Dean Hayes, Top-Notch WERA National Endurance Racer of the 1990s, Has Passed Away

Ohioan was a WERA National Champ

Dean Hayes, who was best known for being a leading WERA National Endurance racer throughout the 1990s, has passed away. He was 53.

Friends say he died unexpectedly this past Sunday, March 5, at his home in Washington Township, just south of Dayton, Ohio.

Dean won a pair of WERA national championships as a novice (C Production and C Superbike) in 1990 and then blossomed to become one of the leading sprint racers in WERA’s North Central region. On several occasions during his rookie expert season of 1991, he won every expert class he entered.

By the mid-1990s he became one of the leading riders in the WERA National Endurance Championship riding for leading teams such as DAK Racing, Ohio Superbike, HP Motorsports, TKO Racing and Force Racing.

Dean along with teammates Steve Heilman and Thomas Wilson (DAK Racing) won overall in the WERA National Endurance race at Grattan in ’92 on an almost box-stock 1990-model Suzuki GSXR1100. That was a huge victory for those guys. Dean was also a member of the Force Racing squad that won the Nelson Ledges 24 Hour in ’93.

Dean raced select rounds in AMA Pro events in the early-to-mid 1990s and scored solid results in both AMA 600 and 750 Supersport Nationals.

“Dean was a fast guy who was especially good as an endurance racer, ” said fellow racer Reuben Frankenfield. “He could go out and turn in great lap times and he always brought the bike home. He wasn’t a crasher. If I were to describe his riding style, I would say he was fast and smooth. You could race close with him, and he was clean, didn’t take a lot of unnecessary risks. He sorted of faded away after the ’97 season. Occasionally one of my friends would tell me they’d seen him, and I’d always hoped our paths would cross again. He deserves to be recognized, because in the ’90s he was definitely one of the best endurance racers out there.”

Visitation and funeral services will be this Sunday in Kettering, Ohio.

You can find details here: Dean R. Hayes Obituary – Visitation & Funeral Information (

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