In 2001, four people arrived at Kansas Speedway excited to see the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in Kansas. Little did they know that was the start of some unforgettable memories for the group.
For Jay Gieschen, the month leading up to the Sprint Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway meant planning just the right meal for tailgating and making sure no one knew his “secret” menu for the weekend. Everyone in the group also had to make sure their favorite driver flag was ready to display in the parking lots.
Gieschen, a Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman fan, got an autograph from Newman at one of the first NASCAR races at Kansas Speedway and he was extremely excited to meet one of his favorite drivers.
Racing brings people together and this group of Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman fans is no different than most of the fans you’ll find at Kansas Speedway during a race weekend, except now, their group is missing one person.
Jay Gieschen lost his year-and-a-half battle with acute Leukemia on May 7, 2009, but his family of friends, who took a few moments to honor their friend at the start/finish line on Oct. 3, 2010, will never forget him as they continue to honor his memory each year by returning to Kansas Speedway and supporting the sport he loved dearly.