So much of what we share is about the cars and the events but what we so often forget to remember are those who helped make it all possible. They are made up of family, friends, co-workers, customers, sponsors and race fans and without them all of this would be for not. We should never forget where we came from or who our friends are.
In looking back one of those individuals that I remember that stood out so much was my good friend and crew chief, Anselmo "Junior" Rodriguez. I can't even begin to tell you how many sacrifices he and his family made which was invaluable to helping me not only get my start in racing but went all the way from getting my rookie license on up to winning championships and setting records. Nobody knows how many late nights and weekends he spent working on the car and crew-chiefing for me.
I was blessed to have Junior with me during so many victories including some of the Timex 12 Hour Endurance races and Timex Endurance Series as well as winning the 1999 Mexican Grand Prix. But aside from being such a loyal crew chief Junior was so much more. He was one of the best friends I have ever had. The good news is he still is and always will be. The bad news is today I had to make an unwanted phone call to tell him how sorry I was to hear of the loss of his younger brother. It's a phone call nobody ever wants to make. No man with such a great heart and so much love of family and life should ever have to suffer the loss Junior has but I know God has a reason, one we should not question.
Instead of dwelling on Juniors loss I thought it better to share with all of you some of the wonderful times we shared together instead. Here are just a few of my favourite times Junior and I spent in Mexico fishing and racing. Notice he is never without a smile and that same smile is one that always makes everyone around him smile as well.
Anthony Rodriguez... may you rest in peace.