In 1953, at age 17, Karl “Big Don” Kravig went to Bonneville as part of a racing team, serving as mechanic for a twin engine flathead streamliner that could race at over 300 mph. (That streamliner is not in the Bonneville Hall of Fame.) From 1958 to 1965, Big Don raced Dodges and Fords at the Orange County Lions Drag Strip. He also performed engine work for other notable local racers, including Leroy Chatterton, Skip Davis, and Troy Davis.
From 1965 to 1970, Big Don opened Kravig Marine in the La Sierra district of Riverside, and began to prepare unlimited mercury outboard engines for hydroplane racing for events such as the Lake Havasu Regata. He also began to prepare racing engines for unlimited offshore racing. These included Big Block Chevy and Chrysler Hemispherical engines.
Beginning in 1968, Don started competing in local club events for the Porsche Club of America and Porsche Owners Club, such as slaloms and time trials. By 1970, he was competing in two full series for with is 1967 911S, setting many records, some of which have yet to be broken.
In 1973, he converted the 1967 911S to a RSR. In 1974 through 1976, He competed in many local SCCA, PCA, and POC events. His son, “Little Don” bought his first Porsche in 1974 although he had been racing since 1972. During this and until 1979, Big Don competed in the National Porsche Parades, setting two overall top time of days and three overall second places.
Beginning in 1977, Big Don decided to turn professional, and began competing in the six-hour Times Grand Prix of Riverside. (He competed every year from ‘77 until 1989 when the track closed.) By 1980, the Kravigs were also running the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 6 Hours at Watkins Glen, as well as many other IMSA and Trans Am events. Some of the highlights included Trans Am support races for the Formula One events at Caesar’s Palace, Long Beach Grand Prix support races, GI Joe Grand Prix support races, and in 1987, competed in the Peter Gregg Memorial Cup at Riverside Raceway and received fastest lap and time, winning the race. Big Don was a contemporary of and raced with such notable drivers as Brian Redmond, Scooter Patrick, Danny Ongias, Hurley Haywood, Derek Bell, and Rolf Stommelen.
In 1989, Big Don retired from professional racing, but kept his hand in the local club scene, preparing cars for the track and building engines. He passed away in 2001 and is buried in his hometown of Karval, Colorado. He was buried in his racesuit.
From 2001 to present, Precision Motion, under the direction of “Little Don”, has continued the racing tradition. The shop prepares numerous class and overall winners for every type of racing from Varra to POC/PCA to Outlaw events such as the Gumball.