This might be a story about friendship and support in a time of need rather then dominating winning streak. This story is about Mike Ellis. I met Mike while on the road sometime in the late ’80’s racing off road in the Portland & Salem Oregon area. Like any racer, he was intense and focused. But when the transmitter was switched off, the jokes and jabs began. Mike often had a two sons at the track, which they were just as entertaining to be around. Mike always had an open door if you needed to crash for the night after the races.
Mike contracted a blood decease in the Navy in his youth which went unchecked 35+ years. Once diagnosed, his treatment was denied by his insurance company until another friend persuaded the company to do the right thing. Mike eagerly started his treatment and quickly realized that his vision, nausea, headaches, and mental focus was going to sideline all of his favorite activities. Mike’s work kept him on board to support his insurance, but the economic times required that he eventually be laid off. After all this, Mike was only left with the support of his wife Julie and his friends as he endured his treatment. When I phoned him up, he would often answer with the weeks remaining.
This prompted all the motivation that I needed to do something for Mike to lift his spirit in a time that was direly needed. I decided to build one of my 12th scale cars for him and present it at the conclusion of his treatment. I contacted some of my favorite manufacturers asking for a donation on Mike’s behalf. They stepped up and supported my project generously. I can not say enough great things about these companies other then remember to support them when you make a choice where to shop.
Slapmaster Tools www.slapmastertools.com
Horizon Hobby www.horizonhobby.com
JR Racing www.jrradios.com
Precision Racing Systems www.precisionracingsystems.com
Lunsford Racing www.lunsfordracing.com
RC Plus www.rcplus.com
Friends/Racers: Tom Camou & Mike Godson
Julie covertly acquired Mike’s signature for me which I prepared to be inlaid into the carbon fiber chassis. I finished the car as a replica to the very spec I use to win on Sunday. I painted the Protoform body in a simple pattern so that the each donating manufacture’s logo would stand out. All was set. Now it was up to Mike to muster the strength to visit his buddies at the track from a year long hiatus. The word suddenly came that Mike just pulled into the parking lot. After some quick “hellos” I took the microphone and made the announcement.
Mike Ellis is in the house! A huge round of applause. I said that “get well” cards are nice, but we didn’t get one for him. Instead, I presented him with full turn key race car completely donated by everyone on the body. We got Mike on the stand for a lap, the first in a year. Had I charged the battery, he would have got a full lap! Oops! Needless to say, Mike was choked up and I got a big hug out of it. Mike has been missed at the track, but we all know that he is too tough to stay away. We all wish him a speedy recovery to full health so he can spend his race days with all of his buddies.
I want to thank all of the manufacturers and retailers that made this special project possible.
Sincerely, Brian Bodine; Slapmaster Tools