Thieves Among Us

Brian Brown 102417

Brian Brown was lucky to have his helmet returned to him.

There’s all kinds of people that surround us in our daily lives. Some are truly awesome individuals. Others not so much.

Many of these people come and go through our lives without us ever truly knowing anything about them. Other times they make an immediate impact.

We hope and pray that those who make an immediate impact on us do so with a positive effect. Sometimes this is the case, but other times we aren’t so lucky.

In fact, sometimes the bad apples fall straight from the tree and thud off the top of our unsuspecting heads.

I’ve taken note this year as some of this rotten fruit has found its way into our sport. At random times our racing brethren have been subjected to interactions with the lowest of life forms.

The harsh reality is that there are thieves among us.

Missouri Sprint Car racer, Brian Brown is one of the most recent members of the racing fraternity to be subjected to the presence of a thief.

As he piloted his FVP #21 Sprinter to the highly-popular hometown win on Friday, October 20 with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Kansas City’s Lakeside Speedway, his personal property was falling victim to someone with sticky fingers. A very special helmet was stolen from his hauler as he raced just a matter of feet away from it.

Brian was lucky though. He posted an immediate note with an attached reward on social media. “A $1,000 reward with no questions asked” were the more than generous terms that Brown offered for the return of his property.

A few days later a picture was shared that showed Brian reunited with his stolen property.

The attached caption read:

“THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to my racing family. My helmet was returned. Thankful for the person who came forward with it.”

It was a rare happy ending to such a story, but it’s a shame that Brown had to post a reward as well as a display of gratitude just to get his property returned.

I guess it’s the world we live in nowadays.

Short Track Nationals pit shot 2017

Securing personal property in the pit area is now more important than ever before.

My home track – Riverside International Speedway – has also been subject to the actions of thieves this season. In fact, earlier this year a woman was caught going through the cab of a truck in the pit area at the West Memphis oval, while the races were happening. Luckily some of the racers caught her in the act, and locked her in the truck until the authorities could arrive.

To add a cold dose of irony to the situation – it was later learned that she was a police officer with a Mid-South precinct.

I mean, it boggles your mind to even think about it.

These are just a couple of the theft issues that I’ve heard about tracks and racers having to face this year. Some of these situations involve outsiders from our sport trying to rob us blind. Other situations seem to indicate the disappointing likelihood of inside jobs.

As close nit as the racing family tends to be, it’s sad to think that somebody that we deem to be a friend, might be trying to take advantage of us.

It doesn’t matter if you are a fan or a racer, we should all be coherent of securing our items at all times at the track. It’s a shame that it has to be this way, but again I guess it’s just the world we live in.

I remember growing up at the track and that you didn’t have to worry about even locking your car in the parking lot. Teams didn’t have to worry about leaving tools laying around their pit area while they raced.

Sadly, those times are long gone.

The proof is in the pudding. Thieves live and walk among us, and the responsibility of protecting our possessions resides firmly on our shoulders.

Please be aware and please be safe.

About the author

Ben Shelton

Ben got his start at historic Riverside International Speedway. His accomplished motorsports media career includes journalist, race announcer, and on-air personality.
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