It's always tough to get the news when racing loses a driver that helped make this sport what it is today, but when I got the call today about Dave Ledford passing away, I struggled to take it all in. First of all, this man was one of my early racing heroes and not just because of his talents on the track. Dave had a heart of gold and anybody that was blessed to know him, would certainly agree. Need a hand with your car no matter what class you ran? Dave was there. Need a tire for the feature? Dave was there. Need a good ol' boy to shoot the shit with between races? Dave was there. Look towards the front of the pack at Lakeville, Wayne County, and countless other tracks, and you'd find Dave there too. Even after he hung up his helmet and fire suit I truly enjoyed getting to talk with Dave about old times and I'm thankful that at least I got the chance to tell him that he was one of my all time heroes. He looked at me like I was nuts of course but I explained why. As a teenager I always looked up to him as what a racer should be. Tough as nails behind the wheel, but once the helmet came off, this guy would give you his engine and help you swap it if it got you back out onto the track. My dad has always thought the world of Dave for the same reasons and it was hard to break the news to him while he struggles with his own health issues. Through the tears he managed to say "that's a damn shame. He was a class act and they just don't make them like him any more" I couldn't agree more Pop! If there were more Dave Ledfords in racing, we'd all be better off. Rest in peace my friend!
THANKS to Kathy Richards for the picture.