Article from I-44 Riverside Speedway
This coming weekend, across Oklahoma and the racing world, all have the opportunity to honor one of the most remarkable young men it has ever produced, at the very speedway where he risked his life to save another.
In 2008, Lindsay’s Harli White flipped violently down I-44 Speedway’s front straightaway. As the car came to rest, it was engulfed in a raging inferno.
Immediate efforts to subdue the flames were unsuccessful, and when seconds mattered most, it was Donnie Ray Crawford that unstrapped from his racecar and plunged into the fire to save Harli’s life. It was, and remains, one of the most courageous moments not just in sport, but in the world we share.
Donnie Ray stated ever since that he was simply “God’s vessel”. Such Such was Donnie Ray’s testimony of faith, that he would always attribute such a heroic act to God.
A third generation racer of the vaunted Crawford racing family, Donnie Ray began his career in 1997. His success on the track alone was massive. There was not a special event in the region that Donnie Ray didn’t win. Most he won numerous times, and further still, on the same night (often competing in winged and non-winged stock micro competition, as well as the premier Outlaw class). He added several track championships and Golden Drillers, as well (winner’s trophies at the famed Tulsa Shootout).
His success was not limited to micro sprints, however, as Donnie Ray also scored wins in sprint car and Midget events (most notably a Chili Bowl Nationals qualifying night victory).
His success on the track was not common. But his character off the track was even less common. He lived a life devoted to serving God, his family, friends, and various interconnected communities in the racing world as well as his home town of Tulsa).
Universally respected on the track, he remains universally beloved for the tremendous courage and character that to this day that continues to set the ultimate example.
A tragic accident in 2012 took Donnie Ray from us far too soon, but his imprint on the world he changed will never fade. From the many thousands who he welcomed as friends, the young racers he mentored, the fellow racer’s life he saved, and the hundreds of thousands of stories told to remember and honor a real life hero. Most of all, his memory continues to change lives as the Donnie Ray Crawford Scholarship Foundation helps young racers pursue their education.
There are few causes so worthy of your support and your help. With every donation, big or small, the Donnie Ray Crawford Scholarship Foundation continues to honor a most special young man that both saved, and changed, lives. The Scholarship/Legacy Foundation continues this same good work.
This is the sixth year for the Donnie Ray Crawford Memorial Race, but it is the first time it will be held at I-44 Riverside Speedway, right on the same oval that he saved Harli White’s life.
On behalf of the Donnie Ray Crawford Legacy Foundation and I-44 Riverside Speedway, we invite you to support this special event and to honor Donnie Ray Crawford and the Legacy Foundation that continues to represent the very best in us and our communities.
It matters not if you are a long time fan or new, or a veteran racer that competed with Donnie Ray, or a rookie or 2nd year driver aware through the many stories or great work done by the DRC Legacy Foundation.
We earnestly and sincerely ask your support today and as this incredible event takes shape tomorrow through Saturday. The Foundation will be on hand Friday and Saturday and will auction off some very special items, as well as the annual Fishing Pole giveaway from Donnie Crawford. We will also have event T Shirts at the DRC Legacy trailer, as well as 50/50 ticket drawings Friday and Saturday, with proceeds going straight to the community through this amazing Foundation.
To donate to the Donnie Ray Crawford Legacy Foundation/Scholarship Program, please visit www.donnieraycrawford.com. An amazing website that features a wonderful bio of Donnie Ray, as well as links to the special program that aired on The Oprah Winfrey Network.
Please Share all across the racing network!
The 6th Annual Donnie Ray Crawford Memorial
Schedule of Events
Thursday, June 22nd: Practice
*Gates open at 4pm
*Practice begins at 6pm, ending at 8pm.
*Pit passes $25 each. Grandstand viewing is free
Friday, June 23rd: 6th Annual DRC Memorial Night 1:
**complete show, heats and features. Top 4 finishers from each class LOCK IN.
*Gates open at 3pm. Pit parking first come, first serve
*Driver’s Meeting 530pm, wheel pack and hot laps to immediately follow
*Races begin at 630pm.
*Grandstand admission will follow standard weekly pricing:
$8 for senior citizens and retired/active military w/ID
$5 for teens aged 13-19
$3 for kids aged 6-12
Children 5&under free
Saturday, June 24th: 6th Annual DRC Memorial Grand Finale:
**complete show, heat races and Features. Top 4 lockins will redraw at gate, each will redraw numbers 1-6, the top 2 in heat race passing points will fill in the remaining two spots in the redraw (highest remaining spot going to top car in passing points). Lock in Hot Laps will follow heat races in each class (Non Wing hot laps for lock ins follow Non Wing heats and so on).
*Gates open at 230pm
*Driver’s Meeting 5pm, followed by wheel pack and hot laps
*Races begin at 6pm
*Grandstand admission $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and military w/valid ID, $8 for teens aged 13-19, $5 for kids aged 6-12 with children 5&under free.
***Special tribute ceremony to be held at intermission***
Both night’s will feature 7 classes competing in an event that is among the most special in the Mini Sprint Nation, as well as a top event in regional racing.
Outlaw, A Class, Non Wing, Restricted, Turf Tire, Junior Sprints, and the first ever standalone Sportsman show at I-44.
For event inquiry or further information regarding I-44 Riverside Speedway, including directions, please call or text the speedway at 405.633.1583 (text often helps a TON).
For further (and excellent) reading about Donnie Ray Crawford and the DRC Legacy Foundation, please visit www.donnieraycrawford.com