Racers know that when the red flag comes out, it means "stop now." So racers and their supporters banded together at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to help drop the red flag on ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in honor of longtime flagger Judy Cowie, who succumbed to the disease in February 2010.

The club races at Mid-Ohio in July featured an auction to raise funds for ALS research. Race officials, drivers and crews came through with donations and purchases in support of the racing community's friend. Many merchants and individuals sold items with the proceeds going to the ALS Association Central and Southern Ohio Chapter.

As a driver, it was always a plus to see Judy on a corner, because you knew the best was on the job and ready to help you have a better racing experience. As a race official and flagger, you soon realized that you were in presence of an exemplary individual when fortunate enough to be assigned to a corner with Judy.

Such a wonderful person, such a lousy disease. ALS debilitates the body while leaving the mind intact. Even with the disease reducing her physical capability and keeping her off the corners, Judy continued to attend races right up through the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America in September 2009 with husband, Bob, who continues to flag today.

Thanks to the following for their generous contributions:

Continental Motorsport, Mason
Jim & Jennie Morsch
Motorsports Country Club of Cincinnati
Quaker Steak & Lube, Milford
Mike Tringelof
Tire Discounters
Tom Patton
Penske Racing
Competition Photographers, Crofton, Md.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
The Mid-Ohio School
Roz Rosintoski, photographer, Vestal, N.Y.
Nancy Schillace

Kurt Niemeyer is editor of Cincy Motorsports Journal. He has longtime ties to the racing and auto show communities. Visit Cincy Motorsports Journal online at www.cincymagazine.com for more facts and in-depth information. And connect with CMJ on Facebook "” Cincy Motorsports Journal "” to get weekly updates.