2012 SAD / TRAGIC NEWS / DEATHS / MEMORIALS
about 2012 deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series
- Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund set up: Pocono Raceway has established the Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund to benefit the victims of the lighting strike tragedy which occurred following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Donations will be accepted at any PNC Branch or by mailing checks/money orders, addressed to “Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund” to the following address:
Attn: Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund
1234 Long Pond Road
Long Pond, PA 18334
- Sad News – Salt Walther: David “Salt” Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, has died. He was 65. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed the death Friday, saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn’t been determined. Walther also drove briefly in NASCAR, finishing 12th in the 1976 Daytona 500 [drove in 4 Cup races]. At the start of the 1973 Indy 500, Walther’s car pinwheeled down the track, his legs sticking out of his torn-up racer, after touching wheels with Jerry Grant and slamming into the catch-fencing in a fiery crash near the starting line. Blinded by the fireball that spread across the front straightaway, several other drivers slammed into Walther’s car. Walther fought an addiction to painkillers after the accident and spent time in jail and prison. He was arrested in Dayton, Ohio, last month in a case dating to 2007, and it wasn’t immediately known if he was incarcerated at the time of his death.(ESPN/AP / Tribute)(12-29-2012)
- Sad News – Doug Hoffman: Bridgeport Speedway promoter Doug Hoffman died Dec. 24. Hoffman, a former DIRTcar modified and NASCAR modified competitor from Pennsylvania, took over the reins at Bridgeport Speedway’s five-eighths-mile dirt track [in New Jersey] in 2012 after having served as promoter at Pennsylvania’s Mahoning Valley Speedway.(NSSN)(12-28-2012)
- Sad News – Clarence “Hooker” Hood: Mid-South racing legend Clarence “Hooker” Hood, a colorful character who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1999, died Christmas Eve. He was 86. Known for calling everyone “Cat,” Hood won more than 700 races during a 50-year-plus career. In 1954 and ’55, he made five starts in NASCAR Grand National [now Sprint Cup] competition. Upon being inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Hood, who routinely gave his trophies away to those young fans, told an interviewer: “I’ve had a great life and I wouldn’t do anything different except to try and run a little faster and that would be hard to do.” The funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday at Bartlett Baptist Church. See full obit at the Memphis Commercial Appeal.(Memphis Commercial Appeal)(12-27-2012)
- Sad News – Curtis Crider: Another link to NASCAR’s hardscrabble past is gone. Curtis Crider didn’t turn many heads with the results he produced during the seven seasons he raced on NASCAR’s big-league circuit. But he always had a following, which is expected when you’re tagged with one of the best nicknames in the sport’s history: “Crawfish.” Curtis “Crawfish” Crider, who called [the Daytona area] home since the late 1960s, died Friday under hospice care in Edgewater. He and his wife of 35 years, Louise, lived in Ormond Beach. Crider was 82. Crider, originally from Abbeyville, S.C., made 232 starts between 1959-65 in NASCAR’s top division, then known as the Grand National Series. All but seven of those starts came from 1960-64. His best season was in 1964, when he competed in 59 of 62 races, scored seven top-fives and finished sixth in the final points standings. The colorful Crider left the national touring series but didn’t leave racing. He soothed his competitive itch on the short tracks of Florida, using the old Volusia County Speedway in Barberville as his home base. He captured the Florida State Championship three consecutive years (1972-74), winning 52 short-track features in that stretch.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(12-23-2012)
- Sad News – Doug Agee: Hunter Douglas Agee passed away on November 01, 2012. He was born on August 16, 1928 to Charles Elkin Agee and Sara Torrance Agee in Farmville, VA. He was preceded in death by a brother Charlie and two sisters; Estelle and Edith. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Betty Agee, his sister Colleen (Bill) Rixey of Greenville, SC and numerous nephews and nieces. After honorable service in the United States Marine Corp, Doug had two very successful sales careers, first at Liggett and Myers Tobacco in Maryland, then for 20 years at Goody’s Manufacturing Corporation in Winston-Salem, NC. Agee directed Goody’s sales and marketing for NASCAR Racing and he was a cherished member of the NASCAR family. He was a former member of the Twin City Lions Club as well as a member of the Knollwood Baptist Church/Roddick Sunday School class. A memorial service will be held at Salemtowne Smith Saal on November 5 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a reception. A private interment will be held at Knollwood Baptist Church Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Knollwood Baptist Church, 330 Knollwood Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 or the Salemtowne Financial Assistance Fund, 1000 Salemtowne Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106. Obiturary and online condolences at www.hayworth-miller.com. At Martinsville Speedway, the Doug Agee Award used to be given out, which the Goody’s Headache Powders brand created to be given to a person or persons who most embodies the value and spirit of Doug Agee and was presented annually at Martinsville Speedway.(11-4-2012)
- Sad News – Jennie Grayson: Mrs. Jennie Jordan Grayson, 54, of Mocksville, N.C. passed away Friday, October 26, 2012 at Duke Medical Center after a courageous seven year battle with cancer. She owned with her husband [Ronnie] and daughter, C.J.R Products, Inc., in Clemmons, N.C., builders of power steering components for NASCAR. Surviving are her husband, Ronnie Grayson; a daughter, Christin Grayson Reece and husband, Kristopher; a granddaughter, Charlotte “Cha-Cha” Reece; her parents of Beckley, W. Virginia; a brother, Keith Jordan; a sister-in-law, Cindy Jordan; and many other family members. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at Cooleemee First Baptist Church with Rev. Tommy Register officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Monday at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the Adult Bone Marrow Clinic, 2400 Pratt Street, Durham, N.C. 27705. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com.(service info and full obiturary at the Winston Salem Journal)(10-29-2012)
- Sad News – Charlie Mitchell: The sport of auto racing lost one of its greatest ambassadors Thursday night with the passing of Charlie Mitchell, former sports editor and longtime writer at The Hour Newspaper (Norwalk CT). Mitchell, 74, was a fixture on the pages of his hometown paper for more than four decades in both news and sports. A lifelong resident of Norwalk, Mitchell began working at The Norwalk Hour (as it was known then) in 1969, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. He kept readers abreast of the latest happenings in the world of NASCAR, which was going through its popularity boom. “I never missed a Daytona 500,” he said in 2010 of the sport’s showcase race every February. He also served as a board member of the National Motorsports Press Association and was a member of the nomination and selection committee for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum at Talladega Speedway. Mitchell retired from The Hour in 2001 after a 32-year career, but he continued writing his auto racing column every Sunday. His final column appeared on Nov. 28. 2010.(The Hour), full obiturary and service info at legacy.com
- Sad News – Pam Jenkins: Longtime Indianapolis-based broadcaster Bob Jenkins and friends are mourning the loss of his wife, Pam, who died Thursday evening due to a rare form of brain cancer. She had been in and out of the hospital since April. The Jenkins were married 44 years, and she was his pride and joy, at her side throughout this difficult period. He announced his retirement in a bid to spend more time with her. They did not have children. The Liberty, Ind., native and Indiana University graduate is known for his work with ESPN, NASCAR, IndyCar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the NBC Sports Network.(Indianapolis Star)
Pam was active in several charitable groups including the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild, CARA (Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary), and was always ready to give her time to any group that helped animals. She is survived by her husband Bob; sister, Barbara of Indianapolis and sister, Sharon of Seminole, FL. Pam was preceded in death by her mother, father and brother, Malcolm, service info, obituaray and condolences at the Indianapolis Star.(10-26-2012)
- Sad News – Bob Pickell: Robert F. Pickell, age 78 years, of Flemington, NJ, died Tuesday, October 9, 2012, in The Pavilion at Forrestal, Princeton, NJ. Born in Trenton, NJ, April 10, 1934, son of the late Jacob Pickell and Helen Wyckoff Pickell Olenick, he had resided in the Flemington area all his life except for ten years in Florida before returning to Flemington in 2000. He was a well-known, successful race car driver, especially stock cars, and won countless races during his racing career. He also raced in the Daytona 500. He was inducted into the Flemington Speedway Hall of Fame and also the Garden State Hall of Fame. For many years, he owned and operated Flemington Glass Co., retiring twenty-five years ago.
Surviving are his wife, Connie Ploski Pickell; a son, Robert L. Pickell of New Egypt, NJ; a daughter, Brenda Pickell of Norfolk, Va.; his former wife, Carol Higgins of Norfolk, Va.; four brothers, William Pickell of Branchville, NJ, Jack Pickell of Farmville, Va., Paul Olenick of High Bridge, NJ, and Charles Olenick of Atlanta, Ga.; two step-daughters, Renee Melbourn of Chicago, Il. and Deanna Cadic of Flemington, NJ; four grandchildren, Nicholas Pickell, Jessica Schnitzler, Brittany Hensley and Eric Melbourn, and one great grandchild, Mya Schnitzler.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 10:00 AM in the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main Street, Flemington, NJ followed by interment in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Flemington, NJ. Calling hours will be Friday 2:00-4:00PM and 7:00-9:00PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, NY,NY 10001 or the charity of one’s choice.(Hunterdon County Democrat), Pickell ran three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 1957 with a best finish of 11th at Bristol.(10-10-2012)
- Sad News – Gordon Haines: Gordon E. Haines, 91, of Yakima, WA died Wednesday. Mr. Haines was born in Kiester, Minn., and served in the U.S. Marine Corp. He lived in the Yakima area most of his life, where he owned and operated Bi Rite Motors for more than 50 years. Survivors include his wife, Elaine Haines of Yakima; two sons, Ron Crawford of Yakima and Larry Crawford of Florence, Ariz.; two daughters, Terri Zorrozua and Patti Gridley, both of Yakima; two sisters, Darlene Lumsden of Vancouver, Wash., and Dorie Yahn of Prosser; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be at noon Oct. 13 at Valley Hills Funeral Home, Yakima.(yakima-herald.com), Gaines ran seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 1956 with a best finish of 2nd at Eureka.(10-7-2012)
- Sad News – Margaret Frank: Margaret Gilreath Frank, 62, widow of Larry Frank, died Friday, September 28, 2012. She was the owner of Larry Frank’s Auto Body Works, Inc., as well as L & M Storage Facilty. In addition to her mother, she is survived by two sons, Robin Jernigan, of Piedmont, and Larry Joe Frank, of Greenville; one brother, Steve Gilreath, of Belton; and two grandchildren, L.J., and Adam Frank. Larry Frank was a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver from 1986-1966, running 103 races winning the Southern 500 in 1962. See the full obituary, services (Oct 2) and condolences info at the Greenville Online.(9-30-2012)
- Sad News – Chris Economaki: The Dean of American Motorsports Journalism has died. Chris Economaki, who began selling single copies of National Speed Sport News at age 14 and eventually became the publication’s editor, a position he held for 60 years, died early [Friday] morning at age 91. His column, the Editor’s Notebook, was the most read feature in National Speed Sport News for six decades, and while Economaki’s contribution has been minimal in recent years, the Notebook, as it is called by readers, continues to be the most meaningful read in the newspaper, which debuted in 1934 when Economaki was 13 years old. Economaki was also well known for his unique, recognizable voice, which he used first as a track announcer and later through nearly 40 years on television. He worked with ABC’s Wide World of Sports, he was with CBS and ESPN, and it can be said he was one of the catalysts in bringing racing to television. It is not an oversimplification to say he knew racing and knew how to speak about it. Economaki worked races around the world for ABC through the 1983 season when he made the jump to CBS where he appeared through the mid 1990s. He also worked worldwide Formula One telecasts for ESPN in 1987 and 1988. Through the years Economaki has received countless awards including the NASCAR Award of Excellence, and been elected to numerous Halls of Fame, most notably the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was preceded in death by his wife Tommye and is survived by his two daughters – Corinne and Tina – and two grandchildren. Arrangements are pending.(National Speed Sport News)(9-28-2012)
Statement from Brian France: “The passing of Chris Economaki is a tough loss for me on both a personal and professional level, having known Chris throughout my life. Many people consider Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time. He was, indeed, ‘the Dean.’ Chris was a fixture for years at NASCAR events, and played a huge role in growing NASCAR’s popularity. I’ll miss seeing him and of course, I’ll miss hearing that voice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters Corinne and Tina and the rest of Chris’ family.”(NASCAR)(9-28-2012)
AND In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the International Motor Racing Outreach Center, 610 South Decatur St. Watkins Glen, N.Y., 14891.(10-2-2012)
- Sad News – Dick Fleck: A Memorial Service for Dick Fleck, 80, Daytona Beach, who died on September 26, 2012 in Daytona Beach, will be held on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. The memorial service will be held at Racing’s North Turn Restaurant, 4511 South Atlantic Avenue, Ponce Inlet, FL. The service will begin at approximately 1:15pm. Condolences may be sent to Ken Fleck, 12 Fairview St., Stowe, PA 19464.(Daytona Beach News Journal obit at the Mercury)(9-30-2012)
- Sad News – Bob Newton: Bob Newton, Founder of Hoosier Racing Tires in Plymouth, IN, died Wednesday afternoon at his home at the age of 85. Newton and his wife, Joyce, started Hoosier Racing Tire in 1957. The company currently ships to over 70 countries and has warehouse distributer’s all over the world. Newton was a racer before a businessman, and he saw a need for better tires. The business has become the world’s largest race tire manufacturer and one of the largest employers in Marshall County. Bob Newton’s impact in Michiana is great. He’s always a man who wanted to give. Newton was the main donor behind Newton Park and the Newton Center. He also started the Little Hoosier 100 race. And those he’s helped along the way have given back. Including reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who frequently comes into to town to support the Newton’s. Just two years ago, Stewart presented Bob with a $10,000 check for Newton Park as a way to say thanks for everything. Newton is survived by his wife Joyce, four children and many grandchildren and great children. Funeral arrangements are pending (wndu.com). Hoosier Tire supplied tires to the NASCAR Srpint Cup Series in 1988-1989 and again for part of the 1994 season.(Hoosier Tire)(9-27-2012)
- Sad News – Cecil Gordon: Cecil Owen Gordon, 71, passed away in his home in Lexington, NC on Sept. 19, 2012, after a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Elaine, of the home; sons, Douglas Gordon (Susan) and Tyler Carpenter, all of Morganton, NC; daughter, Stefanie Gordo, of Durham, NC and son, Jonathon Gordon, of the home; a brother, Lee Gordon (Joyce), of Mills River, NC, and a sister, Carolyn Carland (Wayne), of Mills River, NC. Cecil spent his career of 40 years in NASCAR, first, as an independent driver and team owner, then as crew member of R. Childress/Dale Earnhardt team, then the Travis Carter Team until his retirement. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Autism Society of NC and Hospice of Forsyth County.(Blue Ridge Now/Times News)
Gordon ran 449 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1968 thru 1985 with no wins, 29 top fives, 111 top tens and finished 3rd in the Championship points stanings in 1971 and 1973.(Racingreference.info)(9-20-2012)
- Sad News – Harold Dunaway: Harold Dunaway, who recently passed away at age 78, competed only once at NASCAR’s top level. The Gastonia native drove a Plymouth in the Peach Blossom 500 at Rockingham, qualifying 36th and placing 40th in a field of 44. Paul Goldsmith won that race on March 13, 1966. Glenn Dunaway, his father, who died in 1964, occupies a footnote in NASCAR history. The elder Dunaway took the checkered flag in the very first race of what is now the Sprint Cup Series but had the outcome overturned and the victory handed to Jim Roper. Glenn Dunaway competed in 18 races over three seasons, 1949-51, and finished in the top five three times. On May 30, 1950, he finished second to Bill Rexford in a race run in Canfield, Ohio. Harold Dunaway won many races at short tracks in the Gastonia area and also competed in the old Permatex 300, for many years the chief preliminary race leading up to the Daytona 500. He had many other opportunities but, as longtime friend Charles Craig recalled, “With two young children, he wanted to stay in Gastonia and help his dad and brother Henry run the family shop.”(Gaston Gazette), see the full obituary at the Gaston Gazette.(9-9-2012)
- Sad News – Jerry Grant: Jerry Grant, a 10-time competitor in the Indianapolis 500 and the first person to turn an official lap faster than 200 mph in an Indy car, died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 77. Grant, a prominent American road racer, turned his historic 201.414-mph lap in 1972 at Ontario, Calif. But he is probably best remembered for nearly winning the 1972 Indianapolis 500. Grant led at the 188-lap mark when he had to pit to replace a tire which was losing air. Instead of pitting in his stall, he went to the adjoining one of Unser, who had retired much earlier in the day. Whether or not Grant actually took on any fuel from Unser’s refueling tank is up for discussion, but the hoses were momentarily hooked up, and it became known that the tank in his own pit was apparently empty, the maximum allotment of 275 gallons having been exhausted. While Grant did finish the 500 miles, taking the checkered flag in second place behind Mark Donohue, officials subsequently disallowed Grant’s final 12 laps, thus dropping him from second to 12th. Grant also raced in 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1965-1974 with two top-five finishes in cluding the 1967 Daytona 500.(IMS)(8-13-2012)
- Sad News – Lois Tyler: Lois J. Tyler, 81, of Pennsylvania, passed away Thursday (Aug. 9, 2012) at the Kane Community Hospital following a brief illness. She was married Carl A. Tyler, who passed away Jan. 6, 1993. Along with many other jobs, she also worked in her husband’s mechanic business in Daytona Beach and Murphy, N.C. She spent many years as a NASCAR Legends Driver. Lois and her husband were active and involved with NASCAR for their entire life. Lois Tyler participated in the NASCAR Women’s National Championship Compact Car Race held January 31, 1960, at the Daytona International Speedway. Lois drove the #69 Studebaker Lark coupe. The racecourse for this race consisted of both the oval track as well as the road course. Lois finished 7th out of 7 entries. Lois has a lifelong interest in automobile racing. Her father, Ray Schimp, was a race track owner in Bradford. He opened a quarter mile racetrack in 1953. In 1957 the track was relocated and expanded to a half mile in length. Ray remained active in the operation of the track into the 80’s. Lois was a scorer for Richard Petty at Daytona for 17 years. She was an active member of the Living Legends of Auto Racing club. Lois’ husband, Carl Tyler raced for 25 years. He began in Pennsylvania, raced in the NASCAR Grand National Division, the last race on the beach, 1958, and the first Daytona 500 at the new speedway, in 1959. Carl raced in the NASCAR Sportsman Division from 1960 through 1969. He continued to race on area tracks in Florida until 1978. Carl races 12 Sprint Cup Series race in 1958-1959 with a best finish of 11th at Wilson Speedway.
Service info, online condolences and obituary can be found at www.framefuneralhome.com.(Bradford Era)(8-13-2013)
- Sad News – Buck Simmons: Buck Simmons,66 , winner of over 1,000 feature events in a career that spanned over five decades, passed away Sunday [August 12th] morning. Simmons, a member of both the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and the National Dirt Racing Hall of Fame, was born July 31, 1946. Simmons competed several times in the famed Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL in the seventies, with his best effort coming in 1977, when he finished second to fellow Georgia Racing Hall of Famer Ronnie Sanders. Simmons competed on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit in several events (eight) in 1979 and 1980, including events at Atlanta, Ontario, Rockingham, Bristol, Darlington, Martinsville, Talladega. He also competed in events in what is now known as the K&N Pro West Series, at Phoenix and Ontario, the latter of which he won the pole for.(more at Raceweek Illustrated), for services and obituary, go to mcgaheegriffinandstewart.com.(8-13-2013)
- Former Cup driver killed in North Dakota: Jerry Schild, shot and killed at a Tioga [North Dakota] man camp Saturday, was a “local legend” in Texas racing, according to a close family friend. New charges were filed Monday against suspect Victor Scott Lamont, 24, of Lufkin, Tex. Lamont was charged with two counts of Terrorizing, along with the previous counts of Murder and Attempt – Murder, Williams County Sheriff Chief Deputy Verlan Kvande said. Thirty-eight-year-old Travis William Lomax, of Fort Smith, Ark., was also released from Trinity Hospital Monday, Kvande said. The sheriff and emergency medical personnel first responded to the Wanzek man camp for the shooting Saturday night at about 10:15 p.m., according to a press release Monday.
John Mandabach’s family owns the Houston Motorsports Park racetrack, where Schild has won “many, many races,” Mandabach said. The track will dedicate the Aug. 18 double feature to Schild, as it has also done for other lost members of the racing family, and plans to name each of the features at the NASCAR Fiesta Modified the “Jerry Schild 40.” The event will also feature a moment of silence for Schild and Mandabach said believes nearly everyone will remember him. Mandabach knew Schild for about eight years and said his extended family has long been part of the racing legend in Texas. “The name Schild in Texas and racing are hand in hand,” he said. “I think they’re born with the race-car and steering wheel in their hand.” Mandabach said Schild briefly raced with NASCAR’s Sprint Cup [1974 five races with a best finish 8th at Darlington] in the 1970s and has won “many, many” races over the years in Houston.(Williston Herald)(8-9-2012)
- Sad News – Brian Zimmerman: The man killed by lightning Sunday during the Pennsylvania 400 was a 41-year-old husband and father of three who was helping to pack items into a minivan when the bolt struck during a heavy thunderstorm. Brian Zimmerman of Moosic, near Scranton, collapsed and could not be revived despite the efforts of an off-duty paramedic and raceway firefighters who were nearby and witnessed the strike, according to the Monroe County coroner and raceway officials.(Morning Call)
AND Brian Franklin Zimmerman, age 41, of Moosic, PA, died tragically and unexpectedly Sunday evening at Pocono Raceway. He is survived by his loving wife, the former Marion Jones. The couple would have celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary on August 12th. He is also survived by his three children, two sons, Cole Patrick and Chase Randolph, and daughter, Lana Christine, all at home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Brian’s name to a trust to Benefit the Family of Brian Zimmerman, care of Fidelity Banks of Northeastern Pennsylvania. See the full obituary at kearneyfuneralhome.com.(8-8-2012)
- Sad News – Steve Parsons: Harold S. “Steve” Age 66 Died peacefully on August 6, 2012 with his family by his side. Born September 13, 1945 in North Wilkesboro, NC, Steve was a lifelong Detroiter who was proud of his North Carolina roots and spent as much time as he could “down home.” Steve was preceded in death by his Parents, Harold and Hazel, and his brothers [NASCAR great] Benny and Richard. Steve operated Metropolitan Cab Company in Detroit for his entire adult life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michigan Animal Rescue League (MARL), Michigan Humane Society, or Shriners Children’s Hospital. See the full obituary for info and services at modetzfuneralhomes.com.(8-8-2012)
- Fans struck by lightning after race: UPDATES: Three fans were struck by lightning following the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Pocono Raceway. According to a witness, they were struck outside the track. Track spokesman Bob Pleban confirmed that three people were injured and two were transported to a local hospital. One was treated at the track care center and released. Pleban said he could not release the names nor the condition of those injured, who were hit during a massive thunderstorm that forced the race to be halted after 98 of 160 laps.(Sporting News)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE: Officials at Pocono Raceway say 10 people attending Sunday’s NASCAR race were injured in a lightning strike in the parking lot behind the grandstand, and two are in critical condition. Pocono spokesman Bob Pleban says it’s not clear if all 10 were actually struck by lightning. It’s unknown whether one or multiple lightning strikes occurred. Pleban says five people were treated at the scene. He says one person was taken to Pocono Medical Center and another to Lehigh Valley, where they were in critical condition. The conditions of the other three are unknown.(Associated Press)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE 2: One fan was killed and nine others were injured as a result of lightning strikes following Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Track officials said the name or gender of the fan killed could not be released until family members were notified. They said the fan was pronounced dead on arrival at Pocono Mountain Medical Center in Stroudsburg. One other fan is in critical condition at Lehigh Hospital in Allentown. The other eight are being treated and evaluated for minor injuries at local hospitals.(ESPN.com)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE 3 – Pocono Statement: As reported yesterday, a long time member of our Pocono Raceway family, a spectator has passed away following a lightning strike. According to Monroe County Coroner Robert Allen the name of the deceased is 41 year old Moosic, Pennsylvania resident Brian Zimmerman Additionally; nine other individuals were transferred to local hospitals as a result of two separate lightning strikes.
At approximately 5:01 p.m. Eastern Time, the first lightning strike occurred on property inside our Grandstand Parking area, located near Gate 5A. A Pocono Raceway Grandstand Fire unit was stationed in the vicinity and witnessed the actual strike. The response was immediate as the unit reported the incident to our control tower and advised spectators were injured. CPR was started immediately to Mr. Zimmerman by a friend on the scene.
Within a matter of 3 minutes, medical personnel and additional emergency services reported on the scene and took control of treatment to individuals. EMT responders were approached by additional individuals who reported symptoms related to the lightning strike. Those affected were taken to the Raceway Medical Centers, where they were examined and transported to local area hospitals for treatment and further evaluation. A total of nine individuals were treated as a result of the initial lightning strike.
At approximately 6:35 p.m. Eastern Time, the control tower was notified of a second possible lightning strike in the vicinity near Gate 3. The individual was immediately transported to Pocono Raceway’s Infield Medical Center where they were initially treated for minor injuries before being transported to Pocono Medical Center in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania for further evaluation.
At this point in time, the one individual that was in critical condition has now been upgraded to stable. Some have been treated and released. Others involved are pending release as early as today and all are in good spirits. The safety of all guests to Pocono Raceway is of the utmost importance to our entire staff. This tragic event is at the forefront of all of our thoughts and prayers. We will learn from the incident and continue to implement strategies to help ensure the safety of fans and all attendees at future events at Pocono Raceway.
- Sad News – Biddle Ridley: Mr. Biddle Ridley, 72, of Chatsworth, GA, died Monday, July 30, 2012. He was the brother of former Sprint Cup race winner and rookie of the year (1980) Jody Ridley. Service details and obituary at shawnchapmanfh.com.(8-2-2012)
- Sad News – Hinky Eanes: Henry “Hinky” Lee Eanes, Jr., 64, of 112 Ridgeway Drive, Danville, VA died Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 5:19 a.m. in Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after losing a hard fought battle with cancer for the past 6 months. He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Marilyn Weakley Eanes of the residence. In addition to his wife he is survived by his special sons, Brian Scott Davis and Ronald Kevin Davis, special children, Matthew Aaron Carter, Kimberly Jane Carter, Mitzi Wyatt Cassidy and Marcia Love Wyatt Chattin, and Chris Stowe; one sister, Jeannette Eanes Toler of Danville, VA and a nephew, Gary Lee Toler; two uncles, George Glenn Eanes, James “Skip” Eanes and one aunt, Algie Eanes Phelps and numerous cousins.
Eanes first racing was with the late Layton Bacon and the Kentucky Fried Chicken car driven by the late Jimmy Griffin of Eden, NC. In early 1978 he began working with Junior Johnson’s team with Cale Yarborough as the driver. They won three consecutive NASCAR Championships with Cale. In 1981 he went to work for Travis Carter with Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds’ Skoal Bandit team with Harry Gant as driver. In 1990 he worked with the team owned by Bill Edwards which had been purchased from Hal Needham. With this team he and Travis Carter worked with Rick Mast as driver. In 1990-1992 he worked with drivers Butch Miller and “Mr. Excitement” Jimmy Spencer. From late 1992 and 1993 Hinky worked with Bill Davis Racing with Bobby Labonte as driver. In 1994 reunited Hinky with Travis Carter and teams sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Camel brand cigarettes with Hut Strickland as driver. Jimmy Spencer later became the driver for the team. In 1999 Darrell Waltrip joined the team with Jimmy Spencer. He worked with Travis Carter’s team through the time of Travis’s retirement in 2003. When his dear friend Travis retired, Hinky too retired. He did not want to race any more without Travis Carter. He enjoyed so much reliving all their fun experiences at every track they visited throughout the years. He never met a stranger and loved everyone and was loved by all who knew him in the NASCAR community. Hinky did continue to help Travis with his son Matt Carter racing in the Hooter’s Pro Cup series through 2007. Hinky served in the United States Air Force from November 1966 to November 1970, serving during the Viet Nam conflict. Service info and full obituary atnorrisfuneral.com.(7-31-2012)
- Sad News – Bill Slater: It was learned Sunday, July 15 that New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member “Wild Bill” Slater has passed-away. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey. He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job. He won the 400 mile race at Trenton New Jersey four times, and was a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotional side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. More info at yankeeracer.com.(7-16-2012)
- Sad News – Wallace Pearson: Wallace Edward (Ike) Pearson [father in-law of NASCAR artist Garry Hill] went home to be with the Lord on July 10, 2012. Pearson, worked with a major timber company. He moved his young family from state to state following the company for timber harvest. Ike lost both his parents at an early age. Ike Pearson was always proud of his Irish heritage and the strong work ethic instilled in him as a child. As a young man Ike travelled and worked through many of the western states such as Oklahoma and Texas and even ventured into Mexico. After a short stay in Mexico, he moved to Pennsylvania to work in the shipyards before finally settling in Florida. He worked in Mount Dora, Florida and then travelled back up north to Jacksonville to work with the Great Southern Trucking Company. His fondness for horses and cattle led him to follow his dream. At Great Southern, Ike met Cherrie Fish. They married and together worked to build a small ranch in western Jacksonville, FL. As a businessman, he opened Ike’s Ranch Supply to serve his neighbors in the Whitehouse area with their livestock needs. Ike is survived by his wife of 64 years, Cherrie Fish Pearson. He is also survived by his daughter Pamela Hill and her husband Garry from Mooresville, NC. His two grandchildren are Austin Hill and his wife Morgan from Mooresville, North Carolina, and Cameron Hill from Fleming Island, Florida. He is also blessed with many In-Laws, cousins, nieces nephews and a multitude of friends. Service info and full obituary at Florida Times Union (7-14-2012)
- Sad News – Lynda Havens: Calling hours and a memorial service celebrating the life of longtime motorsports public relations representative and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Staff member Lynda Havens are scheduled for Tuesday evening, July 10 at Brickyard Crossing Pavilion at IMS. Havens, a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, died suddenly at home July 3. She was 60. Havens worked in professional motorsports public relations for race teams, sanctioning bodies and racetracks for more than 30 years, primarily in open-wheel and sports-car racing. Butler University graduate Havens was a member of the IMS Media Staff during events at the Speedway for more than 20 years. She was instrumental in creating the Indianapolis 500 News Bureau, which distributed daily driver updates and features to global media throughout the Month of May, in 1998. She continued to work as the lead editor of the News Bureau through this May. Havens also volunteered at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska in a variety of roles, including news reporting, Internet chat room moderation and sled-dog handling at the starting line in Anchorage. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Gary; brother, Eric Sharpnack; sister, Dianne Stephenson; stepfather, Robert Johnson; and several nieces and nephews. More info at flannerbuchanan.com.(IMS)(7-9-2012)
- Sad News – Don Cope: Donald Ray Cope of Spanaway, WA, father of 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, passed away on June 21, 2012. In November 2008, Don along with his son Derrike, were inducted into the North West Motor Sports Hall of Fame where he was recognized for his knowledge and talent. Through his love of the racing sport and his generosity, Don helped and encouraged many racers with their pursuit in auto racing. Don has become an icon in the Pacific Northwest racing world. Don is survived by his sons Derrike and Darren, daughter Tamara and (Dave) Lastoka, daughter in law Mary, granddaughters Amber, Angela, Ashley, and Taylor, Brother Jerry and (Chris), numerous nieces and nephews and by fans of auto racing throughout the Pacific Northwest. Service info and full obituary at Edwards Memorial.(6-27-2012)
- Sad News – Randy Stewart: Randal Lee “Randy” Stewart, 61, passed away Thursday, June 14, 2012 at his residence. Randy was born March 17, 1951 in Cabarrus County [NC] to the late Myrl Stewart and Fannie M. Stewart who survives. He worked in the early years for Eugene Coard, Ronald Liles, and Sox and Martin. Later years he worked for Hendrick Motorsports. Service info at whitleysfuneralhome.com.(6-16-2012)
- Sad News – Jackie Bickle Swartz: Jackie Bickle Swartz – ‘Ma Bickle’ – passed away at her Concord, NC home Thursday [June 14th] evening. Bickle Swartz was the mother of former NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series driver Rich Bickle, Per her directives, no public services will be held.(6-15-2012)
- Sad News – Cotton Owens: Former driver and car owner Cotton Owens passed away age 88 only weeks after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Owens will officially enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame when the enshrinement ceremonies happen on Friday, February 8, 2013. Owens will be joined by Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood, Buck Baker and Herb Thomas in this 4th class. Owens was more than successful behind the wheel, winning nine times in NASCAR’s premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course which marked Pontiac’s first NASCAR victory. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Lee Petty. Concurrently Owens raced NASCAR modified stock cars and won the 1953-54 championships. ut as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR’s early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, David Pearson.(CBS Sports)(6-7-2012)
STATEMENT FROM THE OWENS FAMILY:
“The family would like to express gratitude for the thoughts and prayers of precious friends and fans. While Cotton was a racing legend with an incredible racing “family,” we mourn the irreplaceable great granddad, granddad, father, uncle, brother-in-law and friend we have all lost. The family respectfully requests privacy at this difficult time.”
STATEMENT FROM BRIAN FRANCE, NASCAR CHAIRMAN AND CEO:
“NASCAR has lost one of its true pioneers, with the passing of Cotton Owens. On behalf of the France Family and everyone at NASCAR, I offer heartfelt condolences to Cotton’s family and friends. This is a sad day for the NASCAR industry, but we are all consoled by the fact that Cotton was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame before his death. Today we have lost a portion of our past. But people like Cotton Owens are the reason our sport thrives today — and can look forward to a promising future.”
STATEMENT FROM WINSTON KELLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NASCAR HALL OF FAME
“We lost one of NASCAR’s greats today. Our hearts go out to Cotton’s family, and we hope they find strength in the memories of his remarkable life and career. That career was topped off just a few weeks ago with his selection for the Class of 2013. In speaking to his grandson, Brandon Davis, he reiterated how much being an Inductee meant to Cotton and how much it lifted his spirit. I vividly remember when I first started following NASCAR in the early to mid-’60s watching his white and red No. 6 Dodge run up front with David Pearson and later Buddy Baker. I was just a child, but I still remember his car being a contender all the time. It was one of the ones to beat. In more recent years I remember how supportive he was of our initiatives. NASCAR recognized his career by inviting him to be an original member of our Voting Panel. You could always count on Cotton to be here for Voting Day and other hall events. He will be missed.”
STATEMENT FROM BUZ MCKIM, HISTORIAN NASCAR HALL OF FAME:
“Cotton Owens was one of the first heroes of NASCAR. He was exciting to watch, as he thrilled early-day fans with his patented broadsliding on dirt tracks. Not only a gifted driver, he was a fine mechanic and was a championship car owner. He also mentored many drivers, among them David Pearson. Another chapter of history closes today as the racing world has lost a great friend and pioneer, Everett “Cotton” Owens.”(NASCAR)(6-7-2012)
- Sad News – Tommy Earnhardt: RCR to run decals: Tommy Lee “Sy” Earnhardt, 63, of Concord, passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at home. The family will receive friends at Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord on Tuesday, June 5, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The funeral service, officiated by the Rev. Richard Payne, will follow in the Hartsell Funeral Home chapel at 7 p.m. Burial will be Oakwood Cemetery on Wednesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Tommy Lee “Sy” Earnhardt was born on Oct. 22, 1948, in Cabarrus County, to the late Martin Luther Earnhardt and Vernice Blackwelder Earnhardt. He was employed as an engine assembler for (ECR) Earnhardt Childress Racing and owner of Firehouse Racing Engines. His love was engines and he sometimes assembled them in motel rooms for well known drivers. “Sy” was also employed with Benfield Racing, Mike Curb Racing, Stavola Bros/Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Panther Racing/Derrick Close and Vasenook, among others before being employed at ECR. He is survived by a sister, Marsha E. Johnson; nephew, R. Martin Moss; step-son, Ryan Earnhardt; and his companion and high school sweetheart, Linda B. Preston. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Earnhardt family.(6-5-2012)
DECALS: All six Richard Childress Racing entries in this weekend’s NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway will carry decals honoring the memory of long-time RCR/ECR Engines employee Tommy Lee “Sy” Earnhardt. Earnhardt, 63, passed away June 2, 2012 at his home in North Carolina after a long illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord, c/o Tommy L. Earnhardt, P.O. Box 367, Concord, NC 28026; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081; or the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, P.O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, NC 27199.(RCR)(6-6-2012)
- Sad News – Don Ling Sr.: Donald C. Ling, 70, of Brick, died on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Brick, NJ. Ling was one of the premier race car owners at Wall Stadium in Wall Township and on the Northeast pavement racing circuit, with #X-6 and #66 Modifieds, during the 1970s and 80s. He was a benevolent sponsor of many drivers and teams, not only at Wall but at nearby New Egypt Speedway. Don Sr. became one of the prime influences on the NASCAR North careers of Martin Truex Sr. and Jr., and has also encouraged the NASCAR national career of Martin Jr.’s brother, Ryan Truex. Among the drivers/teams whose cars have run with the Ling Trucking sponsor banner are those of Dick Barney, Jimmy Blewett, Pete Brittain and Billy Pauch Sr. Ling also was a car owner in the [now] Nationwide Series from 1988-1998, his cars ran 32 races.(Asbury Park Press), service info and more of the obituary at legacy.com.(6-5-2012)
- Sad news – Blly Gill: Billy R. Gill, 78 of Sarasota, passed away May 11, 2012. Born June 1933 to the late Joe & Audrey Gill. Billy was a loving and devoted husband, Dad, Papa and friend. Billy enjoyed growing strawberries, fishing, racing and spending time with his family. Billy is survived by his loving wife of 33 years Shirley Gill, sons Bobby Gill of Concord N.C. [Truck Chief for the #5 Wauters Motorsports Ford], Tim Gill of Lakeland, Fl., Ron Gill ( Chris) of Young Harris, GA., Troy Smith of Sarasota, Jimmy Gill (Toni) of Sarasota, Steve Gill of Sarasota, Billy Joe (B.J.) Gill (Melissa) of Spring Hill, TN., six grandchildren. Billy was an avid stock car racer from 1954 until 1988. Billy who drove the # 24 was well known from SaraMana Speedway in Bradenton, Sunshine Speedway in St. Pete, and Golden Gate Speedway in Tampa.
SERVICES: see full obit for services and Guest Book at legacy.com.(5-14-2012)
- Sad News – Caroll Shelby: Carroll Hall Shelby, the Texan who created the famous Shelby Cobra and uncounted other high-performance machines that turned the auto world on its ear, and made it a whole lot more fun for 50 years, died in Dallas Thursday night at age 89. He had been hospitalized for pneumonia. Shelby, who affected the aw-shucks demeanor of the chicken farmer he once was, said, “I never made a damn dime until I started doing what I wanted.” What he wanted was, if you will, power for the people, automotively speaking. Beyond just his efforts in the small world of hot-rodding, Shelby influenced how Detroit automakers thought about high-performance, and he proved that hard work and bit of guile can make a hero. The litany of significant cars he created is long, running from the original 1962 AC Cobra – small British sports car with a big (for the times) Ford engine – through a sojourn at Chrysler and a stint with GM via a failed Oldsmobile-powered car, back to Ford. He was involved with development of Ford’s GT 500 Mustang, the 2013 version of which is certified as the most-powerful regular-production car in the world. Rumors began circulating about a health problem when the affable auto man failed to appear as scheduled at the New York auto show in early April to promote his latest creations, the 950-horsepower Shelby 1000 and the 1,100-hp Shelby 1000 S/C. Shelby published an update on his Facebook page in late April to say, in the vein of Mark Twain’s “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” that he had been hospitalized for pneumonia, but was “resting comfortably with family and working on getting better.”(USA Today)(5-11-2012)
- Sad News – Wayne Mosser Wayne R. Mosser, father of Amy Mosser (who works for Sprint Cup Driver #34-David Ragan) peacefully passed away at his home on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 surrounded by his loving wife of 50 years, family and friends. Born March 21, 1940, in Grantsville, he was the son of the late Carl E. and Alberta L. (Kahl) Mosser. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn M. (Blake) Mosser; one son, two daughters, two brothers, four sisters, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and relatives. Newman Funeral Homes, P.A., 179 Miller St., Grantsville, is in charge of arrangements. Expressions of sympathy may be directed to the Accident Volunteer Fire Department, Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad or Hospice of Garrett County.(5-7-2012)
- Sad News – Tia Lynne Liberati: Tia Lynne Liberati, 44, from Bellaire, OH, passed away Thursday, April 5th in Morgantown, W.Va. surrounded by her family. She is survived by her parents Dorothy and Anello Liberati; brothers Anello, Jr. “Smoker” and [NASCAR crew chief] Gio “Rambo” Liberati; numerous aunts and uncles; as well as nieces and nephews who affectionately referred to her as “Tia-Tia.”(4-14-2012)
MORE: She was born October 22, 1967 in Bellaire, Ohio a daughter of Anello and Dorothy Liberati. Tia was loved by everyone who knew her and will be greatly missed by her family. There will be no visitation or services. Final arrangements and inurnment will be held at the convenience of the family.(Times Leader)(4-15-2012)
- Sad News – Ellen Siska: Ellen (Slothour) Siska, 55, passed away following a long battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia on Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Midlothian, Va. Ms. Siska, formerly of York, PA was the devoted mother of Jonathan Shutz of Hanover, Hayden Siska of Calabash, N.C., and Hope Siska of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. She is survived by her parents, Betty and Robert Slothour of Hanover; and a sister, Elaine (Slothour) Scrobe of Midlothian, Va. She was preceeded in death by her son, Edward Siska; and her brother, David Slothour. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from York College of Pennsylvania in 2006, and wrote a weekly NASCAR column for the York Dispatch [and for ESPN’s NASCAR section and often linked on Jayski.com] until her diagnosis. A memorial service will be held at the Hanover Church of the Brethren at a time yet to be determined.(York Dispatch)(4-12-2012)
- Sad News – Dot Owens: Dot Owens, the wife of racing legend Cotton Owens, died Monday evening at her Spartanburg, SC home following a prolonged illness. She was 83. Funeral services are to be determined. Cotton Owens, 88, was one of NASCAR’s top engineers dating to the infant stages of the sport and built cars that won races and championships at the sport’s highest levels.(). From 1950 – 1964, Owens ran 160 Sprint Cup races and won 9. Owens was a car owner for 405 races, his drivers won 38 races and 1 championship with David Pearson in 1966.(4-10-2012)
SERVICES: see a full obit for services at legacy.com. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at Dunbar Funeral Home & Crematory(4-12-2012)
- Sad News – Thomas Kinkade: Artist Thomas Kinkade died Friday at age 54. Kinkade produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light that were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment. Kinkade died at his home in Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area of what appeared to be natural causes, said family spokesman David Satterfield. There was no immediate word on an official cause of death. Calls to the coroner’s office were not immediately returned. The newspaper said friends and family on Friday began planning a private service and were weighing a public celebration for a later date (ABC). Kinkade painted a few prints dealing with NASCAR including “This is Talladega” and NASCAR Thunder.(4-7-2012)
- Sad News – Harry Lee Hyde: Mr. Harry Lee Hyde [worked for many NASCAR Teams and with his father], 64, passed away Saturday, March 31, 2012, at his home, with his family by his side. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at Wilkinson Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Terry Faulkenbury officiating. The family will receive friends Wednesday, April 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home. Harry Lee was born May 14, 1947, in Louisville, Ky., to the late Harry S. Hyde [legendary NASCAR Crew Chief] and Florence Jennings Hyde. His loving family includes his wife, Dianne Reeder Hyde; daughters, Renee Pierre and her husband, Elbert, Tamara Lockhart and her husband, Todd, and Sheree Hyde-Hughes and her husband, Brian; son, Lee Hyde and his wife, Maria; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and brother, Ronnie Hyde of Charlotte. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Ln., Kannapolis, NC, 28081, or to West Cabarrus Church, 7655 Bruton Smith Blvd. NW, Concord, NC 28025. Condolences may be left at wilkinsonfuneralhome.com. Wilkinson Funeral Home is handling arrangements for the Hyde family.()(4-2-2012)
- Sad News – Mary Elizabeth Staley: Mary Elizabeth Staley, age 95, of Brown Ridge Road, North Wilkesboro, widow of NASCAR pioneer Enoch R. Staley, died Friday, March 30, 2012 at her home. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 1, 2012 at Fishing Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Darrell Poole officiating. Burial will be in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. Mrs. Staley was born February 16, 1917 in Wilkes County to Walter S. and Geneva Brooks Pennell. Before retiring, she was the ticket office manager at the North Wilkesboro Speedway. Mrs. Staley was a member of Fishing Creek Baptist Church. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Fishing Creek Baptist Church Organ Fund, 925 Old Hwy 60, Wilkesboro, NC 28697. On line condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.(3-31-2012)
- Sad News – Marie Foster: Marie Ann Foster, 72, of Mooresville, passed away on Monday, March 26, 2012 at Davis Regional Medical Center. She was born on February 2, 1940 in Akron, Ohio, to the late Jess and Elmira Miller Coffe. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, who enjoyed time with her grandkids. She is survived by her husband, Bill Foster; daughters, Lindy Hornaday and husband, Ron Hornaday Jr., Alicia Dyer and husband, Dennis, Missy Foster; sister, Elmira Coffe; brothers, Jess Coffe, Bobby Chesebrough; grandchildren, Ronnie, Jeremy, Candice, Travis, Chris, J.D., Jesse, Amanda; and great grandchildren, Lacey, Viktoria, Slater, Lily, Maddie, Scarlett, and Violet. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 29 from 2:00-4:00 PM at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home located at 494 E. Plaza Drive, Mooresville, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Salvation Army, 2318 Julia Ave, Charlotte, NC 28202.(3-27-2012)
- Sad News – Steve Bown: Divers recovered the body late this morning of Steve Bown from the underwater wreckage of his four-seater Cessna 350 plane, which crashed Friday afternoon into High Rock Lake in North Carolina. Karyn Martin also died in the Friday crash. Her body was recovered from the lake about an hour after the plane went down. Bown was president of Performance Springs Inc. of New Hudson, Mich. The company, which produces valve springs for engines, has strong ties to the racing industry, including NASCAR. The Cessna Columbia 350 took off from the Davidson County airport about 1:15 p.m. Friday, heading for Florida, and was only in the air briefly before crashing. Reports said the plane’s landing gear was still down. The couple apparently had flown from Commerce Township, Mich., the day before and spent the night in Davidson County so Bown could conduct business. A recent Popular Mechanics article credited Performance Springs with producing the steel spring that revolutioned NASCAR by providing engines with increased power. The spring’s job is to keep an engine valve closed. Performance Springs was founded in 1996, and Bown was lead engineer besides being the company president. The firm also provided springs for racing teams in IRL and NHRA Pro Stock.(Salisbury Post)(3-6-2012)
- Sad News – Rich Brenner: Rich Brenner, a FOX8 sports anchor for nearly 21 years, has died. Rich, a major part of the FOX8 Family for decades, died of a heart attack Monday night, according to his wife, Judy. He was 65 years old. Rich was attending the American Red Cross’s second annual “Salute to Heroes” event at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro when he collapsed. Paramedics at the event were unable to revive Rich, and he was pronounced dead at Moses Cone Hospital. Rich, who covered everything from NASCAR and the Panthers to the ACC and high school sports, joined FOX8 in 1987. He retired in April 2008. Rich, originally from Merchantville, New Jersey, was a United States Marine. He got started with broadcasting in 1967, between his sophomore and junior years of college, as a correspondent in Vietnam. Rich started in TV full-time in 1975 as a sportscaster in Lynchburg, Va. He later worked in Portsmouth, Va., Raleigh and Chicago before coming to FOX8. His awards included the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, three Southeast Regional Emmy awards, a National Iris Award and the Charlie Harville award. Once Rich retired from television, he did many public appearances, particularly those that saluted people in the community, including the military. Besides Judy, Rich is survived by a daughter, son and two grandsons.(for links to leave condolences and more info see myfox8.com.(2-28-2012)
- Sad News – Christopher Myers: The 19-year-old son of NASCAR on Fox studio host Chris Myers has been killed in a car accident. The network says Myers will not be part of Fox’s coverage of the season-opening Daytona 500. Christopher Myers was killed Thursday in Southern California, where the family resides. SPEED studio host John Roberts will replace Myers at Daytona International Speedway. Roberts will assume Myers’ responsibilities as host of Saturday night’s studio show before the Budweiser Shootout, during Sunday’s qualifying, and the pre-race show for the Feb. 26 season-opening Daytona 500. Fox says Myers will be given as much time off as he needs.(Associated Press)(2-17-2012)
UPDATE: 19-year-old Christopher Myers of Oak Park was a college honor student whose bright future seemed all but assured. On Feb. 16, Myers’ car ran off Kanan Road south of Latigo Canyon and crashed into a ravine about 100 feet below. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle. No official cause of the fatal crash was given. It was followed by a two-acre brush fire that firefi ghters quickly contained. The burned car and body were found near a trail that runs parallel to Santa Monica Montains national parkland, said Leland Tang, spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol.
Christopher Dakota Myers— who lived at home with his parents, Chris and Susan, and 17-year-old brother Alex—graduated from Oak Park High School in 2010 and was in his second year at Moorpark Junior College with an eye toward attending a four-year university. In high school, Myers was active with the theater department. Following in his father’s footsteps, he was an ardent sports fan and loved to follow the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. For the past three years he had been active as a volunteer with L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue in Agoura Hills, frequently taking dogs for walks and performing other services. People who would like to express condolences are asked to consider making a contribution to the L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue in Christopher Myers’ memory (www.lifeanimalrescue.com).()(2-25-2012)
- Sad News – Harold Elliott: Harold Elliott [no relation to Bill] passed at 10:30pm Tuesday 2/21 at home in Mooresville, NC with his family by his side – he was 64 yrs old. He was a NASCAR pioneer as a engine builder with over 80 wins at the top division, he won 5 cup championships 1975,76,77 with Cale Yarborough and Junior Johnson. He also won championship in 1981 with Darrell Waltrip and 1989 with Rusty Wallace. He retired from Penske Racing in 1991 and started HM Elliott Custom Precision Coatings. He spent the next 20 years building his company into one of the top performance coating providers in the racing business. His ideas and concepts will carry on for many years to come.
Visitation: Thursday, February 23rd, 6-8pm, Cavin Cook Funeral Home, 494 E Plaza Dr., Mooresville,NC with the funeral on Friday, February 24th at 2pm, Cavin Cook Funeral Home. Please send flowers and condolences to funeral home.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-22-2012)
- Sad News – Hettie Mae McClure: Hettie Mae McClure, 91, formerly of Chilhowie, Va., went to be with the Lord on Friday, Feb, 17, 2012, at Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, Tenn. She was born Jan. 6, 1921, to William Henry Lester and Sarah Loma Crigger Lester. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, James Millard McClure; granddaughter, Whitney McClure Cooper; and daughter-in-law, Nancy Jane Brown McClure. Survivors include her children, daughters, Loretta and James W. Cooper of Bristol, Va., and Betsy and Roy O. Rash of Las Vegas; sons, Edwin G. and Lee McClure of Bristol, Va., James E. McClure of Chevy Chase, Md., Larry A. and Ginny McClure of Abingdon, Teddy D. McClure of Chilhowie, Jerry W. and Sue McClure of Abingdon, Michael W. McClure of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Gerald D. McClure of Windsor, Clo.; nine grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter; and three step great grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in the Main Street Chapel of Farris Funeral Service with the Rev. Jerry Eggers and her grandson, Eric W. McClure officiating. Interment will follow in Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Chilhowie. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at the Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Wellmont Hospice House, 280 Steeles Road, Bristol TN 37620 or Highlands Fellowship Food Pantry, P.O. Box 553, Abingdon VA 24212. Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so by visiting www.farrisfuneralservice.com and signing the online guestbook. The family of Mrs. McClure is being cared for by Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon VA 24210 276-623-2700.(2-19-2011)
- Chip Bolin to Fill-In for Bob Osborne at Bud Shootout: Chip Bolin will serve as crew chief this weekend at Daytona International Speedway on the #99 Fastenal Ford with Carl Edwards due to the passing of Bob Osborne’s father. Osborne will return to Daytona next week to lead Edwards and the team in the Gatorade Duels and the Daytona 500. Bolin is currently the head engineer for Roush Fenway Racing and previously served at Matt Kenseth’s Sprint Cup crew chief.(RFR)(2-15-2012) Obit and Services: Robert L. Osborne Jr. passed away while at home on Saturday, February 11, 2012. Robert is best known for his love of nature and the outdoors. He enjoyed bird watching, and building his log cabin to be closer to the outdoors. He also enjoyed a passion for antique muscle cars. Robert leaves behind his wife of 19 years, Linda Charlene Osborne; two daughters, Jennifer Dreistadt of King George County and Jacqueline Vance of Stafford County; one son, Bob Osborne of Charlotte, NC; and three grandchildren, Mark and his wife, Celia, Rachael, and Seth. He also leaves behind two sisters, Susan Plewa and her husband, Rick of Pennsylvania and Karen Straut and her husband, Ron of Florida; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of other family and friends.
Robert’s family will receive friends for a memorial gathering at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday February 18,2012 at Found and Sons Funeral Chapels-Cremation Services 10719 Courthouse Road, Fredericksburg, VA. In lieu of flowers, Robert’s family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations in his name to Wildlife Rescue League, P.O. Box 704, Falls Church, VA 22040, wildliferescueleague.org. Online condolences may be expressed to Robert’s family at foundandsons.com.() (2-17-2012)
- Sad News – Glenn Carrier: Glenn Oscar Carrier, 85, of Bristol, TN, passed away Monday February 6, 2012 at Bristol Regional Medical Center. A native of Bristol, TN, he was a veteran having served in the US Navy during WWII. After his discharge from the Navy, he completed his high school education and graduated from Holston Valley High School. He worked as an electrician in the area, retiring from TVA. Glenn is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Betty Glover Carrier; two sons, Greg Carrier and wife Mary Carter Carrier, and Chris Carrier [NASCAR crew chief] and wife Valerie Miller Carrier both of Bristol, TN, brother, Bob “Slick” Carrier of Blountville, TN; sister, Minnie Lee Odum of Springfield, TN; three grandchildren, Jonathan Carrier and wife Krystal of Johnson City, TN; Katie Carrier Arnold and husband Josh, and Emily Carrier, both of Bristol, TN; great grandson, Carter Carrier and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 5:00pm until 6:45 pm, Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at Oakley-Cook Funeral Home. The funeral service will follow at 7:00pm. with and Rev. Tom Reed and Dennis Milhorn officiating. The committal service and entombment will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, February 9, 2012 in the Heritage Chapel of Memories at Glenwood Cemetery, with Military Honors provided by the Bristol VFW Honor Guard. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed by visiting Oakley-Cook Funeral Home. (2-8-2012)
- Parents Of NASCAR Official Killed: The parents of a NASCAR communications official have been killed in an apparent double homicide at their home in Ellerbe, N.C. Richmond County officials identified the dead as Edwin Arthur Richardson, 69, and his wife, Margaret, 69, of Ellerbe. Officials said the cause of death apparently was gunshots. The deaths were discovered Tuesday morning. The Richardsons were the parents of Kristi Richardson King, who is director of communications for NASCAR’s competition department. She previously worked in public relations positions at Talladega Superspeedway and North Carolina Speedway. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as the couple’s son, 44-year-old Anthony Richardson.(SPEED / WCNC)(2-7-2012)
SERVICES: A celebration of their lives will be held Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Ellerbe with Rev. Donald Daniel and Rev. Elizabeth Polk officiating. The family will see friends immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asked that donations be made to the Richardson Memorial Fund, c/o Fidelity Bank, P.O. Box 459 Ellerbe, N.C. 28338. Condolences may be made online at www.carterfuneral.net. Carter Funeral Home of Ellerbe is assisting the Richardson Family.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(2-10-2012)
- Sad News – Nicola Sue Kenseth: Nicola Sue Kenseth, age 63, beloved daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, died at Oak Park Place in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin on Tuesday morning, January 31, 2012, following a long battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She was born on March 26, 1948, in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, to the late Edmund Nasett and Audrey Loga Nasett. She attended school in Rockdale and Cambridge and graduated in 1966 from Cambridge High School. On October 21, 1966, she was united in marriage to Roy E. Kenseth, a lifelong resident of Cambridge, WI at the Albion Prairie Primitive Methodist Church. Nicki began her career at the Jefferson County Courthouse, but shortly after her daughter Kelley was born in 1968, followed by a son Matthew in 1972, she embraced life as a full time homemaker. As the kids got older, she worked as a medical receptionist for Dr. Victor Soderstrom in Fort Atkinson, at Pediatrics in Fort Atkinson, and at Wisconsin Fineblanking in Deerfield, WI as a receptionist. Nicki is survived by her husband, Roy, her children Kelley (Shawn) and Matt (Katie) and five grandchildren Ross, Amber, Evan, Kaylin & Grace. She is further survived by her mother Audrey Loga Nasett, Brothers John (Julie), Chuck (Teri), Bjorn, and Sister Cathy, in addition to numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. Funeral services for Nicki Kenseth will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 3, 2012 at Willerup Methodist Church, 414 N Water Street, Cambridge, WI 53523 with Pastor Brian Cook officiating. Relatives and friends are welcome at the Nitardy Funeral Home, Park Street, Cambridge, WI on Thursday, February 2, 2012 from 4-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established in Nicki’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, Agrace Hospice or Willerup Methodist Church. See complete obituary at Nitary Funeral Home.(2-1-2012)
- Sad News – Harold Pearson: Harold D. Pearson, 78, of Chesterfield, VA passed away on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife, Diane C. Pearson; son, Christopher (Michelle) Pearson; sister, Shirley (Jimmy) Mayes; granddaughters, Pauline and Nora; grandson, Atticus; and a niece, Jackie Putnam. Harold was a retired sportswriter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Richmond Animal League, 11401 International Dr., Richmond, Va. 23236 (Richmond Times Dispatch)
. Lanny Wadkins dealt with hundreds of journalists on a regular basis during his illustrious professional golf career. One of them, former Richmond Times-Dispatch staffer Harold Pearson, stood out to Wadkins. “I don’t think, with all of the sportswriters I’ve ever met or come across, I’ve ever felt like I trusted someone as much as I did Harold,” Wadkins, a Richmond native, said Wednesday. “He knew when I’d had a bad day, give me a little space. He understood. There aren’t many (sportswriters) I considered friends. I definitely considered Harold a friend.” Mr. Pearson, a Times-Dispatch sports staffer from 1965 to 1996, died Tuesday evening at 78 after a period of declining health. In addition to NASCAR and golf, sports on which his work focused, Mr. Pearson wrote about college and high school athletics. “During my time at the T-D, Harold was an integral part of our sports coverage,” said Bill Millsaps, Times-Dispatch sports editor from 1973 to 1991. “He had good contacts in his areas of responsibility — golf and NASCAR — and he used them to educate and entertain our readers.” Millsaps added that Mr. Pearson “was a kind and caring man,” a compliment seconded by Wadkins. For decades, Mr. Pearson reported on elite professional golf events, and is remembered by Wadkins as “someone who cared about the game of golf. More importantly, he cared about the people he wrote about, which made him truly special. “He left a nice legacy, he really did.” Following his time at the Times-Dispatch, Mr. Pearson edited Virginia Golfer, the official publication of the Virginia State Golf Association.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
Harold Pearson was part of the “in crowd’’ in NASCAR when I first showed up at Daytona in 1980. He was a good friend of recent Hall of Fame inductee Tom Higgins, then the dean of stock car sports writers, and his close corhort, Steve Waid, also a Hall of Famer in my book. These guys knew just about everything there was to know about what was then a southern sport. They knew the drivers, crew chiefs, car owners and most of the secrets. To become a functioning writer in those days, you had to get to know the insiders and, somehow, become one of them. Harold Pearson, who worked for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was one of the first of that crowd to accept me as a colleague and give me the kind of guidance that I needed. He was a fine writer and, beyond that, Harold was fun to be around.(Mike Harris/RacinToday)(1-29-2012)
- Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Pocono Raceway Patriarch, Passes: Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Pocono Raceway Founder and Chairman of the Board, passed away today at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, surrounded by his loving family, following a lengthy illness. He was 86. “Doc” as he was known to friends and associates, was one of the most respected and admired men in automobile racing. He founded Pocono Raceway in the early 1960’s and has been at the helm of Pocono ever since. Under his leadership, the track grew in stature and has hosted 68 very successful NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Events. His passion and drive helped Pocono Raceway succeed when other tracks fell by the wayside. Pocono Raceway is the only remaining family owned and run track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. He was always concerned that race fans and race car drivers and their families were treated with the upmost respect and constantly upgraded procedures and Raceway facilities to meet that goal.
He kept his fingers on the pulse of stock car racing and read everything printed concerning the sport. He was in the office daily, until last fall, and oversaw all aspects of the Pocono Raceway operations. At age 83, Dr. Mattioli spearheaded an ambitious solar energy project. He built a three megawatt photovoltaic solar energy system on 25 acres at Pocono Raceway. It is the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility, making Pocono Raceway a leader in the renewable energy and environmental fields.
Dr. Mattioli was also well respected in the community. In 2009, he received the Philanthropic Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his generous and continuous contributions to local civic organizations, hospitals, schools and charities. He served on the board of directors of numerous organizations and was dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
He served in the Pacific during World War Two as a Navy medic. Using the G.I. bill, he enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University (where he met his soon to be wife, Rose.) Upon graduation, he developed his dental practice into a very lucrative business by working 12 to 14 hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week. He then began investing in and developing properties in Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania where he became involved in the start up of Pocono Raceway.
Dr. Mattioli is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dr. Rose, daughters Louie and Michele and son Joseph Mattioli III, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His passing leaves a void in the NASCAR community and especially to his family and extended “Pocono Raceway” family. Service Arrangements for Dr. Joseph Mattioli are incomplete at this time.(Pocono Raceway)(1-26-2012)
Services / Arrangements for Dr. Joseph Mattioli:
Viewing: Pocono Community Church
Mount Pocono, PA
Sunday – January 29, 2012 4:30pm to 9:00pm
Monday – January 30, 2012 10:00am to 12noon Funeral: 1:30pm Mass of Catholic Burial
St Peter the Fisherman Roman Catholic Church
2111 Lake Drive
Lake Harmony, PA
Private entombment at the convenience of the family,
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
The NASCAR Foundation
Attention: Dr. Joseph Mattioli Memorial Fund
550 South Caldwell Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Mattioli Family statement regarding the large turnout this evening for the Dr. Mattioli viewing: “We all knew Doc touched many lives, but we are blown away by the amount of people who have come to pay their respects to the man we all loved so much. I think he would have been overwhelmed, as much as our family has been, on the number of people who have come here tonight. On behalf of our family and the employees of Pocono Raceway, thank you for your support, not only tonight but over these last few days. It means the world to us all.”(Pocono Raceway)(1-30-2012)
- Sad News – Benny Phillips: Benny Phillips, a veteran NASCAR reporter noted for his work in print and broadcast media, died Tuesday morning after a sudden illness. Phillips worked for the High Point Enterprise for 48 years, including the last 32 as sports editor until his retirement in January 2008. His work was also in display in a column he wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and his commentary for the television program MotorWeek Illustrated. Phillips also authored four books on motorsports, including “Determined,” a biography of Dale Earnhardt. His folksy, storytelling style of writing earned him accolades as a seven-time winner of the NMPA writer of the year award. Phillips also won NASCAR’s Buddy Shuman Award for outstanding contributions to stock-car racing in 1986. Funeral arrangements are to be determined.(NASCAR), see article at the High Point Enterprise(1-25-2012)
- Sad News – Mildred Marcum: Mildred Marcum, the co-founder and matriarch of ARCA who passed away shortly after her 98th birthday over the weekend, leaves behind an enduring legacy. A career in motorsports that began in the mid-1940s and spanned eight different decades was only extinguished by her passing. In fact, she worked in the home ARCA office on her birthday before celebrating with her family at home on Saturday. In 1953, John and Mildred Marcum founded a pair of motorsports companies in their home of Toledo, Ohio: the Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC), a sanctioning body for organizing and administrating races and licensing and insuring competitors which would evolve into the present-day Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA); and Marcum Promotions, formed to operate the grandstand side of the racing business advertising and promoting events, renting and leasing tracks for races, selling tickets and concession goods, arranging formarcumgramswithfrances.jpg sponsorships and managing tracks. While both Marcums were principals in each corporation, John specialized in racing-related matters while Mildred oversaw financial and administrative activities, a tandem effort which would exist until John’s death in 1981. In recognition of Mildred’s pioneering spirit over the decades. Lyn St. James, founder of ‘Women in the Winner’s Circle’, awarded Mildred with the first-ever Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award in 2005. The honor is annually awarded in Mildred’s name to deserving recipients, including NHRA co-founder Barbara Parks in 2006, NASCAR driver Louise Smith in 2008 and most recently Shirley Muldowney in 2011. More info at ARCAracing.com.(1-9-2012)
- Sad News – Wanda Lund: Wanda Lund-Early, the 63-year-old widow of former NASCAR legend Tiny Lund, was found shot to death Thursday night at her home in Waynesville, N.C., Police Chief Bill Hollingsed confirmed Friday. The wound appeared to be self-inflicted, Hollingsed said. “We are not going to make that final determination until we get word from the medical examiner and the autopsy is completed,” he said. Officers worked throughout the night on the investigation into the shooting, he said. Relatives contacted the police Thursday, concerned when Lund-Early did not respond to knocks and yells at her front door. According to the police report, her body was discovered when her brother, Dale Russell, arrived and climbed through an open window. She had no pulse and was confirmed dead by emergency medical technicians. Roland Via of Holly Hill, the webmaster for tinylund.com website who had been working on updates for the site with Lund-Early, said she was planning to be in Daytona Beach for February’s Speed Weeks to accept an award on behalf of her late husband from the Victory Lane Racing Association. Lund was the winner of the NASCAR Grand National East Series in 1973. The racer, who was 6-foot-5 and weighed 270 pounds, once helped save fellow driver Marvin Panch’s life in a daring feat of bravery at Daytona International Speedway in 1963. A grandstand at the Daytona International Speedway is named for Lund, who died in a 1975 crash at Talladega Superspeedway. Lund-Early is survived by Chris Lund, her son with Tiny. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-6/7-2012)
SERVICES: A celebration of Wanda Lund’s life is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm in Waynesville, NC at the First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Racing Legends Medical Fund, established in 1991 to assist with the needs of life hardships for those who have committed their life to professional stock car racing and others who worked in racing. To leave a message or see the obituary go to tinylund.com.(1-9-2012)
- Sad News – Steve Foaster: Stephen Bruce Foster, Sr., 70, of 120 Skinner Rd., passed away Thursday, January 5, 2012 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. He was the son of the late Edward L. and Margaret Metcalf Foster. He was retired from McLean Trucking and Robert Yates Racing, a U.S. Army Veteran and former member of the South Carolina National Guard, and a member of Holston Creek Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife Betty Cannon Foster; son Steve Foster, Jr.; daughters Tina Crisp and husband Paul, Kaye Foster, Sharon Waldrep and husband Brian; brothers Reggie Foster and wife Dianne, Stan Foster and wife Karen; grandchildren Steffany Ogle and husband Kyle, Chelsea Gosnell, Turner Foster, Hannah Foster, Ava Grace Waldrep and great-granddaughter Emily Ogle. He was also survived by his special pets Casey and Buttons.
Graveside services will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens officiated by the Rev. Donnan Lawson and the Rev. J.B. Godfrey. The family will receive friends after the service at the cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Spartanburg Humane Society, 150 Dexter Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29303.(GoUpState.com)(1-6-2012)
- Death at Dakar: Today at 11:19 am, Argentinean rider Jorge Boero (motorcycle #175) was the victim of a fall at km 55 of the special of the first stage between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa. The rider suffered a cardiac arrest following his fall and was attended five minutes after the accident by the medical staff, who reached the place of the incident by helicopter. Despite their best efforts, the doctors were unable to resuscitate the pilot, who died while he was being taken to hospital. 38-year-old Jorge Boero was taking part in his second Dakar. In 2011, he withdrew from the rally during the sixth stage.(Dakar.com)(1-1-2012)