Last Saturday night, Jeff Daniels displayed a decal, paying tribute to Devin Tedford, a 21-year-old Blenheim native and a member of the Hope racing team, who died on July 14.
Daniels’ picture, posing with the checkered flag beside the ‘Teddy’ tribute sticker following his Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified mid-season championship victory, appeared in many print and online media outlets.
This Saturday, it was everyone at South Buxton Raceway paying tribute to the Daniels family, after the death of Jeff’s father Wayne on Friday.
Justin Coulter put Daniels’ No. 20 and the initials ‘WD’ on his car, as he ran points for Jeff on Saturday.
Clayton Smith had the No. 22D on his car for Brian Speelman, who is married to Jeff’s sister Tricia.
Daniels and Speelman considered racing in Wayne’s honour on Saturday, but were both too overwhelmed to race. They watched the racing from a VIP both with their families and race teams.
“I want to thank South Buxton Raceway, the fans, and definitely all the drivers,” Daniels said.
“When I saw them all come out like that, it really hit me,” he said, as all of the drivers were on the front-stretch for the pre-race ceremonies on Memorial Night, which included a tribute to Wayne.
“My dad lived and breathed South Buxton Raceway, that would have meant more than anything to him,” he said of the track and drivers’ gesture.
All four memorial race winners paid tribute to Wayne.
It was an emotional night at South Buxton Raceway, from the pre-race Memorial Night ceremony to a choked-up winner of the final feature race of the night.
Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume is the sole winner of the Gord DeWael memorial in the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models, winning the second annual feature race honouring the South Buxton Raceway Hall of Famer who passed away in January, 2013.
Steve Shaw won his first Len Bryden memorial in the Tirecraft Sport Stocks, which was emotional enough for the Merlin driver, as he had to fight to find the words to send condolences to the Daniels’ family on the death of Wayne.
Leamington’s Joel Dick couldn’t help but think back to last Saturday when Daniels was one of the first guys to help his crew when his car was damaged, as he saluted the Chathamite with his victory in the Brian Outhouse memorial for the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds.
Cottam’s Rob Quick celebrated his first Cory Schives memorial race win for the Tirecraft Mini-Mods, his third feature win of 2014.
Blenheim’s Shawn Hope swept the Autotech Bombers class with a feature and heat race win for a second consecutive week, with a decal honouring Devin Tedford, a family friend and crew member for the Hope brothers race team who died on July 16, on all three Hope cars for a second week.
The night began with a ceremony honouring the four memorial race namesakes as well as for Wayne Daniels, father of Modified driver Jeff Daniels and father-in-law of Brian Speelman, who passed way on Friday at age 57 after suffering a suspected aneurysm.
Justin Coulter, last year’s Outhouse memorial winner, drove for points for Daniels with the No. 20 on his car and finished 10th in the feature while Clayton Smith drove for Speelman with the No. 22 on his panels, finishing seventh.
Please check back later Sunday for expanded coverage.
The management and staff at South Buxton Raceway, all of the drivers, the race teams and fans, all extend our sympathies to the Daniels’ family on the death of Wayne Daniels on Friday.
Wayne is survived by his wife Donna, son Jeff Daniels and his wife Sarah, and daughter Tricia Speelman, and her husband Brian.
Wayne was a proud father and father-in-law last Saturday watching his son win the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds mid-season championship and son-in-law Brian finish third.
Friends will be received at McKinlay’s Funeral Home, 459 St. Clair St., Chatham on Tuesday July 29, from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. .The Funeral Service will be conducted at the Funeral Home on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Donations in lieu of flowers in Wayne’s memory to the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation or Autism Ontario would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be left at www.mckinlayfuneralhome.com McKinlay Funeral Home, 459 St. Clair Street, Chatham 519-351-2040