Johnny Carson had David Letterman, Dave Letterman brought on Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien as their guest hosts and probably others which I have forgotten. For this week for those of you that don’t know him I would like to introduce you to my good friend and guest “BLOGGER”, Gary Stinnett. A multi-time world champ and many time national and divisional winner, Stinnett has built quite a reputation in our sport as a supplier of engines and components for a vast number of winners, ( For over 30 years he and the team at Stinnett Racing have provided competitors with championship winning performance.


What would you think if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

These words made famous by The Beatles in 1967 (although I personally like the Joe Cocker 1968 version better) are probably truer than most of us take time to realize. That’s the reason why I’m writing this blog today. For a friend. For my good friend Johnny D.

Funny story… last Friday he texted me about a carburetor, and since I had been meaning to call and check on him anyway, I phoned him up. We talked about his battle and how draining the chemo regimes can be and how he had a trip planned Monday to Houston for more doctoring. He mentioned that he had no energy to even pound on a keyboard and write hi Blog. After we hung up and I thought about it, I texted him “why don’t you get some guest writers?” He said sure, would you like to do it? I said “sure.” The next text said, “600 words due Monday night.” Oh crap! What have I gotten myself into now?

For those that don’t know, I recently took six-week “vacation” myself. I was admitted to the hospital January 26th after finding out that I was no longer ten feet tall and bulletproof. COVID! I ended up taking a two-week nap… seven days on the ventilator and waking up only to find out the devastation to my body didn’t stop at the lungs. Thirty-four pounds lost and many more muscles. Couldn’t walk or do much of anything, but I was alive. God wasn’t ready for me yet. I still have work to do on planet Earth. But not only am I very blessed to be here, but the outpouring of love and concern from all my friends and family were almost overwhelming. Hundreds, if not more like thousands, of people reaching out to wish me well and tell me of their concerns. Unbelievable! I had no idea that I touched that many lives in sixty years. Friends. We had friends help with everything and offers to do anything you could imagine! Friends from all over the world. Friendships are relationships. That’s what makes the world go round. Relationships. Think about it. Without relationships we would all be just like zombies (soldiers) walking around life doing “our” thing without human interaction. Kind of like the gym I go to now. Everyone has earbuds in and nobody talks to anyone. Drives me nuts!

Whether we realize or not, that’s how we got started in racing. It is really why we do it… to be with our friends. We talk before the race. We talk as soon as we open the trailer. We help our friends between rounds. We eat together and hopefully celebrate together, and then we talk to our friends after the race. Friendships, relationships, and family. That’s why we race. Winning doesn’t come often enough. Winning is just the cherry on top. Winning without friends and family wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding.

After I got back home from my extended “vaca,” I made a new motto. “No more wasted days.” I decided to make every day count and also tell my friends and family how much they mean to me. I urge you all to do the same. I have attended over a dozen funerals the last three or four years and unfortunately there will be more. Tell your friends while you can. Appreciate them all. Enjoy the stories we tell over and over. Remember the ones we lost and know that someday these will be the “good ‘ole days.”

Most importantly, appreciate that we all get by with a little help from our friends. Thank you to all my friends and God Bless. -GARY STINNETT