Sandy Rainey Passes

Sandy Rainey - Wayne's Biggest Hero - Passes at 74
Sandy Rainey (courtesy of MotoAmerica)

MotoAmerica has made an announced that Sandy Rainey, the father of three-time 500cc World Champion and MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey, has succumbed to a medical condition on March 19. Sandy Rainey was 74-years old at the time of his passing.

Sandy was the spark that led to Wayne’s interest in motorsports. At an early age, Sandy would load Wayne into the back of the truck with his race Kart and head off to the track on the weekends. The competitive spirit and passion for motorsports set Wayne off on the legendary path that many of us have come to know him for today.

It was with Sandy’s encouragement that Wayne first set out on two wheels, zipping around Southern California race tracks in the late 70s and from that point on, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Wayne shared a few heartfelt comments with the press, regarding his passing: “My dad was my biggest hero for sure. I always looked up to him and I’ll miss him like so many of his friends will. He was loved by many.

“My dad only got sick five weeks ago. One day he woke up not feeling well, like he was exhausted, and we thought he had the flu. He ended up being hospitalized a few days later and they did a biopsy on his bone marrow when things weren’t getting better. The results showed that he had acute leukemia. It took over his immune system and there was no way of fighting it. He passed away peacefully at home with all of his loved ones there with him.”

Sandy Rainey is survived by sons, Wayne and Rodney, daughter, Renee, two daughter in laws, Shae and Michelle, and grandchildren, Brook, Austin, Rex, Sarah, and Taylor. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Ila, who passed away in 2012. His wife, Ila passed away in 2012. They had been happily married for 52 years.

The family will celebrate Sandy’s life at a later date and has encouraged honor Sandy’s memory by showing the caring threads in their souls by contributing to the charity of their choosing.