Michigan Short Track Racing Club: The Spartan Spin- Chargin' Charlie Tribute - Michigan Short Track Racing Club

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The Spartan Spin- Chargin' Charlie Tribute

#1 User is offline   chasinracin Icon

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 08:48 PM

Joy Fair – Flat Rock Speedway, Jr. Hanley – Mt Clemens Race Track, Jack Monaghan – Checkered Flag Speedway, Mike Eddy – Tri City Speedway, Bob Senneker – Berlin Speedway, Ed Howe – Auto City Speedway, Don Biederman – Delaware Speedway. Certain drivers personify the tracks they race at, as did our Charlie Ryan Jr. to Spartan Speedway. The Spartan Speedway family lost its young legend early Saturday morning due to a massive heart attack at the young age of 40. Spartan Speedway was Charlie Ryan Jr. as Charlie Ryan Jr. was Spartan Speedway. Racing is a form of entertainment and speedways are remembered for the drivers who are always guaranteed to put on a show. This was Charlie Ryan Jr. You could always be certain that “Chargin’ Charlie” as they called him would be running the second groove on the tight mile and driving it in turn three deeper than anyone else, putting the fans on their feet. I remember coming to Spartan in the early 90’s for my first time and seeing this white Bailey’s Excavating #24 just putting on a show, passing cars from deep in the field. I asked the guy next to me, who is that guy and he looked at me weird and said “That’s Chargin’ Charlie”. From that day forward, I never forgot and never left Spartan Speedway! Some drivers come and go - move on to larger series or change speedways, but not Chargin’Charlie. Charlie stayed and just kept putting on the shows that Spartan Speedway will be remembered for. I started writing for Spartan Speedway four years ago and have gotten to know all the drivers fairly well. If the dictionary had the word True Racer in it, Charlie Ryan Jr. name would be next to it. In all my years of being around short track racing, drivers seem to always complain about deep inverts, but not Chargin’ Charlie. He always said, “Let’s invert the whole field, I am here to race and put on a show.” And put on the shows he did! Many things happen in life and people say you must go on, but I will tell you that Spartan Speedway will never be the same with the loss of Charlie Ryan Jr. Charlie’s legendary outside dive into turn 3 is gone forever. When someone passes away at a young age, you sit and ask yourself why? But God has a time and place for all of us and we never know when that may be. I look back at Charlie’s last race on Friday night at Spartan Speedway and see the last memory he left us all. Charlie was on the outside and his brother Tim was on the inside racing side-by –side for over 20 laps fighting for 7th place. Charlie wasn’t winning this night, but their he was at Spartan Speedway and putting on the show! Usually Memorial Day weekend is a big racing weekend in my family and after the news of Charlie’s death, I found myself not caring about going to the races. As NASCAR lost Dale, we have lost Charlie! Yes we will be back at Spartan Speedway next week and the weeks after, but The Spartan Speedway we have all came to know and love has lost a legend that can never be replaced! One thing for sure is that if there is a mile short track in heaven, old #3 had better look out, there’s a new kid in town and they call him Chargin’ Charlie. It’s guaranteed he will be there putting on the show! God Speed my friend, you will be missed. - Todd Cumming
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#2 User is offline   cas11 Icon

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 08:51 AM

Very Well Said.


God Speed

Chuck
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#3 User is offline   ljprevo Icon

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 10:28 AM

I posted a picture of Dan K, Felver, and Scott Armstrong's tribute to Charlie running the missing man formation around the track.

http://mstrc.com/mod...yimage&pos=-380
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#4 User is offline   schinde Icon

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 07:14 AM

Quite fitting, Todd,

If only to add,

Living in Onondaga, I have had the chance to meet and talk with Charlie outside of the pits at Spartan. The most memorable was the fiteen minutes or so we spent talking about this upcoming season and his thoughts on it while we were both at the Leslie Hardware. It was mid March or so and was the first time I had spent any time speaking with him other than at the track.

He told me that day that he was ready to go racing, and he was more than ready, indeed, to put on a show. He was pleased to have won the Hard Charger national award and spoke about it with humility. Charlie Ryan was a credit to short track racing and short track racers, and will rank with the best. Charlie was a talented driver, a gentleman, and someone who was a true racer. And, he is someone who will indeed be missed, and remembered by all at Spartan.

Let's hear the call of "Chargin' Charlie Ryan Jr." by Big Ed one more time this Friday in his memory,


Schinde
Short track racing is more fun than a human being ought to be allowed to have!
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#5 User is offline   momio Icon

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 10:08 PM

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Ryan family. The Buckley Racing team is deeply shocked and saddened by this devastating loss to Charlie’s family and the Spartan Speedway community, as well. For over ten years, there has rarely been a time when we were not rooting for Chargin’ Charlie Ryan Jr. Rob looked up to Charlie and admired his skill as a racecar driver and loved to watch him drive that second groove, as we all did. One night at Owosso, how good it felt to have Charlie take the time from working on his own car and come over to our pit and offer his assistance to this rookie driver. Our only wish is that we had had more time to get to know him better. It is true what so many have said before, Spartan Speedway will never be the same.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charlie’s family.

Rhonda, Bob, Rob, Gin, Brad, Carrie, Dick & Shirley
The Buckley Race Team
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