Family, friends and fellow racers are honoring Donnie Ray Crawford the best way they know how, on the race track. Crawford was an up and coming driver when he was shot and killed. They'll gather this weekend for a memorial race to raise money for a foundation in his name.
Donnie Ray's mom, Jodie Crawford, sat down with News On 6's Craig Day after her son was shot and killed by his grandpa in 2012. That was her only TV interview until today when she spoke about Donnie, racing, and his legacy.
"It is the thing that keeps me going so, it's pretty much what I live for," Jodie explained how important it is to keep her son's memory alive. "College was very important to Donnie Ray so I want higher education to be very important to every person," said Jodie.
So, after his shocking death in 2012, they started the Donnie Ray Crawford Legacy Foundation. As part of the scholarship application process applicants research and write about Donnie Ray. Thanks to the foundation Lauren Hillenberg was granted two scholarships as she attended TU for graphic design and film.
"Getting a chance to learn more about what Donnie Ray's life was like and getting to know the family it really just opens and breaks your heart at the same time,” said Hillenberg. "He's going to continue to touch lives and affect people long after his passing."
This weekend, drivers will race in his memory as they raise money for the scholarship fund.
Hoss will be announcing the races this weekend. He works at Port City Raceway and says he gets goosebumps thinking of the hundreds of times Donnie Ray circled the track.
"This is the birthplace of the Donnie Ray Crawford memorial this is the place where Donnie Ray Crawford made Donnie Ray Crawford," said Hoss.
"We miss him every single minute of every single day," said Jodie.
So far the foundation has awarded $70,000 in scholarship money. Races start Friday night at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Port City Raceway at 15625 E Pine St in Tulsa