Motorsports enthusiasts throughout the country have spent the last 24-plus hours attempting to digest the sad news of short track racing legend David Rogers’ passing. Rogers passed away Sunday morning after a year-long battle with cancer.
After the news of “The Gentle Giant’s” passing, an outpouring of memories and photos took place on various forms of social media from drivers, fans, and others involved in racing.
“Absolutely hate to hear the news of David Rogers. A lot of memories of racing against that TM car over the years,” Rodney Childress, NASCAR Cup Series crew chief for Kevin Harvick tweeted. “We are thinking of his family and friends.. 🙏🏼 #cancersucks”
Freddie Kraft, a current NASCAR Cup Series Spotter for Richard Petty Motorsports and lifelong short track racing enthusiast, was saddened by the news of Rogers’ passing and simply tweeted, “Short track LEGEND! RIP David Rogers.”
Mike Herman, Jr., a spotter in the NASCAR Cup Series for Roush Fenway Racing, had a special message from the spotters stand for the NASCAR Cup Series race this past Sunday in Phoenix.
“Long live the true short track racing legend, #11 David Rogers. He was already strapped in & ready go @newsmyrnaspdwy – for what would end up being his last start. Glad I was able to cross in front of him and give him one last thumbs up. Job well done #11.”
The tweet also included a picture from the spotters stand paying tribute to Rogers.
Long live the true short track racing legend, #11 David Rogers. He was already strapped in & ready go @newsmyrnaspdwy – for what would end up being his last start. Glad I was able to cross in front of him and give him one last thumbs up. Job well done #11. pic.twitter.com/9OQLBsXoWY
— Mike Herman, Jr. (@mikehermanjr) March 8, 2020
NASCAR Cup Series reporter Bob Pockrass, who covered Rogers’ perfect 1994 season, tweeted out his condolences.
“So sad to hear Florida racer David Rogers has died from a battle with lymphoma. I enjoyed covering him when I worked for the Daytona paper throughout the 1990s. He was a national short-track weekly series champion.”
Pockrass also sent a video to Speed51, which aired Monday on The Bullring, to elaborate more on this topic.
Racing legend Gary Balough tweeted his thoughts about a driver he competed against.
“Rest In Peace to my dear friend David Rogers. A true gentleman and one hell of a wheelman!”
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Harrison Burton competed against Rogers multiple times in a handful of times, specifically at New Smyrna Speedway and during the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.
“True racer. It was an awesome opportunity to get to race against David Rogers. Sad news,” Burton tweeted.
Competing against Rogers just a few weeks ago at New Smryna Speedway during Florida Speedweeks, short track ace Stephen Nasse summed his feelings in a Tweet on Sunday.
“I always looked up to David Rogers. When I first started racing SLM @newsmyrnaspdwy, he always raced me hard and put me in my place. He is a legend and will be missed. #RIP David Rogers.”
2020 World Series SLM Champion Derek Griffith also competed against Rogers just a few weeks ago at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of the racing legend David Rogers. Speedweeks will never be the same. You will be missed. Rest in Peace”
The track that saw Rogers win multiple championships, New Smyrna Speedway, tweeted their statement on the passing of Rogers.
“The Hart Family and the New Smyrna Speedway are saddened by the loss of the legendary David Rogers. Rogers was a staple of NSS winning many races and championships during his storied career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. His legacy will race on!”
While this situation still does not feel real, many around the industry are trying to cope with the sad news of Rogers passing.
Rusty Marcus, General Manager of New Smyrna Speedway, offered his feelings on “The Bullring” Monday morning. Near the end of his interview, Marcus made it clear that Rogers’ typical parking spot in the pit area will remain empty.
“As long as I’m there, nobody is parking there. That’s David Rogers’ parking spot.”
Monday’s episode of #TheBullring was a special episode dedicated entirely to the short track racing legend, David Rogers. If you missed the show or if you want to watch it again, you can do so by visiting this link.
-Story by Will Bellamy, Speed51 Social Media Manager – Twitter: @WillBellamy360
-Photo credit: Speed51