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It’s never goodbye. Instead, so long…

I grew up first loving cars. I had large decal stickers in my bedroom plastered to the walls. A red Lamborghini Diablo and a black Countach. The four walls had a wallpaper near the ceiling that graced the rectangular perimeter of the room with a variety of open wheeled race cars in a draft line as if it were the Indianapolis 500. Depending on where you were looking as a young boy, you would easily be able to pretend another fictional cartoon race car was winning the world's greatest race.

Hundreds, maybe a thousand 1:64th scale (commonly the Hot Wheel) replica vehicles filled totes, buckets, and bags in my parents home. Race cars, street cars, specialty vehicles, and more. A small town car rug was my favorite place to play. I've never wanted anything more than a fast car, and somewhere to drive it. In my earliest years, my bedroom was the definitive place for automotive joy. Automobiles were my first true love.

At the age of nine I was regularly able to spend time with my uncle Matt. He introduced me to NASCAR, and specifically the Earnhardt family. We didn't typically have television growing up but I did have memories at that age of watching IROC and NHRA racing prior to learning about stock car racing. It didn't take much for me to learn to live for NASCAR. My first ever race as a fan was the 2001 Daytona 500. It changed my life forever.

Heading into the event I was prepared to be an Earnhardt fan forever. I watched as NASCAR on Fox nearly predicted the most amazing event in history. That afternoon, the world of racing lost its greatest hero, Dale Earnhardt Sr. My youth in those emotional moments instead hung on to the lone positive from the race. Underdog Michael Waltrip was victorious. I fell in love with the lore of Waltrip's career. As I got older I learned to respect and appreciate the value and impact of Earnhardt's loss. Despite the challenging realization of a driver dying in the sport, I became a fan of Waltrip's forever.

In the coming years, I remained loyal to Mr. Waltrip and NASCAR, but I learned to appreciate a complex variety of other forms of racing. Drag racing, dirt racing, rally racing, motocross, open wheel, monster truck. Auto racing was my second true love.

I'd watch Dave Despain and Robin Miller each week to stay up to date with race results. My small library of books was almost entirely focused on racing. It was all I cared about.

As my high school years took over I played in the marching band and celebrated as we put our name on Dale Earnhardt Jr's race car. "Groveport Madison High School Marching Band". I was assigned the duties of editing the website of our marching band and also took over marketing responsibilities for my local employer, the historic Drexel Theatre.

In 2009 I started blogging for LiveStrong. Separately, Twitter became my own personal micro-blog. Writing became my third love.

Through the next several years I combined my interests in racing, the automotive industry, and writing. Several versions of a podcast focused on racing. We organized an in-depth fantasy racing league, and video games on the regular were the focus of weekend entertainment for my friends and I.

In the fall of 2020, I combined everything I had worked towards and created Racing Refresh. Our goal was to promote auto racing as a form of entertainment as well as diversity in the world of motorsports. We welcomed guests, new writers, and earned our NASCAR credential in only 5 months. By the end of 2021 our small team was attending races week after week. In 2022, Racing Refresh earned NHRA, Indycar, Formual E, and ARCA credentials. We attended races all over the country.

I had the privilege to focus on mostly NHRA drag racing in 22' while the rest of our team covered their respective sports. The most unusual relationship started to form between myself and a true racing icon. 16x NHRA champion John Force welcomed me into his world in May of last year.

I worked hard to make sure my coverage and articles promoted his company's best interests, but even when they had their struggles was honest. John and I stayed in touch and continued to cross paths many times. As we got to know one another, we recognized the value in our relationship and eventually it was determined that growth in my career could take place representing John Force Racing.

Last week I announced to my friends and family that my new professional home is JFR. As excited as I am to make a permanent change in my auto racing career, it's time I tell our fans and readers. I'll be leaving Racing Refresh soon. Most of the transition has already started. Our managing editor Adam Carabine has been promoted to Administrator of our great brand and I'll ensure everyone he's as prepared as ever to take this blue blaze to even greater places.

It's awkward and interesting to step away from something that means so much, but my time is now.

The great Larry King said on his final live broadcast.. it isn't goodbye, but so long. I share his sentiment, because I'm always watching; but I'm never gone.

I'll always love this brand and the people who gave me the chance to grow in the world. Each of the people mentioned below deserve as much, or more credit. I promise you, if you continue to follow their work, more emotionally charged letters celebrating wondermous careers are soon to follow.

My most sincere thank you to the following people:

  • Adam Carabine

  • Crystal Clay

  • Collin Best

  • Matt Marr

  • Tyler Lawler

  • Matt Nicholson

  • Tom Willoughby

  • Logan Morris

  • Peyton Lohr

  • Justin Seger

  • Daniel Foster

  • Zachary Bell

  • Our Readers

Another final thank you to God, my late grandmother Donella Decker, my parents who push me to new challenges, my smart and special siblings, my extended family, the Turners, my friends, colleagues, and the wonderful partners at JFR.

As I always say. Smile, Be Happy. And Until Then.

Sea Amable Consigo Mismo. Sea Amable Con Otros. Sea Feliz. Hasta Entonces, Cuedese.

Take Care.


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