BRADENTON, Fla. - At Bradenton Motorsports Park, the face of Daniel Stone was the first many would recognize. He was known as 'Chaps.'
"If you had an issue or wanted help, you didn't have to ask. He gave it. He was a giving-type person," said Bill Lee Sr.
As a full-time employee of the track, Stone did it all. He worked to make sure every race came together.
"He has worked so hard over the last 15 years to make the track better and safer and just been an inspiration to all the racers because he’s so friendly, giving, and kind," continued Lee.
Lee has been a supporter of local racing in Bradenton for over 30 years. As track chaplain through Racers for Christ, he and Stone formed a bond.
"He had a passion for racing, that he displayed for everybody and shared with everybody," Lee said.
On Friday night, Stone lost his life. Manatee County Deputies said he tried guiding a driver into a dirt pit after a vehicle malfunction. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and hit Stone.
"Everybody hurt so bad, to see to hear what happened to chaps. Everybody is just heartbroken," said Lee.
The National Hod Rod Association will investigate the vehicle malfunction.
Stone leaves behind a wife and son who both worked at the track along with two daughters.
Those who knew Stone said his faith guided him. Now they hold tight to that faith as they remember the man who was always there for them.
"It's a crying shame we lost Chaps. He was an icon at the track. He was just one in a million. He really was. He truly was," added Lee.
On Wednesday a memorial will be held at 9 a.m. at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Racers and those who knew Chaps are invited to attend.
A GoFund me account has been set up to help Daniel "Chaps" Stone's family.