KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bryan Gapinski left an indelible legacy within the racing community.
Gapinski passed away at 56 years old last October following a fight with cancer and now some of his friends have stepped up to not only honor Gapinski, but to help his family.
Dick Kaiser, a driver who knew Gapinski for a long time, has created unique stickers that pay homage to Gapinski. The stickers will be available starting next week at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla., and during the 2021 racing season. Supporters are asked to donate what they can when receiving a sticker as the proceeds will go to the Gapinski Family.
“I raced midgets for a long time and Bryan has been a friend of mine,” Kaiser said. “When Bryan was going through the battle with cancer I was one of the few to know. At the funeral we started thinking of how to help the family out. He has two young children and one has special needs with autism. Jenna, Bryan’s wife, lost her father three weeks later and then she got broadsided in a car accident. I got together with Dan Boorse and some racing people because we need to help out.”
In addition to the stickers a GoFundMe account has been established for the Gapinski Family. The link to learn more and donate is: gofund.me/b9ce239e.
Two-time Chili Bowl champion Dan Boorse, who was also great friends with Gapinski, has been working with Kaiser and others.
“I am donating $1,000 to kick off the GoFundMe and I challenge any other driver who has been a champion or is going after a national championship to match me or donate what you can,” Boorse said. “Not only did I know (Bryan) so personally and was the best man at his wedding, he was such a special guy. Everyone he talked to, he made you feel special. He was an encyclopedia of the midget world of anything that went on. He knew racing from the East Coast to the West Coast. That’s where the National Midget Driver of the Year came from. Every midget race that was run in the county, he had to find out where everybody finished and add up all the points. He took all the points and had a formula.”
Gapinski was the leader of the annual National Midget Driver of the Year Award as well as an announcer and media personality. He worked closely with RacinBoys on the Chili Bowl Nationals broadcasts and the RacinBoys team recently debuted a new look for the announcer booth – now titled the Bryan Gapinski Announcers Booth.
“Bryan was a big part of our coverage on RacinBoys and he was a great friend,” RacinBoys Co-Founder Scott Traylor said. “He is missed, but will always be a part of our team. We encourage everyone who can to help support the Gapinski Family.”