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    Cravin' Racin'

    by Dana Kuyawa

    Cravin’ Racin’
    By Dana Kuyawa
    The most wonderful time for the racing season has finally begun! 33 non-winged sprint cars, 3 wide on a quarter mile race track fight for that last lap to become yet another racing champion. Yes folks, it’s time for The 69th Annual Payless Little 500!
    I have realized that this is my 6th Little 500 and I am so excited for it. This was always an amazing time for my Dad and I. Unfortunately, my Dad is now at the race track in Heaven. Rick Dawson’s Anderson Speedway and his workers there have all treated us like kings and queens. They have gone above and beyond for My family and I and I am truly blessed to have met such a wonderful crew. If you haven’t yet gone and experienced the Little 500, this is definitely a year to GO! You will have an amazing time!
    I would like to say that I’m sorry for being a little late on my Little 500 article. I’ve been wondering how to write this, and with losing my Dad I’ve been so lost with my words, and my life in general. I know my Dad would be so proud I did this even though it’s been so tough for me. I did my best and I really hope you all enjoy my article.
    Now, let me start by telling you all about my experience just last year! It was a such a blast! 2016 Little 500 with my Dad was so much fun! Little did I know, would be the last year I share with him. He had a huge surprise in store for me. I had to bring my cap and gown not knowing what was going on. Minutes after we turned onto Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in the beautiful Anderson Indiana and parked our FORD Mustang in the parking lot, he said, “I have a surprise for you. You know how I made you bring your cap and gown down here? Your graduating at the Little 500. I asked Dave Sink (track photographer), Rick Dawson (Anderson Speedway track owner), and Jacob Wilson (2013, 2014 Payless Little 500 winner) about doing pictures on the start finish line, and to have your graduation here.” That made me tear up, that my Dad did that for me. Then race day happened, and well it’s official I’m actually graduating at the Little 500, I couldn’t believe it! We had an absolute blast doing the pictures, and at this point we haven’t even got to race night! Race night happened… and this was a great race to remember! Kody Swanson, in the 69 Mean Green, non winged sprint car won the 68th Annual Little 500 making it so close, but a very exciting race!
    This year is going to be one hell of race! There’s a lot of Rookies trying to dominate this prestigious race! Please come to this beautiful race track, and experience this Amazing time. Not only will you see so many cool things, you will build memories you’ll never forget.
    I’m excited but nervous, for this year to come! A huge thank you to everyone at the Anderson Speedway, for allowing me to spread some of my Dad’s ashes on the race track. This was one of my Dads last wishes. They also wrote something very special for my Dad on their website. I want to thank you for that very much. Also my mom (Nancy), my sister (Nicole), my brother-in-law (Richard), my nephews (Dawson, Tristen, Payton, and Landon), my nieces (Adryanna and Aubree) we appreciate your support so much! We are all looking forward to the 2017 69th Annual Little 500! Thank you to Mr. Rick Dawson for letting us all come to your beautiful race track, this will be my nephews and nieces very first race! I know from experience that this will not be their last Little 500! And who knows? My youngest nephew Landon when he’s older might even end up racing at this amazing track! That definitely was one thing my Dad wanted to see more than anything. Starting Landon in go-karts just like he did. Landon is the one grandchild that instantly took to the love of racing, and my Dad couldn’t be more proud of that.
    Everyone make sure you mark your calendar for the 69th Annual Payless Little 500 race, on May 27th 2017!! We most definitely did, and we have a lot of first timers here!! I know they will be back and as for myself, I will teach them what racing is all about. My Dad did for me, and I will keep his dreams going and follow in his footsteps, showing my nieces and nephews everything I’ve learned along the way.
    I will do a post race article of the Little 500, to let everyone know about the amazing experience I know we all will have at Rick Dawson’s, Anderson Speedway in beautiful Anderson, Indiana! Thank you for taking the time reading my article. This will definitely not be the last from this girl! Though it was tough to write, I have my racing angel on my side all the time!
    God Speed Friends, I hope to see you at the track!!
    See y’all at the races!
    God Bless

     

     

    Well... I guess you all can say long time no columns. 2016 was a rollercoaster of a year. Let’s start off with the beginning of the racing season.
    Obviously it was the Payless Little 500 68th annual race and it was a thriller. Congratulations to Mr. Kody Swanson for winning this race! Definitely was an amazing day.
    Then dad and I went to our local track here in Wisconsin, Wilmot Raceway, and must I say it was a wonderful season there with the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Car Series, the Arctic Cat All Star series, and of course the Craftsman World of Outlaws too.
    Dad and I went to Manitowoc Raceway, went to La Salle Raceway and those were great races too. Honestly, 2016 was the best racing season ever with him.
    I graduated in 2016 so yay me! Of course, I got the most amazing graduation present a racing fan/racing writer ever. Dad and I went to the 2016 Knoxville Nationals and must I say... That was one of the races I will always remember. Congratulations to Jason Johnson and the rest of the 41 team for their outstanding win!
    Now we go from the happy season of racing to the sad season... We lost Bryan Clauson in 2016 and my dad always said “he’s like superman, goes into the telephone booth and changes into this super hero of a race car driver.” So Rest in Peace BC we will always miss your racing.
    Now this is definitely going to be the hardest part of my article. On October 6th of 2016 God wanted another person at the track in Heaven. Unfortunately, it was my dad, Paul Kuyawa, died peacefully in his sleep. I know everyone loved his articles I know I surely did. Dad was a great man and loved racing with all of his heart. Dad started to love racing when he was 5 years old when my grandpa took him to Waukegan Raceway. Once you catch the smell of the methanol fuel burning, you get racing fever. Dad took me to the races and I loved it, I still do. But I lost my racing partner so, it’s not the same without you dad. I know you’re not in pain anymore. You’re at the track in Heaven with all the drivers and with your dad. Thank you for being my best friend, racing partner, and most of all thank you for being my dad.
    Again everyone I am sorry for not writing for such a long time, the radio show was cancelled, my dad did it better than me. But I want to thank everyone for being supportive through the rough time of losing my dad. I’m glad I have a racing family and I’m proud to be a part of it.
    From myself, my mom (Nancy), my sister (Nicole), my brother-in-law (Richard), my nephews (Dawson, Tristen, Payton, and Landon), and my nieces (Adryanna, and Aubree) we greatly appreciate your love and support. Thank you everyone for coming to the funeral and to the others for the flowers and the cards and so much more we greatly appreciate it.
    My dad is a hero he saved 50-75 lives for being an organ donor. Now everyone please think about it when you pass along you could save a life like Bryan Clauson and be a hero to a family in need. You can register at registerme.org/campaign/bryanclauson and help others.
    Again, thanks for the memories daddy, I will always miss you. I will be spreading some of your ashes at the 2017 Little 500 this year I promise. I’m honored to be called your daughter.
    Till next time,
    See y’all at the races
    God Bless


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