January 24, 2013

Booper Bare Racing mourns the loss of long time team member; Wishing Merritt Sprouse a speedy recovery.

With a heavy heart Booper, Lori, Megan & Tyler Bare mourn the loss of long time team member and family friend Steve Ward. Steve lost his courageous battle with cancer January 23rd, and has left a big hole in the Mid-Atlantic racing community.

Steve was not just a team member of Booper Bare Racing for many years, but a long time family friend. Steve lived with the family on two different occasions while working for Booper Bare Racing and was a big part of the success that the team had in Booper’s three decades of racing up and down the East Coast. Steve spent the last year working for Martinsburg, West Virginia’s Harbaugh Motorsports. Booper & Steve remain close over the years talking at least once a week on the phone and were reunited on the track this past year when Booper was asked to drive for Bob, Diane & Duane Harbaugh.

“It is such a sad day for my whole family” said Booper. “Steve was like family to us. He lived here on the farm for many years while he worked for me and was always there to help. It didn’t matter whether it was on the car or the farm; he just jumped in and did what was needed. Our kids grew up with Steve around and this has hit everyone hard. We all knew it was coming but it still takes your breath away when it happens” added Bare.

“I am so glad I drove to West Virginia last night and got to spend what ended up being his last hours with him. We said goodbye and by the time I got to my car in the Hospital Parking lot, Bob (Harbaugh) called me to tell me he had passed away. I will be forever grateful that I got to see him that one last time. I know he is out of pain now and in a better place. One of those old racers in Heaven just got a pretty good crew chief” added Booper with a laugh.

Booper and family also would like to send their prayers to car owner and long time friend Merritt Sprouse who is in the hospital recovering from surgery. Merritt along with Chris Cromer own the #83 that Booper drove to a couple of wins and a second place finish in the 2011 Steel Block Bandit series.

“I was in to see Merritt earlier this week” stated Booper. “He was doing great, his attitude was good and he was joking around like the Merritt we all know. He has a pretty good recovery coming up but is anxious to get back to the track and go racing and I for one will be very happy to see him there” said Bare.

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