2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Preview

Memo Gidley released from hospital, returns home to California

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This story broke last night but it’s good news nonetheless. Memo Gidley, who was injured in a serious accident at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, has been released from Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. and was medically transported by air to his home in Northern California.

The release follows three surgeries after the accident. On the day of the accident itself, Jan. 25, he had surgery to repair a broken left leg and left elbow, and endured a lengthy surgery to repair a compression fracture in his lower back on Monday, Jan. 27. The final surgery was completed on Friday, Jan. 31 to repair a fracture in his left heel.  He has spent the days following his final surgery resting and gathering strength for the medical transport across the country.

“I’m extremely happy and relieved to see Memo taking the next step in his recovery process,” team owner Bob Stallings said in a release. “Memo has been stabilized enough so he can make the flight to northern California and be transferred to another medical facility which has a very capable protocol for handling the types of injuries and recovery process that Memo requires. The doctors and nurses from Halifax have done a terrific job in getting him to this point, and I know that Memo is appreciative of it and everything that has been done on his behalf.”

Gidley also had a statement from the team release, as he begins the next phase of his recovery.

“I’ve had great care while I have been here at Halifax,” Gidley said. “From the nursing staff to the doctors, I appreciate all they have done for me.  I know it will take a while for me to get back on my feet, but I will be working hard for all the fans, friends and family who have been pulling for me since the accident.”

With Gidley’s concern and recovery first and foremost on Stallings’ and the team’s mind, the GAINSCO group has not yet revealed the next phase of its racing plans for 2014. The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team planned only to race in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski