Mike Maresca Wins Race for Late Car Owner

Mike Maresca Wins Race for Late Car Owner

On Sunday, Mike Maresca dedicated his small-block modified win to his late car owner Gary Simpson. Maresca posed in victory lane with Simpson’s wife, Amy (right), and daughter, Kerrigan (left), in victory lane at Georgetown Speedway in Delaware.

Simpson, 52, of Harrington, Delaware, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on October 14. He owned the modified that Maresca campaigned with in the Short Track Super Series South region. (For more on Mike Maresca, see “Mike Maresca: Checkmated Matt Sheppard for First Win”.)

“Gary fought hard,” Maresca, 26, of Potsdam, New York, said. “He never stopped living. He kept on working and racing up to the end.”

Simpson called Maresca prior to the start of the season. He asked Maresca if he wanted to drive his modified. Maresca then made his debut in Simpson’s ride during the Sunshine Swing of the Short Track Super Series in Florida.

At Georgetown Speedway, Maresca raced his own car, hoping to spend quality time with Amy and Kerrigan.

“It was their first race since Gary had passed away,” said Maresca. “They took me in as family throughout the season, I was there to support them as family.”

As Maresca raced toward the win, he realized the significance of the victory.

“When I’m driving, I am usually emotionless,” Maresca said. “I felt emotion come over me when I was about to win. I’m not good at things like this. I never lost a close family member. I can’t imagine what Amy and Kerrigan were going through.”

Mike Maresca said he felt Gary Simpson watching over him on Sunday.

“I’m a forward-looking person — we began to make new memories that night,” said Maresca. “Gary gave me opportunities that I will forever be grateful for. There wasn’t a person in the pits he wouldn’t help in one way or another. I’m just a sliver of what he did for people in his lifetime. He was as good as they come.”