To honor the late champion racer, the Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation was started. It aims to help fund motorsport programs in high schools, trade schools and colleges.
His uncle, Dustin Ross, and Hayden’s father and brother, both named Brady Ross, founded the organization.
“As Hayden’s confidence grew as a race driver, he would always look forward to speaking with young people after the races,” said Dustin. “He would answer questions, show them the car, and the inside of the hauler.”
In October, Ross, 20, tragically passed away in an ATV accident. Despite two races remaining, Ross won the 2022 Sooner Late Model Series championship. He also won the title for the 2022 Southern Touring Late Model Series.
(For more on Ross, read “Hayden Ross: 2022 Champ Dies in ATV Accident”.)
“He had a bright future ahead of him,” Dustin said. “Most kids can’t get into racing without a family member being already involved in racing. Our goal is to get high school and trade schools to start a motorsports program of any kind. We want young people to get a degree in the trades, apply it to racing, and to stay in racing for a lifetime. We’re looking to create a path for young people who don’t have a family member to get them into racing. You can’t just go to a sporting goods store and say you want to buy what it takes to have a race team.”
The Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation intends to help schools with the necessary equipment for welding, metal fabrication, engine building, and race car maintenance and setup.
“Schools will fill out a grant application, describing how they would use the money granted,” said Dustin. “The money is not for operational costs. It’s for parts, equipment, and tools.”
The foundation’s board will determine the grants given.
“We are looking to make connections for funding,” Dustin said. “It is easier to have a conversation after a warm handshake instead of making cold calls. We also have a GoFundMe link on our website for those who want to donate directly.”
If you would like to get involved, you can reach Dustin Ross by calling or texting 417-459-3535 or emailing [email protected].
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st 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.