Club Racing extends so much farther than just what happens on the track. Sure, racing cars side-by-side and pushing to the very edge on-track is absolutely amazing! It’s a place where you are purely living in the moment. You cannot focus on the daily stress of work or financial worries, not even a terminal illness. It goes so much further than outsiders can even begin to imagine. It’s about sharing something we are so passionate about, helping others at the track – even our strongest competitors – and enjoying a true racing family.
While Tim Dugan just passed away from cancer, it’s vital that we celebrate the amazing message and attitude he displayed. He wanted to share with others how much of a positive impact racing had on his, and his family’s lives through his brief story below. In life, he’s truly an inspiration; on track, he was equally in a class of his own.
Below are the words of a truly amazing guy, Tim Dugan.
“It has been such a crazy year of fighting cancer and winning on the track. I have taken a car that is a stock ITS car, stuck it in ITR [article note – ITR is a class consisting of faster race cars than ITS] so I could race with my ‘brother’ Stephen Blethen, and won three races hands down!
I have conquered so many things this year. My goal was to keep up with Glen Lawton and Bob Blake in ITS and I beat them both. My next goal was keep Tom Capizzi in my sights. I out qualified him and then drove away from him. Next goal, keep Rob Nimkoff from lapping me and I passed him on the start and battled with him.
I turned my fastest laps I have ever turned at NHMS and LIMEROCK. It is just an amazing year! I have been at the track and contemplated packing the car up and going home because I was so sick I didn’t think I could drive the car. I would convince myself to get in and drive, and competed with some of the best on my worst days!!
There were so many people that helped me this year that I can’t thank them all. Blethen boys, Kelly family, Dave Maynard, the entire 7’s racing Crew, just everybody. They all kept me pushing when I wanted to quit. A smile, a thumbs up, or just being silly helps me push through. But most of all, my family, they have not let me say I can’t do it any more! My wife has been there when all I can do is sleep because I’m that sick. My kids sit with me in bed and rub my back because I can’t get out of bed.
I’m no hero, I’m just a man with a dream – my dream is to win!! On and off the track, teach my kids that if you put your mind to something you can do anything. I owe my success this year to my family. That includes my racing family who change my tires get me water and cheer for me in the stands. Love them all!!!”
While I fight back the tears, all I can see is Tim with a big grin on his face. He’s truly an inspiration and reminds us what an amazing racing community we have.
The amount of support he’s received throughout the racing community has been incredible, and a reminder why this isn’t such a silly hobby after all. Tim would want people to recognize that with hard work, determination, and even without a large budget, you can and will succeed. So go out and live your life its fullest!
Tim, I am lucky to have called you my friend. I don’t say this lightly, but you are truly my hero. You will be greatly missed, though I am expecting to feel your presence at the track, and in life, for many years to come.