Buck Schafroth: A Win After a Tornado Destroyed Everything

Buck Schafroth: A Win After a Tornado Destroyed Everything

May 21 will be forever etched into the memory of Buck Schafroth. It’s when he lost his race shop after a tornado tore through it. However, Schafroth bounced back from the tragedy last Sunday, with a stock car win at Stuart International Speedway in Iowa.

“It was years ago that I heard a tornado had once hit our area,” Schafroth, of Corning, Iowa, said. “It’s one thing to hear a story of one happening, it’s another to see the destruction firsthand. You never think it is going to happen to you. I don’t ever want to see anything like this again. I don’t wish it on anyone else.”

The tornado occurred the second night of the $250,000 Challenge at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa. Schafroth’s team had two stock cars and a trailer at the track. Bad weather canceled the night’s festivities at the speedway.

“We heard the storm was in Brooks, Iowa, heading to Greenfield, and our shop in Fontanelle was right in the path,” said Schafroth. “We loaded up as fast as we could and headed home.”

Schafroth raced three hours to get home. He was not prepared for what he saw when he arrived.

“Our entire race shop was gone,” Schafroth said. “Less than 100 feet away, our house had minimal damage.”

The next morning, Schafroth picked through the rubble of his shop to see what he could find to save.

“Seeing the devastation was overwhelming,” said Schafroth. “I didn’t know how to handle it. I was fortunate to have family to support me. There were two race cars in the shop — a stock car and a modified — both were salvageable. We searched and found our Salute to Veterans trophies, and a couple of plaques. There wasn’t much else.”

He and his friend, Matt Avila, also went to Greenfield, Iowa, with equipment, to assist with the clean-up efforts.

“We wanted to help our neighbors in any way we could,” Schafroth said. “There was not much left standing in Greenfield. Luckily, no one was hurt. I feel for everyone who lost their homes and businesses in Greenfield.”

For example, Nick and Cheyenne Fox, who sponsor Schafroth through their business, Fox Welding, of Greenfield, Iowa, also lost everything, including their welding shop, in the tornado.

As far as his racing program, Schafroth’s family, friends and racers volunteered to help. With the tools Schafroth had in his trailer, he went to work on the cars on the concrete pad. Their efforts paid off, with a victory in their first race back.

“This is the most meaningful win I have ever had,” Schafroth, of Corning, Iowa, said. “We’ve been working out of our race trailer and on a concrete pad since the day the tornado happened. The win gave hope to my family, my team, and my fans.”