Weekend Event at Raceway Honors Local Racer
For the second year, racers and fans have packed Port City Raceway to honor local driver Donnie Ray Crawford, who died in January of 2012. Now there's a race in Crawford's name to raise money for a scholarship foundation created in his memory.The engines are loud as hundreds of racers storm the dirt road and the fans are watching closely to see who will walk away with trophies.One racer has known the Crawford family most of his life and said it's hard to explain what Donnie Ray was to racing."It's always that challenge to go out and win this race. Just to know that he is watching down and routing everyone on, trying to make sure that everyone is safe, throughout the whole race," racer Frank Taft said.Everyone at the track has a story about Donnie Ray and that's why so many people are out here to raise money for his scholarship foundation."Help young people that go race and maybe don't make it in racing and want to go back to college," Owner of Port City Raceway Aaron Lemmons said.Lemmons said when Crawford passed away he knew this raceway would do something to honor his memory and so far it's turned into one of the tracks biggest competition of the season.With so many drivers, Taft said he has noticed that more people are doing just what Donnie Ray would do; If someone rubbed up against his car and spun him out he would just smile and go on. Taft said more racers are taking that attitude, asking 'what would Donnie Ray do'? But they are still out here to win."That's the reason for being here, I'm putting new rubber on the car tonight i hope to go to the front, haven't won one yet, I am probably one of the oldest outlaw drivers out here," Taft said.The finals are Saturday night at 7 p.m. Donnie Ray's father and grandfather will be driving his cars around the track before the final race.