Sad / Tragic News, Deaths, Memorials

about the deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series

NOTE: do not post fan deaths, etc, keep it to the main three National series, major auto racing and immediate family [mother, father, etc]

  • Sad News - Ronald Johndrone: Ronald Johndrone, longtime crew member for Means Motorsports #52, passed away Monday at the age of 71. Born in Chicago Illinois, Ron began his life time love affair with NASCAR when he started work with JD McDuffie's Cup team in the 80's. After JD's passing, "Ron John" as they called him, spent the next 24 years traveling the country as a full and part time crew member to help support his long time friend Jimmy Mean's Sprint cup driving days and in more recent years his effort with the #52 in the Nationwide Series. See the complete obituary at

  • Sad News - Tim Leslie: Tim Leslie, 50, brother of Ben Leslie (technical consultant for #32 Go Fas Racing Sprint Cup team), passed away April 10, 2014. After a long battle with cancer he passed peacefully in the company of his family at their home in New Baltimore, MI. He is survived by his wife Tina Leslie & daughter Lauren Leslie & Renee Hall. Tim was the owner of "Tim Leslie Tire", Mount Clemens for 20 years. He was a member of the Detroit Yacht Club, and enjoyed bowling, boating, driving his Lamborghini and Ford Lightning, he also had a passion for working on boats and Corvettes, and traveling to NASCAR races with his brother, Ben and other friends.
    Visiting hours are 12-9 p.m., Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Will and Schwarzkoff Funeral Home, 233 Northbound Gratiot, Mount Clemens. Funeral service 1 p.m., Monday at the funeral home with Reverend Mark Reynolds officiating. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, Clinton Township. Share memories at: Daily)(4-16-2014)

  • Sad News - Marty Little: Longtime Florida racing journalist, promoter and track announcer Marty Little passed away on Saturday, April 12th in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Little was a USAF Vet and longtime track announcer at the now defunct Hialeah Speedway. Little the public relations person for Rahmoc Racing, wrote weekly racing articles for National Speed Sport News for South Florida race tracks and was the historian for South Florida racing for over 40 years. Marty is the brother of long time Penske Racing employee David Little. Little currently worked at Dometic Enviromental. Survivors include wife Janet, children Richard, Suzanne (Brian) grandson Paul, brother David (Malinda) their children Chris, Dee, and Katelyn. Donations to Vitas 152 or Victory Junction. Services info at Fred Hunters in Davie, FL.(4-15-2014)

  • Sad News - "Captain" Herb Emory: Longtime WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News traffic reporter, "Captain" Herb Emory, passed away Saturday. According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident on South Burnt Hickory Road when he suddenly fell ill. He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died. Emory had been with WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News since 1991. Emory has served as an Atlanta traffic reporter since 1971. Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the inaugural Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award in 2012. Emory's father was a volunteer pit crew member for Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Sr.'s dad, in the 1960s.( and an article at WSB Radio Race Blog)(4-12-2014)
    More info at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.(4-14-2014)

    The decal ran by JD Motorsports cars (#01, #4, #87) at Darlington
    on April 11th to honor former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge

  • Sad News - Billy Standridge: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge passed away of cancer at 1:30am/et on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Standridge made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. For services and visitation info or leave a comment at the blog set up by Billy's family, go to: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge. was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images of the #47 Ford at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.
    Three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway carried decals honoring Billy Standridge. Standridge also raced in the Nationwide Series from 1986 to 1993. JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis formerly worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine builder, truck driver and all-around mechanic. The Standridge decal was carried on the C post of JDM Chevrolet's driven by #01-Landon Cassill who finished 12th, #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt (20th) and #87-Kevin Lepage (19th) at Darlington and will run in other races this year.(4-12-2014)
    SERVICES A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Tuesday April 15, 2014 at 2:00pm at New Beginnings Church, 4317 Fallston Road, Shelby NC 28150, with Dr. Johnny Ware officiating. Burial will follow at Cleveland Memorial Park. The family will receive friends two hours before the service from 12:00pm until 2:00pm, and after the burial the family will be at Billy's home in Shelby for visitors. 1521 Sulphur Springs Road.
    Memorials can be made to the Billy Standridge Memorial Scholarship Fund, Automotive Recyclers Association, 9113 Church Street, Manassas, VA 20110.
    William "Billy" Gerald Standridge, age 60 died Saturday April 12, 2014 at his home. Billy started out his very first business while in high school, which was an auto body shop. This was the foundation to owning and operating three successful salvage yard companies. At a young age Billy had a love for racing. He would race lawn mowers for fun and the love that he had for cars led into a long challenging career in stock car racing and NASCAR. He began Stock car racing in the early 80's with much success, running small tracks and gaining driving experience. He began running the NASCAR Busch Series in 1986, when he finished 14th at the All Pro 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his own Pontiac. After that, he began running a limited schedule in the Busch Series, posting five top-ten finishes in 84 starts, the last of which came in 1993. In 1994, he began running a limited schedule in Winston Cup, making his debut at North Carolina Speedway but finishing 42nd after a crash. He ran seven more races that year, his best finish being 24th at the Southern 500 as well as picking up sponsorship from the WCW and Dura Lube. He followed that up with a 14th place finish at Darlington the following year. After an unsuccessful stint with Triad Motorsports being sponsored by Hanes and Diamond Rio in 1996 and 1997, Standridge began running his own team, the #47 Ford Thunderbird, picking up sponsorship from Jayski and also from fan-sponsored donations. He even picked up sponsorship from Phillips after Geoffrey Bodine failed to qualify for a 1998 Talladega race. Standridge was one of the last drivers to run in NASCAR using a Thunderbird after other teams switched to the Taurus for the 1998 season. His last career start was the Pepsi 400 in 1998, where his engine expired 19 laps into the race.
    In addition to his father, Billy is survived by his wife, Becky Adkison Standridge; three daughters, Stacey Walker and husband Travis, Deedra Dimsdale and husband Jason, and Jody Standridge all of Shelby; two sons, Ethan McDaniel and Matt McDaniel both of the home; a grandson, Alex Moore of the home; a brother, Bobby Standridge and wife Vicki of Little River, SC; and grandchildren, Taylor Walker, Melana Walker, Izabel Moore, Eliza Dimsdale, Alyssa Turner, Mackenzie Turner, and Gracie Beam.
    See the full obituary at

  • Sad News - Ed Spencer: Edgar Robert Spencer Sr., 85, of Salem Boulevard, Berwick, PA, died Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Fritzingertown Senior Living Community, Drums. Edgar owned and operated Ed Spencer's Auto Parts since 1957. He held racetrack championships at Bone Stadium, Selinsgrove, Port Royal and Rummages Drive-In Speedway. His nickname was "Fast Eddie" and he raced under the car number 24. Ed was the father of former NASCAR driver Jimmy Spencer.
    A memorial service to celebrate Edgar's life will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Clarke Piatt Funeral Home Inc., 6 Sunset Lake Road, Hunlock Creek, with the Rev. C. Glenn Neely officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home 5 p.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Alzheimer's Association , P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011; and the American Diabetes Association , P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312. See full obituary at the Times Leader.(4-8-2014)

  • Sad News - Sandy Grossman: FOX Sports President & COO Eric Shanks on the passing of legendary sports television director Sandy Grossman: "Sandy was part of the original heart and soul of FOX Sports. He was a brilliant director and a thoughtful colleague. He mentored many of us here and throughout the sports TV industry, and we learned more from him than he could imagine. On behalf of everyone at FOX Sports, we extend our deepest condolences to Sandy's family who are in our thoughts and prayers. He'll be greatly missed."(FoxSports)(4-3-2014)

  • Sad News - Bob Pressley: Robert "Bobby" Russell Pressley, 53, of Landis died Sunday at his home. He was born December 29, 1960 in Norfolk, VA , a son Brenda Rich Pressley of High Point and the late Robert Pressley. He was the fitness director of Penske Racing for 17 years before moving to South Port, NC where he owned an antique shop. He later moved to High Point to give loving care to his dad who was terminally ill. Mr. Pressley was a member of the Connect Christian Church in Concord. He will be remembered as a devoted son, brother and uncle. In addition to his mother Mr. Pressley is survived by a brother Bradford Pressley and wife Heather of Raleigh and three nephews, Hudson, Heath and Hogan. Also surviving are his beloved friend Darlene DeRosa and nephews Robert and Domenic DeRosa.Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be given to Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262, First Baptist Church of High Point, 405 N. Main Street, High Point, NC 27260 or to McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC 28027-9757. Online condolences may be made on Mr. Pressley's memorial page at

  • Sad News - Jordan Janway: [Jimmie and Chadnra] Johnson are saddened by the tragic passing of Chandra's brother, Jordan Janway, 27. Jordan was an incredible son, brother, uncle and friend and will be dearly missed. Please keep the Janway family in your thoughts and prayers. The family asks for privacy at this time.(
    AND more information Jordan Janway's accident at the Associated Press.(3-31-2014)

  • Sad News - Roy Trantham: Roy M. Trantham, 73, died March 17, 2014 after a long battle with leukemia. Roy was born on February 10, 1941 in Asheville, N.C. He was involved in NASCAR auto racing in engine development and as a driver. He moved to St. Croix, USVI where he was a managing partner in an automobile dealership and several related businesses. He moved to Palm City Florida in 1994 and stayed involved in the automotive world. He was passionate about all animals and helped in animal rescue. He is survived by his loving wife, Lucia; his daughter, Regina and son in law, Earl, and his son, Roy III and grandchildren, Sydney, Rebecca and Travis and his brother Jim.(Asheville Citizen-Times), Trantham ran 5 Cup races in 1968.(3-30-2014)

  • Sad News - Sharon Grubb: Sharon Grubb, 62, passed away on March 18, 2014. She was born to Reginald C. Stokes and Billie J. Updegraff on January 20, 1952. She was preceded in death by her father, Reginald; and her son, Kevin Grubb. Sharon is survived by her husband, William Grubb; her mother, Billie J. Updegraff; daughter, Michelle Grubb-Solaimani and husband, Michael; son, Wayne Grubb and wife, Holli. She was a proud grandmother to Rylee, Taryn and Reygan Solaimani, and Jordin and Alivia Grubb. Sharon is also survived by her sisters, Carol S. Jones and Reggie S. Loth; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family received friends on March 21 at the Woody Funeral Home, Atlee Chapel, 9271 Shady Grove Rd., Mechanicsville, Va. 23116, and the funeral service was held at the funeral home on March 22. Interment followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family would like to give a special thanks to Star Austin, her caregiver. In lieu of flowers, honor her love of NASCAR Racing by sending donations to the Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp at or Victory Junction, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-29-2014)

  • Sad News - Lynda Petty: Lynda Gayle Owens Petty, 72, one of the first women of NASCAR and its most beloved wife, mother and friend, passed away peacefully at her home in Level Cross, North Carolina today. She was surrounded by her family.
    Affectionately known as "Mrs. Lynda" to so many, Lynda Petty set a standard for being a loving, supportive and, when needed, an authoritative wife and mother. She also set the benchmark for being a leader in her local community while raising a family in the fast-growing sport of stock car racing.
    It was with strong will that Petty fought cancer over the past several years. It was the same determination that led her to make a difference as a Red Cross volunteer, a school volunteer, the president of the athletic booster club and a Girl and Boy Scout leader in her lifetime. She also served on the Randolph County School Board for 16 years and was on the board of the Randolph County Hospice.
    Lynda helped start the Racing Wives Auxiliary and will always be remembered as the wife to Richard Petty. Their steadfast love endured trials that only a marriage of over 50 years can. Through triumph and heartache, Lynda Petty was the castle that supported a king in private and public moments.
    Lynda is proceeded by grandson Adam K. Petty and is survived by her loving husband Richard; son, Kyle and daughters Sharon and husband Terry Farlow; Lisa and husband Charlie Luck; Rebecca and husband Brian Moffitt. In addition, she is survived by grandchildren Austin Petty and wife Sarah; Hannah and husband Brad Leonard; Montgomery and husband Randy Schlappi; Maggie and Kyle Farlow; Richard, Sarah and Margaret Luck; Helen, Thad and Harrison Moffitt, and great grandchildren Sullivan Mae Schlappi and Adam Christopher Stonewall Petty.
    A private memorial service for family and friends will be held at Reverie Place in Randleman, North Carolina which Pastor Kenny Crosswhite will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following:

    Petty Family Foundation
    311 Branson Mill Road
    Randleman, N.C. 27317

    A public memorial service will not be held and the family asks for privacy at this time.
    The family offered the following statement to the public:
    "We wish to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us and our family throughout the years and at this time. We will forever love and miss a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend."
    (Petty PR)
    NASCAR Statement: "On behalf of the France Family and everyone at NASCAR, I want to offer sincere condolences to the Petty Family regarding the loss of their beloved matriarch, Lynda Petty," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. "Through the years, Lynda became an integral part of the NASCAR landscape. We have lost a true friend, who will be missed each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers will be with the Pettys throughout this difficult time."(NASCAR)
    Austin Petty statement: Victory Junction's COO, Austin Petty, makes a statement on the passing of his grandmother, Lynda Petty:
    "We have lost my grandmother, but my family and our Victory Junction family are grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years. It was no secret that she was the cornerstone of the Petty family; a woman of humility and extraordinary strength. While we mourn her death, we also celebrate her life and the profound impact she had on those who knew her. The pride she had in her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren was shared with us through her unconditional love. Her strong example of leadership outside of her home was most recently acknowledged by the Association of Fundraising Professionals when she, along with my grandfather, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award for her personal commitment to seriously ill children and to our American troops. We honor my grandmother's legacy of inspiration and enduring love at Victory Junction today and always."PR)(3-25-2014)

    The decal ran by Michael Waltrip Racing cars (#15, #55) at Martinsville
    on March 30th to honor Bobby Waltrip, Darrell and Micheal's brother

  • MWR cars paying tribute to Bobby Waltrip: Bobby Waltrip, the middle brother of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip and NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner and FOX announcer Michael Waltrip, died of natural causes last Sunday. The middle Waltrip formerly managed Darrell's race team and was best known as a promoter and announcer of go-kart races in both the American Karting Association and the World Karting Association. To memorialize Bobby, the two Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas of #15-Clint Bowyer and #55-Brian Vickers are carrying the name "Bobby Waltrip" over their respective driver's doors, as well as decals honoring his memory this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.(FoxSports)(3-29-2014)

  • Sad News - Bobby Waltrip: Robert Lynn "Bobby" Waltrip, middle brother of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and Fox Sports announcer Darrell Waltrip and NASCAR team owner and fellow Fox Sports announcer Michael Waltrip, died Sunday [March 23, 2014). [Darrell and Michael Waltrip were informed of their brother's death after the race.] Both worked the Fox Sports' Sunday afternoon telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 race at Auto Club Speedway. Michael, the youngest of the three Waltrip brothers, confirmed his brother's passing on Twitter Sunday evening. Moments later, Darrell, the oldest Waltrip brother, also paid homage to brother Bobby. Bobby Waltrip grew up in Owensboro, Ky., but had lived in the Concord, N.C. area the last 25 years. While he never followed his brothers into NASCAR as a race car driver - although he did work for Darrell in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the latter formed his own Winston Cup team - Bobby became a major force in the world of go-kart racing, first as a successful kart racer himself and later as an announcer and promoter in the sport in both the World Karting Association (WKA) and the American Karting Association (AKRA). He was believed to be in his early 60s at the time of his death.(NBC Sports)(3-24-2014)

  • Sad News - Gary Bettenhausen: Officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway say race car driver Gary Bettenhausen has died. He was 72. Bettenhausen was a member of a famous racing family and a veteran of open-wheel competition who drove in 21 Indianapolis 500s between 1968 and 1993. His best finish was third in 1980. He led 138 laps of the 1972 race and was the top qualifier in 1991. Bettenhausen's father, Tony, also was an Indianapolis 500 veteran who was killed in a practice crash at the speedway in 1961. Speedway president J. Douglas Boles issued a statement Monday, noting Gary Bettenhausen's success in many types of cars and calling him "the perfect definition of a race car driver of his time."(Associated Press/ESPN), Bettenhausen ran eight career NASCAR Sprint Cup races.(3-17-2014)

  • Sad News - Joyce Hutcherson: Mrs. Joyce Ann Martin Hutcherson, 66, of Statesville, NC died Sunday March 9, 2014 at her residence. Joyce was the wife of Ron Hutcherson. Former owner of Hutcherson-Pagan Enterprises. Born April 10, 1947 in Keokuk, Iowa she was a daughter of the late Leo Richard Martin and Ruth Evelyn Thews Martin. Mrs. Hutcherson was a retired realtor with Prudential Realty and co-owner of Benchwarmers Sports Complex in Mooresville, NC. She had a tremendous love for animals, loved spending time in their mountain home and traveling around the country in their motor coach. Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 13, 2014 in the Chapel of Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home. The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Funeral Home. Graveside services will be conducted 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Comers Rock Cemetery in Elk Creek Virginia. She leaves to cherish her memory her husband, Ronald Dean Hutcherson; son, Rick Hutcherson of Mooresville; daughter, Roni Hutcherson of Denver, NC; grandsons, Josh, Travis, Austin; brothers, Leo Richard Martin Jr and James Dale Martin of Eldon, Missouri; sister, Rose Miller of Mooresville, NC and several nieces and nephews. Memorial Contributions may be made to Iredell County Hospice, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625 or Levine & Dickson Hospice House, 11900 Vanstory Drive, Huntersville, NC 28078. Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Huntersville NC is assisting the family. Friends may offer condolences to the family at

  • Sad News - William Clay Ford Sr.: William Clay Ford Sr., the owner of the Detroit Lions, has died at the age of 88. Ford Motor Co. said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home. He was the last surviving grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owned the Lions since 1964. Away from football, Ford worked for Ford Motor Co. for 57 years and was the chairman of the company's design committee from 1957 until 1989. He was instrumental in the design decisions of many of Ford Motor's cars in that span. In 1978, he was named the chairman of the executive committee of Ford. Funeral services will be private, and Ford locations across the United States will lower Ford and American flags to half-staff for 30 days.(ESPN)
    NASCAR Statement: "On behalf of the France family and everyone at NASCAR, our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Ford family on the passing of William Clay Ford Sr.," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. "He was a worthy successor not only to a great company but also a legacy - and he served both exceptionally well. The grandson of Henry Ford will be remembered as a man of style, for both the automobiles he built and the life he led. He was a giant ... who forever will be missed."(NASCAR)(3-10-2014)

  • Sad News - Gary Cross: Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Friday at the Wasko Funeral Home in Campbell for Gary Robert Cross, 76, formerly of Youngstown, who passed away on March 1, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Conover. Mr. Cross was born April 30, 1937, in Youngstown, the son of William P. and Lois E. Leonard Cross. He resided in the Youngstown area until he relocated to Daytona Beach in 1993. Gary was employed by NASCAR for 20 years. He started his employment as a tour guide at Daytona International Speedway. He transferred to the mail room and then worked his way up to Transportation Manager in Daytona Beach, Fla. and Conover. The Cross family has entrusted their loved one to the care of the Wasko Funeral Home, 216 Coitsville Road in Campbell and will receive family and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 6. Visit to view this obituary and send Gary's family condolences.(3-7-2014)

  • Sad News - Mike Martin: Lafourche Parish Assessor Mike Martin, who held the office for more than 13 years, died Tuesday at Terrebonne General Medical Center. Martin's exact cause of death hasn't been determined, according to his father, Leroy Martin. Mike quit breathing at his home Feb. 23 as he and his wife prepared to travel to Birmingham, Ala., for a doctor's visit related to Mike's kidney transplant, Leroy said. "She tried to give him CPR and called 911 ... they stabilized him and sent him to Terrebonne General," Leroy said. Mike, unable to breath on his own, remained hospitalized and connected to machines until Tuesday, when his family made the decision to remove him from life support. Leroy said his son was already brain dead, and his condition wasn't going to change. In addition to his father, Mike Martin leaves behind his wife, Tammy, and son, Hal, 28. Hal Martin races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and his dad was one of his biggest fans from early on. "He loved to watch him race and would go where he would race. He followed him everywhere he went," Leroy said. Mike Martin was an attorney, and he served as a Lafourche Parish assistant district attorney before following in the footsteps of his father as assessor in 2001. He also served as president of the Louisiana Assessor's Association earlier in his tenure. The funeral is set for 11 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Golden Meadow.(Daily Comet)(3-6-2014)

  • Sad News - Reino Tulonen: Reino Kalervo Tulonen, 89, of Fitchburg, died Jan. 26th at HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital, after an illness. "The Flying Finn", as he came to be known, began his racing career in 1946 and continued for thirty years. He raced many types of cars including; big cars, midgets, stock cars and late models. His most successful car was a cut down that he designed and built himself. Most of his car racing was done in New England, but he also drove in Canada, Darlington, NC, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Over the years, Reino won many races, with trophies reflecting his skill as a race car driver and articles describing his daring exploits on the track. He was awarded the 1964 Champion Class A Driver by the Atlantic Auto Racing Association. In 2005, he was inducted into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame in recognition of a life time of racing. Tulonen made four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, all in 1951, with a best finish of 5th.(service info at

  • Sad News - Bruce Patrum: Mr. Bruce Paul Patrum, 66, of 6800 Charnel Lane passed away on January 20, 2014 at Beacon Place, NC. Patrum was owner of Patrum Motor Racing Properties. He pioneered the souvenir industry for NASCAR drivers and founded the Race of Champions, an exhibition racing series featuring top NASCAR drivers, for over thirty years. More info and services at

  • Sad News - Al Hammond: Albert S. "Al" Hammond, 70 of South Paris, Maine died at his home early Thursday morning. Al had worked as a truck driver and mechanic . Al was a race car driver, racing over 50 years at Oxford Plains Speedway and other tracks up and down the east coast. In 1971 he raced at Daytona International Speedway. Al had 91 careers wins and won every time he raced in Arundel. His life was racing and in 2009 he was inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. He served on the board of directors for the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, was a member of Granite Lodge AF & AM in West Paris and served in the National Guard. Al is survived by his wife Delores of South Paris, a son Ryan Kane and his wife Rae-Ann of Oxford and their children (Chandler Funeral Homes)(1-19-2014)

  • Sad News - Ernie Derr: Ernie Derr didn't need to brag about his racing career. He let his records in racing speak for himself. Derr helped put Keokuk (Iowa) on the map with his accomplishments. He was a 12-time International Motor Contest Association champion and is the winningest driver in the history of the circuit. Derr was a master mechanic and a dirt track whiz. Derr died Wednesday in his home. He was 92. Derr dominated IMCA racing from 1959 to 1962, claiming four consecutive titles. He won 101 races during that four-year span, including 30 in 1959 and 28 in 51 races in 1962. Derr cut back on his racing after the 1971 season. He ran a limited schedule in the USAC series through 1976 and ended his racing career at the Fall Jamboree at Knoxville in September 1977. Complete records of Derr's achievements aren't available because they were destroyed in a fire, but he finished with more than 300 feature wins in his illustrious career.(in part from the Daily Gate City). Derr ran one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 1953 at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA finishing 11th. See the full obituary, service info at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Center.(1-10-2014)

  • Sad News - George Tet: Former modified racer George Tet died Dec. 31. He was 90 years old. Tet's real name was Tetsuo Fuchigami and he was the first Japanese to drive in a NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup, running three races in 1960-1961) car. In the 1950s he won at many tracks including Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, N.J., and Dexter Park in Queens, N.Y. He excelled in smaller engined cars, often beating the modifieds with his sportsman. For many years he ran a florist business, located by Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, NY.(National Speed Sport News)(1-2-2014)

  • Sad News - Richmond Gage: Richmond Gage, a program chair and instructor for the Motorsports Management and Technology program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, died suddenly on Sunday. He was 51 years old. Richmond had a lengthy career in the motorsports industry, including serving as the Chief Stewart of the USAC Eastern Ford Focus Midget Series. He spent several years working on various NASCAR teams before joining Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to direct and instruct the first accredited degreed-program in motorsports in the United States. He was also the Director of the North Carolina Community College Motorsports Consortium. Gage is survived by his wife Carol, and daughters Alex and Sarah.(NSSN)
    AND He spent his life around race cars, and turned that passion into a way to help students fulfill their dreams. Richmond Gage was well known in NASCAR circles and served in several capacities with various teams, including as a business manager, and most recently was an instructor in the motorsports program at Rowan Cabarrus Community College. On Monday, RCCC issued this statement to WBTV on the death of Richmond Gage: "Last night, we received the sad news that Instructor Richmond Gage died unexpectedly from an aneurysm. Richmond was program chair for Motorsports Management Technology at the College's South Campus in Concord. He was a talented and caring instructor who always put his students first. Those of us who worked with him loved his energy, sense of humor and commitment to the College and his students. He created a signature program - the first of its kind across the country - that will reap benefits for our community for years to come. He was an asset to the College and the community and his passing represents a huge loss for Rowan-Cabarrus. We are deeply saddened by this loss to our Rowan-Cabarrus family and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends. He will most certainly be missed."(WBTV)(12-24-2013)
    UPDATE: a fund to set up the family of Richmond Gage has been established at Wells Fargo. It's the Richmond Gage fund account #6301712680.(12-27-2013)
    Memorial Service Richmond Gage's memorial service is scheduled to be held Saturday January 4th at 2pm at the Hendrick Team Center at Hendrick Motorsports. The address is 4433 Papa Joe Henrick Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28262.(12-31-2013)
    Obituary: Richmond Bullen Gage III, 51, of Harrisburg, passed away suddenly on Sunday, December 22, 2013, at CMC-Main in Charlotte. He was born December 7, 1962 in Dunn, North Carolina. Richmond had a passion for racing. He enjoyed watching Formula 1 racing. He has worked with various Nascar teams for over 25 years. He was presently Program Director of Motorsports Management at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. He enjoyed watching Formula 1 racing. He has worked with various Nascar teams for over 25 years. He was presently Program Director of Motorsports Management at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. He was a member of Harrisburg United Methodist Church. He enjoyed spending time with his wife and daughters. He is survived by his wife, Carol Stone Gage, daughters, Alexandra Elizabeth Gage and Sarah Bullen Gage, his father, Richmond Gage, Jr. and wife Vonnie, his mother, Dava N. Anderson, his brother, Will Gage, his half-brother, Roger Slate Gage and half-sister, Juli Gage Owen. A memorial service to celebrate Richmond's life will be held at the Hendrick Team Center at Hendrick Motorsports Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM. The address is 4433 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262. Memorial Donations may be made to any Wells Fargo Branch, % Richmond Gage Fund. Online condolences may be left at Observer)(1-1-2014)

  • Sad News - Andy Granatelli: Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur, has died. He was 90. Granatelli's son, Vince, said his father died Sunday of congestive heart failure at a Santa Barbara hospital. Granatelli is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.(Associated Press)
    He was one half of perhaps the most important sponsorship deal NASCAR has ever known, a man whose company would become as synonymous with Richard Petty as the driver's seven championships and ostrich-feathered cowboy hat. Everybody knew the King. But everybody in motorsports also knew Andy Granatelli.(
    A statement from Richard Petty on the passing of Andy Granatelli: "Andy was one of the best at public relations and marketing in all of motorsports. He was ahead of his time and set the standard for selling his products. We still enjoy our relationship with STP today and it was our meetings with Andy that started it all. He was really determined about how he wanted to market his product, and he never stopped wanting to get his way, but that's what made him successful too."(RPM)(12-31-2013)

  • Sad News - Dennis Wood: Dennis Wood, former owner of Phoenix International Raceway and the man largely credited with saving the track, died Thursday at the age of 75. Wood was born in Phoenix and attended Phoenix Union High. He spent 23 years at PIR and became the owner after purchasing it for $325,000 in 1976. and was a key figure in PIR's development before selling it to Buddy Jobe in 1985. Wood was instrumental in bringing the first Copper World Classic to the track in 1977, and was perhaps Wood's "real love," according to Steve Stroud, president of the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum.
    PIR President Bryan Sperber said Wood was a huge influence on racing in the Valley. "Dennis was an icon in motor racing and played a critical role in PIR's history," Sperber said Friday. "It saddens all of us at Phoenix International Raceway to learn of his passing. Racing lost a great one whose impact will live on."
    Racing legend A.J. Foyt, a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was good friends with Wood. "Denny and I had a lot of fun together through the years," Foyt said. "He was a good friend, a hell of a sportswriter and a great race promoter. I liked working with him because he was a straight shooter and a hard worker. We had a lot of respect for each other. He was a hell of a guy." Wood also wrote for The Republic and Phoenix Gazette, was general manager at the since-closed Manzanita Speedway and is a member of the Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame.(Arizona Republic)(12-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Bruce Pepper: Bruce E. Pepper, 50, of Owensboro, KY passed away on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at home. He was born in Mattoon, Illinois to Donald and Shirley Pepper. Pepper was the brother to ThorSport Racing GM David Pepper. Bruce was a 1982 graduate of Russellville High School. He went on to earn a BS in business from Western Kentucky University and a BS in mechanical engineering from Indiana State University. Bruce had been employed as a mechanical engineer at the Metalsa plant in Owensboro. He was a big sports fan, and especially enjoyed football and basketball. Bruce was also passionate about riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald L. Pepper in 2010.
    Bruce is survived by a daughter, Nicole Pepper; a son, Philip Pepper, both of Bloomington, IN; his mother, Shirley Pepper of Owensboro; a sister, Debbie Pepper of Hendersonville, TN; a brother, David Pepper of Huron, OH; an aunt, Alberta Yost of East Alton, IL; uncles, Orville Fiedler (Norma) of Bethalto, IL and Harold Boede of Springfield, IL; extended family and many friends.
    The funeral service will be at 2 PM on Saturday, December 28 at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. Rev. Gene Henke will officiate. Burial will be at Owensboro Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be on Saturday after 11 AM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions, for the education of his children Nicole and Philip Pepper, may be made at any Fifth Third Bank location.(12-27-2013)

  • Sad News - Chris "Blue" Margolin: Christopher J. Margolin, of Budd Lake, NJ, passed away on Sunday December 22, 2013 at St. Clare's Hospital, Denville Campus. He was 60 years of age. Born in Hollywood, CA, Chris resided in Hopatcong, NJ for 25... years before moving to Budd Lake in 2004. He was an Electrical Technician for CAT Entertainment Services of Florida working with NASCAR. Chris enjoyed race cars and his Corvette. In his early years, he enjoyed surfing on the California beaches and racing midget cars in Pine Brook, NJ. Chris was especially fond of the time spent with his grandchildren and his visits to Las Vegas with his wife, Audrey. He was an active volunteer as a coach for the Hopatcong Warriors Youth Football and past president of the Hopatcong Little League.
    Chris was predeceased by his daughter, Stephanie, his mother, Glenna and a brother Kameron. Survivors include his wife, Audrey, 2 sons, TJ and Jay and their wives Natalie and Melissa. Also surviving are Chris' four grandchildren, Tyler, Alyssa, Arianna and Cameron, his father, James and wife, Dottie, siblings, Mitchell and wife, Mary, Scott and Sandy, and father and mother in law, Vincent and Ora Jane Bauer.
    Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to celebrate Chris' life on Sunday December 29 from 1-3 and 6-8 pm at Leber-Lakeside Funeral Home, 150 Landing Road, Landing, NJ 07850. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered on Monday December 30 beginning at 11:00am at St. Jude Thaddeus Church, 17 Mount Olive Road, Budd Lake, NJ. Chris will be laid to rest at Stanhope Union Cemetery in Mt. Olive Township immediately following Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family will be accepting memorial donations directly.(12-24-2013)

  • Sad News - Tommie Stewart: Mrs. Eva Mae (Tommie) Hege Stewart, 87, resident of Kernersville, died December 15th, 2013 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Mrs. Stewart was born October 12th, 1926 in Davidson County, a daughter to the late Manie and Letha Clinard Hege. A resident of this area all her life, she was a member of Abbott's Creek Missionary Baptist Church and was co-owner of Spectrum Furniture, where she was active in helping her husband operate the business. She loved auto racing, having co-owned Tarheel Speedway, and also loved to travel. In 1944 she married Howard Clifton (Cliff) Stewart who survives of the residence. Cliff Stewart is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner from 1962-1986, fielding a winning car in 2 of 265 starts. His drivers included Jim Paschal, Buddy Baker, Joe Weatherly Morgan Shepherd, Geoff Bodine & Rusty Wallace. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by a brother, a sister and a grandson. Also surviving are four children, Henrietta Wheeler of Thomasville, Jackie Johnson of Asheboro, June Stewart of High Point and Howard Clifton Stewart Jr. of High Point; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in the chapel of the Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point with Rev. Roy Cantrell officiating. Interment will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be directed to the charity of the donor's choice.(Cumby Family Funeral Service)(12-18-2013)

  • Sad News - Lee Raymond: Lee Raymond, a two-time ARCA Racing Series national driving champion, died Thursday, December 12. He was 59. Born on October 2, 1954, Raymond, of Dayton, Ohio, had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and was hospitalized prior to being placed in the care of Hospice. Over an ARCA career that stretched from 1979 through 1993, Raymond made 136 career ARCA starts, earning back-to-back championships in 1985 and 1986. Raymond's ARCA titles came in car owner Jim Coyle's famous orange No. 1 Riverside Auto Parts Chevrolet. Raymond also finished second in championship standings in 1982 to Scott Stovall and again in 1987 to Bill Venturini.(ARCA Racing)
    Lee Raymond also made one NASCAR Sprint CUp start, the 1989 Daytona 500 finishing 26th in the #69 Ford.(12-15-2013)

  • Sad News - Jason Mitchell: Jason Dylan Mitchell, 41, of Doncastle Court, Concord, NC died unexpectedly at his home Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. He was born Aug. 14, 1972 in Okaloosa County, Fla., to Jerry William and LaVerne Denny Mitchell. He was a graduate from Appalachian State University. He was a sportswriter for NASCAR Racing, had managed a restaurant for Steve Grissom, and had worked for the Wilkes Journal Patriot. Survivors include: his mother, Laverne Billings and husband, Chy, of North Wilkesboro; his father, Jerry Mitchell and wife, Elizabeth, of North Wilkesboro; three brothers, Sterlyn Mitchell and wife, Beth, Kirk Mitchell all of Bluffton, S.C., and Jason Laws and wife, Carol, of Georgia; and one nephew, Declan Mitchell of Bluffton, S.C. A graveside service was held Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Winston-Salem with the Rev. Allen Marsh officiating. Memorials may be made to Kyle Petty's Victory Junction, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317. Notes of sympathy may be e-mailed to the Mitchell Family at Tribune). Mitchel also wrote some NASCAR related book, including Tony Stewart: Driven to Win.(12-4-2013)

  • Sad News - Bill Amick: Billy Lynn Amick, 70, died Friday November 29, 2013 at his residence. Born in Saluda County and the son of Gladys Padgett Amick and the late Arthur David "Chick" Amick, he was the husband of Linda Ann Taylor Amick. Bill's devotion to public service placed him on numerous boards in our [South Carolina]. He was a life member and past Chairman of the Clemson University Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina Board of Directors as well as the SCANA Board of Directors. Bill's devotion to South Carolina and his native Saluda County gave him numerous opportunities to serve a variety of organizations throughout the state, too many to mention them all. Beyond Bill's public record of service lay a legacy of generosity whereby he touched countless lives through an amazing gift to give. More important to Bill than all of his civic achievements, however, was his love and devotion to his family. He loved his family with a passion beyond words. Above all, Bill was a man of deep faith and loved Jesus with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Surviving are his wife, Linda Taylor Amick, two sons, David (Melinda) Amick and Lyndon (Melanie) Amick both of Batesburg, a daughter, Angie A.(Russ) Black of Batesburg, his mother, Gladys Padgett Amick of Batesburg, a sister, Linda (Ben) Harrison, Sr. of Spartanburg and eight grandchildren, Billy Amick, Drake Amick, Jonas Amick, Aiden Amick, Tripp Amick, Bella Amick, Will Black and Jay Black. The family will receive friends from 1 until 3pm Sunday, December 1, 2013, at The Amick Co., 135 Homestead Rd. in the Amick Grove Community. The Memorial Service will follow at 4:00pm at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Saluda. In Lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request that memorials be made to T3, which was near and dear to Bill's heart, a ministry to raising up Godly men. Memorials should be made payable to The Chapel, 121 Homestead Rd., Batesburg, SC 29006. Ramey Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.(12-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Marcy Scott: The following is a statement from Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark:
    It is my sad duty to inform you that our dear friend and colleague Marcy Scott has lost her courageous battle with cancer. Marcy died this morning at her parent's home in Lilburn, GA.
    Marcy's contributions to Atlanta Motor Speedway as our Promotion and Marketing Director were numerous. For over eight years, she guided the promotional and advertising efforts for the speedway and its events. In addition, before joining the speedway in April of 2005, she worked for a number of teams and sponsors in the sport with the list of drivers including Matt Kenseth, Jeff Green and Ricky Craven.
    We will all miss her charisma, her penchant for detail and her way of making any task fun and enjoyable. To people throughout the NASCAR and the Atlanta media communities, she was a great friend and a consummate professional.
    Please keep Marcy's parents Buck and Charlotte and her brother Stewart in your thoughts and prayers during this time. We will provide further information when arrangement details are available.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(11-1-2013)
    Arrangements: Viewing is Sunday from 4-7pm at Crowell Brothers Funeral Home. 5051 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners, GA. Celebration of Life is set for Monday, November 4 at noon at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. 5801 Hugh Howell Rd, Stone Mountain Ga. In addition to flowers, donations in memory of Marcy may be made to the Piedmont Heathcare Foundation. 2001 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 400. Atlanta, GA. 30309 Attn: Marcy Scott/Cancer Wellness.(11-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Hal Needham: Hal Needham, longtime stuntman and director of "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Cannonball Run" for Burt Reynolds, died Friday in Los Angeles after a short battle with cancer, his manager confirmed. He was 82.(Varity)
    Needham was a co-owner of a Winston Cup team with buddy [actor] Burt Reynolds. From 1981 to '89 Hal and Burt's #33 Skoal Bandit car won nine races and 13 poles and barely missed winning the 1984 Cup title. The pilot of that ride was Harry Gant.(see more at

  • Sad News - RK Mast: RK Mast, 87, [father of retired NASCAR driver Rick Mast] of Rockbridge Baths died Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He was born October 4, 1926 in Sugar Grove, NC, a son of the late John Hite Mast and Bonnie Baird Mast. In addition to his parents and five siblings, he was preceded in death by his wife Helen Martin Mast. Mr. Mast was a member of the Ebenezer United Methodist Church, served his country in the United States Marine Corp. and fought in the Battle of Okinawa receiving a Purple Heart. RK was a Charter member of the Rockbridge Baths Volunteer Fire Department, previous owner/operator of Natural Bridge Speedway, and owned and operated Davis Motor Company. He had a tireless work ethic which was evident in his many entrepreneurial endeavors including Mast Milling Company, Mast Brothers Trucking, multiple service stations, as well as many years spent as a cattle farmer and a landlord. Surviving are one son, Richard Mast and wife Sharon of Rockbridge Baths; one daughter, Helena Krohn and husband Richard of Norfolk, VA; four grandchildren, Lee Krohn Felty and husband Ian; Ricky Mast; Sarah Mast; Kaitie Mast; one great grandchild Lily Mast Felty; one brother, Richard "Pete" Mast of Las Vegas; two special nieces, Carrie Mast; Bonnie Odell. A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church with the Rev. Ray Tucker and Rev. Mike Long officiating. Burial will follow at Ebenezer United Methodist Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in RK's memory to the Veteran Foreign Wars Post 1499, 105 Memorial Lane, Lexington, VA, 24450 or to the Ebenezer United Methodist Church, McCurdy Lane, Rockbridge Baths, VA 24473. Family will receive friends 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 18, 2013 at Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington, VA.(10-17-2013)

  • Sad News - Crystal Pauline Jones Pistone: Crystal Pauline Jones Pistone, 84, passed away peacefully at CMC University Hospital on October 5, 2013. Her husband, daughter and great friend were by her side. For 68 years she was the loving wife of NASCAR legend, Tiger Tom Pistone (winner of two Sprint Cup Series races). Mrs. Pistone is survived by her husband and three sons, MRN's Pete Pistone of Charlotte, Tommy Pistone III and her grandson whom she raised since he was 18 months old and considered as a son, and Sam Pistone of Charlotte, as well as three daughters, Rosemary, Lena and Crystal, her namesake.(full obituary and guest book at the Charlotte Observer)(10-8-2013)

  • Sad News - George Bignotti: George Bignotti, the most successful chief mechanic in the history of what is now known as IndyCar racing, died Friday, Sept. 27 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 97. From an era when legendary chief mechanics like A.J. Watson, Clay Smith and Clint Brawner were as well known as just about any of the drivers, the name of George Bignotti would rank right at the top. Winner of the Indianapolis 500 a record seven times, his total number of wins as a chief mechanic in IndyCar racing totaled an astounding 85, also a record. Honors amassed by Bignotti throughout his career were justifiably numerous. In 1975, he was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, followed in 1993 by induction into the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was a wonderful story teller and was extremely sharp until very near the end when his health began to fail. He was cared for in his final years by his estranged second wife, Kay Meyer, the daughter of three-time "500" winner Louis Meyer and the sister of "Sonny" Meyer, both fellow Hall of Famers. In addition to Kay Meyer, Bignotti is survived by his daughter, Mary Mendez, and two grandsons by his late son, William "Billy" Bignotti, who was also a chief mechanic. There will be no public ceremonies, although a celebration of Bignotti's life is envisioned for some time next May in Indianapolis.(see full story at the IMS site)(9-30-2013)

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