Immediate Release: July 10, 2007
Drag Racing Family
Helps Out One of
Ellingson Family: Cary, Carly, Stevie and Jo
Photo by Motor Race Images
One of life's lessons caught Rapid City's Carly Ellingson
and her family
by surprise in late March.
In a sport that seems so safe
and governed by so many safety rules, one if it's youngest
competitors was seriously injured in a Junior Dragster
accident at Ohio Valley Dragstrip, a National Hot Rod
Association sanctioned dragstrip near Louisville Kentucky,
on March 31, 2007. Eight year old Kaylee Greer was driving
her Junior Dragster for the first time and something went
wrong with her car as she completed her first run. Greer
veered into a guard wall head-on as she was turning off the
race track. She sustained life threatening injuries and was
airlifted to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville,
Greer was to spend weeks in the hospital struggling to
recover from those injuries.
Following nearly two weeks of
observation and surgeries, Greer was fitted with a Halo
device to stabilize her neck and spine. Doctors stated
that they have never seen recovery from such injuries.
Countless hours of prayer and therapies have brought her to
a point where doctors will tentatively release her from the
hospital on July 18. Months of recovery lie ahead for
this little girl.
The major injuries sustained by
Greer are the first recorded in the thirteen year history of
sanctioned NHRA Junior Drag Racing. The class is designed
for youngsters aged 8 to 17. They compete in "junior"
versions of the sports headlining Top Fuel dragsters. The
class is limited to single cylinder, four-stroke, 5hp
engines. Three different age groups are allowed to
compete with speed and and elapsed times closely
monitored in each category. Competition is held on
1/8th mile race tracks to limit speed.
One might ask how Carly
Ellingson fits into this story. 13 year old Carly, and her
family have been involved in the sport since 2003. She
has won three track championships in her short Junior
As track champion at Sturgis
(SD) Dragway in 2003 and 2005 and 2006 track champion at
Douglas (WY) International Raceway she knows the highs
and lows of winning and losing.
Carly and her family, father
Cary, mom Jo and little sister Stevie, were deeply
saddened by the news of Kaylee Greer's accident and terrible
injuries. Feeling somewhat helpless and wanting to help in
some special way, the family decided set up a lemonade stand
at Sturgis Dragway in late June to raise money for the Greer
family. The first weekend netted $255 for the family. The
Ellingson's were elated by the generosity and vowed to move
on and do it again at Oahe Speedway, outside Pierre SD, in
early July. On an extremely warm and humid weekend, they
raised nearly $845 from the lemonade stand, good will
donations, and a passing of Carly's helmet at a pre-race
drivers meeting. At least one racer has donated his winnings
from his weekend in Pierre to the cause.
Carly and her family were
overwhelmed by the heartfelt kindness of all who have
contributed to a little girl they have never met. All they
know is that Kaylee and her family and friends share the
same passion with all who participate in the sport of drag
racing. The Ellingson's know that Carly and Stevie, have learned from this tragedy, life's
lesson's at an early
age-kindness, caring, and compassion. Those qualities will
go a long way in helping Kaylee Greer in her recovery.