Blaise Alexander Remembered
October 10, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Last Thursday night, Blaise Alexander was fighting for the lead with Kerry Earnhardt in the closing laps of the ARCA EasyCare 100 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Alexander’s car came together with Earnhardt as they battled hitting the outside retaining wall, nearly head on, in a fiery crash. The result was deadly.
"The emergency technicians were immediately on the scene," said Jerry Gappens, vice president of promotions and public relations for the speedway. "Blaise was unconscious, unresponsive with no pulse or signs of life. Our staff in the care center worked with him for 25 minutes - again, with no response.”
The 25-year-old Alexander was pronounced dead just past 10 pm (ET) on Thursday.
“He was a very likable kid and he had talent,” said Winston Cup driver Jimmy Spencer, who had served as a mentor to Alexander. “He came down to North Carolina to make it big in NASCAR, and I believe he was on his way to doing that.”
Born in the Pennsylvania town of State College, Alexander was a veteran of the ARCA series as well as the NASCAR Busch and Truck divisions. While he was always considered a rising talent in both the Busch and Truck series, Alexander really shined in ARCA.
The 1996 ARCA rookie-of-the- year, Alexander made 68 starts in the ARCA series including Thursday’s event at Lowe’s. During that time, he recorded three victories, the most recent coming at the Michigan International Speedway this past July. He also posted four career pole awards and had 22 top-five finishes and 38 top-tens in his career.
Alexander began racing at the age of 12 in WKA go-kart competition, where he won the 1992 East Regional Series WKA champion. He then moved into the Micro-Sprint division racing at tracks throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York where he recorded 48 feature wins.
After relocating from his hometown of Montoursville, Pennsylvania to Mooresville, N.C. in 1995, Alexander saw his stock car career take off. In 1997, while racing in 15 ARCA events, he expanded into both NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Busch Series competition. His career-best Busch Series finish was seventh at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2000 driving for Team Sabco.
This weekend, drivers from around the NASCAR community grieved for the loss of a friend.
“Right before I was getting ready to leave the track, I felt like I should go wish him luck," said Jimmie Johnson, one of Alexander’s best friends. “I talked to him on pit road for a minute. I got to see him one last time, see him smile one last time.''
In addition to his driving duties, Alexander was active in raising money to help injured drivers. In the last three years, he helped generate over $15,000 for the NASCAR Busch Series Ladies Association.
Alexander is survived by his father, Blaise J. and mother Anne Alexander, two brothers, Adam and Aubrey Alexander, and a sister Maureen Alexander.
Fans can pay there respect to the Alexander family by making contributions to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeastern PA, 515 Sandhill Rd., Montoursville, Pennsylvania 17754 or call (800) 480-9474.