(Originally published on DragIllustrated.com 4/29/21)
The first time I was at the drag strip and heard an announcement for a racer needing parts, I thought the announcer was nuts (SPOILER: He was, but that’s a story for a different day). I had come from the circle-track world. The idea of a team giving their competition the boost they needed to possibly put themselves on the truck sounded ludicrous.
In short order, I discovered drag strips aren’t populated by teams. They’re populated by family. In a family, the instinct is to put their needs before your own. And in a drag racing family, winning isn’t fun unless the driver in the next lane is at 100 percent.
Fam, one of our racers needs some help getting back to 100 percent.
Krusty Ramsey was one of the first racers I met when I started working with Mel Roth and the Pacific Street Car Association and its signature event, the Street Car Super Nationals. His 1978 nitrous-equipped Chevy Malibu was already a legend,his Outlaw 8.5 competitors’ worst 660 nightmare as an olive-green-and-black blur. These days, Pacific is Premier and the SCSN, famous for its residency at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, branched out to St. Louis (where Ramsey won in the inaugural running) and now, to Dallas.
And a couple weeks ago, three days after his birthday, Krusty was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.
Like everyone else hearing the news, there was the gut punch we get when the C-word is used in the same sentence as a loved one. There was the anger of seeing how, once again, one of the truly good people are singled out.
The outpouring on social media was instant. When the news was made public by Meg Ramsey, Krusty’s wife, his Facebook page was inundated with well wishes, prayers, and stories of past battles on the 660. Racers and fans began posting their favorite pics of Krusty and that Malibu. It’s worth noting a lot of those pics were either turning on win lights or receiving big (both in size and amount) checks in the Winners Circle.
Krusty is one of those guys who doesn’t know a stranger. If he’s at the track, either you know him or someone with you does. If you’ve seen a CUS decal at the track, that’s one of Ramsey’s gang (I’ll let you guess what it means if you don’t already).Krusty and Meg and all their family are going to receive all the emotional support they could ever want, because they’re drag racers and we take care of our own.
But I’m going to say what Krusty may not be so comfortable putting out there. Because it needs to be said.
Right now, if you’re in a position where you can, the Ramseys need your financial help.
Cancer treatment is brutal, physically and financially. In addition to just the medical bills themselves, there are factors people don’t understand. There will be days when Krusty can’t work, either from getting chemotherapy treatments or recuperating from them, and money is going to be tight. And there are so many other aspects. Money to buy take out instead of cooking at home because you’re just exhausted from the physical and mental toll cancer takes on not just the patient, but their family. Paying for hotel rooms and fuel for hospital visits and doctors’ appointments. Literally, just the peace of mind knowing that, over the course of treating—and kicking the ass of—this disease, there are funds in place to take the already-crushing strain off the family.
Tell Krusty and Meg you love them. Let them know you’re there for all the other little things, like shopping, cooking, and, let’s be honest, working on the race car. But again, if you can afford to give something—anything—you would help lift a tremendous weight.
Brian Brooks and Scott Lewis are actively working to raise funds for the Ramseys, this information verified on Facebook by both Krusty and Meg. If you’re able to donate, or if you have questions about how to donate or if there is anything that needs doing, email Brian at BSquareDRacing@gmail.com or Scott at SLewis55@yahoo.com.
Like the two said in a joint statement regarding raising money for Krusty’s fight, “…we’re not asking you to give everything, but right now, anything is everything.”