Mike Stefanik

Was shocked to learn that driver Mike Stefanik was killed in a crash of a small airplane September 15, one day short of two years after another New England racing legend, Ted Christopher, lost his life in another airplane-accident.

Unlike too many young racecar-drivers in and out of NASCAR, these two guys were real. Neither of them might have "made it" in NASCAR's top Cup division, but mostly that was because neither particularly cared to. Make no mistake. Both were more than good enough. But, as with TC, Mike Stefanik  wanted to drive racecars, not be a racecar-star. Still, in my years covering racing for various media-outlets, Mike always was available, always was accommodating - and always was honest and candid.

Racing needs more Mike Stefaniks. They're the ones who make racing great, and as I've said before, the greatest racing often is found in our own backyards, on our bullrings, far away from giant racetracks, giant crowds, giant purses, and tiny glimpses of real racing we might see celebrated as the "big leagues" on TV.

I hope Mike finds a race in the sky. We know he'll be looking. God speed.

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