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Topic: R. I. P. Ralph Blackett Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
Page 1 of 1   of  16 replies
Pizzadude31
May 12, 2007 at 11:45:13 AM
Joined: 01/25/2006
Posts: 75
Reply

On a sad note I was informed early this morning after coming back from Cameron that our long time friend and hero Ralph Blackett had passed away at 2:30 am saturday morning.   His health had been steadily declining the last few years, though he was seen on a power chair he still was able to enjoy his suite on the front stretch with his friends and  many heroes of the 70's and 80's  era from knoxville that would stop in suite # 13 to talk and hang out with Ralphie.   At the start of the season we got the bad news that he was very ill and to many that where at the Outlaws show at Knoxville two weeks ago they  made mention of the contribution to racing he had made to Knoxville and the sport, though in a wheel chair and against doctors orders he was able to enjoy the races he loved that night.  We where actually making plans to visit Ralph at the races tonight but sadly it wasnt meant to be.   Though I was born in 74' I have been around racing since i could crawl at Knoxville and the days where they used to run at the state fairgrounds here in des moines, heroes of course where Ralph Blackett, Doug Wolfgang, Roger Rager, and Leonard McCarl amongst many others past and present.  But my fathers  custom shop  C&C Automotive had been involved in some way or another with those first four guys and our visits to Bob Trostle's shop known as "the Hill".  We also made stops to Leonard McCarls shop , and Freddie Kains shop,  later who ever they had driving for em you could talk to these drivers and as a kid it meant everything to be able to talk to your heroes.  They where icons of Knoxville and sadly we have to all get old,  its gonna be strange goin to the races and not running into Ralph, sipping on a beer in his patented overalls and faded racing T-shirts,  hearing about  crash stories or photo finishes from races all over the country  with legends of the sport in the glory days of non-wing sometimes non- cage racing like it just happened yesterday.   To anybody that has been around racing long enough you mention the name Blackett and they will tell you that guy was one of the few that realized you could go faster by goin slower,  a master of dry slicks, and very sharp on what his car was doing and what the mechanic needed to do to dial it in, though he had some scary crashes in his career he was always a force to be reconed with in the Super Modified, Sprints, Midgets etc.    I think the most memorable thing i can remember as a young kid was watching Ralph at Osky when wings where just starting to become manditory after several tragic crashes at Knoxville, he lost his top wing and still was running with the leaders, Or the story he told me last year where he showed up to a sprint car race back in the day with a midget they all laughed at him  and i cant remember if the story was Sutcliffe or Beckmann told everyone they better not laugh to hard cause that midgett was a bad ass, later that night he almost lapped the field and won in style and was told to get that damn car out of that track and not bring it back Smile Those where the days when even I remember going with my dad and uncle and friends  to Stuart, Webster city, and Columbus Junction and of course Knoxville.   Ralph was always a memorable character  his laugh, keen witt, and was known as a man that didnt spare the horsepower when it came to in your face honest opinions , he was  definately a man that let you know where you stood with him  and  he was a good friend to me and my family  he meant alot to alot of us and he will be missed for sure.  RIP Ralphie the racer          Thank you  for the memories.    




Racetracker
MyWebsite
May 12, 2007 at 12:24:22 PM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 47
Reply

Godspeed Ralph.



John Katich
May 12, 2007 at 12:42:03 PM
Joined: 12/01/2004
Posts: 730
Reply
This message was edited on May 12, 2007 at 12:43:35 PM by John Katich

Ralph Blackett represented a time when passion ruled the sport. He was a great driver who always got the most out of his equipment and he could race with the best of 'em. I really enjoyed watching "Ralphie the Racer" all those years. He truly left his mark on the sport.



3rdturn
MyWebsite
May 12, 2007 at 01:08:29 PM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 276
Reply

Ralph was a one of the kind guy, a gypsy racer that could stand hard on the gas when needed and had a feather foot when that was needed..... He was as smooth or smoother on a dryslick track as any.... And his stories... WOW!!! Ralphie lived life his way .............Race on, Ralph the feature is just startin up there....



jackhole22
MyWebsite
May 12, 2007 at 02:09:07 PM
Joined: 01/14/2006
Posts: 1334
Reply

The race tracks in Heaven gain another racer for an A main line up.

RIP


-----------------------------------------------------
A healthy diet of dirt in my nachos and beer.

Bill W
MyWebsite
May 12, 2007 at 02:15:27 PM
Joined: 11/23/2004
Posts: 4588
Reply

One of my first heroes, thanks for the informational testimonial...


If this post isn't results, stories or something c
constructive, it isn't me! 
@BillWMedia
www.OpenWheel101.com

McCarlGirl24
MyWebsite
May 12, 2007 at 04:18:30 PM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 219
Reply
This message was edited on May 12, 2007 at 04:19:12 PM by McCarlGirl24

Very sad news. I never had the opportunity to watch Ralph race but his stories were great by themself. I was fortunate enough to meet him last season in the pits at Knoxville and will remember it forever. RIP Ralph Blackett



Pizzadude31
May 12, 2007 at 04:47:16 PM
Joined: 01/25/2006
Posts: 75
Reply

A favorite quote of Ralph I heard probably around the late 70's early 80's a photographer was talking to Ralphie after snapping a few pictures of him and his car and had made the comment that he sure was fast but he sure didn't look much like a race car driver. Ralph gave one of his favorite grins and shot right back at the guy and asked " what the hell is a race car driver supposed to look like is he supposed to have horns growing out of his head or somethin?" To anyone that knew Ralphie thats one of the thousands of memorable sayings. My favorite of all time which ive heard alot of older drivers use along with Ralph was " Alot of guys drive sprint cars, but theres only a few sprint car drivers Smile dont know who gets the credit for that one but its the truth.



CG5KC
May 12, 2007 at 09:43:01 PM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 210
Reply

RIP Ralph

Curt Grogan



sprnt96
May 13, 2007 at 12:04:36 AM
Joined: 05/12/2007
Posts: 11
Reply

Ralph used to drive for my dad in a midget back in the day, in fact my dad owned the midget that Ralph beat the sprint cars with, it was an open competition show in Marengo Ia. All the sprint car guys thought it was a joke, Jerry Blundy told them all that Ralphie was going to make a fool out of all of em, and he did! He was one hell of a driver and a real nice guy. RIP



j/p
May 17, 2007 at 02:53:19 PM
Joined: 12/04/2004
Posts: 9
Reply

I am very sorry to hear about Ralph.   I only met him a few times, but Jay spoke of him often.    My prayers and thoughts go out to the family.   The Woodside Family



John Matzeder
May 04, 2012 at 02:55:15 PM
Joined: 05/04/2012
Posts: 1
Reply
Reply to:
Posted By: Pizzadude31 on May 12 2007 at 11:45:13 AM

On a sad note I was informed early this morning after coming back from Cameron that our long time friend and hero Ralph Blackett had passed away at 2:30 am saturday morning.   His health had been steadily declining the last few years, though he was seen on a power chair he still was able to enjoy his suite on the front stretch with his friends and  many heroes of the 70's and 80's  era from knoxville that would stop in suite # 13 to talk and hang out with Ralphie.   At the start of the season we got the bad news that he was very ill and to many that where at the Outlaws show at Knoxville two weeks ago they  made mention of the contribution to racing he had made to Knoxville and the sport, though in a wheel chair and against doctors orders he was able to enjoy the races he loved that night.  We where actually making plans to visit Ralph at the races tonight but sadly it wasnt meant to be.   Though I was born in 74' I have been around racing since i could crawl at Knoxville and the days where they used to run at the state fairgrounds here in des moines, heroes of course where Ralph Blackett, Doug Wolfgang, Roger Rager, and Leonard McCarl amongst many others past and present.  But my fathers  custom shop  C&C Automotive had been involved in some way or another with those first four guys and our visits to Bob Trostle's shop known as "the Hill".  We also made stops to Leonard McCarls shop , and Freddie Kains shop,  later who ever they had driving for em you could talk to these drivers and as a kid it meant everything to be able to talk to your heroes.  They where icons of Knoxville and sadly we have to all get old,  its gonna be strange goin to the races and not running into Ralph, sipping on a beer in his patented overalls and faded racing T-shirts,  hearing about  crash stories or photo finishes from races all over the country  with legends of the sport in the glory days of non-wing sometimes non- cage racing like it just happened yesterday.   To anybody that has been around racing long enough you mention the name Blackett and they will tell you that guy was one of the few that realized you could go faster by goin slower,  a master of dry slicks, and very sharp on what his car was doing and what the mechanic needed to do to dial it in, though he had some scary crashes in his career he was always a force to be reconed with in the Super Modified, Sprints, Midgets etc.    I think the most memorable thing i can remember as a young kid was watching Ralph at Osky when wings where just starting to become manditory after several tragic crashes at Knoxville, he lost his top wing and still was running with the leaders, Or the story he told me last year where he showed up to a sprint car race back in the day with a midget they all laughed at him  and i cant remember if the story was Sutcliffe or Beckmann told everyone they better not laugh to hard cause that midgett was a bad ass, later that night he almost lapped the field and won in style and was told to get that damn car out of that track and not bring it back Smile Those where the days when even I remember going with my dad and uncle and friends  to Stuart, Webster city, and Columbus Junction and of course Knoxville.   Ralph was always a memorable character  his laugh, keen witt, and was known as a man that didnt spare the horsepower when it came to in your face honest opinions , he was  definately a man that let you know where you stood with him  and  he was a good friend to me and my family  he meant alot to alot of us and he will be missed for sure.  RIP Ralphie the racer          Thank you  for the memories.    



I always knew Ralph would make the great racer he became. I knew him back in the Army. Even back then he talked about his love of racing. All of you probably know this but he was a great guy in the Army too. John Matzeder



J. Blundy #33 Fan Forever
May 04, 2012 at 05:54:45 PM
Joined: 04/18/2009
Posts: 374
Reply

RIP Ralph. Thanks for the memories.



Hose_60
MyWebsite
May 04, 2012 at 11:54:44 PM
Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 72
Reply
Oh if had time to write all the stories and 'life lessons' I heard from Ralph! Although I was not old enough to ever see him in a car (for a few years I tried to convince him to run the masters classic and had a car lined up for him... Even though his health wouldn't have allowed it) Many a day spent at the ol fast lube listening to stories of 'real racers and real race cars and real women'!!! The stories of waking up on the flag stand with the trophy girls or my personal favorite was his recollection of floating above his body I the emergency room as the doctors and nurses tended to him. At first I thought he was kidding but the look on his face and the way he was talking made me a believer! Rest In Peace! Thanks for the memories and stories!

tex777
May 05, 2012 at 08:31:16 AM
Joined: 10/25/2007
Posts: 63
Reply

to my dear freind the day we had to post bond in jeff city because we got caught speeding on i-70 will never be for gotten -R_I_P Ralph you will always be mr. smooth in my book..

 



Jimmech25t
May 05, 2012 at 10:21:17 AM
Joined: 05/03/2012
Posts: 23
Reply

Back in th 70's I had the pleasure of working on Gary Swenson's 24 driven by Ray Lee Goodwin and remember Ralphie at Knoxville and on the IMCA circuit. As Dave Van Patten called him Mr Smooth...R.I.P Mr Smooth.



Big Daddy 8
July 14, 2012 at 11:54:45 AM
Joined: 07/13/2012
Posts: 6
Reply
Reply to:
Posted By: Pizzadude31 on May 12 2007 at 11:45:13 AM

On a sad note I was informed early this morning after coming back from Cameron that our long time friend and hero Ralph Blackett had passed away at 2:30 am saturday morning.   His health had been steadily declining the last few years, though he was seen on a power chair he still was able to enjoy his suite on the front stretch with his friends and  many heroes of the 70's and 80's  era from knoxville that would stop in suite # 13 to talk and hang out with Ralphie.   At the start of the season we got the bad news that he was very ill and to many that where at the Outlaws show at Knoxville two weeks ago they  made mention of the contribution to racing he had made to Knoxville and the sport, though in a wheel chair and against doctors orders he was able to enjoy the races he loved that night.  We where actually making plans to visit Ralph at the races tonight but sadly it wasnt meant to be.   Though I was born in 74' I have been around racing since i could crawl at Knoxville and the days where they used to run at the state fairgrounds here in des moines, heroes of course where Ralph Blackett, Doug Wolfgang, Roger Rager, and Leonard McCarl amongst many others past and present.  But my fathers  custom shop  C&C Automotive had been involved in some way or another with those first four guys and our visits to Bob Trostle's shop known as "the Hill".  We also made stops to Leonard McCarls shop , and Freddie Kains shop,  later who ever they had driving for em you could talk to these drivers and as a kid it meant everything to be able to talk to your heroes.  They where icons of Knoxville and sadly we have to all get old,  its gonna be strange goin to the races and not running into Ralph, sipping on a beer in his patented overalls and faded racing T-shirts,  hearing about  crash stories or photo finishes from races all over the country  with legends of the sport in the glory days of non-wing sometimes non- cage racing like it just happened yesterday.   To anybody that has been around racing long enough you mention the name Blackett and they will tell you that guy was one of the few that realized you could go faster by goin slower,  a master of dry slicks, and very sharp on what his car was doing and what the mechanic needed to do to dial it in, though he had some scary crashes in his career he was always a force to be reconed with in the Super Modified, Sprints, Midgets etc.    I think the most memorable thing i can remember as a young kid was watching Ralph at Osky when wings where just starting to become manditory after several tragic crashes at Knoxville, he lost his top wing and still was running with the leaders, Or the story he told me last year where he showed up to a sprint car race back in the day with a midget they all laughed at him  and i cant remember if the story was Sutcliffe or Beckmann told everyone they better not laugh to hard cause that midgett was a bad ass, later that night he almost lapped the field and won in style and was told to get that damn car out of that track and not bring it back Smile Those where the days when even I remember going with my dad and uncle and friends  to Stuart, Webster city, and Columbus Junction and of course Knoxville.   Ralph was always a memorable character  his laugh, keen witt, and was known as a man that didnt spare the horsepower when it came to in your face honest opinions , he was  definately a man that let you know where you stood with him  and  he was a good friend to me and my family  he meant alot to alot of us and he will be missed for sure.  RIP Ralphie the racer          Thank you  for the memories.    



7-14-2012 I was sitting around with my brother Jack and Ralph's name came up yesterday. I googled his name and sadly read your article. My dad, Harvey Shane was friends with Ralph and they also raced together. I'm 55 years old now but I can remember Ralph coming over to my house with his jet black hair and smile. He was an extremely nice man. Ralph was a great race car driver and so sorry to hear of his passing My dad passed nearly 30 years ago for heart failure in a hospital in Bartlsville, Ok.





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