As the resident LeMons fanatic at Autoblog, it was tough to miss out on this year's first race at the Altamont. I live less than 20 minutes away, but prior commitments took precedence, so the team and I postponed our rat-rod run until later this year. Two of my LeMons teammates and I were driving through the Nevada desert on Sunday when we received word that a fellow racer had lost his life the day before. The mood turned somber in seconds. Details were scarce, but as our trek northward unfolded, we were able to get a few more details.
Court Summerfield, a 47-year-old resident of Alameda who worked with his wife, Vickie, at Ole's Waffle Shop, died of a heart attack while running the race. The preliminary investigation performed by the CHP confirmed that nothing was wrong with #39 Team Cant Am's Volvo 242 Turbo and that Summerfield was unconscious when he hit the wall.
Regardless of the circumstances, it was still an emotional blow to those of us that have followed the series since its inception, but one quote from Court's wife lifted our spirits immediately. Vickie said that, "It was really just something that he was happy doing. I'm sure the way he went, he was happy."
Jay Lamm, the man behind the 24 Hours of LeMons, informed us yesterday that a memorial fund has been set up in Court's honor, with all the proceeds going to his wife. You can make a donation by going to the 24 Hours of LeMons website and clicking the "Donate" button on the home page. I just donated what was left in my PayPal account after selling a few parts from my own track-day beater. It wasn't much, but it felt apropos of everything I'd like to think Court enjoyed.