Sad / Tragic News, Deaths, Memorials 2013

about 2013 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]

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  • 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 - Wallie Branston: One of Canadian motorsport's pioneer racers who went on to become a famous race official and continued throughout his life to be an all-'round booster of the sport, Wallie Branston, has died at age 90. An energetic and vigorous man until just a few years ago, Branston had been in ill health recently and that old heart - the heart of a lion - gave out on him Thursday morning. He was one of a half-dozen original stock car racers in the Toronto area. He was one of the first stock car racers in Canada to have major sponsorship. He raced on both dirt and pavement and on road courses as well as ovals. He was a performer in an automobile thrill show that scared the living daylights out of the people watching. He raced sports cars and was a rally driver. When Mosport opened in 1961, Branston was the flagman/starter and he did that job for 15 years.(Toronto Star), Branston ran one Sprint Cup Series race, at Rochester, NY in 1954.(11-8-2013)

  • 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 - Valastra Allred Hackett: Valastra Allred Hackett, age 72, of Randleman died Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at Randolph Hospice House, Asheboro, NC Mrs. Hackett was born November 17, 1940 in Randolph County to Orlando and Essie Allred. She was a 1959 graduate of Randleman High School and a member of Balfour Baptist Church. Mrs. Hackett was formerly employed in the hosiery industry and was also former co/owner of Robin Hood Restaurant and Caraway Speedway. For full obituary, service info, guest book, memorial contributions and more, go to the Pugh Funeral Home website.(10-23-2013)

  • 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 - Rene Charland: Rene M. Charland, 84, legendary stockcar driver who blazed numerous tracks from Canada to Florida passed away peacefully on Monday Sept 30 at the Wilkinson Residential Care Facility in Amsterdam, NY where he had resided for the past several years. Charland was a 4-time NASCAR National Sportsman Champion from 1962 thru 1965. He was one of the original Eastern Bandits that enjoyed tickling the skills of the drivers in the South. He was also a member of the AllStar League for many years. He was inducted into many Hall of Fames thru-out his life span; the NewEnglandAntiqueRacers(NEAR), Dirt Motorsports, Riverside Park, Fonda Speedway, Utica-Rome and Albany-Saratogas as well as many more. He was named as one of NASCAR's Top 50 Drivers at Stafford Motor Speedway as well. His career wins exceeded 800, his track championships were numerous and covered many states in the country to achieve his records. Charland made nine starts in the Sprint Cup Series from 1964-1971 with a best finish of 3rd at Fonda Speedway. Funeral Services for Mr Charland will be private. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Mr Charlands memory to Victory Junction.(Gloversville Funeral Services)(10-1-2013)

  • 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)

  • Sad News - Fred Carrillo: Fred Carrillo, one of the legends of the performance aftermarket, has passed away. Carrillo started Carrillo Industries in the early 1960s after finding racers needed a good performance connecting rod; there were really no aftermarket connecting rods capable of the punishment racing caused. Developing the H-beam connecting rod was only part of the story. Racers like Dan Gurney helped to promote and sell racers on Carrillo connecting rods, and the rest is history. Carrillo eventually sold Carrillo Industries in 2001. He was retained as a consultant until the mid-2000s, and has been retired since. Fred was born in 1926 and grew up in Hollywood, CA. His true passion was automotive performance. Fred Carrillo is responsible for the development of the unique "H" beam design connecting rod never seen before in an automotive application until 1963. A private celebration of life is being held by the family, but in lieu of flowers and cards, please send donations to SCTA, PO Box 10, Orosi, Ca. 93647.(9-27-2013)

  • Sad News - Eric Horn: Eric Horn, 60, passed away on September 14, 2013 at Saint Johns, Arizona. He was born and raised in Yakima, WA, graduating from East Valley High School in 1971. He got his first experience racing at the Yakima Speedway starting in 1969. He got a call in 1983 from friend Larry Pollard to work for Richard Petty's NASCAR team. He and his wife (the former Janet Hoerner, an Eisenhower grad) then moved to North Carolina. He was fortunate to spend his entire career doing what he loved most, working on the NASCAR circuit. Eric was the right rear tire changer and electrical wiring specialist for Robert Yates Racing during the tenures of Larry McReynolds, Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, and Dale Jarrett. Eric was on the team when Dale Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Eric continued to work for Doug Yates at Roush Yates Engines after Robert Yates retired. Eric retired August 30, 2013. He moved with his wife, Janet, to Saint Johns, Arizona to experience off-the-grid living. There will be no local funeral services. There will be a celebration of his life at a future date.(Yakima Herald Republic)(9-21-2013)

  • Sad News - Jerry Steppe: Mr. Jerry Lytle Steppe, 72, resident of High Point, died September 14th, 2013 at Hospice Home at High Point. Mr. Steppe was born June 26th, 1941 in McDowell County, a son to the late Guy and Anna Howell Steppe. A resident of this area most of his life, he was a member of Oak View Baptist Church and had worked at Huggins Tire Sales. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and later was a pilot, flying for Piedmont Airlines and for several NASCAR racers through his time at Huggins. He loved racing and his racing family. In 1976 he married the former Gail Sauls who survives of the residence. Visitation will be Monday, September 16 from 5:30-7:00pm at Cumby Family Funeral Service - High Point, NC with a funeral service to follow at 7:00pm. Services are under the direction of Cumby Funeral Services.(9-16-2013)

  • Sad News - Dave Tatman: David Michael Tatman, 68, of Mooresville, NC passed away in his sleep, Tuesday September 3, 2013. David served honorably with the US Army during the Vietnam War. David proudly worked as an engine builder for Hendricks Motorsport; he loved hunting, fishing and was a crossword puzzle master.
    A memorial service will be conducted on Thursday September 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM in the Chapel of Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home 16901 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the Jeff Gordon's Childrens Hospital 920 Church St. N, Concord, NC 28025 or the Hendrick Foundation for Children, PO Box 240070, Charlotte, NC 28224 or
    For full obituary, service info, guest book, memorial contributions and more, go to the Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home website.(9-4-2013)

  • Sad News - Elton Hildreth: Legendary race car driver Elton "Wild Man'' Hildreth, 95, died Monday afternoon at Cumberland (NJ) Manor nursing home. According to Eastern Motorsport Press Association, Hildreth was one of most colorful drivers to ever compete in the Modifieds. Hildreth is best known for his exploits in his orange and black No. 16-J, a 1937 Chevrolet coupe that was powered by a small-block Chevy engine. A resident of Bridgeton, actually began his racing career in open-cockpit cars back in the 1930s. Then, as an alignment shop/garage owner and Nash dealer with his Hildreth Motors, he got involved with NASCAR's new late-model racing series. From 1950 through 1954, Hildreth ran a virtually-stock #1 Nash in most of NASCAR's early Grand National (now Sprint Cup Series) events. With this underpowered car he competed on half-mile dirt tracks, the famed old Daytona Beach-Road Course (where he once led the race with two laps to go before running out of gas on the last lap) and on the legendary Darlington International Raceway. In all, he had seven Top-10s in 51 starts with his best finish of fourth in a 200-lapper on the old half-mile Bloomsburg (Pa.) Fairgrounds in 1953.( For full obituary, go to

  • Sad News - Bob Bilby: former NASCAR team owner Robert D. Bilby, of Kewadin, passed away Tuesday, August 27, 2013. He was 71. He made tracks in USAC Midget racing, then set his sights on the big leagues - NASCAR. He came to Winston Cup in 1989 with his own team, Automotion, then partnered with legendary racer Bobby Allison to form Bobby Allison Motorsports the following year. For full obiturary, service info, guest book and more, go to Covell Funeral Home website.(9-3-2013)

  • Sad News - Ida Mohamet Key: Ida "Geneva" Mohamet Key, 78, of Cypress Place, Chesapeake, VA, passed away on Friday, August 30, 2013. Born in Norfolk, VA, she was a retired Office Manager for Curtis Key Plumbing Contractors, Inc. She was a member of Atlantic Shores Baptist Church. Ida "Geneva" is survived by her three sons, Alex Rowe of Florida, Raymond J. J. Key, Jr., and [Nationwide Series owner] Curtis W. Key, Sr., both of Chesapeake, VA; one daughter, Geneva Lamb of Portsmouth, VA; two sisters, Yvonne Poole of Nevada and Silvia Mowery of Virginia Beach, VA; eleven grandchildren, Tonya, Tressa, Amber, Hunter, Jason, Josh, Brittney, Leonard, Richard, Curtis and Kyle; and ten great grandchildren. The family will receive friends at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Kempsville Chapel on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. Condolences may be offered to the family at

  • Sad News - Jean Peters Joy: Jean Peters Joy passed away Monday, August 26, 2013 at home in Athol, Mass, age 89. She was predeceased in 2006 by her husband, M. Verne Joy. Her life is celebrated by her four children, Michael K Joy [Mike Joy of Fox Sports] and his wife Gaye of Mooresville, NC; David S Joy and his wife Barbara of So. Windsor, Conn; Susan J (Joy) and her husband Bruce Winters of Athol; Caroline A (Joy) and her husband Rev. Bob McKenney of New Boston, NH; by 11 grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Jean Hull Peters was born to Horace Ambrose Peters and Erma Fahrson Peters in Columbus, OH, July 17, 1924. She was raised by her mother and aunts Teada and Edna in Los Angeles with her older brothers Richard and Horace Jr. Jean graduated Hollywood High School in 1942, and worked in personnel at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank where she met design engineer Verne Joy. They married Apr. 29, 1945, and lived in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago before settling in Windsor, Conn. in 1952. They moved to West Hartford, CT in 1964. She enjoyed retirement living Phoenix and Daytona Beach before moving back to New England in 2005. She most enjoyed the latest exploits of her children and grandkids, and took great pride in instilling a high level of fairness, creativity and curiosity in each of them. Services will be private. To celebrate Jean's love of reading, memorials to the Athol Public Library Building Fund, 568 Main St, Athol, MA 01331, are welcomed.(8-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Neal Sims: former NASCAR reporter / writer Neal Sims, 63, of Birmingham passed away August 23, 2013 in Cullman, Al. after a lengthy illness. Mr. Sims graduated from Auburn University with a BA Degree in Journalism and received his Masters of Journalism from University of Missouri. He retired from Birmingham News after 20 plus years of service where he was a recipient of numerous awards for Sports Writing. He loved covering the NASCAR Races. After retiring he became a freelance writer. Service Info, condolences at Gray Brown-Service Mortuary.(8-24-2013)

  • Sad News - Floyd Ganassi: Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams on the Passing of Floyd Ganassi: "It is with heavy hearts that everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams offers our condolences to Chip Ganassi and the whole Ganassi family on the passing today of Chip's father, Floyd Ganassi. Everyone that knew Floyd knew that he was beloved at racetracks all across the country and leaves a long trail of great friends. Floyd Ganassi will be sorely missed by us all." Information on arrangements will be forthcoming.(CGR)(8-19-2013)
    See full obit and service info at Pittsburgh Tribune.(8-21-2013)

  • Sad News - Randy Tissot: former NASCAR driver Randall "Randy" Lee Tissot, 69, passed away quietly Thursday, August 15, 2013 at the VA Hospice Center surrounded by his wife and children. A native of Akron, Ohio, he was son of the late Milford Charles and Lillian Arleen Bowman. Randy began his racing career at the age of 16, driving a Street Stock at Hollywood Speedway in Hollywood Fla. in 1960. He worked at Tom Waterton's Garage where he learned mechanic and body work. The next couple of years he had numerous wins driving a Sportsman car and Late Model Stock car at South Florida tracks. In the summer of 1964 he moved to Alabama and competed in NASCAR Sportman races with the well know "Alabama Gang", of Bobby & Donnie Allison and Red Farmer, to be eligible to compete in the Daytona Permatex 300, in Feb. 1965. At the age of 20 he made the race and finished 10th. In 1965 his racing career had him traveling to Eua Gallie, Orlando and Palm Beach Speedways each week winning the Championship at Eua Gallie, Palm Beach and Orlando Speedways. He was drafted in August of 1966, and spend a year in Vietnam, as a Helicopter crew chief. He received 8 Air Medals, the 2nd thru the 10th, Oak Leaf Clusters during his year in Vietnam. After being discharged from the Army in 1968, he resumed his racing career and began driving for Billy Myers, again, competing at Fort Pierce Speedway and Palm Beach Fairgrounds. He was best known for driving the famous Flying "ZERO" for the Bean Pickers at Hialeah Speedway. Perry Jones, who hailed from Hendersonville, NC was one of the owners along with Gene Ingram. In 1972 Chuck Little and Randy formed Tilitco Enterprises and ran NASCAR Grand National (what is now known as Sprint Cup) in 1973, 1974 and 1975 on a limited schedule (13 Sprint Cup Series starts and finished 29th in the 1975 Daytona 500).
    He and his family along with the entire race team moved to Asheville in 1975 making the travel time to tracks much shorter. In 1976 they stepped down to the Sportsman division( now the Nationwide Division) and finished 5th in the point standings in 1977, running 85 races that year, from Florida to Maine. He and Jack Ingram traveled together during these two years and remain friends today. After retiring from touring he raced a few Sportsman races. The last one being at North Wilkesboro in 1981, where he sat on the pole and lead all 100 laps. He competed at Asheville Speedway during the next 5 years on occasion, until his son, Lee started his racing career at the age of 17, at Asheville Speedway. Randy operated a garage in Avery's Creek after retiring.
    Surviving is his wife, Patricia Carpinelli Tissot; a daughter, Nicole Leigh Tissot of Huntersville; a son, Lee Randall Tissot and his wife, Jodie and their children, Emma Lee and Addison Lee Tissot. He is also survived by two brothers, Wayne A. Tissot and his wife, Janice and their son, Allen of Graham, N.C. and by Bruce C. Tissot of and his wife, Kathy of Palm Beach and their daughters, Michelle Tissot Marchese and Melissa Tissot and their children, A.J. and Alissa.
    The family request that memorials be made to the Valor Hospice Unit c/o Charles A. George Medical Center 1100 Tunnel Road Asheville, N.C. 28805.
    (full obituary, service info and condolences at the Groce Funeral Home website (8-17-2013)

  • Sad News - Barbara Signore: Barbara (Rich) Signore, 80 of Point Pleasant Boro passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 7 at home, surrounded by family and friends after a brief illness. Barbara was born in Elizabeth, NJ and resided in Cranford, NJ and Elizabeth before becoming a resident of Point Pleasant Boro over 50-years ago. She is a graduate of Ithica College, NY. She began her lifelong career in motorsports when she met and married her husband of 53-years, Jay Signore. Together they worked for, and managed, various operations for Penske Racing and then co-operated the International Race of Champions (IROC Series) of Tinton Falls, NJ. Barbara enjoyed all the arts, theater, opera, and museums. She also enjoyed fishing and boating with her husband Jay and friends. Barbara was predeceased by her parents Harry and Margaret Rich. She is survived by her husband Jay J. Signore of Point Pleasant; a brother and sister-in-law Doug and Kay Rich of Scotch Plains. Barbara is also survived by several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Friday, August 9 from 4-8 pm at Orender Family Home for Funerals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ 08736. A Funeral Service will be 10 am on Saturday, August 10 at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Rosedale Cemetery, Linden. To send condolences to the family or obtain directions to the funeral home please visit

  • Sad News - Dennis McCarson: Dennis Benjamin McCarson, 59, of Westchester Dr., Kannapolis, passed away on Friday, August 2, 2013, at his residence. Born September 10, 1953, in Hendersonville, NC, he was the son of Eula Taylor and the late Ralph McCarson. Mr. McCarson was a truck driver at Holland Trucking. He was passionate about music, golfing, hunting, fishing and NASCAR (as a spotter and hauler driver). Mr. McCarson loved spending time with his grandchildren and at the beach. He lived life to the fullest. In addition to his mother, Mr. McCarson is survived by his significant other, Marie Ellerby; children, Lindsay Rollins and Shauna Jones and husband, David; sisters, Colleen Case and Sandra Lyda; and grandchildren, Gracie Rollins, Ashley Jones and Sara Jones. A memorial service will be held at 2 PM, Wednesday, August 7, 2013, at the Cavin-Cook Funeral Home Chapel, Mooresville, with Rev. Randy Sherrill officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Ct., Glen Allen, VA 23060-9979. Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the family of Mr. McCarson. Condolences may be made to the McCarson family at

  • Sad News - Randy Earnhardt: Randy Earnhardt, one of four siblings of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr., has died. He was 60. His nephew, Dale Earnhardt Jr., said in September that Randy had recently been diagnosed with cancer.(Sporting News), will post service info when available.(7-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Walter Edward Bagley: Walter Edward Bagley (father of MRN's Mike Bagley) of Dover, DE passed peacefully at home Sunday July 7, 2013. He was 67. Mr. Bagley was born July 17, 1945 in Reidsville, North Carolina to the late Robert Bagley and Mable Irene Brank Bagley. He had served in the United States Army Reserves for 6 years. Mr. Bagley had worked for Safeway Supermarkets in Delaware and Maryland for over 20 years, then owned and operated Walt's Dairy Bar and Blue Hen Catering in Dover. He also owned and operated The Latest Scoop Ice Cream Shop in Rehoboth. Mr. Bagley was also a seasonal employee for Delaware Parks and Recreation and DNREC Fish and Wildlife. He was a 32 Degree Mason and was presently serving as treasurer for Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing. Mr. Bagley held the office of President for both Kent Ecumenical Food and Crisis Fund and the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
    He is survived by his wife of 45 Years, Inez Gladden Bagley of Dover; son, Michael Bagley of Atlanta, GA; brothers, Robert "Bob" Bagley and his wife Carol of Atlanta, GA, Charles Bagley and his wife Joanne of Hope Mills, NC; sister, Peggy Dick and her husband Steve of Tampa, FL.
    Funeral services will be held 1:00pm/et, Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 S. State Street, Dover, DE 19901. Friends may call from 6-8 Friday evening at Torbert Funeral Chapel South, 1145 E. Lebanon Road (Rt.10), Dover. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, PO Box 1148, Dover, DE 19903.

  • Sad News - Gordie McKichan: Mr. Donald Gordon "Gordie" McKichan, age 74 passed away Monday, July 1, 2013. Mr. McKichan was born August 7, 1938 in Middlesex County, Canada. Mr. McKichan served as a crew chief during 1973 and 1974 for driver Earl Ross with Carlings Race Team, and retired as mechanic for NASCAR. Online Condolences, full , donations and info on services at

  • Sad News - Vera Brewer: Vera Brewer, mother of long-time NASCAR crew chief Tim Brewer, passed away on Thursday, June 27th at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home of Winston-Salem, NC. Services were held on Saturday June 29th, with graveside service at Eastlawn Gardens of Memory in Kernersville, NC. online Condolences may be made at Two other sons Glenn and Jimmy Brewer.(7-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Pete Stewart: Mr. Marvin O. "Pete" Stewart, 81, of 658 Wallace Springs Road, Statesville, died Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at the Gordon Hospice House. A good ol' southern boy, Pete grew up working the cotton fields of his hometown of Statesville. He spent his 20s and 30s racing, and competed in his first NASCAR race, the Wilkes 160, on October 11, 1953, at the age of 21. From 1953 to 1965, Pete competed in over 17 NASCAR [Sprint Cup Series] races, completing over 1400 miles of pavement and dirt track racing including the 1965 Daytona 500 where he raced the #53 1963 Ford Galaxie. Many remember him as a young man competing at the Hickory Motor Speedway making laps in his #43 race car. Pete is still today listed as an All-time Track Champion for 1962 and 1963. Following his racing career, Pete owned and operated his own garage working as a skilled mechanic near his home on Wallace Springs Road. Memorials are requested in lieu of flowers to be sent to the Gordon Hospice House, c/o Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, Inc., 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625. The family would like to thank the loving, caring staff of the Gordon Hospice House for the extraordinary care given to Mr. Stewart. Online Condolences, full , donations and info on services at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home.(6-30-2013)

  • Sad News - Jud Pemberton: George "Jud" Pemberton, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at the Brian Center in Mooresville, NC. He was born in 1931 in Saratoga Springs, NY, to the late Peter and Ellen Pemberton. Known as Jud by family and friends, George proudly served his country aboard the USS COATES, as a gunners mate, from 1951-55. A phenomenal basketball player, in high school, college and in the service, he was often referred to as "Juddy Jump Shot" a distinction earned, as one of the first players to ever shoot the basketball "jump shot". Jud passed his love of sports and competition on to his son's Robin, Randy, Ryan and Roman who are all involved in NASCAR racing.
    In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Lillian and brother, Larry. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Dunster Pemberton; sons, Robin (Lisa), Randy, Ryan (Andrea), Roman, all living in the Mooresville area; grandchildren, Bray, Briggs, Payton, Britton, River, Ryder and Rooke; sister, Doris Leary of Saratoga, NY; and brother, Peter of Utica, NY. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 26 from 6:00-8:00 PM at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home in Mooresville. Donations can be made to Alzheimer's Association, 3420 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215 and Hospice of Catawba County, 3975 Robinson Rd, Newton, NC 28658. Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the Pemberton family. Condolences may be made to the family at Observer)(6-25-2013)

  • Sad News - Harvey Crane: Harvey J. Crane Jr., 81, founder of Crane Cams, Inc., and a pioneer figure in the racing and performance automotive industry, passed away peacefully with family at his side on May 31, 2013. More info at the Daytona Beach News Journal and at

  • for info about Jason Leffler's death in a sprint car wreck, click here

  • Sad News - Pappy Wilcox: Harold Edward Wilcox "Pappy," passed away June 6, 2013, at his residence after a long illness. Pappy was born July 26, 1927, in Bangor, ME. Pappy proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Pappy was the very first driver from Maine to ever drive in the racing series now known as NASCAR. This distinction, and others, led to his induction into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Unity Raceway Hall of Fame. Wilcox ran one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, at Norwood, MA in 1961. See an obituary at the Bangor Daily News.(6-12-2013)

  • Sad News - John Settlemyre: five-time Hickory Motor Speedway track champion John Settlemyre passed away after a shootout with police on June 6, 2013 (Lenoir News-Topic). Settlemyre was a five-time winner of Late Model Sportsman races at Hickory Motor Speedway, from 1977-81. In 1982, that race series became NASCAR's Nationwide Series, and Settlemyre won the Winston 200 at Hickory; he ran just six Nationwide races that year (five at Hickory) but had four top-10 finishes. See an obituary for more info at the Hickory Record.(6-10-2013)

  • Sad News - Gilford Hicks Martin Sr: #29-Kevin Harvick will be without his crew chief for practice at Pocono Raceway and possibly on race day Sunday as Gil Martin mourns the death of his father. Gilford Hicks Martin Sr. died Friday. He was 89. Gil Martin did not travel with the Richard Childress Racing team to Pocono, where events were being delayed by rain Friday with the weather expected to clear for track activity Saturday. It will not be determined until Sunday morning whether Martin will fly to Pocono with the race-day pit crew for the Sprint Cup race Sunday. If Martin does not travel to the track, car chief Chad Haney would call the race Sunday with the help of competition director Eric Warren.(Sporting News)(6-8-2013)

  • Sad News - Cecil Wilson: Mr. Cecil Ray Wilson, age 77 of Lawsonville, NC, passed away Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at Stanleytown Healthcare Center in Bassett, VA. He was born in Patrick County on September 8, 1935 to the late Pete and Gladys Lawson Wilson. He had worked for 42 years with Wood Brothers Racing Team where he was affectionately known as "Big C" and he also worked for Fieldcrest Mills for over 40 years. See an obit and service info at

  • Sad News - Melanie Deware: Melanie Jane (Lyons) Deware, 48, of Easton, MA, wife of Scott Deware, DRG Motorsports and NASCAR Nationwide Team #86 owner passed away Friday, May 31, 2013 after brief battle with Cancer. Melanie was a Social Studies teacher at Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical High School in Taunton, MA. An avid participant in husband Scott Deware's racing career, Melanie helped start the Dream Car Foundation, an organization that utilized a two seater stock car to provide a real racing experience for both physically and mentally challenged children. Melanie is survived by her Husband D. Scott Deware and her children Lily, Bethany, and Eden of Easton, parents John (Jack) and Charlotte (Urban) Lyons of CT. Melanie is the Sister of Michael J. Lyons and his wife Cheryl of S.C., John J. Lyons Jr. and his wife Charlene, Erik J. Lyons and his wife Pam, both of CT, Patrick W. Lyons and his wife Anya of NH. Niece of Mary Ellen Lyons of CT, Sister in law of Cptn. Jacklyn Deware Webb, USN Ret. of FL., Daughter in law of Mary E. Deware of Quincy and the late Donald M. Deware, also survived by Cousins, Cara, Danny and Erin and their families, nephews, Chandler, Nicholas, Kevin, Anthony, Jason, Brayden, Jack, nieces Marisa, Kelsey, Selbie, , and Grace. A Celebration of Melanie's life will be conducted in the St Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, corner of Hancock and Linden Street, Quincy (Wollaston), on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM. Family and friends are invited to visit on Monday at the Copeland - MacKinnon Funeral Home, 38 Center Street, Easton, MA from 2-4 and 7-9 PM and from 10:00 - 11:00 AM in the church prior to the funeral . Burial will be private in the Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree. Remembrances may be made to Deware Family Educational Fund, C/O Marilyn Cyr, North Easton Savings Bank, P.O. Box 299, North Easton, MA 02356 or the charity of your choice. Services under the direction of the Deware Funeral Home, Quincy. To post an on line condolence please go to

  • Sad News - Dorothy Campbell: Dorothy Earles Campbell, the daughter of Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles and mother of Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell, died Friday evening at Memorial Hospital in Martinsville. She was treasurer of Martinsville Speedway for over 50 years and a familiar face to thousands of fans over the years in the track's ticket office. She retired from the speedway in 2004. Campbell, 81, was born in Martinsville March 28, 1932 to H. Clay Earles and Mildred Warren Earles. She was a graduate of Martinsville High School and Perry Business School and a member of Starling Avenue Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Emmett William Campbell and a sister, Mary Earles Weatherford. She is survived by a daughter Sarah Campbell Fain and husband, William of Ridgeway; a son, W. Clay Campbell of Martinsville, four grandchildren, William Campbell Fain, Mary Dorothy Emmett Fain, William Clay Campbell II and Alayna Jane Campbell; two brothers-in law, Pete Weatherford of Martinsville and Richard S. Campbell and wife, Sue of Schertz, Texas. The funeral service will be held Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM at McKee-Stone Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. David Adkins officiating. Entombment will follow in Roselawn Abbey. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Starling Avenue Baptist Church, 932 Starling Avenue, Martinsville, VA24112 or to the SPCA, 132 Joseph Martin Hwy, Martinsville, VA24112. To express condolences on line, please visit

  • Sad News - Dick Trickle: According to the sheriff's office, Retired race car driver Richard "Dick" Trickle, 71, died Thursday from an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound. Investigators say Trickle apparently went to the Forest Lawn Cemetery on Highway 150 East in Boger City around noon on Thursday. He used his phone to call the Lincoln County Communications Center and told the 911 operator to come to the cemetery and "there would be a dead body and it would be his." He then hung up the phone. Communications Center workers attempted to call Trickle back, but he did not answer. When emergency crews arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Trickle's body lying near his pickup truck. Dick Trickle was NASCAR legend who actually didn't start with the organization until he was 48-years-old. He won the Winston Cup Series' "Rookie of the Year" in 1989. Trickle, a Wisconsin-native who achieved much success on short tracks outside of NASCAR, made his Cup debut in 1970 but didn't race full time in the series until 19-years later. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," said NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France. "Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite."
    "Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed," France continued. He was known as "The White Knight" and often referred to as the "winningest short track driver in history" with more than 1,200 wins on short tracks all over the country. His last Winston Cup start was in 2002. He finished his Cup career with 303 starts, but no wins. Trickle had more than 150 starts in the Nationwide series, the last in 2001, where he won twice.
    NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace competed for years against Trickle on Midwest short tracks, in the American Speed Association (ASA), and then later in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "I'm in 100 percent shock. Dick Trickle was my mentor. When I was short track racing, I would call him every Monday morning and he would always help me with race setups and stuff," Wallace said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. "He and I had such a good time telling little stories, but he was the guy that taught me almost everything in the American Speed Association. And he was the guy that I battled right to the end for my 1983 ASA championship. I barely beat the guy that taught me everything. I'd not seen Dick as much as I'd like to of late. He was a legend," Wallace continued. "A man that'd won over a thousand short track races, was one of the most winning short trackers in America, was a role model to many short track racers coming up. Could just do magic with the race car and he taught me so much about racing. My success in the ASA and what Trickle taught me is what got me into NASCAR. That's what got me hired by Cliff Stewart back in '84. Between Larry Phillips and Dick Trickle, they taught me everything." Dick Trickle has lived in Lincoln County since the early 1990's.(
    Trickle was the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, started 303 Cup races with 15 top-fives [with a best finish of 3rd, five times), 36 top-tens and 1 pole (Dover 1990).(
    more info and full obituary at

  • Sad News - Frederick Hmiel: Frederick J. Hmiel, 87, of Colonie, NY, passed away on Friday, May 3, 2013 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital surrounded by his loving family. He was born December 16, 1925 in Syracuse to the late John and Mary Hmiel. He moved with his wife and family to Colonie in 1962. He was a World War II Navy veteran serving on the USS Midway. A graduate of Syracuse Law School, he was a senior attorney for the New York State Department of Labor until his retirement in 1987. Besides his wife of 63 years, Mary Hmiel (2011), he was also predeceased by his daughter, Elaine Fossner, and siblings, Philip, Edward and Louise. He is survived by his five sons, [NASCAR's] Stephen (Lisa) of Pleasant Garden, N.C., Paul (Clarissa) of East Greenbush, Adam of Colonie, Luke (Kathleen) of Tequesta, Fla., and Joseph of Colonie and his brother, David. Frederick is also survived by his grandchildren, Shane, Tyler, Lily, Lucy, Noah, Kate, Christine, Kasey and Hallie, as well as several nieces and nephews. At the request of the family, funeral services and interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fred's name to your local hospice. For online condolences please visit

  • Sad News - Monty Grice: The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing family lost a wonderful friend and teammate...Monty Grice, long time EGR employee, passed away at his home last night surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. Monty Grice worked professionally on race cars for more than 30 years, but he actually began at an early age working in his Dad's shop building Super-Modifieds, and fabricating racing wheels. His well-known love for dirt racing earned him the nickname of "Dirt" in the fab shop among his fellow co-workers. He is actually quite proud of the name, as it takes him back to his roots of racing. Monty passion for dirt racing led him to starting his own chassis building business, so he started Freedom Dirt Chassis on his own and built many successful race winning cars that were a great source of pride. Monty was especially proud to have been part of Jamie McMurray's wins in the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in 2010. But, as far as dirt racing goes, his favorite racing memory would be the 100th win of his own Freedom Chassis. That win ironically happened to be at the Susan B. Komen race for the cure. Details to follow on service arrangements.(EGR)(4-24-2013)

  • Sad News - Clyde Ellis: Kansas Ciy Racing Legend Clyde Ellis passed away April 13, 2013. On Memorial Day, 1964, a Stock Car racing accident ended his career as an asbestos insulator and robbed him of the use of his left arm. Ellis was to become the driving force behind one of the more successful businesses in North Kansas City, Seeburg Muffler. Seeburg Muffler has continued under the stewardship of family. Mr. Ellis was one of the most influential figures in the local [Kansasi] racing world. He was a lifetime member of C.A.R.B., Central Auto Racing Boosters. In 2008, he was Grand Marshal of the Snake Saturday parade. NASCAR sanctioned Lakeside Speedway annually holds the Clyde Ellis Late Model Showdown. You may send a message to the family or sign an on-line guest book via Arrangements: Park Lawn Northland Chapel. More info and services at the Kansas City Star.(4-16-2013)

  • Sad News - William Ballew: Mr. William Earl "Bill" Ballew [father of Truck Series team owner Billy Ballew], age 81 of Blue Ridge, GA, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Life Care Center of Copper Basin. Mr. Ballew was born June 3, 1931 in Blue Ridge, GA A member of Sugar Creek Baptist Church he was a local business man operating car lots and service station. He was preceded in death by wife, Edna Griggs Ballew and son, Charles Ballew. Survivors include: daughter, Diane (Bobby) Davis, son, Billy Ballew, granddaughter, Misty Davis, grandson, Preston Ballew, granddaughter, Misty (Matthew) Taylor, grandson, Robert (Vanessa) Davis. Funeral services: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home with the Rev. Jerry Rice officiating. Interment will follow in Sugar Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers: Donny Bailey, Jeff Johnstone, Michael Lovell, Matt Taylor and Brian George. The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, Monday, April 8, 2013 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm.(4-8-2013)

  • Sad News - Bud Greene: Mr. Charles M. "Bud" Greene, age 69, of Hamptonville, NC and a former resident of Watauga County passed away Saturday evening, March 30, 2013 at Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton. Bud loved fast boats, cars and horses growing up which led to his career with Junior Johnson and Roger Penske Racing. He had a long career in racing and retired in 2010. Online condolences and service information at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory website.(4-3-2013)

  • Sad News - Ralph Sanchez: Longtime South Florida businessman and Homestead-Miami Speedway founder Rafael "Ralph" Sánchez died Monday morning. Sánchez, who was born in 1948, had been in declining health for much of the past year. He is survived by wife Lourdes, daughter Patricia and son Ralph Jr. Sánchez, who founded and managed the Grand Prix of Miami starting in 1983, led efforts to bring the motorsports facility to Homestead. He worked with City of Homestead and Miami-Dade County officials to make the track a reality. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the track took place on August 24, 1993 -- exactly one year after Hurricane Andrew wiped out much of Homestead. The track is credited with being a major catalyst for redevelopment following the category five hurricane that leveled large portions of Miami-Dade County. Sánchez was born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba in 1948, more than a decade before Fidel Castro assumed power. He was placed aboard an airlift from Havana to Miami after his father became fearful for his son's safety because Ralph had been recruited to distribute opposition flyers and deliver supplies to forces fighting the Castro regime. Upon his arrival in Miami, he lived with an aunt and uncle before the couple moved to Nicaragua. Sánchez then resided in a Catholic orphanage until he turned 18. Eventually, Sánchez' parents, his brother and grandmother joined him in Miami via freedom flights in 1966 and 1967. Sánchez earned an accounting degree from Florida Atlantic University, became a real estate salesmen, before moving on to become a land developer, and then a motorsports promoter. Plans for memorial services have not been finalized.(HMS)(4-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Art Malone: Art Malone, a legendary figure in drag racing and other motorsports, died March 29 at the age of 76. He suffered severe injuries in an airboat crash a few years ago and never fully recovered. Few automotive racers have enjoyed a more varied and exciting career than Malone, who not only was a successful drag strip owner and Top Fuel campaigner, but also gained fame as a driver at the legendary Indy 500 [running two Indy 500's]. Raised in Tampa, Fla., Malone got his first taste of drag racing when he and a group of teenage buddies made the trek to the West Coast to attend the first NHRA event in Pomona in 1953. Upon returning to Florida, he began staging races at Henderson Airfield in Tampa, charging 25 cents a head to cover the cost of trophies for the winners. After substituting as a driver for Garlits, who was recovering from burns suffered during a June 20, 1959, engine explosion, Malone began Top Fuel match racing on his own. He soon ventured into the world of circle-track competition, where he became the first driver to exceed 180 mph on an oval course with a 181.561-mph lap at Daytona Int'l Speedway in 1961 [Malone ran two Sprint Cup Series races finishing both in the top-10, one driver for Petty Enterprises].(Racer and SPEED), see full obit and info for services at the Tampa Bay Tribune (3-31-2013)

  • Sad News - William Giordano: William Giordano died March 25, 2013 at age 60. Beloved husband of Ann & the late Marie. Father of Joseph Giordano & Michele Giordano. Visitation will be Friday 3:00-9:00pm. Funeral Saturday at 11:00am at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc., 36900 Schoenherr at Metro Parkway (16 Mile), Sterling Heights, MI. William had previously worked for Katech Engines, where he was the engine delivery man for their NASCAR teams. He also worked at Diamond Racing Products in Michigan. Most recently he worked at Pratt & Miller in Wixom, MI. Services are under the direction of Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons.(3-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Nikki Park: Nikki passed away on Sunday, March 24 after a lengthy illness. She is survived by her husband Greg Park, the CFO at Stewart-Haas Racing; her father, Hal; brothers Frank (June) Knight and Neal R. (Connie) Knight; sister Crystal A. (Darven) Erickson; and nieces and nephews. There will be a celebration of life for Nikki Park from 5:00pm/et to 8:00pm/et on Wednesday, March 27 at James Funeral Home (details). The funeral will be held at 11:00am/et on Thursday, March 28 in the chapel of James Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Huntersville Oaks Resident Counsel Fund (memo line: Oak leaf for Nikki K. Park) 12019 Verehoff Dr., Huntersville, NC 28078.(3-26-2013)

  • Sad News - "Jivie" Simpson: Mr. Torrence "Jivie" Simpson Jr., 76, of Concord, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Tucker Hospice House. He was born Sept. 29, 1936, to the late Torrence and Myrtle Craig Simpson. After serving in the U.S. Army, Jivie worked as a welder at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Racing was his life. He built the first Jet Truck, the first Code 3 Emergency Truck and the first Legend Car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jivie also built cars for David Smith Racing, Ernie Irvan Racing and J.D Gibbs Racing. Mr. Simpson is survived by his wife, Barbara Simpson; sons, Billy Ridenhour, his wife, Rhonda and her children, Jay and Seth and Barrie Ridenhour, his wife, and her children Shala, Austin and Andrew; granddaughter, Harley Ridenhour; sisters, Bonnie Mullis and husband, Bill and Ann Stone and husband, Bobby. Visitation will be held Monday, March 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hartsell Funeral Home, Concord, with a funeral service to follow at 8 p.m. in the Chapel, with the Rev. Bob Harvey officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Simpson family. Online condolences may be made at See more at Independent Tribune.(3-25-2013)

  • Sad News - John Cardinale: Sonoma Raceway vice president for media and community relations John Cardinale, 47, lost his battle with stomach cancer this week.(SPEED & The Spectrum)
    AND from Sonoma Raceway "We are saddened to share that we have lost our dear friend and colleague, John Cardinale. He passed away at home with his family after a two-year battle with gastric cancer. John was 47 years old and is survived by his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters. For those who would like to make a donation in John's honor, a memorial fund has been set up on behalf of his family. Donations may be sent to the John Cardinale Memorial Fund, care of Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476. We will share information on services and other arrangements as they become available."
    Thoughts from Steve Page, president & general manager of Sonoma Raceway: "There is a hole in the heart of this organization. John Cardinale was as true a friend, as loyal a colleague, as devoted a husband and father and as fine a human being as you could ever hope to know. John has been a part of every good thing that has happened at this track over the last 15 years. We are all so fortunate to have had him in our lives and to have shared in his intelligence, his wit, his integrity and his brave spirit."(Sonoma Raceway).
    and see an article at the NAPA Valley Register: What would John do? He'd keep smiling, my friend by Randy Johnson(3-22-2013)

  • Sad News - Jack Choquette: Jack Choquette, who captured the 1954 national championship in the NASCAR Modified Division, passed away recently and has been laid to rest in Florida. Choquette, originally from Montclair, NJ, made a name for himself in the racing ranks after relocating to Florida where he drove to the 1953 NASCAR Southeast regional title and followed that with the NASCAR Modified Division national championship in 1954. Choquette also made six combined starts in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1955-56, highlighted by a runner-up finish in his series debut at his home track - Palm Beach Speedway - to Tim Flock on Feb. 6, 1955. He competed twice on the famed beach and road course in Daytona Beach. Choquette passed away on Feb. 23 and was laid to rest on March 2 in Royal Palm Beach. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, 17 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. One of his grandsons, Jeff Choquette, is a part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck series competitor who also drives Super Late Models in the southeast.National Speed Sport News(3-5-2013)

  • Sad News - John Ervin: John Ervin, the former crew chief of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Ned Jarrett, has passed away after a long illness at the age of 74. Ervin moved from Hickory, NC to Camden,SC with the rest of the Jarrett family in 1964 and actually lived with them, as Glenn Jarrett's roommate, when Ned began to run a team owned by Bondy Long. Starting out as a mechanic, Ervin eventually rose to be Jarrett's crew chief and would serve in that capacity years later when Dale Jarrett ran what was then the Busch Series. He would also serve as Jason Jarrett's Busch Series crew chief and for years maintained the cars for the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure. Ervin is survived by his wife Frances. According to his wishes, a memorial service will be held for John Ervin Sunday, February 24th at the First Presbyterian Church in Newton, NC. The service will begin at 3:00 and a reception will follow.(2-22-2013)

  • Sad News - Red Foote: Melvin "Red" Foote, 85, of Chesterfield, VA, passed away on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Red is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Loretta Foote; his stepdaughter, Linda Strasburg; stepgrandson, Michael (TiAnna) Talley; stepgranddaughter, Michelle (Richard) King; sisters-in-law, Rev. Beverly J. Samford and Julianna Duke. Red enjoyed racing stockcars for 35 years [and ran 10 Sprint Cup races from 1962-1965 with a best finish of 16th], is formerly known as one of the "Eastern Bandits" and was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. After retirement he spent much time at Newpoint Campground on his boat fishing. Red was devoted to his cats and his good friends at Dutchgap. Red will be remembered for his quick wit, humor and willingness to help others and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 at Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, 6500 Iron Bridge Rd (Rte 10). His graveside service will be February 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Bethel UMC Cemetery in Alberta, Va., with the Rev. Beverly J. Samford officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Richmond SPCA at 2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Va. 23220.(Times Dispatch)(2-9-2013)

  • Sad News - Rodney Halverson: Rodney Wayne Halverson, 45, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at his home with his loving family by his side after a courageous battle with Leukemia. He was born Aug. 3, 1967, in Edgerton, Wis., the son of Shirley and Dick Halverson. Rodney married Cathleen Hazeltine in 1993 and moved to Concord, in 1996 to fulfill his lifelong passion for NASCAR. Rodney has been a member of the Joe Gibbs Racing family for the last 10 years. He had an infectious personality full of life and a huge caring heart. Rodney was an inspiration to all that knew him. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at Whitley's Funeral Home main chapel, in Kannapolis, officiated by Chaplain Bob Dyer and the Rev. David Henderson. Burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park, in Kannapolis. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the funeral home. The family will be at the home the remainder of the time. Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 19 years, Cathy; a daughter, Bailey; and a son, Riley, all of the home; his parents, Shirley and Dick Halverson; a brother, Brad Halverson and wife, Kelly; and sisters, Renee Wedvick, of Concord, Tracie Mincoff and husband, Casey, and Robin Tuma and husband, Dave, of Ladysmith, Wis.; many very special nieces and nephews, cousins; the whole JGR family; and a special friend that was like a brother, Jim Ellis. Memorials may be made to Be The Match, National Marrow Donor Program, 3001 Broadway St. NE, Ste. 100, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1753 Online condolences may be left at & Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(2-8-2013)

  • Sad News - Ken Houston: Kenneth Aray Houston, 79, of Hickory, NC, passed away Monday, January 28, 2013 unexpectedly at Frye Regional Center. Mr. Houston was born December 30, 1933 in Catawba County he was the son of the late Winnie Lee Sigmon & Clyde Houston. Mr. Houston was the owner and operator of Merican Muffler for 40 years in Hickory.
    Houston was the brother of former Sprint Cup (13 races) and Nationwide (24 wins) driver Tommy Houston and of Hal, who was Teresa Earnhardt's father.
    In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Hal Houston. Mr. Houston is survived by a daughter, Sandra Houston Taylor and husband Clay of Conover, a son, K. Michael Houston and wife Dorothy of Hudson; partner, Barbara Ann Miller of Hickory; two brothers: Ronald "Slick" Houston of Catawba, Tommy Houston of Bethlehem; four sisters: Clara Petrovich of Hickory, Nancy Hefner of Taylorsville, Kay Norris and husband Jim of Conover, and Ann Decker of Hickory; three grandchildren: Carrie Wilson, Matthew Houston and Jason Helton; two great-grandchildren: Peyton Helton and Braylee Helton. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, January 31, 2013 in the chapel of Bass-Smith Funeral Home with the Rev. Horace Minton and Rev. Ronnie Lefevers officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with Military Honors. The family will be receiving friends Wednesday, January 30, 2013 for 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Bass-Smith Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658.(Bass-Smith Funeral Home)(1-30-2013)

  • Sad News - Sammy Gonzalez: On Thursday January 24, the racing community lost a truly wonderful friend and teammate...Sammy Gonzalez lost his battle with cancer. Sammy was most recently a mechanic on the #1 Chevy at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR). Gonzalez came to North Carolina from California in 1995 with Ron Hornaday. He was temporarily hired to help drive the team transporter for the Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) Truck Series teams from Washington State to North Carolina. He quickly earned the respect of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at DEI and was hired on a full-time basis to co-drive the transporter for the Truck Series team. Gonzalez always had a love for racing and being on the road with the team. He has been part of the DEI/EGR family since 1996. Gonzalez is survived by his wife Diane and two sons, Stephen and Sean.
    Sammy has been part of a team that has won more than 60 races in his career including:
    15 Southwest tour series wins
    25 truck series wins
    2 ARCA wins with Kerry Earnhardt
    20 Nationwide wins (2 with Hornaday, 12 with Truex Jr. , and 6 with Dale Jr.)
    4 Cup wins (1 with Truex Jr. , 3 with Jamie McMurray)
    Among those 60 plus wins Sammy has been a part of six championship teams including:
    2 - NASCAR Southwest tour championships with Ron Hornaday (1992 & 1993)
    2 - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships with Hornaday 1996 & 1998
    2 - NASCAR Busch Series championships with Truex Jr. 2004 & 2005
    In 2010 Sammy realized his greatest racing dream to be part of the winning team in the Daytona 500 with driver Jamie McMurray.
    A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Sammy Gonzalez will be held this Friday, February 1st at 6 pm at Williamson Chapel United Methodist Church in Mooresville, NC. The address is 575 Brawley School Road Mooresville 28117.
    The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Sammy Gonzalez cancer fund: 116 Courtney Lane Mooresville, NC 28117 (EGR)(1-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Joe Carver: Joe Carver, one of the best-known promoters in Langley Speedway's 63-year history, died on Saturday. A resident of Concord, N.C., he was 76. Carver moved from the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn. to become promoter of what was then known as Langley Field Speedway, serving at the track from 1973-83. A series of promoters had experienced little success during the four years prior to his arrival. Carver was an innovator, whose gimmicks included match races. He brought in big-name drivers from around the region and nation, once creating a $1,000-to-win match race between Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, Sonny Hutchins and Ray Hendrick. In addition to Waltrip, Carver brought in NASCAR legends Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons, Dick Brooks, Lennie Pond and Neil Bonnett to race in special events. Waltrip tweeted on Saturday that Carver "is one of the best track promoters and PR guys I've ever known." Carver also served a stint as Darrell Waltrip's PR person.(Daily Press and RacinToday)(1-21-2013)
    SERVICES: A Memorial service will be held at West Nashville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 6849 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, at 12 Noon on Friday, February 1, 2013 with Pastor Robbie Stofel and Brother Rickey Page officiating. The burial will follow at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, 7931 McCrory Ln., Nashville. The funeral procession will be escorted by the Three Degrees Masonic Motorcycle Club. Military honors will be rendered at the graveside. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675; or to the Child Advocacy Center, 23rd District, P.O. Box 468, Charlotte, TN 37036. HARTSELL FUNERAL HOME of Concord, NC is serving the Carver family, (704) 786-1161. Online condolences may be sent at

  • Sad News - Virginia Means: Virginia P. Means, 85, of Huntsville, passed away Thursday. Means is the mother of former NASCAR driver and current NASCAR team owner, Jimmy Means. She was predeceased by her husband, Bradford 'Bob' Newton Means. Survivors include daughters, Martha M. James of Greenbrier Community; sons, Thomas E. Means (Debra) of Huntsville and James B. Means of Forest City, NC; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and sisters, Fern and Rachel of Arkansas. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. The funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. with Brother Scott Gossett officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery()(1-20-2013)

  • Sad News - Steve Husketh:
    Stephen Odell Husketh, 62, of Apex, NC died Thursday, January 3, 2013. Steve was the longtime owner of Quality Brake and Quality Inspection Centers in Cary. He fulfilled his passion for racing while operating Premiere Motorsports. Steve's team, Premiere Motorsports #68, and his driver for many years, Allen Purkhiser, were able to visit Victory Lane twice in the 2012 season with Steve there to celebrate with them. Husketh's Premiere Motorsports made two Nationwide Series starts in 2000 with Jay Fogleman as the driver, finishing 11th and 12th in the two races. See full obituary and service info at Apex Funeral Home website.(1-6-2013)

  • Sad News - Roz Howard: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Roz Howard passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91. Howard, a native of Macon, GA, honed his skills as a mechanic in the motor pool of the Army in 1942. In 1946, he got his first taste of driving in a borrowed car at a track cut into a cornfield near Macon. Howard's day ended when he flipped the borrowed car three times. Howard would compete on the Southern Racing Enterprise circuit in the early 1950?s, competing across the southeast and scoring several feature wins. In 1956, Howard would compete in his first NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) event, as he drove his own car to a 13th place finish at Darlington. Howard ran six Sprint Cup Series races from 1956-1960 with a best of 7th (twice).(Raceweek Illustrated, see obituary/tribute at

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