Ray Valasak developed an interest in automobile racing at a very young age, when he began attending races with his family at the Valley County Fairgrounds in Ord..
Valesek first sat behind the wheel of a race car in 1950, and a few years later, began racing the NASCAR Sportsman circuit in Central Nebraska at race tracks in Broken Bow, Lexington, North Platte and his old hometown track in Ord.
Following the 1954 season, motivated by his own driving career, Valasek decided to go to Engineering College, and obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1959. Upon completion of his degree, he moved to Anderson, Indiana, where he produced drawings of the frame and other components for a car Dick Etchison was building for a racer in Chicago. Etchison was so impressed with Valasek's abilities that he tabbed the Nebraskan to help in the pits for the 1963 “Little 500” in Anderson. With a lightweight new car, Etchison and his driver ,Johnny White, took the lead with 22 laps remaining and won the race.
Ray moved to Lincoln in late 1963 and provided technical and mechanical assistance for Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Frank Brennfoerder. He also provided help to another Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame member, Wayne House for many years.
In 1998, Valasek was one of the founding members of the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame and has been a board member ever since. An avid racing historian, he co-authored, along with Bob Mays, a book titled "Valley County Thunder, The History of Racing at Ord, Nebraska," which was published in 2004. Chris Economaki, the editor of National Speed Sport News, hailed it as the best book of the year.