Former Champion Speedway race director succumbs to cancer | NevadaAppeal.com

Former Champion Speedway race director succumbs to cancer

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Robert Kline, a formidable figure in the Northern Nevada racing community, died at home Friday from cancer. He was 59, and a Carson City resident for the past 25 years.

“He may not have got his earthly healing,” said his wife, Carleen. “But he does have his ultimate healing.”

The couple recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

As much as it was his dream to be involved in racing, Kline was more pleased and proud when his children and grandchildren became involved in racing.

“He brought us all together,” said step-daughter Rhonda Price. “It’s all his fault.

“It was his passion for racing that brought us together.”

Kline began racing about 45 years ago. He was a former champion at Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, Calif., and admitted to racing everything from go karts to stock cars and “everything else on the sidelines.”

In addition to Carleen, Kline is survived by daughter and son in-law, Rhonda and Tom Price, daughter Brenda Kline; son and daughter in-law Jeff and Michelle Moses, and Shane and Penny Kline; step-mother Leola Kline; sisters Delores Dausman and Peggy Vigue; brother Tom Kline, and grandchildren Jamie, Crystal, Amber, Randa, Shelby, Caleb, Stormy, Hunter, Evan and Kaden, and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

“Robert contributed so much for so many years,” Price said.

“He will be missed,” said stepson Jeff Moses. “He changed since the days he was race director. He used to cuss a lot on the radio.

“But he became more into his family. He was more involved and dedicated. The passion for racing definitely came from him.

“Now, (without him), it’s like running a race on seven cylinders.”

Kline was last director of competition at Champion Speedway in 2003, working with promoter Jeb Onweiler. He was also director in 1999; an INEX (Legends) technical director in 2001; president and race director for the Nevada Go Kart Association in 2002, and team manager and crew chief for Dean Heller’s No. 21 super late model and western modified race teams.

“Robert was a great friend who made significant contributions to local motorsports,” said Onweiler. “His presence will be missed by many – I’m gonna miss him.”

In lieu of flowers, donations be made to Motor Racing Outreach, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Suite 405, Concord, N.C., 28027, or the Victory Junction Gang at http://www.victoryjunctiongang.org.

“Right to the end he wouldn’t give up,” Price added. “Even with as much pain as he was in.”

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.