First, take a moment to read the below (Or refer to linked post) And then, read my update to this post.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Just my opinion
First, I would like to start out by saying that I would hope everyone would pray for Jeff and his family…I was not aware of how serious his wreck at Knoxville was until after speaking with Judd. Since hearing the comparison of Jeff’s accident to Kevin Gobrecht’s at I-30, I have been feeling a range of emotions.

Being a fan of many drivers, including Jeff and Kevin, I know how dangerous my favorite sport is. I have seen what happens within the racing community when something happens to one of their own. Organizations like the York County Racing Club raise money for injured drivers, and we, as fans, should support this endeavor.

It still surprises me how many people who boo a certain driver running in Central PA. And while I may not be a fan, this driver’s family is there hearing obcenaties throughout the evening. I have witnessed “haters” threatening his family while he is stopped on the track during a red flag. This behavior is appalling.

Now, we all have our pet peeves at different tracks…but when so-called fans resort to this type of behavior, something has to be done. However, this problem has also surfaced on the various message boards in a different way. Not only do we have this particular issue, but the up-and-comers are facing hate as well.

Granted, some drivers DO need to improve….but the only way to improve is to get seat time. Drivers coming up from one division to another also face scrutiny. Many of these drivers have succeeded in the lower ranks of open wheel racing and moved up appearing at Williams Grove and Lincoln. Those on the message boards criticize these drivers mercilessly.

I am not sure how many of those who are posting actually drive a racecar of any kind, but after hearing the comments, I would doubt they did. Racing is an expensive and dangerous sport…it takes time, effort, and practice to become competitive. I do not have access to a car to offer a challenge like one on the Grove board, but I would challenge any of these “haters” to get 10 laps to see if they could do any better.

UPDATE: Dont you get it? Just because you dont root for someone does NOT mean they cheat. Arent these drivers providing you with your entertainment?

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While lurking on the Williams Grove Speedway message boards-as I usually do….I heard about this amazing race a couple of Fridays ago.

During the final laps of the A-Main on August 22nd, Fred Rahmer and Brian Monteith were racing for the lead. Coming down the backstretch, Fred made contact with a lapped car, and — let’s just say, it’s hard to beleive what occurred. Fred never missed a beat – never slowed down – and won the race.

Now, I am really not one who purchases tapes of races-since I would rather attend with that money. Matter of fact, I have 3 or 4 tapes that I purchased from SportsPlus Video and 2 that I taped when TNN came to the Grove for an Outlaw race…we made signs.  http://www.sportsplusvideo.com/

Anyway, after hearing this amazing save from those I know who were at the Grove (and on the backstretch) I HAD to get this race and see for myself. It is a “miracle” that Fred saved his car after riding up the lapped car. Those who were on the backstretch could actually see the bottom of his car. Fred NEVER slowed, racing Monteith for the lead.

Now, I don’t consider myself to be a Rahmer fan, but all I can say is….what a talented driver! Cheers to him on the win. He certainly desrved it.

Another cheer to Fred for the mention of Jeff Shepard. I know the entire racing community wishes him well, but it is special when a fierce competitor recognizes someone.

Wow! All I can say, is wow!  http://www.hoseheadforums.com/forum.cfm?threadID=20212&CFID=14766017&CFTOKEN=6c3aef2632ebccc3-09FF8D48-E7F2-6999-0665FE67027E2FA9

It amazes me that Jeff Shepard fans and the racing community in general have raised enough money to pay off his air ambulance bill AND physical therapy bill.

($17,000 + $12,000 = $29,000) Wow!

I beleive that this really helped the Shepard family. Im sure it alleviates alot of the stress of having the money issue hanging over them while trying to get through a difficult time anyway. Money can certainly stress you out and hinder recovery. If you dont beleive that, talk to me sometime.

Jeff certainly improved enough that he is able to leave the hospital in Baltimore and return home. He will still have to go to therapy several times a week, but being home is a huge improvement.

As I have mentioned many times before, even though I personally know those who didnt root for Jeff, they still came forward to support someone who provided years of racing entertainment. Last Saturday night, when Rahmer came into our section, even those who openly boo him, clapped and gave him money for Jeff.

It is also worth noting that money to help the family didnt all come from Central PA. Not only did racetracks all over the US raise money, but money was raised even in Australia!

Even though it is sad when the racing community has to come together like this, it is also why I love the sport so much.

There is no other sport like this.

I was pleasantly pleased to see EVERY driver collecting money for Jeff Shepard. This is one of the reasons I love this sport so much. The entire racing community comes together to support their own when something occurs.

While at Lincoln on Saturday, I stopped by the YCRC trailor. I was talking to them about those of us donating to honor Jeff – even though the money goes to all YCRC members. During the first Legend feature, there were a page and a half of names donating in Jeff’s honor….by the time they had their heats, there was a considerable amount of racing fans supporting our injured drivers.

Vicki Leppo and Debbie Rahmer both told me that next week, they will be passing the helmet.

I have to say, support for Jeff has been overwhelming. I can only imagine that Shepards garage and Helen and Judd’s mailboxes will be overflowing. Fans have been wearing Shepard shirts to show their support.

Even though there are times when fans and drivers disagree, we can all come together at times like this.

First, I would like to start out by saying that I would hope everyone would pray for Jeff and his family…I was not aware of how serious his wreck at Knoxville was until after speaking with Judd. Since hearing the comparison of Jeff’s accident to Kevin Gobrecht’s at I-30, I have been feeling a range of emotions.

Being a fan of many drivers, including Jeff and Kevin, I know how dangerous my favorite sport is. I have seen what happens within the racing community when something happens to one of their own. Organizations like the York County Racing Club raise money for injured drivers, and we, as fans, should support this endeavor.

It still surprises me how many people who boo a certain driver running in Central PA. And while I may not be a fan, this driver’s family is there hearing obcenaties throughout the evening. I have witnessed “haters” threatening his family while he is stopped on the track during a red flag. This behavior is appalling.

Now, we all have our pet peeves at different tracks…but when so-called fans resort to this type of behavior, something has to be done. However, this problem has also surfaced on the various message boards in a different way. Not only do we have this particular issue, but the up-and-comers are facing hate as well.

Granted, some drivers DO need to improve….but the only way to improve is to get seat time. Drivers coming up from one division to another also face scrutiny. Many of these drivers have succeeded in the lower ranks of open wheel racing and moved up appearing at Williams Grove and Lincoln. Those on the message boards criticize these drivers mercilessly.

I am not sure how many of those who are posting actually drive a racecar of any kind, but after hearing the comments, I would doubt they did. Racing is an expensive and dangerous sport…it takes time, effort, and practice to become competitive. I do not have access to a car to offer a challenge like one on the Grove board, but I would challenge any of these “haters” to get 10 laps to see if they could do any better.

Brad Vores website – http://www.ijustwannarace.com/ gives an update on where to send cards or letters of support to Jeff. Brad’s update is copy-pasted below:

UPDATE 8/10/08 11:30am
Jeff continued to improve over the past 24 hours and is following all Doctors commands. They are keeping Jeff comfortable and relaxed with medication. We should know more about the extent of Jeff’s head injury over the next several days. Please continue to keep Jeff and his family in your prayers.

Cards can be sent to:
Jeff Shepard
14809 Hanover Pike
Upperco, MD 21155

I suggest sending a card even if you are not a fan of The Jet’s. (See previous Shepard post) Jeff is a dedicated sprint car driver that always thinks about his fans.

Short story:
If you were attending sprint car races at Lincoln a few years ago, you might remember the word war in victory lane between Fred Rahmer and Jeff Shepard. That alone kept me coming to races! Who knew that “The Fossil” and the “Mouth from MD” would keep something like that going for an entire season?

And….just as an FYI, Jeff Shepard is NOT the “Mouth from MD” – I am.

As most of you know, I attend sprint car races. I have had the opportunity to spend time with some of the drivers in the pits at various tracks that I have been to. Normally, if its my first time at a racetrack, I spring for pit passes. I have even gotten the opportunity to do the BEST thing ever — stand atop a hauler with a race team I admire for an entire race season.

During my time as a racefan, Ive noticed alot of drivers come up through the ranks and have been lucky enough to meet them BEFORE they went to Nascar. (i.e. Kasey Kahne at Williams Grove)

Now onto my topic:
I want to stress that the only information I have is what has been posted on the web by Brad Vores. I consider Brad a legitimate source and thank him for posting updated information about Jeff.

http://www.ijustwannarace.com/

Jeff was injured at Knoxville this past week during a race. He was transported to a local hospital in Iowa and remains there.

Brad posted an update on the Grove message board that Jeff has responded but is still sedated. They are waiting to see the extent of his head injuries. Please pray for Jeff, his family and friends who have been there by his side during this ordeal.

Racing is a dangerous sport just like many others….those that race are a special breed. The only thing I dont enjoy about racing is hearing about someone being injured — especially when you know them and their families personally. Along with your prayers, please consider a donation to your local Injured Drivers fund. In Pennsylvania, we have the York County Racing Club.

Remember, if you enjoy something….support it! 90% of those attending Lincoln Speedway this past Saturday night had racing t-shirts on….Instead of buying another t-shirt (argue all you want, I myself have 3 drawers of racing t’s) donate that money (usually $30 or so) to the local injured drivers fund. That way, you are supporting the drivers that brought you your weekend entertainment.

So, what do you think?