When PSM rider Jerry Savoie failed to attend the last two NHRA national events, questions were asked. The alligator farm owner from Louisiana who races the White Alligator Racing Buell/Suzuki was eager to answer.
“Although we were not in Brainerd due to medical reasons, we had all intentions of being at the race in Indy,” Savoie said. “But, no one knew that a tropical storm/hurricane would develop and come on shore right in my back yard.”
Savoie explained questions were prompted by an Internet-based article suggesting other Louisiana riders made the event in the midst of Hurricane Isaac, and wondered why he couldn’t. These riders said their homes suffered no significant problems.
“I am very happy to hear that their homes sustained no damage and life went on as usual for them,” Savoie said. “But for me, I live 100 miles from them, near the coast, and my home and business faced the worst of the storm, the center. Luckily my home had no damage but we have several uprooted trees in our yard and lost power, cable, phones and internet for 6 days. My business on the other hand sustained physical damage and several employees evacuated for the storm and could not get back.”
Savoie said he still planned to attend the event, making the tough decision to head to Indy.
“The airport finally opened at 10:30 pm on Thursday evening, and I had a Friday morning flight, but the only roads leaving my home that would take me to the airport were closed due to downed power lines and trees blocking them,” explained Savoie. “Just as well, as I knew I really needed to stay home and take care of my family and my animals (over 100,000 alligators). Please know that I was excited about racing in Indy this year and believe me, I feel the void of not having been there.”
Mother Nature made the decision for Savoie last weekend. This weekend, NHRA rules and his commitment to family made the decision easy.
“Anyone that knows me knows that I am all about family and friends, and (when) my son Gerald harvested a really large deer at our ranch in Mexico in December 2011 and I entered him in two of the largest deer contests in the United States,” explained Savoie. “Ironically, he placed first in both contests and one of the award ceremonies is in Laredo, TX this weekend.
“I think about my fans and competitors whom I have grown close to that I will miss by not being (in Indy), and everyone should know that my competitive spirit really wants to be there as I truly love racing, but my son must come first. I want to be there when he is presented with his prestigious awards.”
Savoie will return to racing in Dallas. He'll skip Charlotte because of another awards banquet he intends to attend.
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