Danny Ongais (1942-2022)
When my friend messaged me about his passing, I thought it was an error. And then my stomach plummeted.
Ongais was invincible, and such a kind, shy soul. Thanks for all the memories 'Flyin' Hawaiian,' you always went for it, and were an absolute hero.
Roger Rager (1948-2022)
KMPR Archive: October, 1997
My cousin, Justin Aten, sent me this awesome shot last night.
Its from Sugar River Raceway in October, 1997. Dad and I setting up my somewhat low-budget transmitting on-board camera for my upcoming 8th grade science fair project at Erin Elementary School.
We used an R&D sewer inspection camera from work (my family has owned UEMSI / HTV since its inception in 1989), coupled together with a battery pack and a transmitter taped over my collarbone. The kit wasn't light.
Out on-track, it transmitted the video back to our van, which had a TV/VCR combo broadcasting live what was occurring on-track, while the VCR recorded it. The feature event was run under the lights that night, and a crowd formed around our van to watch my feature.
Perhaps it had too much family involvement to win the science fair, but it was a rather stellar feat. The camera still sits in my Go Pro box, and the footage is still sitting on a VHS tape.
And for history-sake- I led the feature until the final lap. The carburetor trigger broke, and the engine loaded up. It became a dog off the corners and I was passed by Kyle Porter for the win. The Porter family let us borrow a set of sticky tires that day (SRR ran different rules than what we were used to,) so perhaps it was meant to be!