 15, 2017, after a courageous fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Bateman was 63.
The Murphysboro, Illinois driver was well-known for campaigning the familiar No. 55 for more than three decades on the Silver Crown trail. However, Bateman’s early years were spent in the seat of the blue No. 37 in which he made his first series appearance at Du Quoin in 1982 and, one year later, broke through to make his first feature start during the 1983 season in Nazareth, Pa.
In fact, Bateman made 60 USAC Silver Crown starts in 27 different seasons with his most prolific year, 2014, being his final as a competitor behind the wheel, making five starts with a 15th place showing in the points to his credit.
Bateman was a staunch supporter of USAC racing as an owner and driver and his dedication to the sport was honored with a ceremony prior to the main event at the 2014 “Ted Horn 100” in Du Quoin, Ill. Just a little over a month later, Bateman made his final series start at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
In 2002, Bateman earned a career-best finish of 9th in the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and put the fans on their feet with a memorable front-row qualifying run at the 2008 “Ted Horn 100.”
After the terrible disease began to take its toll in early 2015, Bateman stepped out of the seat, but remained as a car owner for Brian Tyler’s remarkable run from 27th to 3rd at that year’s “Hoosier Hundred” as well as Casey Shuman’s “Rookie of the Year” season in the series in 2016.
USAC extends its sincere condolences to the Bateman family including wife, Patty, as well as his numerous friends.