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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is watching a racer you know and are friends with getting hurt or killed! I saw all the postings about Mike Walker at the ADRL race and it brought back memories of Indy '96 and Blaine Johnson! Before his final pass he was sitting in his car waiting for the Tow Van to pull out of his pits to tow him to the lanes! We chatted for about a minute or so, he said "wish us luck" as they pulled away! The following day Elmer Trett gets killed, I had just met his Daughter Gina that morning. In a sport where fans have so much contact with the racers and their families you build such a bond. And you never know when you may speak to these guys/gals for the last time! When Steve Engel got killed at Indy a couple of years ago I remember seeking out his pits the next morning and seeing a lot of fans and crew people consoling each other, I had no idea Steve had passed away but that kind of gave it away. My last Girlfriend I used to take to the track used to tell me she was scared that a racer she had met might get Hurt or Killed. And wasn't sure how she would handle it! I'm just glad I didn't witness Scott Kalitta or Darrell Russell's crashes.
 

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Doesn't just have to be a sport but any profession but since you brought up drag racing I will stick to that. At FFW Ennis 2001 I briefly met Steve Grebeck in his pit, he was adjusting the clutch in "Psycho Bitch" and stopped what he was doing to chit chat with us. He asked how often I come to FFW and I tell him I plan my leave around it every year. He said well plan some next year we will be back. And then Orlando 2002 happened and you remember how such a small conversation meant so much in the long run.
 

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You're right. Racing has a way of humbling us. This is a sport that you can't take anything for granted. I've never had a personal friend die, but have had a few banged up pretty good. This is why I love this sport as you're always on a razors edge. May the good Lord watch out for each and everyone that drives in this sport.
 

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As long as we are sharing;

I was pulling into a local speed shop a few years back. Spotted a buddy of mine on a crotch rocket. Now knowing this guy he way I did, I knew he had no business being on a sport bike. I pulled up next to him and asked him what the hell he was doing? Said he was looking into trading the bike for his Fairlane.

Told him to go give that thing back and get his car. I remember him telling me "Don't worry, nothing is gonna happen". Later that evening, we are all at the track when the news comes that he had just wrapped the bike around a guard rail. Broke every bone in his body. Cops said he died instantly. :(
 

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Dad and I talked to Eric Medlen at Indy his rookie year. We probably talked with him for 10-15 minutes. Real down to Earth guy, easy to talk to. Talked to Scott Kalitta when he made his return in Top Fuel. He was a good guy as well.
 

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Had a friend that circle tracked with us sometimes he would stay at the house instaed of driving home tired.He would wake me as he dreamed of burning to death in the race car.He always told us all if it ever catches fire dont let him burn up in it.Sorry to say he burned to death in a plane crash. You never know when its the the last talk you have with someone. RIP Dave
 

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Doesn't just have to be a sport but any profession but since you brought up drag racing I will stick to that. At FFW Ennis 2001 I briefly met Steve Grebeck in his pit, he was adjusting the clutch in "Psycho Bitch" and stopped what he was doing to chit chat with us. He asked how often I come to FFW and I tell him I plan my leave around it every year. He said well plan some next year we will be back. And then Orlando 2002 happened and you remember how such a small conversation meant so much in the long run.
I met him the morning he was warming up the car to go make the runs (he was in a black short pants I remember - and looked so intent). I have pictures of him sitting in the car on the jacks. Met Hruska the same morning too, leaning on the passenger door bar talking to Grebeck. They seem not even bothered that we were in their pits so early before they could even put up their weldon/precision display tables. I told them we had travelled a long way to see them run.

My last car was named pyscho bitch (not many people really knew where the name came from). You do O.C.

Hell of a thing how impressionable some people can be on a person, I will concur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Doesn't just have to be a sport but any profession but since you brought up drag racing I will stick to that. At FFW Ennis 2001 I briefly met Steve Grebeck in his pit, he was adjusting the clutch in "Psycho Bitch" and stopped what he was doing to chit chat with us. He asked how often I come to FFW and I tell him I plan my leave around it every year. He said well plan some next year we will be back. And then Orlando 2002 happened and you remember how such a small conversation meant so much in the long run.
Being in Law enforcement like you are, I can't imagine what it would be like losing a partner or another Officer you knew! An Albuq. Police Officer I knew since the 4th grade named John Carrillo was killed one day before my 27th Birthday while answering a domestic abuse call! I went to his funeral, I'll never forget it!
 

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knowing that this is a dangerous hobby/sport I stay close to god, try to walk to the starting line at least once during the race. I prefer before sunrise. I will look over the track, watch the sun come up and thank the lord for allowing me the chance to strike my mark in this world, entertain people and be a rock for other people to break themselves against. anyone who knows us or goes to the races with us, they have been part of a prayer before we start for the day. we hold hands and ask god for his help to do the best we can, to protect us and our fellow racers, and to watch over our familys while we are gone. people that know me know I'm not into going to church, my church is the track and I give jesus my mornings at the race track, the sunrise at the track is always beautiful, peaceful and cleansing. we were there when mike walker died.
 

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knowing that this is a dangerous hobby/sport I stay close to god, try to walk to the starting line at least once during the race. I prefer before sunrise. I will look over the track, watch the sun come up and thank the lord for allowing me the chance to strike my mark in this world, entertain people and be a rock for other people to break themselves against. anyone who knows us or goes to the races with us, they have been part of a prayer before we start for the day. we hold hands and ask god for his help to do the best we can, to protect us and our fellow racers, and to watch over our familys while we are gone. people that know me know I'm not into going to church, my church is the track and I give jesus my mornings at the race track, the sunrise at the track is always beautiful, peaceful and cleansing. we were there when mike walker died.
That is good stuff!!! Couldn't have been said any better...:)
 

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knowing that this is a dangerous hobby/sport I stay close to god, try to walk to the starting line at least once during the race. I prefer before sunrise. I will look over the track, watch the sun come up and thank the lord for allowing me the chance to strike my mark in this world, entertain people and be a rock for other people to break themselves against. anyone who knows us or goes to the races with us, they have been part of a prayer before we start for the day. we hold hands and ask god for his help to do the best we can, to protect us and our fellow racers, and to watch over our familys while we are gone. people that know me know I'm not into going to church, my church is the track and I give jesus my mornings at the race track, the sunrise at the track is always beautiful, peaceful and cleansing. we were there when mike walker died.
This post gave me chills, Thank you for sharing that.
 

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It's not just in racing. As a retired disgruntled mailman I can't tell you how many times I would talk a bit to a customer and then read their obit in the paper a few days later! I even happened to waive at one while he sat in his truck and I guess he didn't see me...he had been found dead in that same truck later in the day, sitting there with the morning paper and his sunglasses on.
 

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My oldest daughter was hanging around Kendall Hebert in the tower on and off all day, and upto about 5 minutes before her last run. I had to go to the crash site to secure it and get everyone back. When I got back my duaghter was still crying. Really felt bad for having to leave her in the tower (I was on the line) That was a few years ago now, and she still wells up when we talk about it.
 

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Kendall's dad Kenny is a friend of mine and that was a sad day for sure. I taught Kendall how to drive stick shift in my 03 mustang and she made her first door car pass in my 69 camaro. Funny story about that, I broke my motor before an event we all go to every year and was planning on just going to watch. She convinced me to use her back up motor from her dragster...so we did. Put 4 or 5 passes on the car and figured I would buy another tech card and let her drive too as it was the least I could do. 3 passes later she blew it up. Man did we laugh about it that night. I have a big framed picture of her on the wall in my computer room standing with her jet car and not a day goes by that I am not reminded just how short life can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
knowing that this is a dangerous hobby/sport I stay close to god, try to walk to the starting line at least once during the race. I prefer before sunrise. I will look over the track, watch the sun come up and thank the lord for allowing me the chance to strike my mark in this world, entertain people and be a rock for other people to break themselves against. anyone who knows us or goes to the races with us, they have been part of a prayer before we start for the day. we hold hands and ask god for his help to do the best we can, to protect us and our fellow racers, and to watch over our familys while we are gone. people that know me know I'm not into going to church, my church is the track and I give jesus my mornings at the race track, the sunrise at the track is always beautiful, peaceful and cleansing. we were there when mike walker died.
Too bad many in this sport scoff at the thought of that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My oldest daughter was hanging around Kendall Hebert in the tower on and off all day, and upto about 5 minutes before her last run. I had to go to the crash site to secure it and get everyone back. When I got back my duaghter was still crying. Really felt bad for having to leave her in the tower (I was on the line) That was a few years ago now, and she still wells up when we talk about it.
Who was Kendall Herbert??
 

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I will never forget watching Kendall Hebert make her last pass that horrid day. I remember being strapped into my own car and watching her get suited up, and strapped into her jet car for her second last pass ever. Events that happen like that really wake you up and remind you of just how fragile life is.
 

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She raced a jet dragster.
wow I just googled her and read about what happened. So sad she was only 17. RIP

Kingnitro thanks for starting this thread. People, myself included, take it for granted when they get behind the wheel of a race car not thinking about the dangers that are present not only on the track but in the pits.
 
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