Donnie Ray Crawford

January 18, 2012 by staff 

Donnie Ray CrawfordDonnie Ray Crawford, Donnie Ray Crawford died at the hand of his maternal grandfather. His parents were wounded defending him.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma – Racing fans around the world are remembering Donnie Ray Crawford. Just hours before Donnie Ray was scheduled to race in the Chili Bowl, his grandfather – for apparently no reason – shot and killed the 24-year-old racer.

The man who started the fight, Daniel Garcia, was also killed as Donnie Ray’s parents tried to protect their son. It was a shocking end to a life filled with so much promise, of continuing the legacy his other grandfather started.

The Crawford family boasts three generations of champions. It was a legacy started by Ray Crawford, passed on to his son Donnie, and nurtured in grandson Donnie Ray.

The Crawfords are considered the “first family” of Oklahoma racing and a big reason the Chili Bowl calls Tulsa home.

“It is the greatest dirt track race in the nation, in the world for that matter, and people don’t realize it’s right in the backyard,” said Donnie Ray Crawford in 2011.

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