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NASCAR crewman Donald 'DJ' Richardson loses fight with swine flu complications

  Donald Richardson (Photo: getwelldj.com)

   By Mike Mulhern

   In another shot of sad NASCAR news over the holidays, pit crewman Donald 'DJ' Richardson Jr. died of complications from the H1N1 virus Christmas Day, a month after contracting the rampant flu during a Thanksgiving break at his Massachusetts family home.
   Richardson, 37, spent the past month being treated for acute respiratory distress related to the flu at Leominster, Mass., hospital.
   Richardson, who worked as rear tire changer for Richard Childress' Kevin Harvick team, is an 11-year NASCAR Cup tour veteran, who worked for Andy Petree, Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick.
    Childress announced Richardson's passing and issued a brief statement: "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."
   Details of memorial services are undetermined.
   During his illness, friends created a website www.getwelldj.com . That site was created, in part, "to help defray the cost of the astronomical medical bills he is facing as a result of his illness. As most of you know, D.J. is an independent contractor or, as we call it in the industry, a 'hired gun.' As such, he is unfortunately without health insurance.....We are asking you to dig deep and make a donation to help offset the hundreds of thousands of dollars of treatment it has already taken..."
   The website listed this as the fund: Donald Richardson Medical Fund, 494 Merriam Avenue, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453.

  (Photo: getwelldj.com)




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