No Give Up In Chase Stockon
USAC sprint car racer Chase Stockon has an interesting back story.
Longtime SPEED SPORT Magazine contributor Mike O’Leary told the story of Stockon’s rise to the top of the USAC sprint car world in the July issue of the publication.
Here’s an excerpt of that story:
By Mike O’Leary
Life changed for the Stockon family when Chase’s mother, Laura, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While his father focused on taking care of her, Chase took responsibility for all aspects of his sprint car team. With the family working through the difficult period together, it gave Chase an outlet for his own emotions.
“I actually had to learn how to do everything and I think that kind of a better understanding of how to set the car up also helped my driving,” he said. “I knew what I wanted, could tell what I wanted and knew what to do with the car. I think that it was actually good and bad all at the same time.”
Stockon’s performance improved steadily as racing continued to be important to the family. But his mother’s health declined.
“It’s been part of everybody in my family for our whole lives,” Stockon explained. “She was a big part of it, too, up until a few years ago when she got sick. She just wasn’t able to come to the races anymore. I remember the last race she went to was at Terre Haute. I believe it was Sprint Week and we did pretty good. Going to the stands and seeing a big smile on her face was probably the greatest thing in the world.
“We had that conversation last year when her health started getting really bad. She told me that ‘there’s no reason to worry about me, it is what it is.’ So, you just have to keep doing what you’re doing and look toward the future. That was probably my biggest motivation last year. I know that’s what she wanted and that she’s smiling down on us, watching.”
Tragically, Laura Stockon lost her battle early last summer. Chase quickly turned to racing and recalled, “No matter how focused you think that you can be in a race car…the first race that I ran after she passed away was the Kokomo Smackdown. That night I came from 18th and finished third. The last three or four laps I couldn’t quit messing up. I about plastered the wall a few times, all I could think about was her. So as much as you think you can stay focused in one of these, it was pretty difficult for me.”