My Dad loved sports, and he always told me, “Don’t ever miss an opportunity to go to a WVU football game or a race at Martinsville.” I’ve followed that advice for over 60 years.
Just a day after I wrote the story, I saw what I call “the letter.” It was a letter to Earnhardt from Amanda Gardstrom. Gardstrom is the daughter of NASCAR legend Fred Lorenzen. In the letter, she also commends Earnhardt. She knows all too well what can happen when proper medical care isn’t given after a concussion. You see, Fred Lorenzen now resides at a nursing home, and dementia rules his day.
It’s been awhile since I’ve appeared in these pages. My trip to Martinsville was a disaster (snowmegaddon), so next on my schedule was Bristol, which despite gloomy skies, tremendous races happened. The crowd was good, but many wanted to make fun of the crowd. No the track wasn’t full, but a good 100,000 was there and Kurt Busch outlasted and outran one of NASCAR’s darling young drivers, Kyle Larson to claim victory, and qualify for the playoffs.
One the eve of the Spring Unlimited, nee the Busch Clash and Budweiser Shootout, the media met with the stars of NASCAR. Never mind that only three weeks ago, they spent a whole week interviewing and questioning most of these same stars, but there was a new subject that became almost an obsession.
The decision was unexpected even to the beat reporters who follow NASCAR daily. After Saturday’s race, thing just didn’t look right, something officials missed. By Sunday at the truck race in Iola, Mike Helton, NASCAR’s President, commented that NASCAR was going to review the race and radio transmissions. That was the first clue that something was up. A timeline was not given, however.