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2011 SAD / TRAGIC NEWS / DEATHS / MEMORIALSabout 2011 deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series


  • Sad News – Johnny Hayes: Former NASCAR team owner and sponsor Johnny Hayes died in a single-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon on Burton Lane in Denver, NC. Hayes, who owns a house on Webbs Chapel Church Road not far from the wreck scene, apparently lost control of his vehicle about 1:15 p.m., hit some trees and then was pinned inside until Denver firefighters were able to extricate him. It is believed the accident was the result of a medical problem. Hayes, 68, also had a home in Rockbridge Baths, VA. Hayes owned the Skoal bandit race team in the 1980s whose primary drivers were Phil and Benny Parsons and Harvey Gant. Hayes later was a spokesman for Skoal and was involved in the US Tobacco racing team for many years where he was vice president of motorsports. He was a member of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, NC. Among his survivors are his wife, Elizabeth Ann; a daughter, Kristen; two sons, Scott and Zach; his mother, Corrie of Denver; and a brother, Don M. Hayes of Dalton, GA.(
  • Sad News – Ricky Miller: Richard M. (Ricky) Miller, Jr. of Lynbrook, New York, passed away of Dec. 20th after a long illness. He was 63 years old. For over 30 years, he wrote columns about Long Island Racing for Gater Racing Photo News. He is survived by his wife, Karen and a brother, Roy. He served as a member of the Lynbrook Fire Dept. for 45 years. More info about servvices and memorial contributions at the Perry Funeral Home webiste.(12-22-2011)
  • Sad News – Joy Fair: Joy Fair, a Michigan native and legendary stock car driver who won numerous championships at Midwest tracks, has died, Dave DeHem, president of the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club, said Saturday. Fair was 81. Fair, who began his racing career in 1949, competed at many tracks, including Mount Clemens and Flat Rock. He drove in several different series, including ones sanctioned by NASCAR, USAC, ASA and ARCA. “Joy was a legend not only in Michigan but also in the entire Midwest as the driver of the school bus-yellow #1 car,” DeHem said. Arrangements were unknown early Saturday afternoon (). Fair ran two races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, both in 1956 at Daytona Beach and Chicago [at Soldier Field] where he had his best finish of 9th.(12-10-2011)
    SERVICES Visitation and service hours for ARCA legend Joy Fair, who passed away Saturday, have been scheduled. Visitation will take place Wednesday, December 14 from 5-9 p.m. and Thursday, December 15 from 2-8 p.m. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 16. All services will be held at the following location:
    Modetz Funeral Home
    100 E. Silverbell Rd.
    Orion, Michigan 48359
    Memorials may be made to:
    American Diabetes Association National Processing Center
    P.O. Box 11454
    Alexandria, Virginia 22312
    More information, if necessary, is available by contacting Modetz Funeral Home at (248) 371-3777.(12-13-2011)
  • Sad News – Walt Green: Mr. Walton Clarence Green passed away Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Mr. Green enjoyed a 35-year career with Eastern Airlines in various cities mainly in the capacity of Manager/Director of Passenger Services. He served his country by participating with the Military Aircraft Command sponsored by Eastern Airlines. Upon retirement with Eastern Airlines, he was a consultant with various airlines for a 10-year time span as well as a successful 2nd career with NASCAR. A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church with Rev. Bob Miller of Sparta United Methodist Church and Rev. Richard L. Walton of Christ Episcopal Church of Sparta officiating. Burial will follow at Christ Epsicopal Church. The family will receive friends immediately following the memorial service at Sparta United Methodist Church. The family requests that memorials be made to High Country Hospice of Alleghany County, PO Box 1287, Sparta, NC 28675 or Sparta United Methodist Church, PO Box 697, Sparta NC 28675. More information available at Elkin Funeral Service.(12-7-2011)
  • Sad News – Dave Mitchell: David Andrew Mitchell, age 44 passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at his residence in Thomasville. David was born May 15, 1967 in Onslow county, North Carolina to Dallas Mitchell and Barbara Jean Kniess Mitchell. He spent his early years in Dayton, Ohio and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Phoenix. David moved to Thomasville in 2008 and was currently employed in the Marketing Dept. with Rick Ware Racing Enterprises. He was a devoted member of the NASCAR racing community and his team recently won NNS Rookie of the Year. David’s favorite hobbies were photography and enjoying fishing with his children. He and his family are members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in High Point. In 1996, he married Danielle Gilliam who survives of the residence. Also surviving are his daughter, Morgan Mitchell and his son, Chase Mitchell of the home and his parents of Dayton, Ohio; his paternal grandmother, Jonnie Webber and his maternal grandmother, Joan Kniess. Also surviving are his sister, Debbie Warren and a nephew Zachary Warren, both of Dayton, Ohio. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 1:00 pm in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 4145 Johnson Street, High Point with the Reverend Father Vincent E. Smith, O.S.F.S. Celebrant. The family will receive friends in the gathering space of the church beginning at 12 Noon Saturday until the hour of the service. David’s cremains will be placed in the church columbarium at a later date. There will be a Memorial Mass at Holy Family Parish in Stow, Ohio on Monday December 5, 2011 at 7:00 p.m., 3450 Sycamore Dr. Stow, Ohio 44224. Memorials may be directed to Kisses 4 Kate, PO Box 2266, Jamestown, NC 27282 or a Memorial Fund for the Family has been established at BBT Banks, and memorials may also be directed there. Thoughts and condolences can be shared with the family at
  • Sad News – Don Dixon: Donald James ‘Don’ Dixon, Sr., 74, of Concord passed away on Friday, November 25th at Tucker Hospice House in Kannapolis. Donald was born on April 27, 1937 in San Francisco, California to the late Benjamin and Eleanor Dixon. He was a linesman with the Southern Bell Telephone Company and later retired from NASCAR as an official in The Camping World Truck Series. There are no scheduled services at this time. Donald is survived by his wife, Judy Fish Dixon of the home; son, Donald James Dixon, Jr. and wife, Leila, of TN; step-daughters, Jane Barry and husband, John, of CT, Jill Abell of Concord, and June Rondeau and husband, Mark, of CT; step-son, Jeffrey Rondeau and wife, Linda, of CT; sisters, Dixie Mesick, and Judy Dixon, both of FL; and seven grandchildren. Memorials may be made to The American Cancer Society 1901 Brunswick Avenue, Suite 100 Charlotte, NC 28207. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Dixon family.(11-28-2011)
  • Sad News – Raymond Elder: Raymond Elder, who won a record six championships in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, died Thursday at the age of 69. Elder — who won titles in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1975 — also distinguished himself and his West Coast-based family racing team by winning two Sprint Cup Series races at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway in 1971 and 1972. Elder’s team — with his father, Fred, the car owner and brother, Richard, the crew chief — were well known as the “Racing Farmers” from Caruthers, Calif. Following their retirement from racing, they continued their farming operation. In addition, Elder and his wife, Pat, ran a mini-mart in Caruthers, located about 15 miles from Fresno. Elder is second on the list of career wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with 47 and also second on the list of career series poles, also with 47. His first series win came at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif., in 1966 and his last victory was at Craig Road Speedway in Las Vegas in 1978.(
  • Sad News – Sue Watkins: Barbara “Sue” Albright Watkins, 68, of Cornelius, passed away on Thursday, October 6, 2011, at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte. Born January 7, 1943, in Greensboro, NC, she was a daughter of the late William Purvis and Dorothy Wilbanks Albright. Mrs. Watkins was a 1965 graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro. She was a retired school teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Iredell County and Robison County school systems. Mrs. Watkins is survived by her husband, Sherrill Edward Watkins, whom she married August 5, 1967; son, Edward “Ed” M. Watkins [#42 gasman] and wife, Vonda, of Maiden; brothers, Honorable William Douglas Albright and wife, Mary, of Greensboro, and Lt. Col. Retired USAF Robert P. Albright, of Concord; and grandchildren, Avelyn and Rhylen Watkins. Funeral services will be held at 2 PM, Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, Sherrills Ford, with Rev. Linda Royer and Rev. Kenny Crosswhite officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:30 – 2 PM, prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 4136 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Sherrills Ford, NC 28673 and/or Masonic Home for Children, 600 College St., Oxford, NC 27565. Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the family of Mrs. Watkins. Condolences may be made to the Watkins family at
  • Sad News – Don Bierschwale: Donald Bierschwale, 78. passed away on Sunday, November 6, 2011. He was born on Morris Ranch in Gillespie County, Texas on March 22, 1933. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. Don graduated from Commonwealth College of Science, where he became a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. He began a career in the Funeral Industry that lasted over fifty years. He was instrumental in building HWY 16 Raceway. Don had numerous race cars that ran locally and elsewhere in Texas. From 1970 to 1996 B-B Racing was formed with E.J. Burke, Jr and Don. They began racing the NASCAR circuit with drivers, Jimmy Finger, Clarence Lovell, Ed Szech, Johnny Rutherford, Jr., A.J. Foyt and Eddie Bierschwale [1983-1992]. Don’s biggest thrill was when his son, Eddie, won the Texas 500 race at Texas World Speedway and set the track record, for stock cars, at 183.739 mph. (for service info and the full obit at the San Antonio Express-News)(11-8-2011)
  • Sad News – FMX rider dies at TMS: Jim McNeil, a motorcycle rider in the FMX series, died after injuries suffered during practice for an exhibition prior to the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Boost Mobile announced Sunday. McNeil, 32, was practicing on The Midway, a souvenir area outside the frontstretch, before it was opened to the public Sunday morning. He was taken by CareFlight to a local hospital and pronounced dead there. McNeil, Boost said in the announcement, was part of the Boost Mobile FMX team for 9 years. McNeil is from Phoenix, Ariz., and was a five-time XGames competitor as an extreme motorcycle stunt rider.(
  • Sad News – Russ Wallace: Arrangements: Russ Wallace, the patriarch of the racing family that grew to include not only his three sons but also some of his grandchildren, died early Sunday morning from complications of a stroke he suffered only days earlier. He was 77. Long before sons Rusty, Mike and Kenny Wallace were winning races in NASCAR’s top national touring series, the trio stayed busy preparing cars that their father raced on dirt tracks around the St. Louis area — primarily in Granite City, Ill., and Valley Park, Mo. Russ Wallace was an accomplished and well-respected driver on dirt, where he once won 200 features during a four-year stretch from 1974-78 in machines that his sons helped build and repair. He generally won no more than $300 to $500 even on a good night, however, and had to work various jobs to support his racing obsession. Through the years he worked as a mechanic at a car dealership, as a newspaper carrier (again assisted by his sons, who frequently delivered the newspapers) and as co-owner of a vacuum and janitorial supply business in St. Louis.(
    ARRANGEMENTS: Russell “Russ” William Wallace, 77, of Huntersville, died October 30, 2011 at Carolinas Medical Center. He was born on August 2, 1934 in St. Louis, MO to the late William Russell Wallace and Marie George Wallace. He is survived by his wife Judy Buckles Wallace of Huntersville; sons, Russell “Rusty” Wallace and wife Patti of Cornelius, Michael “Mike” Wallace and wife Carla of Concord and Kenny Wallace and wife Kim of Concord; brother Gary Wallace and wife Jane of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren, Greg, Katie, Lindsey Wallace Van Wingerden (and husband Thomas), Brooke, Stephen, Chrissy, Brandy, Brittany and Matt. He was preceded in death by his grandson Michael Samuel Wallace, Jr. “Mikey”. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the USO through this dedicated link or to Victory Junction, 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, NC 27317. The family will receive friends at Grace Covenant Church in Cornelius, NC from 4-8 PM on Monday, November 7, 2011. The family will also receive friends from 12-3 PM Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at Schrader’s Funeral Home in Ballwin, MO. Burial will follow at 4 PM at Sunset Memorial in St. Louis. Samuel S. James, Funeral Service Lic. of Huntersville is serving the family.(11-1-2011)
  • Sad News – Kim Wolfe: Kimberly Almon Wolfe, 49, of Mooresville, NC, died October 26, 2011 at Duke University Hospital. She was born March 23, 1962 in Cabarrus County, the daughter of the late Harley ‘Jimmy’ and Joyce Cauble Almon. Kimberly was the owner of Splish Splash Pool and Spa in Mooresville. She is survived by her husband, Jon Wolfe [former NASCAR Crew Chief]; her daughter, Sydney Wolfe of the home; her brother, Chuckie Almon and wife Donna of Kannapolis; and an uncle, Boyd Cauble of Charlotte. A memorial service will be held at 8:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 at Whitley’s Funeral Home Chapel in Kannapolis. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday prior at Whitley’s. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society , 6000 Fairview Rd. Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28210.(Charlotte Observer)(10-31-2011)
  • Sad News – Ken Rush: Samuel Kenneth “Ken” Rush, 80, passed away Monday, October 17, 2011 at High Point Regional Hospital. He was the loving husband of Patsy (Hodgin) Rush to whom he was married for 59 years. Mr. Rush was an avid racer, starting his career in 1952 at Bowman Gray, becoming a NASCAR Champion in 1969 of the grand touring series, and finishing in 1972 [was also 1957 Rookie of the Year]. He was later inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Guilford County Humane Society, 4527 West Wendover Ave., Greensboro, NC 27409. Online condolences may be left on Mr. Rush’s page at Read more: High Point Enterprise.
    See article at the High Point Enterprise by Benny Phillips: Rush leaves lasting legacy. Rush ran in 56 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1957 thru 1972, with 5 top-fives, a best of 2nd at Winston-Salem in 1959.(Racing Reference)(10-23-2011)
  • Wheldon remembered as ‘a champion of our sport’ : Of all the indelible moments from Dan Wheldon’s public memorial service – fellow IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan serving as pallbearers, his father carrying his racing helmet and country music star Wynonna Judd singing two gripping songs – the heart-wrenching letter from his wife cut deepest. Susie Wheldon’s letter to Dan left few eyes dry in the First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg. Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, died last Sunday in IndyCar’s season finale at Las Vegas. He was remembered Saturday not only as a champion but as a devoted husband, caring father, loyal friend and beloved son. And one more thing: a neat freak. Hundreds said goodbye to the 33-year-old Englishman-turned-Floridian during a service that included a eulogy by the best man at his wedding, Judd’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” alongside a church choir and letters by his wife and sister that offered a detailed portrait of the popular, fun-loving and always tidy driver (Associated Press)
    SERVICE / TV: A public memorial service for driver Dan Wheldon will be Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Downtown Indianapolis. The event will be at 4 pm/et Sunday at the home of the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, 125 S. Pennsylvania St. The event will be carried live on SPEED and Versus from 4-5 pm.(10-23-2011)
  • NASCAR plans tribute to Wheldon: A special tribute to fallen IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon will be part of the next Sprint Cup race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, according to NASCAR president Mike Helton. Helton said the 15-car crash that killed the 33-year-old Wheldon Sunday touched the NASCAR community and details are being ironed out to decide how best to honor him. “Grant Lynch (Talladega Superspeedway manager) is working on things to be respectful of what happened to Dan,” Helton said. “We will remember his wife Susie and their family. As we get closer to Talladega and do what we do we’ll have more details.”(Tennessean)
    AND NASCAR will provide teams with a B-post decal in honor of Dan Wheldon for all the cars and trucks this weekend in Talladega.

    The Lionheart Knight image is one that was included on the back of every one of Dan’s helmets. NASCAR also is producing helmet decals for any of the drivers who would like to run a version of the decal on their helmets. The decals will be delivered trackside on Friday. As always, the decals will be provided to the teams during the inspection process throughout the course of the weekend. Additionally, some of the drivers also have their own personal plans to recognize Dan this weekend. Been told the decals will not be made available to the public or for sale.
    As part of the NASCAR Pre Race run of show, NASCAR will include a moment of silence in Dan’s honor prior to the invocations Saturday and Sunday.(NASCAR)
    SERVICE / TV: A public memorial service for driver Dan Wheldon will be Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Downtown Indianapolis. The event will be at 4 pm/et Sunday at the home of the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, 125 S. Pennsylvania St. No additional details were provided late Tuesday night in a news release from Amy Konrath, an IndyCar spokeswoman. The event will be carried live on Versus from 4-5 pm.(10-20-2011)

  • Sad News – Dan Wheldon: Dan Wheldon, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner and one of the most popular drivers in open-wheel racing, died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a horrific multi-car crash only 11 laps into the IndyCar Series season finale. Officials decided to call the race, but the drivers did a five-lap tribute to Wheldon. IndyCar Series CEORandy Bernard made the officials announcmeent of Wheldon’s death without further comment. “IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries,” Bernard said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor.” Wheldon, 33 and the 2005 series champion from Emberton, England, was competing in only his third IndyCar race of the season, trying to win the event and earn a $5 million bonus that was part of a league promotion for drivers who didn’t compete full-time in the series this year.(ESPN)(10-16-2011)
    AND The Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund has been established for the financial security of Wheldon’s family. The public can make contributions to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund starting Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the following address: Fifth Third Private Bank Attn: Dan Wheldon Family Trust 251 North Illinois St. Suite 1000 Indianapolis, IN 46204.(10-19-2011)
    SERVICES: Funeral services for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be held Saturday, October 22nd in St. Petersburg, Fla. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a fiery 15-car crash at Sunday’s season-ending IndyCar race in Las Vegas. He was 33. On Thursday, series officials released the funeral arrangements and a statement from Wheldon’s widow, Susie. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in St. Pete.(10-21-2011)
  • Sad News – Harlis Moles: Harlis Moles of Floyd, Va passed away October 15, 2011. He was the father of Charles Moles who is the transporter driver/tire specalist for the #30 Sprint Cup Car driven by David Stremme and sponsored by Inception Motorsports.(
  • Sad News – Rick Huseman: Veteran off-road racer Rick Huseman and his brother Jeff were killed in a small plane crash Sunday afternoon east of Barstow, Calif. State Police found the wreckage around 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. In addition to Huseman, who was born in 1973 and his brother, a third victim has not been identified, but thought to be the plane’s pilot. “The entire Toyota Motorsports and TRD family wish to express our sincere condolences to the family of Rick Huseman in view of Sunday’s tragic event that claimed the lives of Rick, his brother, and the plane’s pilot,” said Toyota National Motorsports Manager Les Unger. A statement on the Rick Huseman Racing Website reads, “Tragically, Rick and his brother, Jeff, passed away October 16th in a plane crash. We will post funeral arrangements as soon as they are available. Please keep Michelle and the Huseman family in your prayers.”(NSSN)(10-19-2011)
  • Sad News – Kathy LaJoie: Kathleen “Kathy” Brady LaJoie passed away Saturday October 15th, one day before her 72nd birthday, following a valiant 2 year battle with liver cancer. Born and raised in Norwalk, CT. Kathy is survived by Donald LaJoie, whom she met while in high school. Don and Kathy have been married for 53 years. Kathy is the mother of two-time Nationawide Series Champion Randy LaJoie. More info at
  • Sad News – Michael Lyles: Michael D. Lyles, 50, of Calvert City, KY died Monday at his residence. Mike’s love for NASCAR led him to work as a transport driver for the following NASCAR families: Johnny Benson, Jeremy Mayfield, DEI, Tony Stewart, and Hendrick Motor Sports. Family requests memorial contributions be made to Marshall County Exceptional School, 198 Old Symsonia Rd., Benton, KY 42025.(services and more info at the Paducah Sun)(10-11-2011)
  • Sad News – Nancy Wood: The funeral for Nancy Elizabeth Nelson Wood, 75, of Stuart, VA who died Sept. 30, 2011, was held Monday at Moody Funeral Home in Stuart with Pastor Mark Clayton officiating. Burial was in the Nettle Ridge United Methodist Church cemetery. Pallbearers were Christopher Haley, Ronald Haley, Conley Kivett, Walter Kivett, Bryan Williams, Eddie Wood, Len Wood, Ronnie Wood, Terry Hall, Billy Nelson, Eugene Wood, Glenn Wood, Leonard Wood and Ray Lee Wood.(Martinsville Bulletin)
    Nancy’s first job was with Stuart Motor Company where she met Delano Wood, who later became her husband. Delano was a former Jackman with the famed #21 Wood Brothers Racing team.(10-4-2011)
  • Sad News – Johnnie Long: Johnnie F. Long passed away with his loving family by his side on Thursday, September 22, 2011. Long was born on October 3, 1939 in Clarksville, FL. He is survived by his wife Betty. The racing community knew Johnnie best as the father of Donald and Jerry Long, grandfather of Johanna Long, Haley, Brook, Ryan and Erica Long, and Holly Williamson. Since 1979, Long owned and operated Panhandle Grading & Paving Inc. He was extremely proud and grateful for the loyalty that was shown and the relationships that he was able to build with each of his long-term employees. Visitation will be held at 2:30 pm. on Monday, September 26, 2011 at East Brent Baptist Church, 4801 N. Davis Hwy, Pensacola, FL. Funeral service will immediately follow at 3:30 pm.(9-24-2011)
  • Sad News – Raymon Earl Dunlap: Raymon Earl Dunlap, of Carrollton, Ohio, age 77 left the earth to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 08, 2011 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife of fifty seven years, Mary (Garner) Dunlap, daughter Terrye Copeland of Bolivar, Ohio and son Ray Dunlap [SPEED] of Mooresville, NC. Siblings left behind include: Eugene (and Beverly) Dunlap, Della Mae (and Archie) Patrick, Mona Maple, Anna Lee (and Larry) Becknell, and Lynn (and Ellyn) Dunlap. His extended family includes 22 nieces and nephews. After eighteen years working the family farm and coal mine, Raymon worked for multiple local companies. He was hired at Jones and Laughlin Steel Company in Louisville, Ohio in 1965, where he remained employed as a line operator for thirty three years. Described as an avid car-guy, he spent much of his leisure time at car shows, NASCAR races and touring the Ohio country side with wife Mary on the back of his Honda gold-wing motorcycle. Sports activities included boating, water skiing, poker, bowling league and his newest found passion, golf. Services will be held at the Sweeny-Dodds funeral home, 129 N. Lisbon Street. Carrollton, Ohio. Calling hours will be from 4pm-8pm on Sunday Sept 11th, with a life celebration scheduled for 11am on Monday the 12th of September. Burial will take place at the Harlem Springs cemetery on the side of the hill, in direct view of the Harsh Memorial Church, where he was a member. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice, 1040 Trump Rd NW # B, Carrollton, Ohio 44615.(Sweeny-Dodds funeral home)(9-8-2011)
  • Sad News – Mary Hendrick: Mary Hendrick, mother of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, passed away Monday afternoon at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Mrs. Hendrick, a native of Palmer Springs, Va., was 88. Fondly referred to as “Miss Mary,” Mrs. Hendrick was the car owner of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2005-2007. In 2008, she became the owner of the #5 Chevy. She won seven races as a car owner, with Mark Martin notably recording five of those wins during the 2009 season. That year, Martin drove the #5 Chevy to a runner-up finish in the championship standings, giving Mrs. Hendrick her best season as a car owner. In June 2004, Gov. Mike Easley presented Papa Joe and Mary Hendrick with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine — the state of North Carolina’s highest honor bestowed on a citizen for dedication and extended length of service to his or her organization. The family requests privacy at this time as arrangements are being finalized.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-8-2011)
  • Sad News – Larry Moyer: Larry E. Moyer, 60, of Brandon, passed away Aug. 2, 2011. He was an area resident for 30 years coming from Ft. Wayne, IN., and was a self-employed trucker for most of his life, and the 1981 champion of the ARCA Series [and ran one Cup race, the 1988 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, finishing 32nd]. He is survived by his wife, Dawn; sons, Ronald Greene, Allen Moyer, and Cory Moyer; daughter, Deby Wagers (Johnnie); brothers, Arnie Fugate (Jennifer) and Donald Moyer (Jenny); sister, Karna Heck (Joe); two grandchildren. The family will receive friends 6-8 pm, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 at Stowers Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to LifePath Hospice.(St. Petersburg Times)(8-3-2011)
  • Sad News – Don Naman: Don Naman, the first general manager of Talladega Superspeedway and a founder of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, died Monday after a bout with cancer. He was 76. Naman, a native of New York, was the promoter at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tenn., from 1965 to 1969, winning the NASCAR Promoter of the Year award one year. That award earned him the attention of NASCAR Chairman Bill France Sr. France later tapped him to run the sprawling 2.66-mile superspeedway when it opened in 1970. Naman ran Talladega until 1988 when he took on another project — the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum, which is adjacent to the track. Naman, who also spent 7½ years in the Air Force, was in charge of the IMHOF for 12 years before retiring to become a consultant. Funeral services are Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Pell City with burial in Lincoln Cemetery. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Alabama Live)(7-26-2011)
  • Sad News – Slick Poston: Mr. Howard Richard ‘Slick’ Poston, age 74 passed away Monday 7/18/2011 at Transitional Health Services. Mr. Poston was born July 17, 1937 in Iredell County, son of the late Troy Richard Poston and Edna Cosby Poston. He was also preceded in death by a son, Gregory Poston and a brother, Vernon Poston. Howard had a career as a gear and transmission specialist with several race teams over the years, the last one being Joe Gibbs Racing for 13 years. He then worked for Jerico Transmission for several years. He thoroughly enjoyed car shows and cruise-ins and older model cars in general. Howard loved his family and especially his grandchildren. He attended Eastside Baptist Church. Survivors include his loving wife, Doris Blackwelder Poston; daughter, Connie Canupp and husband, Lannie of Kannapolis; grandchildren, Brandi and Greg Kanupp; brother, Jimmy Ray Poston of Concord special aunt, Dorothy Coon of Kannapolis; sister-in-law, Nancy Worsley of Wilmington; brother-in-law, Frank Blackwelder and wife, Joan of Easley, SC. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.(see full obit and service info at the Wilkinson Funeral Home webiste)(7-19-2011)
  • Sad News – Shawn Watson: Shawn Paul Watson, 45, of Statesville, passed away on Friday, July 8, 2011 at his residence. He was born on May 25, 1966 in Springville, N.Y. to Dale Lloyd and Diane Carol Piker Watson. He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting and worked as a machinist with stock car engines (such as Roush Yates Engines, Mike Ege Racing Engines, Evernham Motorsports Engines). In addition to his parents he is survived by his wife, Michelle Smith Watson, and a daughter, Taylor Watson, both of the home; a sister, Kelly Watson (Lisa Pruchniewski) of Lincolnton; two brothers, Lance Watson (Yvonne Peterson) of Franklinville, N.Y. and Richard Watson (Stephanie) of Machias, N.Y.; three nephews, Levi, Christopher and Brandon, and a niece, Lacey. Memorials may be made to the college fund for Taylor, care of Michelle Watson, 134 Southview Drive, Statesville, NC 28677.(Statesville Landmark Record)(7-13-2011)
  • Sad News – Gary Manus: Mr. Gary Wayne Manus, 55, of Lincolnton passed away July 5, 2011 at W.G. Hefner VAMC. [Manus was a former hauler driver for MWR/David Reutimann and other NASCAR teams]. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy during Vietnam. He was survived by Elizabeth Ann Zeren, step-father Roy Shrader, son Dakota “Cody” Lee, a daughter Samantha Viveiros, and a brother Mike Manus. Summersett Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at
  • Sad News – Jimmy Summerour: Former drag racer and NASCAR car builder Jimmy Summerour, of Auburn, Georgia, passed away early Friday morning, June 24. He was 77 years of age. Born in 1934 in Atlanta, Georgia, Summerour worked for NASCAR racer Gober Sosebee. In 1960, he built race cars for NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) racer Johnny Allen, along with building cars for T.C. Hunt, Charlie Mincey and Bill Taylor.(Raceweek Illustrated). Survivors include: his wife, Brenda; son, Joe; daughter, Cynthia Morris; and grandson, Justin.
    Info on services and full obit at Barrow County News.(6-25-2011)
  • Sad News – Pamela Snow Hinton: Pamela Snow Hinton, wife of senior writer Ed Hinton and a notable figure in the motor racing community in her own right, has died of cancer, according to family members. She was 59. A public memorial service will be scheduled at a later date at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. Known as “Snow” on both sides of the Atlantic, “she touched the lives of, and was loved by, hundreds of people,” said her close friend Alexis Leras, former NASCAR public relations director. A native of Ilion, N.Y., she worked in public relations efforts for drivers such as Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and Benny Parsons. She later worked in the securities industry and as a human resources specialist until 1988, when she decided to become stay-at-home mom to her only child, Tyler. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She is survived by husband Ed ; son Tyler of Birmingham, Ala.; two brothers, Dr. Steven C. White of Rockville, Md., and Jerome S. White of Utica, N.Y.; a stepbrother, Foster “Bud” Simmons of Arvada, Colo., and two uncles, Dr. David White and the Rev. Wiley White, both of Tempe, Ariz.(
  • Sad News – Sharon Francis: Sharon Phyllis Francis, 63, of Jacksonville, passed away on June 14, 2011 at her residence. She was born on October 21, 1947 in Miami, FL to the late Louis Wolfe Kamins and Melda Ellen (Barnett) Kamins. Sharon worked as an Accounting Clerk for Carolina Casualty Insurance Group in Jacksonville. She enjoyed reading, fishing, gardening, the beach, and enjoyed entertaining friends and family with her renowned cooking skills. She is survived by her son, Kenneth [Kenny] Francis [crew chief for #4 Kasey Kahne] and his wife Rebecca; her twin sister, Karen Ruby Murphy; her brother, Frederick Acie Kamins and his wife Terry; her brother, Mark Wolfe Kamins; and her 2 grandchildren, Emma Michelle Francis and Matthew Aaron Francis, along with cousins and nieces. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 17th at 2:00 pm at the Chets Creek Church, 4420 Hodges Blvd, Jacksonville, FL. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Sharon to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223.(6-16-2011)
  • Sad News – Geraldine Jeffrey: Geraldine Jeffrey, mother of Bob Jeffrey (#14-Tony Stewart’s spotter) passed away Tuesday, May 31st at the age of 77 in Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, TN. Service info at the site.(6-2-2011)
  • Sad News – Charles Kepley: Charles Don Kepley, 57, of Lexington. NC, died Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at his home. Mr. Kepley was born on Sept. 26, 1953, in Mecklenburg County to James Donald Kepley and Hidia Amy Goins Kepley. He was a service technician at Energy United, owner of C and C Racing Souvenirs, promoter of the North-South Shootout and also coached several local softball teams. He was preceded in death by his father.(Davidson Funeral Home)(5-29-2011)
  • Sad News – Pop Evernham: Raymond Donald Evernham, Sr., “Pop”, 80, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at his residence. He was born in Rumson, N.J. on March 18, 1931, to the late Raymond John and Madeline Hawkins Evernham. He is also preceded in death by a brother, Alfred Evernham and a sister, Marjorie Davidson. Evernham was a mechanic working with the railroad and with race teams. He served his country in the United States Navy on board the destroyer USS H. J. Ellison DD-864. He was a member of Grace Covenant Church, Cornelius, N.C. He is survived by his wife, MaryLou Bailey Evernham; children, Raymond Evernham, Jr. and wife, Erin, Willie Evernham and wife, Barbara, and LuAnn Evernham; grandchildren, Danelle, Donald, Willy, Ray J., Scotty and Taylor and great grandson, Christopher; sister, Caroline Nicholl and brother, Robert Evernham.
    Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at 1 p.m. at Grace Covenant Church, with Pastor Farrell Lemings and Pastor Paul Turbedsky officiating. Memorials may be made to Grace Covenant Church, 17301 Statesville Road, Cornelius, NC 28031 and/or the National Kidney Foundation of NC, 5950 Fairview Road, Suite 708, Charlotte, NC 28210.(5-23-2011)
  • Sad News – Jonathan Bunting: Jonathan William Bunting, age 33, of 1702 Brittany Way, Archdale, NC died Wednesday, April 20, 2011. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm at Central Carolina Community Church with Rev. Edward J. Arroyo officiating. Jonathan was a native of Asheboro and a 1996 graduate of Asheboro High School. He was a member of Central Carolina Community Church and was employed with Roush Fenway Racing in Concord, NC.
    He is survived by his wife, Charity Trogdon Bunting; son, Thomas William Bunting of the home; daughter, Alexandria Kate Bunting of the home; mother and step-father, Pam and Bill Moore of Asheboro; father and step-mother, Dallas and Debbie Bunting of Asheboro; sisters, Melissa Moore of Asheboro, Jennifer Moore of Asheboro; maternal grandmother, Ola Mae Hulin of Asheboro; several aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.
    The family will receive friends Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Central Carolina Community Church, 1128 N. Fayetteville St., Asheboro.
    Memorials may be made to the Thomas and Alexandria Bunting Fund, co/ State Employment Credit Union, P.O. Box 14550, Archdale, NC 27263. Pugh Funeral Home of Asheboro is in charge of arrangements.(4-22-2011)
  • Sad News – Wayne Redmond: Wayne L. Redmond, 52, passed away on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Mecial Center in Des Moines. Redmond worked for AERO Race Wheel in Estherville for many years, which put him in touch with many NASCAR drivers and crews. More info and service info at For an article about Redmond, see
  • Sad News – Dorothy Marks Powell: Dorothy Marks Powell of 401 Circle Drive, Ahoskie, died in her home on Friday, April 15, 2011. Powell is the mother of Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 20 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ahoskie. She is survived by her sister, Jennie Marks Delagrange of Scotland Neck. She is also survived by her sons, Allen Whitaker Powell of Raleigh and Russell Christopher Powell of Las Vegas, Nevada; daughters-in-law, Elizabeth Tayloe Powell of Raleigh and Mary Phetteplace Powell of Las Vegas; grandchildren Emma Whitaker Powell of Raleigh; Russell Christopher Powell, Jr. of New Haven, Conn., Thomas Whitaker Powell of Boone, N.C., Jack Allen Powell of Wilmington, N.C., Myers Christian Paulsen of Reno, Nev. and Lauritz Gaines Paulsen of Las Vegas. Memorial donations may be made to the Food Pantry, PO Box 159, Ahoskie, NC 27910, the Ahoskie Public Library, 210 E. Main St., Ahoskie, NC, or the entity of choice. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening, April 19, from 6-8 p.m., 401 Circle Drive, Ahoskie.(4-19-2011)
  • Sad News – Neil Mahr: Neil Irving Mahr, 72, of Pottstown, PA, husband of Patricia A. (Berkey) Mahr, died Friday, April 15, 2011, at Lenox Hill Medical Center, Manhattan, NY. Born in Pottstown, PA, he was a son of the late Irving O, Mahr Jr. and the late Frances V. (Smith) Mahr. Neil was a graduate of Pottstown High School in 1956. Neil was the owner of Mahr Printing and “Superpress” located in Sanatoga, PA. He enjoyed Drag Racing most of his life and raced Top Fuel into the late 70’s. After his racing career he became involved in marketing NASCAR memorabilia. He was the creator of the first official NASCAR calendar and NHRA calendar featuring the top drivers of that era. He later opened “Brookfest Campground”, one of the largest campgrounds in Michigan, next to Michigan Speedway. He retired in St. John US V.I., where he founded and established Villa Mahr, a vacation getaway. For service info and more info see the Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home & Crematory site.(4-19-2011)
  • Sad News – John Wilson: John Thomas Wilson, age 62, of Kannapolis, passed away on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at his home. He was born on April 29, 1948 in Huntington Beach, CA to the late Frank T. and Dorothy Ristrom Wilson. Mr. Wilson is also preceded in death by his brother, Rick B. Wilson. John was a down to earth, fun loving guy who was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed riding his Harley. He was Head Engine Builder At Sabco Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Fischer Engineering and Gasoline Alley Engines.(Hartsell Funeral Home)(4-1-2011)
  • Sad News – Ben Arnold: Ben Arnold, 74, passed away March 20, 2011. He was a member of Numerous Automobile Clubs. He was a former Grand National Stock Car Driver [Now Sprint Cup], and part of the Alabama Gang. He retired from Dana Automotive. He still holds the Track Record at Talladega International Speedway for qualifying backward at 178 mph. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Tabbie Arnold; special sons, Rooster Killian and Mike Capps and numerous friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Edgewater Baptist Church (Birmingham News). Arnold ran 132 Cup races from 1968-1973 with 21 Top-10’s his best were three 6th place finishes.(3-25-2011)
  • Sad News – Steve ‘Dirt’ Masch: from the Rick Ware Racing Facebook page, “With heavy hearts we are saddened by the loss of Steve ‘Dirt’ Masch [Wednesday]”. On March 11, Dean Shaut, lost control of his vehicle while driving on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger Stephen Masch was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. where he was treated until succumbing to his injuries. Both men were independent contractors for Rick Ware Racing.(3-24-2011)
  • Sad News – Harry N. Stiff Jr: Harry N. Stiff Jr., a great friend of many in the NASCAR community, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday [March 17th] afternoon. Harry worked at International Speedway Corp [ISC] from 1999 – 2006 as Director, and then Sr. Director of Consumer Marketing. He spent a number of years prior to that working for Busch Entertainment Corporation on Sea World and Busch Gardens. Harry loved the sport and especially his home track – RIR. He was always a Virginian at heart.
    Obit Harry N. Stiff, Jr., 49, Daytona Beach, Florida passed away on March 17th at his home. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 22nd between the hours of 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Lohman Funeral Home; 733 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach. A memorial service will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 23rd at 10:00 am at the Calvary Christian Center, 1687 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach. Harry was born February 25, 1962 in Bedford, Virginia to Harry and Mary (Pullen) Stiff. He relocated to Volusia County nine years ago from Sanford, FL. He was an Entertainment Marketing Executive, attended Calvary Christian Center; he received his Bachelors Degree in Business from Christopher Newport University and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Harry was a passionate sports fan, an avid reader, loved to barbeque, cook, and was known as a great chef and food critic. He loved staying in touch with family and friends. He was predeceased by his mother, Mary Stiff and is survived by his wife of eleven years, Julynn Stiff; his daughter, Kennedy Stiff; and his father, Harry N. Stiff, Sr., all of Daytona Beach; as well as his brother, Keith (Marcelle) Stiff, Orlando, FL. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harry Stiff Memorial Fund at Floridian Bank; 1696 N. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32117.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-20-2011)
  • Sad News – Melissa Loftin: Melissa Loftin, the wife of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Brian Loftin, passed away Tuesday [March 15th] following an automobile accident in North Carolina. “On behalf of NASCAR and the France family, we send out our thoughts and prayers to Brian, the Loftin family and the entire Whelen Southern Modified Tour community,” said Richard Buck, NASCAR’s director of touring series. “Melissa was a warm and recognizable face in the garage, and she will be missed.” Loftin, the 2008 Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, earned the Coors Light Pole Award and finished 18th in the season-opener on March 13 following a late-race incident while contending for the lead.(
    AND Melissa Rierson Loftin, 29, a committed wife, dedicated mother, loving daughter, sister and loyal friend, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, March 15, 2011. Born October 20, 1981, Melissa had attended Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown and was a member of First Christian Church in Kernersville. She was a competitive dancer with Dance Unlimited in Kernersville, a beautiful vocalist and accomplished pianist. She participated in and won numerous local and state beauty pageants, rode motorcycles, and adored shopping. In lieu of flowers, the family has established the Melissa Rierson Loftin Memorial Fund at First Citizens Bank to assist Carson’s future education. For service info and online condolences. go to
  • Sad News – Elfriede Wood: Elfriede Wood, wife of Lafterty Motorsports team Vice President Calvin Wood and mother of mechanic/team jackman Steven Wood, passed away Sunday night as a result of complications from an earlier stomach surgery. The Wood family has been instrumental in the continued growth of Lafferty Motorsports. The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00pm at Hartsell Funeral Home, located at 460 Branchview Dr NE, Concord, NC on Wednesday, March 16th. The funeral will be Thursday at 2:00pm/et. (Lafferty Motorsports PR)(3-16-2011)
  • Ware Racing crewmen involved in wreck, one killed: NASCAR’s Rick Ware Racing (RWR) this morning is mourning devastating news after returning home from their NCWTS event at Darlington this past Saturday March 12th, 2011. Dean Shaut and Stephen Masch began assisting RWR this season on the Nationwide and Truck teams as independent contractors were involved in a fatal crash on Friday night March 11th, 2011. The driver of the Toyota Tundra truck Dean Shaut, lost control of his vehicle while driving on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger Stephen Masch was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC with spinal cord and head injuries. “All of us at RWR are deeply saddened about the news and are suffering a great loss over this tragic accident” stated team owner Rick Ware. “We can’t express our condolences enough at a time like this to each of the families and words alone right now just don’t express our thoughts enough”.
    Dean was a 20- year veteran of the NSACAR community as a fabricator and mechanic working for such teams over the years such as Hendricks, MB2, Evernham and others.
    Stephen Masch was an independent contract mechanic for the RWR Nationwide #15 team driven by rookie Timmy Hill. Rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt drives the RWR NCWTS team the two men assisted. His wife Sandy, and his two step- children Chris and Megan survive Dean. His brother Rick Shaut, who is a long time employee of Richard Childress Racing, also survives Dean along with his sister-in-law Sandy and his two nieces Sara and Dana.
    Funeral Services for Dean Shaut will be held this Friday March 18th, 2011 at Davidson Funeral Home located at 858 Hickory Tree Road in Winston Salem, NC 27127. Davidson Funeral Home (336) 775-2600. Viewing services will be held from 5-7pm and the memorial services will be held immediately following at 7pm. The family of Dean Shaut respectfully asks that any donations on behalf of Dean Shaut be made to the American Heart Association.(RWR)
    UPDATE: The two Rick Ware Racing team members Dean Shaut and Stephen Masch were riding in Dean Shaut’s personal vehicle during the late evening hours on Friday March 11, 2011. The two men were on their own personal time when the accident happened. Dean Shaut, the driver, apparently approached a turn on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and clipped a telephone pole, hitting a tree which sent the vehicle overturning several times before coming to a rest. The driver, Dean Shaut 44, was pronounced dead at the scene and Stephen Masch 29, has been transported to Wake Forest Trauma Center where he currently undergoing extensive surgery to relieve pressure on the spine.
    “He is in surgery today with a spinal cord injury to his C5 vertebrae. He is aware of his surroundings and that his Mom and Sister are at the hospital. However, with being incubated and sedated he is unable to communicate and we are unaware of the extent of his injuries other than what appears to be paralysis of his lower extremities. Stephen is affectionally known as “Dirt” within the racing community and with his peers. We are asking for prayers for Stephen at this time and we send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the Shaut family for their loss.” said Stephen’s father Gary Masch.
    Previous to joining RWR, “Dirt” worked for Tennessee based Wayne Day Enterprises for the past four years, which has fielded drivers such as Casey Atwood, Willie Allen, David Ragan and David Starr. Mark Soffa, President for Fuel Doctor USA, sponsor of the Rick Ware Racing teams stated “This is tragic for the families of both crewmen and the entire NASCAR community. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to both families”.
    Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt of the #1 NCWTS Chevy added: ” This is absolutely devastating news about what has happened within our Rick Ware Racing teams. I am so sorry for what these families must be going through and I send my deepest sympathies to both the Shaut and Masch families.
    Driver Timmy Hill of the #15 NNS car stated “I cant express how terrible this is to hear what has happened to my crew guys. Both Dean and “Dirt” have worked so hard on my car this season, and I am saddened by the news I received today and send my thoughts and prayers to their respective families”.(RWR)(3-14-2011)
  • Sad News – Hal Houston: Hal Stephens Houston, 78, of Mooresville, NC, passed away Saturday, February 26, 2011. Born on March 14, 1932 in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Clyde Oren Houston and Winnie Lee Sigmon Houston. A veteran of the United States Army, Mr. Houston was a local businessman and avid outdoorsman. He was a member of St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in Hickory. Mr. Houston is survived by his wife, Betty Turland Houston; daughters, Sherry Clifton and her husband, Chris, and Teresa Earnhardt; son, Mark Houston; grandchildren, Carina Clifton and Taylor Earnhardt; sisters, Clara Petrovich, Nancy Hefner, Ann Decker and Kay Norris; and brothers, Tommy Houston, Ken Houston and Ronald ‘Slick’ Houston. A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. More info on services, memorial contributions and guest book at the Charlotte Observer.(2-28-2011)
  • Sad News – Ann E Kotowicz UPDATE: Ann E. Kotowicz passed away unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. Ann was the mother of Yvonne Pittman an official from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ann was a lover of aviation, travel and NASCAR [and had recently been given the Kobalt Tools 500 trophy by Carl Edwards]. She will be deeply missed by her three children Denise Jirsa, Ken Kotowicz and Yvonne Pittman. In lieu of flowers people donate to Area Agency on Aging, specify the SAIL Program 1366 E. Thomas Road, Suite 108 Phoenix, AZ 85014. services will be in Chicago in the near future.(full obit at the Chicago Tribune)(2-16-2011)
    SERVICES for Ann Kotowicz will be held March 11, 2011 from 3:00-7:00pm/et at Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva, IL.(2-28-2011)
  • IMS’s Carnegie’s life celebrated: He had a voice larger than life and became as much a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the famed Yard of Bricks, but Tom Carnegie was one of us, a friendly, caring man of the people. That was the common theme throughout a host of tributes paid Feb. 15 during a celebration of the life of Carnegie, the longtime IMS Public Address announcer who died Feb. 11 at age 91. An overflow crowd packed the IMS Hall of Fame Museum for the ceremony honoring Carnegie, who served as the Public Address announcer at IMS for 61 consecutive years, from 1946-2006. He called 61 Indianapolis 500’s, 12 Brickyard 400’s and six United States Grands Prix for millions of fans at IMS. Indianapolis television sports anchor Dave Calabro served as host of the ceremony. Calabro worked for many years on the public address at IMS with Carnegie and leads the announcing team today. Members of Carnegie’s family, including two of his children, attended the ceremony. Nancy George affectionately shared an anecdote about how she and her brother and sisters would ride their bikes around IMS as children, pretending they were race drivers. But one of the George children always played Carnegie?s role as Public Address announcer.(IMS)(2-16-2011)
  • Sad News – Eugene T. Myers: Eugene Thomas Myers, 86, of 16 Myers Mountain Road, Leicester, died on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Myers was the father if FOX’s Chris Myers, part of the NASCAR broadcast team. Mr. Myers served with the U.S. Navy during WWII. Mr. Myers served in the occupation of North Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the invasion of Italy, D-Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, in the Pacific Theater, and in the occupation of the Philippines. He later retired as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, and had worked part-time with Harry’s Cadillac, Deal Buick, and Enterprise Car Rental. Mr. Myers was also a long-time member of a 12-step recovery group. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, P.O. 25338, Asheville, NC 28813. The on-line register is available at For more and service info, go to the Asheville Citizen Times.(2-15-2011)
  • ‘Voice of the Speedway’ Tom Carnegie dies: The golden voice of the Indianapolis 500 is now quiet. Tom Carnegie died today at a health care facility in Zionsville. He was 91. Carnegie began working as Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s lead announcer in 1946, a career spanning six decades. His deep, measured voice was iconic even among the icons of auto racing. “He’s one of those personalities where you wish time would stand still so he could be forever with us,” 1969 race winner Mario Andretti once said. A longtime Zionsville resident, he is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, D.J., and their three children, Blair, Charlotte and Robert. Until 2007, when he helped call his final 500, he seldom missed a day in May at the Speedway. For fans and competitors, it wasn’t a day at the track until he said “Good morning, race fans” across the loud speakers.
    Two of Carnegie’s sayings will live forever in the hearts of race fans:
    “Heeee’s on it” in describing the start of an official qualifying attempt; “It’s a newwww track record.” See more at the Indianapolis Star, with a link there to leave thoughts.(2-11-2011)
  • Sad News — Rose Gay: The mother of Red Horse Racing crew chief Rick Gay passed away Saturday morning in Rochester, N.Y. Rose Gay was 81. Rick Gay serves as crew chief for Miguel Paludo. For more details and service info, visit the New Comer Funeral Home site.(2-7-2011)
  • Sad News – Lawrence Pollock: Lawrence Pollock, 86, of Kansas City, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, February 1, 2011, at home. Pollock was the grandfather of Camping World Truck Series driver, Jennifer Joe Cobb. More info at
  • Sad News — Wardella Kennedy: Wardella Kennedy, mother of Janice East and mother-in-law to noted open wheel chassis builder Bob East, grandmother to Terry Cook’s wife, Amy East Cook, and Alison Leffler, passed away Sunday January 9, 2011. Amy East Cook is a former ESPN broadcaster who covered USAC racing, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the Indy Pro Series. She is married to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Terry Cook and now spends her time raising their son Cody. Alison Leffler was married to NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and former USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler; together they have one son, Charlie. Bobby East is the 2004 USAC National Midget Champion and has raced in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He and wife Courtney were married in January, 2010. . In lieu of flowers, the family request a donation made in Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy’s name to


  • Sad News – Warren Ruffner: Warren C. Ruffner, Spring Township, died Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, in his residence under hospice care. He was the husband of Joanne (Weir) Ruffner. Warren was the sales manager for WHUM Radio in Reading. He was known as the voice of the Reading Stock Car Association and announced races at the Reading Fairgrounds and at tracks from Canada to Florida. He worked in real estate at Wertz Hoffman Parks and last worked at Berkshire GMAC Realtors before retiring in 2005. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Ignatius Loyola RC Church.(full obit & services at the Reading Eagle)(1-12-2011)
  • Sad News – Dick Trajnowski: Dick Trajnowski, who spent more than 30 years covering sports for the Jackson Citizen Patriot [Michigan], died Saturday night [Jan 8th] at Allegiance Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in the evening. He was 74. Trajnowski won several state and national awards for sports writing. He covered every race weekend at Michigan International Speedway from the track in 1968, including the ground-breaking for the track’s construction, through his retirement in 1997. He also co-authored a book in [40 Years of Champions] 2008 produced by the Citizen Patriot chronicling the top drivers from the first 40 years of the speedway’s history. Following Trajnowski’s retirement from the Citizen Patriot, he continued to cover sports part-time for the paper, and he also worked for a short time at MIS on race weekends. “Dick was one of those old-timers who really had a lot of integrity, knew his sports and just did a great job for us,” said Citizen Patriot Publisher Sandy Petykiewicz. “He was a great person, gentle, kind, and still capable of doing the tough job.” In addition to his role covering the high school, auto racing and the sports personalities of Jackson, Trajnowski wrote a weekly column called the “Grapevine,” which allowed him to celebrate accomplishments and milestones of people throughout the Jackson area. Trajnowski, named Auto Racing Writer of the Year by the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club in 1980, covered 19 Indianapolis 500s. He also covered NASCAR races for the Citizen Patriot at nine tracks around the country, including Daytona International Speedway on several occasions. Trajnowski is survived by his wife, Marilee, of 48 years; three children, Martha, Marcia and David; and three grandchildren. A memorial Mass is scheduled for 10:30 am Wednesday at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 120 E. Wesley St.(Jackson Citizen Patriot and obit at Michigan Live)(1-11-2011)
  • Sad News – June J. Schrader Cox: Cox, June J. Schrader (nee Parsons), passed away, Sat., Jan. 8, 2011. Beloved wife of William Bill Cox and the late Bill Schrader; dear stepmother of William (Judy) Schrader; dear mother of [NASCAR driver] Ken (Ann) Schrader and Sharon (Pat) Walsh. More info on services and a guest book at St. Louis Post-Dispatch.(1-10-2011)