A New Beginning

Hi everyone and welcome back! It’s 2011 and I just turned 42 years old. I also have an almost 4-year-old son, and a shiny new baby daughter should be arriving at any time. Thinking ahead of being the “grandpa” at the school functions really doesn’t excite me. But on the other hand I don’t really look my age and I certainly don’t act it so maybe it will all work out fine!

Actually, I’m looking forward to watching the kids grow and being part of their activities including family outings to the drag strips around the Midwest. I would put the drag racing “family” up against any other sport in any category you can name.

Recently, the racing community in general and certainly many other non-racers lost another good guy. My friend Jeff Stealy has been tirelessly fighting cancer for many years and on Jan. 5th he finally found peace. Following along on Jeff’s Facebook page it is clear to see the impact he had on so many people. Just a few years ago while fighting his own illness, Jeff led the way to try to help a local young man that was also fighting cancer realize his dreams of having a race car. Jeff organized the project and with the help of many others in the racing community, including manufacturers, he assembled a bad-ass Mustang for the hopeful racer. Unfortunately, the young man passed away shortly before completion of the project, but Jeff finished it anyway and took it to the track. In typical Jeff Stealy fashion the car performed nicely and then was offered for sale in a raffle with the proceeds going to the family.

It is acts of kindness like this that define a person’s place in the world. Jeff will be sorely missed by many, including his two children but he will certainly never be forgotten. Jeff Stealy -- veteran racer, engine builder, friend, and a good dad. Nothing else matters. I am committed to trying to emulate that path. Family is everything. Godspeed, Jeff.