This past year has not been kind to drag racers. It seemed every time we turned around another great was taken from us. I was hopeful that the new year would change our luck, but we have unfortunately had another racer taken from us way too soon. Frank Aragona Jr was only 53 years old with plenty of races left to compete. Like my father and many others though, the ugly C word had other plans for him. I feel for his family and close friends.

There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about his on track accomplishments or what he stood for as a person. He will be missed by many and this is a tough one for me personally as well as a big loss for the racing community. I cannot put into words how I feel about this so please just keep his family in your prayers. His family has asked that in lieu of flowers, you make a donation in Frank’s name to the Make A Wish Foundation (

Doctors still can’t pinpoint why some people get this disease and others don’t, however, they are coming up with new treatments every year through studies and testing. Most of us have a basic understanding of the staging of cancer (1 being early through 4 being very bad). The problem is early diagnosis is almost impossible with certain types of cancer and the treatments and interventions available are much more effective in the early stages. The 5-year survival rate falls off pretty quick after stage 1 for many types of cancers. Listen to what your body is telling you and see your doctor if something feels off. This is not something you want to find out about too late. -Franklin DiBartolomeo