ALTAMAHAW, NC :: Justin Hoyle will be racing in memory of his brother, Jason Hoyle, in Saturday’s Mischa Sell Memorial at Ace Speedway. Jason Hoyle passed away in 2009 after a year and a half battle with a very rare form of cancer called inflammatory fibrosarcoma.
Justin and Jason were close growing up. Born 18 months apart, they were practically twins. They both shared a love for racing and that passion led them to work for Mike Robertson and Robertson Motorsports. In December 2007, Jason was diagnosed with inflammatory fibrosarcoma (commonly referred to as inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor), but it did not stop him from working with the Robertson Motorsports team.
“His conditions were almost out of range to go to the Mayo Clinic but they were in contact getting advice. Inflammatory fibrosarcoma is so rare that I believe there were only five cases ever reported in the United States,” Justin Hoyle said in an interview with RACE22.com. “He still soldiered through. He went to work every day after chemo. He continued to work with the race team to keep his mind off of it. He said he’d rather be working and keeping his mind off it. He gave the team a way of looking at life and how special life is and how short it can be.”
He continued to do his chemo treatments and continued to work with the team for the next 14 month, but then his conditions worsened.
“He continued to do his chemo for about 14 months and, after that, he had a tumor on his heart. It got so big, it was the size of a softball and they had to do surgery to remove the tumor. At that time, it was when it put him down off his feet after his surgery. They had him on heavy pain meds and he was kind of out of it. He always lay in his room. Me and my ex got him off his feet, he walked and felt good. Two weeks later, they put him back in the hospital for malnutrition and my dad rubbed his back and felt another lump. The doctors came in and put him down for scans and he had 30 tumors come back. They said it was just a matter of time. The family made the decision to put him in hospice care. He stayed there for another month before he passed away.”
Jason’s date of passing was July 18, 2009. Justin was at Bowman Gray Stadium helping Scott Hall. The race was a classic between Scott Hall and Gary Ledbetter. Hall executed the winning move on Ledbetter on the final lap of the race. At the moment Hall’s car was pulling into the pits, Jason’s battle came to an end.
“I got the phone call that morning,” Justin explained. “My birthday is July 23rd and I got the phone call, it was on the 18th. It was a Saturday and my mom told me I needed to get over there. Scott Hall was running the car at the time. He ran at Bowman Gray. I told her I can’t be here and I told her I didn’t want to be there when it happened. I went to Bowman Gray to watch the race and keep my mind off of it. It was one of the greatest battles I ever watched at Bowman Gray. Hall and Gary Ledbetter were racing for the win. Scott ended up winning on a last lap pass. When the car pulled off into the pits is when my brother passed away.”
Now, Hoyle is being given the opportunity to race the very same car Scott Hall drove in to victory lane that night in Saturday’s Mischa Sell Memorial at Ace Speedway. Hoyle has raced at Bowman Gray Stadium and at Caraway Speedway. He’ll be making his first start at Ace in Hall’s old car.
“Mike Robertson gave me a chance to run this race and it’s one of the biggest races,” Hoyle elaborated. “It’s a very good cause and it’s an honor for me to run that race with David Sell and his wife because I know how hard cancer is for the families out there. It’s almost a speechless kind of thing. It’s an honor.”
The Mischa Sell Memorial is run in memory of David Sell’s late wife, Mischa. Mischa Sell had a six year battle with cancer that came to an end in 2012. It was that year that David Sell, a longtime competitor in the Limited Late Model division at Ace Speedway, decided to put the race together with proceeds from the race going to benefit the Jack and Jill Foundation for Late Stage Cancer.
The car Hoyle’s racing will be a tribute to his brother. Along with the name on the side of the car, the car number decal is engraved with a picture of Jason.
Justin’s goals for the race … race hard, go fast and run up front.
“I’m going to give everything I’ve got. I’ve never ran at Ace before. I don’t have the seat time I’d like. We tested last Sunday and I did well for my first time there. Not too far off. Hopefully we’ve got all the bugs out of the car. We’ll try to get it up to the front and have a good race. It’s a one shot deal. I’m going to try to shine like a bright diamond.”
Learn more about inflammatory fibrosarcoma from the National Center for Biotechnology Information » http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689747/