They Won't Be Racing Forever...
At least two drivers in the RaceChaser coverage area — late model driver Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks, Minn., and street stock driver Jerry Lamb of Lisbon, N.D., are each celebrating their 50th year of racing in 2019. Think about that for a moment — that is 100 years of racing between just two drivers.
That’s impressive. Corcoran is 65, by the way, and Lamb is 69. There are a couple of late model drivers in the Wissota region, Rich Thomas of Aberdeen and Clarence Washburn of Hector, who are in their 70s even. Lawrence Veralrud is in his late 70s and driving a lightning sprint (and won a feature at Glyndon last year). There are several drivers still out there in their 60s in various divisions.
It got me thinking about that generation of racers who are in their 50s and 60s, and this came to mind — appreciate them why they are still racing, because they won’t race forever. That is the generation I grew up following. Several have retired from racing already. Others are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. Some have stepped away for financial, family or health reasons which are all legit.
Some of my favorite drivers have been retired for a while (some retired even before their 50s). These names ring a bell?
Joel Cryderman (#51 late model)
Dave Storck (#57 modified)
Scott Hillig (#98 modified)
Craig Christiansen (#4C modified)
Tommy Myer (#65 modified)
Tim Donlinger (#3D modified)
Rick Egersdorf (#17 late model)
Jay McDonald (#96 modified)
Ron Jones (#7 modified)
Mitch Johnson (#00 late model)
Joel Sirek (#2 super stock)
Barry Robertson (#10 super stock)
Leo Burkhardsmier (#8ball modified)
Scott Paulson (#33 street stock)
Harry Hanson (#7 late model, now runs a traditional sprint)
These are drivers who have retired from racing or been away for a while. I suppose a few could come back at some point but for now I considered them retired. Man, I miss watching those drivers on the track.
I need to appreciate the long-time veterans more. Because once they step away, they leave a void in racing.
There are several long-time veterans — who’ve excelled for decades — that are still racing who I often wonder how much longer they will race. In the late models, I think of drivers like John Kaanta, Lance Matthees, Tim McMann and Hank Berry. In the modifieds, there’s John Corell, Marlyn Seidler and Kelly Estey. There are drivers in other divisions — Dean Larson (mod 4s), Ron Saurer and Dan Wheeler (midwest modifieds) — in the same boat. These are drivers who’ve raced for decades and made big-time marks on racing — usually winning or running towards the front. But as I said they are closer to the end
I need to appreciate those veterans more when I watch them, because they won’t race forever.