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by Dana Kuyawa
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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