Sad / Tragic News, Deaths, Memorials 2017

about deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series in 2017
will ONLY post with confirmed link to an obit, am very careful with these posts

NOTE: do NOT post fan deaths, small series drivers, etc., usually keep it to the main three National series [Cup, XFINITY, Trucks],
major auto racing [F1, Indy, etc], immediate family [mother, father, etc] and NASCAR related media

past years.....
Main Page / Current news
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  • Sad News - Gary Cressey: Gary Cressey ran the Shasta Speedway into the early 1990s, nearly 25 years, also announcing races there and at speedways across the West, died Wednesday morning at 80. In 1989, Cressey worked as a co-anchor for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series, stock car's premier circuit, event at Sears Point International Raceway in Sonoma. Two years ago, the road behind Shasta Speedway was named Gary Cressey Boulevard. Cressey was born in Seattle and moved to Redding in 1951 before graduating from Shasta High School in 1954. He purchased Shasta Speedway with driver Bill Schmitt before Cressey purchased Schmitt's share in 1978, according to a 1981 Record Searchlight story. Cressey is survived by his wife, Janette; daughters Debra Herndon, Diane Delong, Denise Besser and Donna Cressey; and son David Cressey.(Record Searchlight)(2-16-2017)

  • Sad News - Rodney Shearer: Rodney Albert Shearer Sr., 48, of Mooresville, NC passed away Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. He was born April 24, 1968, in Greenville, Pa., to Nancy Stevenson Hill and the late Bruce Shearer. Rodney was a mechanic and crewman in all aspects of racing. He worked with JGL Racing and Spraker Motorsports. Rodney was headstrong and a good role model. He loved his family and was the heart of his family. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife of 28 years, Virginia Gwinn Shearer; children, Rodney "R.J." A. Shearer Jr., Shelby H. Shearer; sister, Leslie Eastham; brothers, Randy Shearer, Michael Shearer (Michele), Timmy Shearer, Tommy Shearer; stepfather, William Hill; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews. Full obituary, guest book, condolences and service info, go to

  • Sad News - Gene Sanders: Harry Eugene (Gene) Sanders, Sr., 76, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Mr. Sanders was born on August 19, 1940 in Sumter County. He grew up in Conway, S.C. but has lived in the Orangeburg-Cordova area for the past 50 years. He taught at Cope Area Vocational Center for 31 years and he worked with NASCAR for 17 years. He was awarded Orangeburg District #4 Teacher of the Year and S.C. Vocational Teacher of the year. Mr. Gene was a member and former deacon of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was a founding member of the Edisto Jaycees. He was Past Master of the Progress Lodge 356 and a member of the Omar Shriners. Mr. Gene was an avid Clemson Tiger Fan and a longtime supporter of IPTAY. He loved NASCAR and Go Kart racing with his sons; camping with his family and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers, Windell Sanders and Edward Sanders and sisters, Patricia Sanders and Wanda Sanders. A visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at Edisto Primary School Gymnasium. Memorials may be made to Ebenezer Baptist Church New Vision Fund 3144 Cordova Road, Cordova, S.C. 29039; Grove Park Hospice 1324 Grove Park NE, Orangeburg, S.C. 29115; The National Parkinson Foundation 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami FL 33131 or The Shriner's Hospital for Children 950 Faris Road, Greenville, S.C. 29605. Services are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home.(2-6-2017)

  • Sad News - Howie Hodge: The Northeast short track racing scene lost a giant and cornerstone figure of the sport on Saturday. Howie Hodge, a fixture as a photographer documenting racing across the country and primarily at Connecticut short tracks, passed away Saturday. Hodge was 77. Hodge's decades in the pits, at tracks across New England almost always with his wife Mary by his side shooting with him, made him known and virtually beloved by all around the sport. Hodge and his wife were inducted in the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 7. "I'm totally flabbergasted by this," Hodge said that night. "It's beyond my belief that doing what we enjoy and love so much for so many years, to get an honor like this."
    "He has captured decades of the history of New England auto racing with his photography," longtime motorsports journalist Dick Berggren said. "His contribution is beyond measure. We know history by pictures and he took great ones." Hodge is survived by his wife Mary and son Kevin.(RaceDayCT)(1-29-2017)

  • Sad News - Lance Childress: Lance Dudley Childress, Sr., 70, a resident of the Arcadia community, passed away the morning of January 21, 2017, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC. He was born on November 17, 1946 in Winston Salem, NC, the only son to Gaither Melvin and Faye Staley Childress. On May 3, 1968, he was married to Patricia Jackson. After graduating from James A. Gray High School in 1965, Lance attended North Carolina State University where he was a brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1967, Lance joined the US Army Reserves and was later activated with the 312th Evacuation Hospital unit stationed in Chu Lai Vietnam. Lance was honorably discharged in 1969. He went on to follow in his father's footsteps, becoming an official for NASCAR, where he was a pioneer for what is now known as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. Retiring from NASCAR in 1985 led Lance back to college to complete an Associate Degree in Business at Forsyth Technical Community College before beginning his own business in 1986. Halonite Fire Systems was in operation for 30 years with the help of Lance's son, his mother, and his daughter. During his free time spanning the late 1980's through the mid-2000's Lance could be found coaching a Little League game, running a Pop Warner booster club, or directing short-track races for the NASCAR Winston Weekly Racing Series as well as dabbling in his hobby as a collector of art, stamps, coins, and his favorite: old beer cans. Lance is survived by his loving wife, Patricia J. Childress (Pat), of the home. Also surviving are one son, Lance Childress, Jr. (Kip) and wife Jenny of Winston Salem; one daughter, Kristen Childress (Kris) and husband Edward Eisenbraun of Winston Salem; and four grandchildren, Sarah, Hailey, Brianna and Charlie. As well as two special pets, Daisy and Topaz. A celebration of life will be held Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM, with the Reverend James C. Newsome, Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday, January 29, 2017 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Both services will be held at J.C. Green & Sons Funeral Home, 10301 N. NC Highway 109, Winston-Salem. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, North Carolina 27317 and/or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675. Online condolences may be sent to the Childress family at

  • Sad News - Bill Moss: William (Bill) W. Moss, whose engineering and construction company (Moss-Thornton Company) was instrumental in assisting William H.G. France in the creation of Talladega Superspeedway in 1969, passed away this past Saturday. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 at Canterbury Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL for the 81-year-old. While racing cars as an amateur in the late 1950s, Moss, who received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Alabama, met France, the founder of NASCAR. A few years later in 1963, Moss, joined the family engineering business - known for building interstate highway projects, as well as industrial, railway and navigation endeavors. France had a vision to create the largest, steepest and fastest superspeedway in the world, just 40 miles outside of Birmingham and 90 miles from Atlanta (GA). He enlisted the help of Moss to help design and build a smooth, 2.66-mile, 33-degree banked venue that would see 200-plus mph speeds. Using cranes to aid in keeping the equipment (graders, pavers, bulldozers, etc.) on the mammoth steeped banks, Alabama International Motor Speedway was created in just over a year (groundbreaking May 23, 1968). As a symbol of his contribution to Talladega Superspeedway, the Moss-Thornton Grandstand and Moss-Thornton Tower overlook Talladega's famous start-finish line which sits near the entrance of turn one, distinguishing the track unlike others.(Talladega Superspeedway)(1-17-2017)

  • Sad News - Brian Scott: Brian Shawn Scott, 63, of Mooresville, NC passed away on January 9, 2017 in Charlotte, NC following a brief illness. He was born on October 7, 1953 in South Bend, IN. He worked for several years as a vice president of Keystone Cable Corporation before starting Scott Performance Wire (in 1990, supplying many NASCAR teams), which he owned and operated until his death. Full obituary, guest book and service info at Carter Funeral Home)(1-14-2017)

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