Kern County Raceway Co-owner, Charlie Beard, lost his battle with an illness Saturday morning. His death was announced just prior to the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series race at the track Saturday afternoon.
Derek Thorn, who won the event, was quick to share condolences in Victory Lane.
“I think first and foremost I want to express my condolences to the Beard family,” said Thorn in victory lane. “I want to dedicate this win to him and his family as he was a big, big part of putting this facility together. I have a heavy heart and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
Over the past few years Beard played a huge role in the growth of Kern County Raceway. Beard came on board in 2012 and helped bring in such event as the Winter Showdown, SRL Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. All these events helped put Kern County on the map and make it one of the premiere short tracks on the West Coast.
Track president Lee Baumgartner told The Bakersfield Californian that Beard’s passing will not impact the future of the race track.
“It’s not going anywhere. It won’t affect the operation,” said Baumgartner. “He would not even want it to slow down. He’d be disappointed that we even stumbled and slowed down.”
Arrangements for Beard are still pending. The next event at Kern County will be held Saturday, June 4.