Stefan Kondolay

September 11, 1982- July 10, 2014

"He Lived the Dream"

Updated September 5, 2014 Scroll down a few pictures for the Racers Send Off

Paul Grant photos

A service will be held tomorrow at 1:30pm at Hatzic Cemetery in Mission. All are welcome.

the address is 34867 Cemetery Avenue, Mission BC

September 5, 2014

A large gathering watched and listened to friends, racers and family as they all said their thoughts on what Stefan meant to them and what they perceived him as a friend, competitor and mentor. Tributes came from all parts of the USA and included the likes of Peter Biondo, Luke Bugaki, Mike Rice and a few others. All talked about Stefan''s passion, his ability , his 'eye of the Tiger' mentality, and his willingness to do whatever it took to be a champion.

A plaque will be erected on or near the starting line in his memory, thanks to RAD Torque.

More on this evening's tribute later this weekend.

Starting the season racing doorslammers a decade ago, Stefan loved the pressure after winning early..

One of many of his winners circle pictures.

I was proud to lay out one of the memorial decals.

Stefan's friend Vipan Ahuja gave a great speak on his friendship and what Stefan meant to him.

Brianna's talk left us all speechless, and is one I will never forget.

Justin Bond, a new friend n Stefan's life (the last four or five years) was extremely entertaining (like we knew it would be).

Johnny Gross, one of the racers who really helped Stefan take his racing to the next level, also spoke.

The videos of his life starting as a child and going through his youth were stirring and emotional. He was not only one of the best Racers on the West Coast he was also a successful School wrestler and a decorated High School football star that turned down a Arizona St. football scholarship. His racing career started as a Jr Dragster competitor and worked his way up from bracket racing to the Super Classes, Top Comp and Top Sportsman, Doorslammer and fast bracket Big Buck competitor. All the racers who spoke all said the same thing, "they needed to be on their game to have any shot". His High School friend talked about how Stefan changed his life and everything non racing related, He was a great Poker player and apparently Stefan was too. The most stirring tribute was by his cousin Brianna. She thought of Stefan as an older Brother and when she spoke everyone was held captive. Her talk was raw emotional and went right through you. I was speechless, breathless and left standing there thinking that was the most heartfelt, raw, touching tribute I have ever heard. Most of us who knew him, knew is racing legacy, but the family legacy he has left will be forever etched into all our minds.

July 16, 2014

Robert Fedyk Video From Hatzic cemetery

 

 

I first heard about Stef when I started running super pro at mission. I was told he is the best bracket racer at the track, well of course I didn’t believe this at first….five straight losses to him later I understood the rumours and knew them to be true…
I was always intimidated by him at the race track until I quickly realized that when his helmet was off he was a genuine good guy. We quickly became good friends I took great pride in sponsoring him and is car for several years.
Stef, Zack, Justin and myself started the RAD Eliminator Drag Race series out of Mission Raceway and he quickly dominated that series too, scaring away many would be competitors.
Stef and Bill were always there to help anyone in need of mechanical problems or or racing advice. Stef taught me and my Son Darien a great deal about the sport….
I shall miss him greatly as will everyone who raced with him… I am very proud to have known him as a racer and a friend...
Godspeed Stef…
Dan Provost
RAD Torque Systems

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July 15

It is with a sad heart we lose a friend .Stefan and I had a rivalry a respect and finally a friendship I am very sad for Shanti and Bill as this is obviously the hardest time to endure.I believe Stefan was indeed the most talked about racer In Canada and also the northwest He could drive the wheels off of anything .He was thought of and respected as the best at this sport we love .I will miss him .But I will never forget him. God Speed Stefan ........

Mike Shannon

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I never knew stefan personally but he was a very good racer. When I started racing the big car in 2013 I was racing super comp and also raced a RAD eliminator race if it weren't for stefan being such a good racer i wouldn't have progressed to cut good lights because he was the one to beat. So in a way, indirectly, he helped me in racing and for that I thank him... Very shocking he was taken from us too soon. My condolences and prayers to his family.

Cory Papp

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A video courtesy Robert Fedyk

 

Arguably the best bracket racer on the West Coast and for sure the most decorated racer to come from the province of BC, Stefan Kondolay was taken from us yesterday. Too many wins to list, he was a five time Division Six champion in Super Gas (3) and Super Comp (2). He finished #2 in the world in 2012 in Super Comp, just a couple rounds from the world title. Stefan was also the 'Bracket Racer and/or Sportsman Racer of the Year' in Division Six on at least one occasion. In 2012 when he won the Division six Super Comp championship he also finished 2nd in Top Sportsman missing one event.
Stefan got his start racing as a child during the infancy of Jr Dragster. We (my cousin and myself) would laugh and tease his dad (Bill) who was a solid racer himself, that Stefan would win a Wally before he did. He did win that Wally before father Bill, winning his first one in Jr. Dragster. He won numerous title and events with the Jr and all knew he would go on to bigger and better things. Once he stepped up to a big car his winning ways continued. Multiple track championships were on his resume but NHRA Sportsman competition is where he wanted to be. He told me, actually pretty well guaranteed me, he would be a champion in the division and probably win a world championship. You know how those big headed predictions usually go, the guy fails and you can roast him for years to come. Well the joke was on me, as he did what he said, winning a total of "FIVE" Division Six titles, not just in one class, but in two different ones. He was just three rounds away from winning in a third class, in the same year he challenged for the Super Comp world championship. He went on to win over a dozen Wally's over his too brief career. If his home was in the mid West or in a central location to drag racing he likely could have made a living drag racing. His heart was in the North West and he loved working in the family Diesel Transmission business.

A young Stefan likely laughing at another one of my comments (from left, Dean Murdoch, Stefan, father Bill and Tiny) about how much Super Class racing sucked.


We had many run-ins bench racing at the track, as he was as opinionated as I was. He always trashed the classes I loved, which he called leakers (Top Alcohol and Pro Mod), and I gave it to him back. As far as stats go, he was one of my go to guys in the sportsman ranks. He and his dad were building a Pick-up to compete in the Stock Eliminator class. Likely his competitors would not have had a chance.
He was born September 11, almost 32 years ago and leaves behind his mom, dad and a sister many friends and other family members. I am too shocked to complete this and do the justice Stefan deserves, so it will be a work in progress. You will not be forgotten Stefan as many local racers strive to accomplish even half of what you did on the track. Sincerest condolences to Stefan's mom Shanti and dad Bill and Stefan's sister Neisha and the rest of his family.

Dean Murdoch Editor, Speedzone Magazine

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July 14

This is very sad and feel a bit gutted about this to be honest.

I last saw Stefan face to face in 2011 when we were both racing at the inaugural Big Bucks race in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He was there doing his thing like he always seemed to be doing -
tearing up the competition and kicking ass. Stefan won not only one of these $5,000 to win races, but two of them in a single weekend over many rounds and against seriously stiff competition - amazing! I can still remember hearing his patented top-end throttle blips all throughout that weekend.

I watched Stefan progress from a little kid running around the Ashcroft and Mission dragstrips in the early-mid 90s to becoming a phenomenal Junior Dragster then Bracket/Super racer. With multiple division championships, top finishes in the national point standings, and huge big buck bracket wins, Stefan's easily the best drag racer to ever come out of British Columbia. While I have not raced much in recent years, he was a racer I completely respected and I always enjoyed following his success from afar at events across North America.

In addition to his off-the-charts racing success, Stefan provided incredible support and mentorship to countless many in the sport, pushing all of us to get better. As an example - he brought Scotty Richardson's school to Mission in 2010. I for one appreciated his support and encouragement and will remember that most of all.

Sincere condolences to the Kondolay family and R.I.P Stefan.

Racing with Stefan at the big bucks race in Seattle 2008. He was a big winner there as well (7K) against Morris pictured here as well.

Jamie Clerf
Pro ET #6530

Jamie and Claire Clerf

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July 10-13

I am both saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Stefan Kondolay, one MRP’s best racers ever. Stephan was a class act and always treated me with kindness and respect. A perfect example was last year’s Door Wars where Stephan was easily favored to take the win in the Open Comp class. Unfortunately he went red against me in the semi’s. Shortly after the race he was taking some heat from his racing buddy’s for losing to a rookie female. I told them, I never beat Stefan, Stefan beat himself. Stefan corrected me and said, “no you beat me. You put the pressure on that caused me to go red and your reputation on the tree had me knowing a had to cut a really good light. I cut too much and therefore you beat me, I did not beat myself.” Wow, I was amazed at his kind and humble words. Stephan was a class act for sure. My thoughts go out to his family and friends both off and on the track. He will be missed.

Dyan Lover

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Stefan Kondolay was a unique type of person, one who is confident to the point of cockiness, but who is also grounded and actually kind. Smart, funny, and tenacious, he was often immersed in controversy because of his vehement beliefs. This is the kind of person we can believe in, who we respect and admire because we always know who he is.
Stefan and his folks, Bill and Shanti, helped me get started in drag racing and supported me throughout in innumerable ways that I could never repay. They are truly generous people, a close and loving family, who never should have experienced this tragedy.

~Rottin Rhonda Kelly
rhondasway@yahoo.com

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I only knew him to see him, and of course watched the win light come on more often than not and more often than anyone else from around here. I was not a big fan of throttle stop racing, but even I recognized that he was an exceptionally skilled driver. Pure magic when someone is just that good. What a shame.

Bill Jeffery

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I am sure I am like a lot of people and are having a hard time coming to the realization that Stefan will not be at the racetrack anymore.

Very sad for his family. They lived for him.

Scott Robinson

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From Team Mission Forum

I sit here with endless tears to type to all of us fellow racers we lost the unargueably the best racer in the west coast. Stefan our friend passed away last night July 9/2014. Stefan is one of the two people that introduced me to drag racing and I am proud that I was able to be with him to chase the world championship a couple years ago. He came #2 in the world that year.
Stefan was a mentor to myself and alot of other people. I will miss you Stefan and I'm sad I had to even write this. God Speed Harge. I love you man.

Justin Bond

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Both Dave and I are in absolute shock by this sad news.
Yes, Stefan was the best Bracket/Super racer on the west coast and he will be so missed by us all who knew him.

Our hearts, prayers and sincere condolences sent to Stefan's family and MANY friends.

God Speed Stefan.

Dave and Vicki Strell

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I dont know where to begin. I grew up with Stefan as kids at the race track; a friendship that grew into a relationship that lasted many years a little over 5. I knew Stefan on and off the track and he was the most sincere good hearted guy. Alot of people mistake Stefans character/nature based soley on his confidence or cockiness whichever way you look at it however thats only the surface and past that was a great guy who was raised right by the hardest working family I have ever met. I dont need to sit here and repeat he was the best drag racer this is what everyone knows about Stefan. I am however one of the lucky people to have really known Stefan. This was not his time. To Bill, Shanti & Neisha you raised an honest hard working loyal great at everything he did son. He will be a legend in the dragracing sport and I know his memory will live on. my heart is with you 3 now until the pain subsides.

RIP my life long friend.
Crystal Wells

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With heartfelt sorrow and great sadness our family sends our sincerest condolences to the Kondolay family. Special prayers, thoughts and memories we send your way.Our thoughts are with Bill and Shanti at this time, while they go through the worst possible loss a parent could ever endure. We will always remember Stefan as that happy kid driving his junior dragster to numerous wins and championships. As Stefan grew up and moved onto cars and dragsters he was always helping with other junior dragster drivers with advice as well as equipment. I remember once, our family forgetting helmets, jackets, and pants, Stefan and the Kondolay family were always there for us. When our kid's junior dragster was stolen, it was Stefan, Bill, and Shanti that started collecting money to help us get racing again. We will remember Stefan as a generous, giving mentor to the junior dragster program and drivers as well as one of the best drag racers Canada and the US has ever seen. We will always remember you as that little boy that loved drag racing so much to the fine young man and racer you turned into. May you rest in peace and find that racetrack in heaven.

Sincerely Steve, Leanna, Flynn, Tyson, and Bryce our hearts go out to you from 6130 the Lowe family

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Very sad news. It's so much harder to accept when someone is taken suddenly. I lost my brother in a "sudden" manner almost twenty years ago. I'm not a big fan of the phrase "time heals" but it's definately part of the process. Thoughts and prayers are with the family and those close to him.

John & Connie

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Words can not explain the pain the the family is feeling right now.
Stefan was friend to us all and was always willing to help you out.
Endless pointers and explanations, not no mention a calculator of numbers!
You are truly going to be missed.

My love and thoughts go out to the Kondolay family. RIP Stefan #6676

El Diablo

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I am in total shock with this sad news. Stefan was a tremendous racer and will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Bill and family.

Terry Spargo

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From Facebook

 

It is with deep regret that I say goodbye to a really good friend and fellow racer. One who has taught me and my family so much in drag racing over the years and has become such a close friend. So many good memories on and off the track; all those times sitting with you at the end of the track teaching me how to tell distance between cars and betting on who would break out or win is something that I will keep with me forever and it is knowledge that you have passed down to me and I am forever grateful. You will be missed! R.I.P Stefan Kondolay

 

Bailie Lowe

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There is only so many guys that would beat you with your own car. He was one of them and that's what made him who he was. See you at the finish line buddy and I'm sure we will both be on the brakes hard. #6676

Dave Jung

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Such a greet teacher and will always be remember for his amazing driving skills and ability to share it with others. Such good memories with him teaching me how to drive in the super pro class. Advice I will always remember. You will be missed! RIP Stefan Kondolay.

Kayla Allen

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Only knew you as a hard core racer at the track, and I thank you for that.
RIP Stefan Kondolay

Paul Grant

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I'm still in shock. Stef checked in on me all the time after Grace's Dad left. Got me down to the track and laughing and smiling again... I remember our last chat. He was so happy for me that things were looking up. Always tried to look out for me and get me out if I seemed blue. we truly had a good group of kids in school that still tried to keep in touch. I just can't believe it. This has really rocked me... lots of love to Stef's family. I can't imagine how you are all feeling. Another one gone way too soon.

Lindsey Reimer

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Shanti growing up at the track you were like a 2nd mom too me. I know stefan would not want too see you hurt like this.Im just trying to stay strong but i feel your pain i have cried everyday.Hopefully time will help i had some milk and cookies today thats what stefan always made me eat with him.love you guys

Jason Mercer

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It is hard to believe that the next time we race at a division race that Stefan Kondolay won't be there. You were a great racer and a Good guy. You will be missed by many. Another uncalled for murder.

Troy Ross

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Miss you my friend. It was more than a pleasure racing by your side for the last 15 years of our lives. God speed to you and I can't wait to see you again.

Nikki Cannon

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So sorry to hear that a fellow Drag racer & a friend of mine has passed. RIP Stefan Kondolay. You'll be truly missed off & on the track. Great Guy & a very skilled Racer.

Dan Maddaloni Jr.

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RIP Stefan,you will truly be missed.Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.

Jan Bobrowski

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RIP Stefan Kondolay, our condolences to Bill & Shandi on the loss of their son. Such a tragedy. He will be remembered by us for his comradery off the track and his great racing ability on the track. God Speed Stef.!

"Burn Out to Turn Out - There are No Friends" !

Yvette Jacobson

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RIP Stefan Kondolay one hell of a good driver what a loss for the racing community thanks for all the help at Woodburn!

Doug Watts

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I'm in shock right now you were such a good man you were there for me and helped me when I first started racing your in our thoughts RIP Stefan Kondolay

Peter Lachanas

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so sad to hear that one of the best bracket racers the west coast had to offer has left us so suddenly, his kindness and mentoring will not be forgotten

Tyson Lowe

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I am in total shock. Can not believe Stefan Kondolay is gone. I feel so fortunate to have know him. I know he was not liked by all but if you gave him a chance you would see just how nice of a guy he was. He called 2 nights ago and I did not answer because I was busy. He called again last night and now looking back I am lucky that I answered that call and got to bs with him. I sure am going to miss him and his confidence. Thoughts and prayers with bill and Shanti Kondolay. God speed Stefan

Wayne Linder Jr

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I found out this morning a close friend of mine was shot and killed last night. Stefan Kondolay you were one of my biggest cheerleaders, you taught me to "Fear None" and for that I love you. I will never forget your words of advise as we waded through 6 rounds and I won the 2012 Sonoma National. God speed brother, see you on the other side.

Tommy Gaynor

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My heart goes out to Stefan Kondolay's family. I can't believe it. He was so kind to me and my family. I looked up to his skills as a drag racer. Watching him jump into anything and go rounds. He was always there for support. A great friend to our family and our racing community. You will be missed.

Becky Lindsey

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