Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ralph Willhite identified as man killed at Jacksonville Speedway

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Ralph A. Willhite has been identified as the man killed on Friday night at Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Illinois. The track shared his obituary on their Facebook page.

Willhite was the 65-year-old man, who was struck by a 410 Sprint Car in the infield. Another man named Hank was also injured in the incident.

Death (Photo by Pixabay)

The track did not provide an update on his condition. However, he is expected to survive.

“There’s so much to say, but really not much that actually needs to be said because we all know the person he was,” Jacksonville Speedway said in a Facebook post. “We could write paragraphs about Ralph as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Co-Worker, Race Fan and all of the roles he filled, interests he had and skills he excelled at. But without a doubt his greatest talent was the art of being a friend.

“The circle of Ralph’s closest friends are hurting today because they know they have lost one who knew how to be a friend far better than most. One who truly made their lives better by being a part of it. He was a great one. One who knew when to make you laugh, how to solve your problem, or when to have your back.”

He is survived by his wife Cheryl. The couple had two sons named Drake and Drew.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. He worked on the race crews with Bobby Hawks and Paul Nienhiser.

“On this day of second guessing and asking the what-if’s…. what if we instead stop and think about the what-if we can actually control,” the Facebook post also said. “What if each of us could use Ralph’s example to learn to be a better friend to those around us? What if we learned to have Ralph’s patience, his care, his timely wit, his loyalty and unselfishness?

“What if we can all be a better friend today than we were yesterday because of the example Ralph showed us and which causes so much pain that he is gone? Thank you for giving us your friendship Ralphie. It’s really what meant the most. We will miss you.”

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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