Tony Swan Never Say Die Memorial: Race in Michigan to Raise Money for Cancer Research

By: Eric Rood
August 14, 2019

A man of huge enthusiasm, deep character, and questionable judgement, racer/auto journalist Tony Swan spent his last decade beating back cancer and racing in the 24 Hours of Lemons. Incredibly, he never complained about either.

Lemons’ Chief Perp Jay Lamm spoke about Tony at last year’s October Gingerman race. It wasn’t even all bad jokes about Tony’s poor judgement, either. Tony lived to race like few we’ve ever come across.

When Tony passed, Lemons renamed its Midwest finale The Tony Swan Never Say Die Memorial on October 12-13 at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. That race and its new name charge it with cancer-research fundraising. So the first Tony race will aid Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a pediatric-cancer 501(c)3 that Lemons has worked with for over a decade.

You can read all about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation on the site’s about page. We’re sketching out some great ideas to raise money for ALSF and we’ll let you know what those are when we finalize them. If you won’t be at the race for some ridiculous reason or you’d like to donate in advance, we have set up a page here for online donations in Tony’s memory.

Valve Cover Racing!

We do know that two teams, Rust Belt Racing and Bad Company Endurance Racing, are putting together a valve-cover racing track for Gingerman with a $5 entry tournament (all going to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation). If you’re unfamiliar, it’s similar to Pinewood Derby. Instead of a block of wood, however, you make your car out of an old valve cover.

There are real Valve Cover Racing rules in some parts of the world, but these teams have simplified them (mercifully) for Lemons:

  • Valve/Rocker Cover must be from production passenger car or truck.
  • Maximum overall length: 30 inches (No Minimum)
  • Maximum overall width, including wheels: 14 inches (No minimum)
  • Maximum wheelbase: 24 inches (No minimum)
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 8 inches (No minimum)
  • Maximum weight: 10 pounds (No minimum)
  • Race will be Bracket style, single elimination.
  • Race track will be 3 feet high and 24 feet overall length.
  • Cars are powered by gravity, no power adders!
  • First one to cross the finish line wins.
  • Cars crossing center line are disqualified.

There will also be a Custom Valve Cover show with a $5 entry for ALSF. Customize a valve cover however you want. People can vote with a dollar bill for ALSF, most votes wins the show.

We’ll have more details on fundraising soon, but remember that the GingerMan paddock ain’t infinite. If you wanna be part of the fun, do NOT miss this weekend’s signup deadline! Get the details and sign up here.

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