Donald DJ Richardson, rear-tire changer of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Chevy, passed away on Christmas Day from complications from the H1N1 (swine flu) virus. Richardson contracted the virus over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Richardson was taken to the hospital in Leominster, Mass. where he was diagnosed as suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Team owner Richard Childress said:
All of us at RCR are saddened by D.J.’s passing. 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 the middle of this season, after stints at Andy Petree Racing, Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and Braun Racing.
Matt Clark, of RCR, said:
I am shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and teammate. Anyone who knew DJ 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. DJ 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.