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RANTIN RAY June 15, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Claire B's Mail.
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Hey! A quick note to share something that came to be my email tonight. I came back to my hotel tonight, post Dale Junior win -and at 10:48 p.m. it’s been a long day. This email is what I find in my email box at the top of the many I have yet to open. It’s from a listener -who loves to send rants – about racing. This one -stopped me in my tracks. I did not know that this emailer I have known as Rantin Ray was about to have surgery. I really didn’t know Ray well except for his occasional rants – which, like other listeners emails I would read and reply to. His rants were always pretty good. But this rant pretty much surprised me – stopped me in my tracks- and put a perspective on things. It really shows you how every single person you encounter in life – every listener, every stranger in the supermarket who you pass, every person who you encounter can make a mark on you, sometimes when you least expect it.

Prayers for Ray and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it – it’s such a great email.
Claire B


Hi Claire,
Well, this could be my last rant so it’ll probably be a long one. By the time you are on the air Monday I’ll be under the knife for heart surgery so I’ll miss your show tomorrow.

My Dad was a racer in the late 40’s after the war where he was a tailgunner on a B-17 bomber over Europe. A position where only 25% returned. A detail I recently just learned, along with the fact they returned from one mission on only one of the four engines and crashed landed.

Our home town was a center for USAC midget racing in the 50’s and 60’s. “Shorty” Templeman was the Champion and a frequent visitor to our home so he was my first favorite driver. My Dad also worked side by side mounting tires with a guy named Rufus Jones before he became Parnelli and had to look for a ride and settle for the fourth car in the Howard Linne Enterpises stable behind Tony Bettanhausen, Don Branson, and Bob Tattersall, and he was happy to just get it . “Back in the day” my Dad would go in the pits, sometimes as pit crew, but mostly to “needle” these drivers. He once made a lead inner sole for Shorty’s right foot.Now you see where I get my trates. I wonder if the inner sole is still around so I could send it to my main guy Tony, a driver I’m sure my Dad would be for, although he’d sure get a kick out of Kyle.

My Dad, who passed dec 26, ’93, took me to my first race nearly 60 years ago at age 6 months in 1948 and continued to take me with him every time he went. Along with everything else he taught me, a list too long for even one of my rants, several important lessons always seem to resurface.

One of the first lessons I learned was in Milwaukee about age 10 when I boo’d a driver, he looked at me stearnly and said “if you aren’t going to cheer don’t do anything, just be quiet”. I’ve never boo’d again. Although I admit Jeff Gordon has made my jaws hurt from restraint. I’ve since forgiven even him.

Another important lesson he emphasized all through his life was “the only hero is a person who gives his life for another”, ………..”not race car drivers or sports people”.I have a slight revision on this one though. I feel a hero is one who risks his own well being for others, mainly all our troops serving. I remember seeing Gary Bettanhausen stop his perfectly good racecar at Indianapolis and jump in a flamming race car to help another driver get out. I’ve seen other drivers do the same although I don’t remember their names. Sorry Dad gotta differ a little on this one.

I know my Dad would be really pissed if I said my Dad was my hero so I’ll just say I’m glad you were my Dad.

And to all the NASCAR drivers and families may you be as blessed as I for all you do for those less fortunate than us. I applaud each and every one of you . Especially my main guy Tony Stewart.

Here’s something to throw out there and see if it sticks. How about we pay an extra ten bucks for the the next prelude to the dream on pay per view to see Darrel Waltrip in the passenger seat of one of those two seat late models complete with helmet and fire suit and let Tony or maybe Scott Bloomquist as the driver take him for a couple laps at speed.

And you too Claire B for bringing the behind the scenes reporting that you do soo well for us, God Bless.

To the booing fans, did you notice Kyle Busch just waved to you in response to your boos at the prelude, no bow, just a wave, seems Kyle has more class than you and knows that that charity event to be the important thing. Kyle Busch gets it , think you ever will.

If I had one dying wish I think it might be to see if you “race fans” could just be quiet one time during driver introductions if you didn’t like someone.Maybe give them drivers credit for the good they do, someday maybe you may be the beneficiary of one of their charities they support.Think about it!

One last tidbit. Remember early 07 I told you of 13 old Stepanie Soberri, the little girl whose mother was a track champion at our local dirt track? She needed a double lung transplant do to systic phybrosis. Well she has had that transplant and on april 28,2008 in front of her mother and her uncle, a hard charging Late model driver, 15 year old Steph strapped on a helmet and got in her street stock and fulfilled the first part of her life dream, she then filled the second part of her dream (to pass someone). Saturday, June 13, 2008, she passed another milestone, a trip to victory lane in her heat race. Too bad the rest of the night got rained out. If you got a chance google Stephanie Soberri and check out some of the stories about her Keep kleenix handy.

Well,time to sign off, Thanks again for the best damn show their is.

Have a good one CB, you the BEST. Hope to be back to rant some more.You’ll be hearing from me by the end of the week.

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