This past Saturday was the 3rd annual Legends Helping Legends of Racing Fundraiser held at Memory Lane Motorsports & Automotive Museum in Mooresville, N.C. This year was to benefit the medical fund for J.C. “Jake” Elder, known as Suitcase Jake.
Jake, 72 is bedridden in a Statesville assisted living center and suffers from dementia and seizures. He lead David Pearson to two championships in the late ’60s and Earnhardt to one in 1980. Some call him the greatest crew chief ever. In 1968 alone with David Pearson they earned 16 wins, 11 in 1969. Known for his down-to-earth style, Elder told a young Dale Earnhardt after his first win, “Stick with me, kid, and we’ll win diamonds big as horse turds.”
Jimmy Hensley, Ronnie Thomas, Ned Jarrett, Neil “Soapy” Castles, Dave Marcis, Lil’ Bud Moore, D.K. Ulrich, Geoff Bodine, Bobby and Donnie Allison, and “The King” Richard Petty were all at the event. As were crew chiefs and mechanics: Jeff Hammond, Tim Brewer, Travis Carter, Mike Beam, Waddell Wilson, Lou LaRosa, and Billy Nacewicz. Jake was not at the event but his sister Helen Moore who is his guaridian was.
If you missed the event but would like to make a donation to Jake send a check to his sister Helen Moore in care of the “Jake Elder Fund” .
Mail to: Memory Lane Museum 769 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117.