Modified racer Jimmy Blewett is making the best of an otherwise tough situation.
After a big hit and rollover during the Icebreaker 150 this past Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), Blewett trucked back to New Jersey heartbroken after seeing a chance to win go out the window in the late-race crash in turn one. But from that bitter disappointment emerged a chance for ‘Showtime’ to give back to another member of the racing community in need.
That chance started as an idea from longtime family friend and Modified spotter Tim Riggleman as he and Blewett were stripping down the wrecked No. 76 early Monday.
“My buddy Tim Riggleman who spots for Eric Goodale on the Tour and for me at Wall on Saturday nights, we were stripping the car down yesterday and he asked me, ‘What are you going to do with that roof?’ And I said I wasn’t sure yet, ‘I don’t know.’ And he suggested auctioning off for a good cause and I said, ‘that sounds like a good idea.’
After some thinking, the pair decided to host an auction on Blewett’s social media feeds and give the proceeds to long-time racing supporter Rick Raducha. ‘Rapid Rick’ as he is known has been visible at many tracks throughout the country, despite the challenge of a disease known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which effects the bones and confines him to a wheel chair.
Raducha has needed a new transport van for some time in order to attend races, and Blewett hopes that this can help get him back on the road soon.
“Rick’s been a long-time supporter of not only Modified racing but racing in general,” Blewett said. “I haven’t seen Rick that much lately. I’ve been reading that his means of getting to the track isn’t roadworthy, so he started a GoFundMe page to try and get what he needs so he can get back to the races. He’s about a quarter on the way there. Timmy suggested we should help Rick out and it’s good because he’s someone I’ve been thinking about too.”
Despite starting the campaign less than 24 hours ago, many bids have come in from friends of Blewett and Riggleman, as well as other well-known personalities.
“We’re trying to get it up as high as we can,” he said. “It’s only a roof and I’m nobody special, but it’s helping. I know some pretty heavy hitters myself, I’m not the kind of guy who reaches out for money. But I was hoping if I threw it up there that a couple of friends that I know would bite the bait. Tommy Baldwin and Ray Evernham have reached out to me, even the local people around here in Jersey got the bid up to $1,000. That’s saying a lot, people around here or just your average joe and there putting up $1,000 for somebody’s roof off their car, who’s not even a famous guy to hang in there garage for a good cause, it meant a lot.”
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Evernham currently has the leading bid with the campaign set to close at 5 p.m., Blewett also hopes that the auction will bring in additional support for the Raducha GoFundMe campaign.
“Right now we’re up to $1,500 thanks to Ray and his family. We’re hoping we can get it up even higher for Rick and maybe everybody that seen his go fund me page would be willing to chip in to get him back to the races because we could use his support. Rick’s been a fixture in Modified racing for a long time and it’d be nice to see him around the track again. He’s an inspiration; he’s made the best of the situation and it’s just so nice to see.”
Race fans can make a bid on Blewett’s fan Facebook page by clicking here.
Those who wish to make a direct donation to the ‘Rapid Rick’ GoFundMe campaign can click here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Jimmy Blewett Facebook