Close wheel to wheel racing is one of the MSA's strong points.
MSA's welcoming of new talent to their organization, uniform rules enforcement and a strong camaraderie amongst the competitors has given the small sanction a lot to smile about in a tough economy. Even though car counts may not be what they were ten years ago, the MSA produced 20-plus cars at each 2008 Sandusky event and 19 cars made the trip to Angola, Indiana, this year.
If you can get to a Supermodified race you will not regret it. Consider this; former MSA Champion Timmy Jedzrezek set a new track record at Oswego with a 15.542 second lap at over 144 mph. Go watch and I guarantee that you will be a new Supermodified fan forever.
Like any racing association, the MSA is not immune to racing accidents. But when a race driver is lost to an on track accident it makes everyone stop and realize the true dangers of our sport. It matters not whether you are a racer, fan, crew member or track operator; it is something we all hope never happens. But, sometimes, this sport we love can be cruel.
Just one week after this story was finished, on July 18, second generation driver Terry Gibson lost his life on the seventh lap of his 10 lap MSA heat race at Toledo (OH) Speedway. The 46-year-old Gibson was involved in a four car collision in Turn 1 on the high-banked, very fast oval speedway. Gibson was extracted from the car, but was later pronounced deceased.
If you are from Richwood, Ohio, with the last name Gibson you just naturally have a draw to the open wheel racecars. A veteran racer from a racing family, Terry Gibson competed for many years in midgets, the 305 Sprint Car ranks on both dirt and pavement, as well as the Supermodifieds in the last couple years. Just like his father, legendary Todd Gibson, brothers Gene Lee, Jeff, and Larry, as well as nephew Zach, Terry had the respect of the racing community as a fine competitor that would and did give it his all. The light to compete burned bright within Terry. He was a fixture in the MSA pit area and loved being there. Terry was one of the most liked and conversational competitors at any track he visited. Never one afraid to voice his opinion on any subject Terry is missed and leaves a void in the MSA and the racing community as a whole. Ironically, on that tragic night at Toledo, Terry's nephew Zach Gibson was nabbing his third win of the 305 pavement Buckeye Super Sprint Car season at Kil Kare Speedway down the road at Xenia, Ohio.
Terry Gibson was a son, brother, husband, father, and uncle. Terry Gibson was also a true racer. He will be missed, and though the MSA racers know that they must continue to conduct business, not one racer on race day will forget Terry. Godspeed my friend.