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Goodbye To Our Friend Dan Lawson



I bring all of you in the Factory Five Family the very worst news.  Last night, Saturday, April 8, 2006, our good friend Dan Lawson was killed during an FFR Challenge Series race at Buttonwillow Raceway in Bakersfield, California.

Dan was the National Director of the Series for FFR and NASA.  I spoke to Jerry Kunzman, who runs NASA, immediately after the accident and released information to the internet forums telling everyone that Dan was gone.

I was up all night trying to put into words my feelings.  I am at a complete loss.  Dan was a good friend, a good man and he was loved by everyone he met.  Dan had been involved in competitive racing since the 1970’s and he was the quintessential racer.  He was the racers' racer.

My entire company and the entire FFR community is in shock and filled with grief.  We will never be able to recover fully from this loss, and at this time I cannot even think of the future and what we must do collectively to go on.

There are no platitudes to make us feel better.  There are no words that can change this horrible reality.  I read the posts that friends have left on the discussion forum and they say it better than I ever could.  The outpouring of love is a reflection of the man himself. 

We love you Dan.  With all of our collective hearts we send out our fondest goodbyes… we will never forget you.

As the days unfold here there will be more details that we can share.  Out of respect for his family and their wishes, we will patiently await details of the memorial arrangements, and release them as they feel appropriate.

I have sent our two best engineers to the track and they should be there this morning (Sunday) to be with the racers, to carefully and respectfully examine the wreck and assist NASA with a full crash investigation.  Most importantly, Dave and Jim from FFR are there to say goodbye on all of our behalf, at the place where Dan was killed 

Our company will not conduct any business tomorrow (Monday) out of respect for Dan and his family.  The days ahead are going to be difficult.  We are already committed to finding an appropriate way to memorialize our friend Dan, but will subordinate all our wishes to the wishes of Dan’s family and loved ones, with whom we stand together in abject grief.

My heart is so broken.  I know that I speak on behalf of everyone at Factory Five, when I say, Godspeed my friend.  May Christ welcome you to the warm and loving embrace of His kingdom. 

We have all been fortunate to have known you, we are all the better for having the brief time with you.  We will all miss you so very much.

David Smith


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