Drag Racing can be such a heart breaker! Anyone who has been involved in this sport for 10 years or more, has likely dealt with the loss of someone. If you’ve been involved for more then 20 years, then for sure you have suffered from the sudden heartbreak, which this sport can dish out.
Even though Drag Racing is a sport that pushes technology to it’s limits, and sometimes beyond, it’s always a shock when we loose a comrade in this sport. Of coarse I’m speaking of Eric Medlin…
To this day I’ll never understand why the worst of things, happen to the best of people? I’ve known Eric’s dad John, for about 20 years now. He was the crewchief on the first Top Fuel car I ever designed, a car that belonged to Rudy Topke. John has always been a friend and a gentleman to me at the track. He always had time to stop and chat with me for a few minutes. Being a fan of my work, he has some of my stuff hanging in his office, so he always interested in what’s been happening in my artist’s world.
One of the cool things about artist (when it comes to meeting new people) who has been around the sport for so long, is that my work sometimes precedes me…Such was the case with Eric.
When I met Eric for the first time, he shook my hand and said, “I know who you are! It’s an Honor to meet you! “ Since Eric had just taken over Tony’s job as Force’s number 2 driver, and he was the new sensation, I felt like I was the lucky one to meet and get know him. But he made me feel like I was the special one…He always gave me a wave, or a thumbs up through the crowd as I would walk by their (always crowed) pits…I know it’s a cliché to say the “Good die young,” but in this case it’s very true…
To see John out at the track supporting the rest of team Force, is a testament to the strong spiritual nature of the Medlin’s…Eric’s spirit was apparent the moment he flashed that big smile, or gave you that wink of recognition. He will be Greatly Missed!
The next time you see John Medlin on TV, or at the track, stop and think how much some have given for this sport. Give John the Thumb-Up sign; he deserves all the love and support we can muster!