Last week, life was cut tragically short from the Franklin County Speedway racing community when Ricky Gillespie passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack at just 30 years old.
Ricky was a second-generation driver from one of the most loyal families that Franklin County Speedway has ever had and his personal dedication was deeper than the rest of his family. In fact, Ricky competed in seven divisions of racing just this season including Late Models, Limited, Stadium Sportsman, Chargers, Stock4, Any Car and he competed in the tracks only demolition derby of the season. With his lone win this season coming in the Tire Stack race during the Night of Destruction.
Ricky wasn’t just dedicated to racing himself, he would jump in and help anyone at the track. You could often find him in the pit of one of his competitors lending a hand to make sure that they too got to race. He was also almost always one of the first people to step up when a racer would post on social media that they needed something. Ricky’s dedication was racing and in particular racing at his home track of Franklin County Speedway.
A character like Ricky, who had a big smile and a sweet soul will forever be remembered by the racing community. To keep his memory and legacy alive, Franklin County Speedway will host the Ricky Gillespie Memorial race on Sunday, November 1st. The event will feature racing in all of the tracks core divisions as well as special events for the Stadium Modifieds, Late Models and Any Cars.
Stadium Modifieds and Late Models will compete in a pair of 118-lap contests. Details on the purse structure and race procedures for both of those races will be announced in the coming days. In addition to those divisions the Mini Stocks, Stock4 and Chargers will all compete in the Ricky Gillespie Memorial race. The Any Car division will compete in a 78-lap, $5,000 to win, 100-car race to cap off the evening.
“We’re looking to make this race for Ricky, the biggest race of the year,” said track promoter Langley Austin. “Ricky was a huge part of this track and was always finding a way to compete even if the division he normally competed in wasn’t racing. We normally wouldn’t have a race like this so quickly but the season is running out on us and we have to find a way to do this race for him. We want to honor him by making this race one that fans and drivers will remember for a long time.”
The event will also help to raise money for the funeral expenses created by his untimely death. Drivers will make their way around the grandstands to collect money in their helmets prior to the start of the event and the track will conduct a raffle as well to raise money. We are accepting donations to the raffle as we speak and will have raffle tickets available next week.
Additional details about the Ricky Gillespie Memorial will be available in the coming days. We hope that everyone will come out and support the family while also enjoying a great evening of racing in honor of one of our favorite sons that we lost too soon.
More information will be available at www.FCSpeedway.com or by calling/texting 276.613.4208.