Author Topic: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt  (Read 10161 times)

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All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« on: November 17, 2009, 11:53:59 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 2:42 pm by Bigd: 



All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt

It was about this time of year in 1986, I was fresh out of High School, a crew member of Dons'. We won the feature at Spencer, holding off "Mr. Excitement" for the last(and longest) 25 laps. At lap 28 I looked at Ed Spencer and said, "where's the two to go signal?" "It's 35 laps this week" he said. My heart was in my throat, pounding. But, Don held Jimmy at bay. This completed what only a few in modified racing have accomplished. Feature wins at all threee upstate weekly mod tracks, Spencer, Shangri-La, and Lancaster.

Don was always very proud of that achievement. More importantly, he loved competing and being around guys like Jimmy, Richie, Jan, Tommy Druar, Rod Spaulding and Tony J. He even loaned his car to Randy Hedger one night at Shangri-La. Randy needed a ride, he was in a battle for the track championship. He later credited Don for his generousity in helping him WIN that track championship. We were in a points battle with Tony J. in 1989 for the ROC tour. Don loaned Tony our spare engine in the middle of that points battle.

After Don's tragic death at Pocono in 1989, I took a year off from racing. I attended one race that year......the ROC. Don was postumously inducted into the ROC Hall of Fame at that years race.

The following year, I became Crew Chief for his longtime friend Daryl Lewis. We won some races, all with the number 62 on the corner of the roof. The night we won the Don Pratt Memorial at Tioga was our proudest moment. A fitting tribute to our longtime friend and Hero.

In this time of the Modifieds struggling to keep weekly racing alive, we should remember Don Pratt, a man who would do whatever it took to be at the races each week. And it's not just the competition, but the comraderie and friends you make at the track that matter most. RIP #62

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2009, 11:55:00 PM »
Posted by Mods1065:

Thanks for this Bigd. Miss him alot and we never go too long without telling or hearing a DP story. We will never forget him!!!!  RIP #62

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 11:55:34 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 4:04 pm by RaceGuy: 

Don was one of the reasons I chose to run the number....


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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 11:56:10 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 4:16 pm by Mark:      

He's one of those drivers that you won't forget. He wasn't flashy or banging on people while racing, and he left us too early.
#62 Pratt racing memories live on.....
His orange and white Cavalier that was brought out late in 1988 was a beauty too!

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 11:56:52 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 5:33 pm by No72falcon:   

   
So fitting that this subject got brought up today. I was just at Ray Hedger's shop an hour ago and had a nice chat with Alex Hoag. Just such a super kid from such a wonderful family. Nice that I was bought up in the 70's and 80's with the modifieds at such a great time. Not to get off the subject, yes I too miss Don Pratt.

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 11:57:34 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 9:58 pm by Bakes:      


Don was good people - as good as they get. I was there the day he had the accident and prefer not to think about it - more fun to think about watching him run, clean and as hard as possible within the car's abilities.


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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 11:58:11 PM »
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 10:42 pm by Mark:      


Alex Hoag ran #62 when he moved to the asphalt Modifieds.
Don would have turned 63 a few months ago too....

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009, 11:58:48 PM »
Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 1:21 am by Bigd:      


Mark, you never cease to amaze me. Would be nice to meet you and talk racing sometime. I'm working with the Lewis boys now, stop over some night.
Raceguy, that is an awesome looking #62!
That 1988 car won best appearing at the ROC. We broke a sump belt on the starting grid and never got to race that day.

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 11:59:49 PM »
Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 5:54 am by Mark:      


That works. I'll introduce myself the next time I'm around the Lewis team cars in the pits.
Don's "triple-play" achievement came at Spencer on 6/20/86 with his Modified. He won at Lancaster in 1982 and had Shangri-La wins in 1985 and 1987.
Don's first Modified in 1973 was an ex-Richie Evans coupe.


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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2009, 12:00:33 AM »
Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 8:34 am Shamrock_3x:      


...which is how he ended up with the #62 - just changed the 1 to a 2. A good guy gone way too soon.

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2009, 12:01:09 AM »
Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 3:05 pmby RearEnd:      


BIG "D"

Wow,,,what a great post...I miss him alot and look back at the pictures I have from the good old days!!!

Great to see your back with the Lewis gang, wish I could get to see more races.

Don still is a special racer in this fans memory!!!!!!

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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2009, 12:01:54 AM »
Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 5:32 pm by Nerfbar:      


Best time I ever had was the weekend that I went to Martinsville with Don there was never a lack for fun with that crew I miss him alot if nothing else he is with his brother who was his best friend god bless them both


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Re: All about the Modifieds: Don Pratt
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2009, 10:16:12 AM »
It was men like Don Pratt that brought me from race fan to a racing writer/columnist. I know where he ended up after that horrible accident. Say hi to our friends up there for us, Don.
A bad day at the racetrack is still better than a good day anywhere else! May God Bless Dutch Hoag - the best idol a boy who never grew up could have.