~ Mission, BC Canada May 25-27, 2012 ~
I have chosen not to travel this year, owing to substantial investments made into our Racing Program this year. An announcement of major significance will follow later this week. I would first like to speak to an event that occurred this past Weekend at a West Regional event held at Mission Raceway Park, Mission BC Canada. My Key Crew Guy, Stan Wise, went to help another race team- the Dave Germain Top Alcohol Funny Car Team. Dave has been a friend for many years and needed a hand from a seasoned Crew Dude. Getting Stan to agree to go racing is much like getting an alcoholic to take another drink- not too tough! 🙂
We often talk of Drag Racing being a dangerous sport, all the while not really thinking that anything bad is going to happen to us. Well, guess what? Friday was NOT Stan’s lucky day. In a very unfortunate Starting Line incident, as Stan and the other Crew were attempting to Start Dave’s Funny Car, with Dave strapped in the Car, ready to make his first Qualifying Pass, an accident occurred where, once the “Mag Wire” was pulled, which would allow the Motor to come to life, the Motor revved way up, causing the Car to lurch forward. Each of the Crew was affected in this incident, but sadly, Stan took the worst of it, as his right foot was caught between the Header of the Car and the ground. This resulted in a pretty bad break in his ankle and leg, requiring surgery. (See Pic)
Pulling the Mag Wire should allow the Motor to Start. The Motor should NOT, however, rev up. Obviously, I was not there, so I’m not sure why the Motor revved up. Dave was kind enough to call me to discuss the incident with me. Ultimately – it was an accident. I wanted to be very clear that it was NOT possible for the Driver, for Dave, to have prevented this accident from occurring. Dave did all he could do and that is that. My understanding is that they are working to determine why the Motor revved up as it did. Clearly, this should not be. What is clear is that it was an accident. We understand going in that what we do is dangerous. We do all we can to minimize the danger, but ultimately, we cannot eliminate it.
What I do want to speak to is how this situation was handled immediately after the accident. Stan has been with me since 2008 and has been the most faithful, hardworking and dedicated Crew Guy we’ve ever had- especially in terms of hours invested in our Program. He has become not only an invaluable member of our Race Team and a big part of the future plans we have made together, but he has woven his way into our Hearts- for both Robbie and me. So we have found ourselves feeling quite protective of him, understanding we do NOT own him, nonetheless, we have shared a LOT of Nitro together over many years and have become QUITE close.
~ Dave & Kim Germain ~
Then I began to learn about what Dave and his wife, Kim, were doing to care for Stan after the accident. From the Fundraising that began at the Track (where I understand that by the end of the Race over $6,000.00 was raised to go toward Stan’s Medical costs- ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!), to how Dave had contacted DRAW (the Drag Racing Association of Women- a charitable organization within the Drag Racing community whose motto is: “Fast Help For Fast Friends” their sole mission being to provide financial and emotional support to qualified individuals involved in a drag racing accident at a track. This organization is helping Stan and we strongly encourage you to check out their website at: DrawFastHelp.org and to participate with them as you are able.) Then there were the countless hours spent at the Hospital with Stan, while STILL trying to run the Race, so this meant back and forth trips from the Race Track to the Hospital- up late- and up early again, then offers of assistance with medical expenses. I had offered repeatedly to come and get Stan to bring him home myself, but Dave drove his Truck and Trailer home after the event (I understand that Dave lives about 90 minutes South of Seattle) and then he returned in his personal rig with a Bed made up in the back for Stan to ride home in as comfortable as possible. I’m sure there are many details I’m not even aware of, however, I simply wanted to acknowledge those that I was aware of and offer a Heart Felt THANK YOU to Dave and Kim Germain for taking such good care of my adopted Kid! I know that Stan was overwhelmed with gratitude for the response that came by way of the donations from the Track and that which is now coming from DRAW. He is intensely proud to be associated with such an incredible Sport where those in it look after one another so profoundly. Dave and Kim Germain exemplify that model and I am deeply grateful to them.