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True Courage: Jim Yeary

Jim Yeary was the son of James Yeary Sr. and Beth Eichler of Virginia. Jim found Tazewell Speedway through his love of motorsports and Tazewell Speedway was better for it.

Yeary was born in Michigan and his travels found him at Tazewell Speedway via Pennington Gap, Virginia. He was a great father and volunteered as a Little League coach. Everything was going great in his life until a diagnosis of cancer changed everything.

Jim had loved dirt racing and as a bucket list item he decided to give racing a try. Like others, he struggled at first but as his health slipped away Yeary improved as a racer. Some fans knew his struggle while others didn’t. They simply saw a man out there racing like the others.

Jim was finally told to stop racing by doctors but he didn’t; however, he second guessed his decision one summer night at the track. He came out of turn two as he had done several times and his car went violently into the outside wall and tumbled down the backstretch, over the inside rail and landed on a pickup.

He didn’t let the fact that the crash had created micro fractures throughout his body stop him. Again, against the doctor he raced again. He became the epitome of courage.

Sadly, Jim lost his battle with cancer in 2012 but he got to be a championship driver in the Classic Car division at Tazewell Speedway and he became a hero to those who knew his struggles. He was also a winner of the Anthony Burchett Award given out to those who are fighters regardless the situation he or she may be facing.

Rick Brooks served as race director and he looked back and said this about Jim, “First off Jim was a great person. He had a love for life and a passion for racing.

I never seen him step out of a car without a smile on his face no matter the result. Winning was a bonus. Every day was a blessing to him and he lived it that way.

It was a lesson most of us could learn. I really miss talking with my friend. Mainly about life, racing was a bonus.”

Sadly, Jim lost his battle with cancer in 2012 but he got to be a championship driver in the Classic Car division at Tazewell Speedway and he became a hero to those who knew his struggles. He was also a winner of the Anthony Burchett Award given out to those who are fighters regardless the situation he or she may be facing.

allen.earl@claiborneprogress.net
Jim Yeary was a champion (Photo by Allen Earl)