RCR Pit Crew Member D.J. Richardson Passes Away UPDATE Richard Childress Racing pit crew member Donald “D.J.” Richardson, Jr., passed away December 25 in a Massachusetts hospital from complications of the H1N1 virus. He was 37.
Richardson, of Leominster, Mass., contracted the H1N1 virus over the Thanksgiving holiday. He was admitted to Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster for evaluation, where it was determined he was suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.
“All of us at RCR are saddened by D.J.’s passing,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “D.J. was a gifted tire changer, one of the greatest team players in the business and a valued member of the RCR family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Richardson joined RCR in July 2009 and finished the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as the rear-tire changer for the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS team. He began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with Andy Petree Racing in 1999. He has also worked for Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Braun Racing.
“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and teammate,” said Matt Clark, director of human performance and leadership development of Richard Childress Racing. “Anyone who knew D.J. realized that below the tough exterior was a caring father, friend and teammate. He had a huge heart and would do anything to help someone in need. D.J. loved changing tires and was recognized as one of the top pit athletes at the position. I want to extend my condolences to his family and friends.”
Details of memorial services in Massachusetts and North Carolina are pending and will be made available as soon as possible. 12/07/09 Richard Childress Racing pit crew member Donald “D.J.” Richardson is recovering in a Massachusetts hospital from severe complications due to the H1N1 virus.
Richardson, 37, of Leominster, Mass., approximately 35 miles northwest of Boston, joined RCR in July 2009 and finished the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as the rear-tire changer for the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS team. He contracted the H1N1 virus during a visit to Massachusetts over the Thanksgiving holiday. His condition worsened due to the onset of pneumonia before he went to Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster for evaluation. Doctors quickly admitted Richardson to the hospital’s intensive care unit with acute respiratory distress syndrome. zzzz
“Our thoughts and prayers are with D.J. and his family during this very trying time,” said Mike Dillon, RCR’s vice president of competition. “All of us at Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Richardson is unable to accept phone calls or flowers from well-wishers while in the intensive care unit. His family has asked that cards, letters and notes of encouragement be sent to his attention at his father’s house:
494 Merriam Avenue
Leominster, Massachusetts 01453
Richardson began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with Andy Petree Racing in 1999. He has also worked for Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Braun Racing.
The RCR communications department will continue to provide updates on Richardson’s status. A Facebook Groups page entitled “Get Well DJ-Updates” has also been created.