Thursday, October 7, 2010

RIP:Tim Nickel, SCCA Racer and Fresno Sheriff - Racers Who Care

Racers Who Care, Inc.'s
Nathan Swartzbaugh, ALMS Driver and Porsche Champion and Tim Nickel, SCCA Racer & Fresno Sheriff )
 "Tim passed away October 4, 2010. His memorial service will be held at the chapel at Peoples Church on October 16, 2010 at 10:00am. We would like to invite all of you to come and celebrate his life. Keep praying for peace and acceptance for his 3 kids." Joy Nickel

Tim Nickel

Tim Nickel started driving racecars late in life by today's standards. At the age of eighteen he started racing sprint go-karts throughout the state of California. Having limited success in the short track ranks driving against future stars like Casey Mears and Kevin Harvick, Tim began focusing on the more powerful roadracing karts. Racing at tracks such as Laguna Seca, Sears Point, Las Vegas and Phoenix is where Tim found racing success.

In 1993 Tim qualified and was invited to race in the National Championships at Willow Springs Raceway. He ran as high as 5th but ended up in 8th place after suffering a flat tire late in the race. That same year, Tim led the Southern California regional points championship until a blown engine relegated him to third place overall on the last race of the season. Tim had earned the respect of his competitors and others in the racing community by consistently finishing in the top of his class.

1993 was the year Tim had decided to step away from racing until he was contacted by Bob Swenson of Vista, California. Mr. Swenson was developing a new racecar for a semi-pro racing series and offered Tim a test drive. That summer Tim returned to Willow Springs Raceway and got his test of the new World Sports Toyota. Due to a lack of funding,Tim never was able to put a deal together to compete in the racing series.

Tim stepped away from competitive racing for the last twelve years to concentrate on raising his family and starting his career with the Fresno Sheriff's Department.

A letter from Judy Strawn, Racers Who Care

Dear All:

This is to bear very sad tidings to you, that our Tim Nickel has passed away after a very memorable year of fighting to stay alive as long as he possibly could.

Just a little over a year ago, he, his sister Lisa, Dominic Cicero, Nathan Swartzbaugh and I met for breakfast, had a great time with LaFern Cusack talking about Racers Who Care during an ESPN Radio interview, then had a super lunch together making RWC plans.

(Photo Left: Racers Who Care, Inc.'s Nathan Swartzbaugh; Judy Strawn; Lisa Nelson and Tim Nickel  California-based group of motorsports professionals dedicated to making a difference for our next generation.

Click Links To Listen:
Racers Who Care on Southern California Experience with LaFern Cusack , ESPN Los Angeles:

Just a couple of weeks later, after making an RWC presentation to a group of children in Salinas, I received a message from Tim saying he was having some health issues and was very concerned and asking for prayers. Even after he had begun chemotherapy, Tim insisted in coming down to the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April to assist with RWC's three days of field trips!

Early in 2010, Tim joined RWC's Board of Directors, but as our Board meets once a year he hadn't had a chance to actually be part of one of our Board meetings yet.

RWC first encountered him in mid-2007, shortly after putting up our MySpace site. We got a short message from him saying: "I like your site." Of course, we followed up by inviting him to be part of Racers Who Care and he very enthusiastically responded and began recruiting other racers!

We will sorely miss him, and not long ago asked his sister, Lisa to tell him for us, that we expected him to be RWC's Guardian Angel when he got to heaven!

Cards, letters and flowers can be sent to his family at the following address:
The Nickel Family
2677 Sussex
Clovis, CA 93611

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