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webby 04-17-2009 02:53 PM

Buddy Craig
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Buddy Craig was so much more than a Racecar driver, and I thought that I would share some things that most people do not know. He was born April 27 1959 and we lost him July 24 2003.

At the age of 13 months, doctors found that he suffered from a rare blood disease and to save his life they decided to amputate his limbs, although this would be a problem for most people it was just a minor setback for this unique individual

Buddy went on to play concert piano; he also became a very good pool player who played in many tournaments around the world, one of his fondest memories was playing against Minnesota Fats. Buddy also became a hero raising thousands of dollars for the Jerry Lewis telethon and holding many benefits for other people who had problems and or setbacks in their lives. Buddy also was a mentor for many young disabled kids.

He also was a terrific artist who loved drawing Disney characters and cars especially racecars. He also did calligraphy. Bud drew many of the Lakeside program covers.

I believe that Buddy always wanted to drive racecars so he got as close to racing as he could hanging around his Dad, Ken who owned a Modified at Lakeside Speedway in the late 60’s driven by Bob Land and also selling programs at Englewood Speedway in the early 70’s. In the photo above you can see Buddy's dad, Ken Craig kneeling near the right rear tire of this CARC Modified he owned. Driver Bob Land is standing all the way to the right.

In 1985 Buddy realized his lifelong dream, he finally with the help of many friends and admirers built and drove his first racecar.

Buddy was one of us at R&R Racing Team and asked me if he could run my number 16, he told me he would be honored if I would let him run my number, I told him that I was the one that was honored. Bud not only drove but also built much of his own equipment, building the engine for his car with the block sitting across the armrests of his wheelchair. I was lucky because he did most of the work on his car at my Dads shop and it was treat to watch him run impact wrenches and just do the things that no one thought would be possible for someone like Buddy.

That season he not only became a driver but also achieved his first win.

Later Buddy would move on to run on the Dirt at CNS and also later on the asphalt after CNS was paved, he also ran a Dwarf car.

Buddy was such a special person who the world lost too young. who had never actually met him. He never expected people to treat him any different than anyone else. He worked as a counter clerk at Poor Boy’s Auto Salvage and worked the keyboard on a computer better than most people with fingers. He was a true HERO who would do anything for anyone. He was admired and loved by all who knew him and many who had never actually met him. Bud I love and miss you.

I watched Buddy Craig with amazement at his accomplishments over the years. Before I knew him personally, I watched him do a collection for Muscular Dystrophy at Englewood Speedway ( more than once if memory serves ). In 1977 the Englewood Racing Association actually held a "Buddy Craig Night". The incredible thing about this was that the night was not about Buddy Craig or his (so called) disabilities, it was about Buddy Craig attempting to raise his goal of collecting part of the $20,000 he felt he could somehow raise & give to M. D. on the night of the annual Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon. Here was this guy, with his own obvious medical-physical problems & what does he do? He absolutely gave his all to help others who were in dire physical straights as well! If Buddy had never, ever taken a lap driving a race car, just imagine how many people he had touched in some way from that wheel chair of his! Just a couple of years after that I was managing an automotive paint store in northwest Denver & I couldn't believe my eyes one day when Buddy Craig came driving up to my store in a maroon '66 Ford Mustang Coupe. This car was nice! & it was Buddy's. He'd come in & hang out & do some "Monday Morning Racing", we'd discuss everything from the previous weekend's racing activities to his plans to go racing himself. This guy was truly amazing & he was truly just a really nice human being. I was shocked & saddened when I learned of Buddy's passing.

- Written by By Bruce Rhoades and Rick Wasilko

rapid30 05-08-2009 07:20 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
Last month Buddy would have been 50 years old, RIP Bud we miss you.

Dee Clark 05-08-2009 08:53 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
I Miss You So Much Buddy
I Will Always Love You

rapid30 07-27-2009 07:17 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
Last friday was the 6th anniversary of Bud's death, although he is gone, he will never be forgotten. The Buddy Craig memorial race has been held for the past two years in Lamar and will run again this October, and many of the CARC Mods will make their way down for this race. Jeff Quinn has done a great with these in the past and I am sure that he will again.
We all love and miss you Bud.

rapid30 07-27-2009 08:49 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
4 Attachment(s)
Here are some more of Buddy's art work and some interesting letters. Also some of his caligraphy.

rapid30 07-27-2009 08:52 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
5 Attachment(s)
More from Buddy's scrap book.

rapid30 07-27-2009 08:58 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
3 Attachment(s)
More Buddy stuff, the picture is Buddy with my nephew Scott. The letter anouncing that CNS will open as an asphalt track was also in Buddy's book.

onthegas 07-28-2009 01:22 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
Having grown up around Bud I learned that theirs is nothing you can't do! I wish my kids could have got to know him! I have shared most of my memories with them (at least the ones I can share) they just sit and listen! Every time they say I can't, I just sit them down and tell them another story! Theirs not a day that goes bye I don't think about Bud, even when I start o think it can't be done I just think about Bud and dig harder! We love and miss you Scott,

thpracing 07-28-2009 03:57 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
man---its been 6 years already---we all still miss ya buddy----

ps---i shot pool with him a time or 2 at the stardust---couldn't beat him-he was a hell of a good shooter---kt

rapid30 07-28-2009 10:42 PM

Re: Buddy Craig
Buddy once played pool with Minnesota Fats and Buddy won, there was a great story on Buddy in the Cue-times newspaper, I will try to locate it and post it.

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