Longtime NHRA nitro team owner and tuner Roland Leong will be honored Nov. 27 at the Hawaii State Capitol to salute 55 years of being an ambassador for the state through his work in motorsports.
Here is the text of the proclamation:
WHERE AS, The Governor of the State of Hawaii is proud to recognize Mr. Roland Leong “The Hawaiian,“ Drag Racing legend from Honolulu Hawaii for his 55 years of contribution and achievements in the Auto Drag Racing industry with the NHRA, National Hot Rod Association. and as Global ambassador in preserving and promoting Hawaii’s rich heritage and culture of motorsports and drag racing on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii dating back to the early 1950s
WHERE AS, Mr. Roland Leong born and raised in Honolulu 1944, and as a student of Iolani Highschool in 1961 at age 17 took a leap of faith to the mainland to learn and build Drag Racing Hemi Engines with Keith Black and against all odds embarked on his legendary career in Drag Racing in which only 3 years later at the age of 20 became the youngest team owner and crew chief in the History of Drag Racing, whose team won an unprecedented back to back Championships at the Winter Nationals and US Nationals in 1965 and 1966 with Hall of Fame driver Don “ The Snake “ Prudhomme and Mike Snively.
WHERE AS, Mr. Roland Leong throughout his international racing career, put Hawaii on the world racing map , by promoting the spirit of Aloha and the State of Hawaii as a premier vacation destination and with his sponsors to support local Hawaii businesses such as Kings Hawaiian Bread [and] Hawaii Vacations with a campaign of a variety of creative Hawaiian style racing team names such as The Hawaiian and The Hawaiian Punch
WHERE AS, due to his strong identity and legendary title as “ The Hawaiian” and his record-setting accomplishments with back to back championships in both Dragsters , Funny cars and setting new low record ET’s , the drag racing industry recognizes the State of Hawaii’s racing community as respected leaders and serious competitors in the sport of auto racing.
WHERE AS, Mr. Roland Leong truly feels that motorsports is a family sport, with his mom Teddy Leong at his side as a highly respected team member, and as a wild and mischievous teenager he truly attributes and thanks the sport of drag racing for steering him towards a straight and responsible path that lead him to his legendary career. Now retired at age 75 no longer owns or runs his own team but is contracted and hired to tune race cars in the Nostalgia Funny Car Racing Series today.
WHERE AS, Mr. Roland Leong is committed to promote and motivate At- Risk High youth to explore STEM-based skills in real-world Mechanical and Auto Engineering careers and support innovation curriculums for our State of Hawaii School District. We honor and commend you on your 55 Years of hard work, dedication and being an ambassador of the State of Hawaii’s Aloha spirit in the Drag Racing and motorsports industry worldwide.