On Thursday night Guy Ahlwardt received the okay to resume normal activities after a bout with Covid-19. The next day he returned to racing at Antioch Speedway in California.
Ahlwardt, 34, a government worker from Antioch, contracted Covid-19 while on the job. He had to quarantine for weeks. Ahlwardt beat the virus only to get beaten up at Antioch.
During the first night of a two-day show, Ahlwardt came out of the first turn to find himself in a precarious situation in the IMCA sport mod feature.
A car driven by Randy Miller came down across the nose of the car steered by Chase Thomas (21C), sending Ahlwardt and Thomas sideways in front of the pack.
“Friday night sucked,” said Ahlwardt, the reigning IMCA California state champion. “I came back out after the crash, but I couldn’t find the fast way around the track.”
After a rough couple of weeks battling Covid-19 and a tough Friday night at the races, Ahlwardt found redemption on Saturday night.
“I battled Chris Falkenberg for second and he got me,” Ahlwardt said. “My goal is to make it to the [IMCA Speedway Motors] Super Nationals [at Iowa’s Boone Speedway] this year.”
Ahlwardt drove to Arkansas to pick up his new GRT Race Cars chassis at the start of the season — before Covid-19 dashed the optimism of the new year.
“It’s my first brand-new race car, and I had to see how it was made and how it works,” said Ahlwardt. “Now, I’m glad to be alive and racing it.”
Guy Ahlwardt advises people to take Covid-19 seriously.
“I am young and healthy, and it was like a bad flu for me, but others are having a much harder time with it,” Ahlwardt said. “Be very clean, wash your hands, and wear a mask — but live your life. Tomorrow is not promised.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.