Former Unlimited hydroplane great George Henley died after suffering a heart attack early Monday morning in Puyallup, Wash. He was 72.

Henley spent only six years as a driver in the Unlimited ranks, but his 12 career victories place him 12th all-time. His greatest success came at the wheel of the famed Pay 'n Pak, which he drove to National High Points championships in 1974 and 1975.

"This morning at 8:55 a.m. dad passed away peacefully with mom at his side," Henley's daughter Lori said on her Web site. "We want to all thank you for your prayers and kind words, they truly mean so much to us. Information regarding the memorial will be provided as soon as the details are worked out. God Bless you all."

Henley initially suffered the heart attack on Dec. 5 and had been hospitalized ever since.

The Dave Heerensperger-owned Pay 'n Pak had one of the greatest three-year runs in the sport's history. The 1973-75 Pak, known as the "Winged Wonder" because of its revolutionary horizontal stabilizer, dominated the sport, first with drivers Mickey Remund and Jim McCormick, and later Henley.

In two different stints over two years with the Pak, Henley won 12 races, two Gold Cups and two national championships. He won the Indiana Governor's Cup in Madison in both 1974 and 1975. He retired after the 1975 season.

Before joining the Pay 'n Pak team, Henley drove the Burien Lady in 1970, the Lincoln Thrift 71⁄4% Special from 1971-73 and the Red Man II in 1973.

The "Winged Wonder" won High Points titles for the Pak team in 1973, 1974 and 1975 and for the Atlas Van Lines in 1976. It was later sold to Miss Madison Racing and campaigned 10 years as the team's fourth boat.


George Henley Career Wins


June 6 - Washington (D.C.), Pay 'n Pak

June 17 - Owensboro (Ky.), Pay 'n Pak

July 21 - Tri-Cities (Wash.), Pay 'n Pak

Aug. 4 - Seattle (Wash.), Pay 'n Pak*

Sept. 1 - Dayton (Ohio), Pay 'n Pak

Sept. 22 - San Diego (Calif.), Pay 'n Pak

Oct. 13 - Madison (Ind.), Pay 'n Pak


July 6 - Madison (Ind.), Pay 'n Pak

July 13 - Dayton (Ohio), Pay'n Pak

July 27 - Tri-Cities (Wash.), Pay 'n Pak*

Aug. 3 - Seattle (Wash.), Pay 'n Pak

Sept. 21 - San Diego (Calif.), Pay 'n Pak