May 23 & 24 2014 – Ryan Bard Memorial Weekend & BSRS Tour
Aztec Speedway will celebrate the memory of the 2007 Southern Sport Modified state champion, Ryan Bard.
Previous Ryan Bard Events
The Ryan Bard Safety Foundation
As many folks know, Ryan Bard, an Aztec, N.M. native, died in a horrible fire following a racing accident at the Southern Challenge in Abilene, Texas on October 21st, 2007. This race took his life and changed many others, including mine. I’m Paul Lapaire, Ryan and my daughter Caley were to be married May 2nd of 2008. Us older folks lost a son, Caley lost her fiancé, and the sport lost a fierce competitor and a great young man. In the days following his death several questions came to mind…
- What can I do to try to prevent other families from experiencing the same profound loss we are?
- How can I keep the reality of his death on people’s minds?
- How can I turn this tragedy into something positive?
- How do I honor Ryan?
Well, one thing was pretty obvious: I needed to set up a way to promote and encourage racer and racetrack safety! With the help and support of IMCA (the governing body of the sport), local (Aztec) and Abilene (TX) track owners, racers, and Ryan’s father, I embarked on a program to raise funds to support safety awareness at the tracks. As I researched ways to accomplish this I met others who were also profoundly impacted by this untimely death, and who were also in pursuit of ways to promote driver safety, but mostly in the Texas area. They were able to hold a seminar with new safety equipment given away as door prizes, and have plans to continue doing so. As much as I would like to bring in people to do the same, I don’t have the number of tracks to pull from that the Dallas area has, so I need to develop a different means of communicating the importance of safe racing. It is my intent to provide direct recognition of safe driving and pit practices by financial reward(s), Safe Driver of the Year, fire extinguisher utilization, and workshops with a rollover cage being built with help from colleagues. Future seminars, workshops, and events will be based on available funding. I wish to thank all who have supported this cause financially, and the tracks and drivers who have allowed me to be a participant. This is a great sport, and a great family, I wish you all the best! Please-RACE SAFE!!
Respectfully Submitted, Paul S. Lapaire