CORNING, Iowa — For many Adams County racing fans, the number two stands for something special: racing family man Kevin Sharp.
“He’s going to win it. He was as enthusiastic about winning as anybody. He didn’t come down here to finish in second,” said Adams County Fair and Racing Board President Luis Avila.
Now, the speedway’s first races on March 31st will be met with heavy hearts, as all four Sharp family members were found dead Friday morning in their condo while on vacation in Mexico. Avila said, “It’s a complete surprise, man. It’s still unbelievable.”
While Kevin also served on the Adams County Fair and Racing Board, the sport wasn’t just in his blood, it ran through the entire Sharp family’s veins.
“The son was always in the pits with him last year, and he was probably just as big a competitor as his dad was, and his wife was just as competitive as Kevin was, pushing him to get here and to be competitive. We’re just gonna really, really miss them.”
The goal in every race is to take the checkered flag, which Kevin Sharp did often. His company, Southwest Distributing, sponsors “Victory Lane,” which now takes on a new meaning at Adams County Speedway.
“One of the things that Adams County Speedway is known for is our drivers win a race and they get a simple hat sponsored by Southwest Distributing,” said racetrack announcer Billy Rock. He added, “That was one of the things that a guy might wear to the Iowa State Fair, and they took a lot of pride in that.”
Life at the track without the Sharps won’t come easy, but the sounds of Saturday night racing will be music the speedway knows the family will still hear.
“They’re going to miss him, but he would be the first to say, ‘let’s go racing, boys. Let’s go out and have some fun. Remember the good times,'” said Avila.
Adams County Speedway will hold a vigil to honor the Sharp family on Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the racetrack in Corning. In the event of bad weather, the vigil will be held near the grandstand.