Racer Rick Shaw was killed yesterday as the result of a crash at the Daytona International Speedway. Shaw, 65, was working as an instructor at the Team Hammer Advanced Riding School at the Speedway. Also killed in the crash was Canadian Eric Desy.
Shaw was a well known and well liked racer. While his most recent exploits were running up laps on the all time list at Daytona, make no mistake that in his prime Rick Shaw was a very fast amateur racer and renown for his pool-table smooth riding. Shaw was an ex-TZ250 and TZ750 racer and he raced both bikes in the very early days of the Championship Cup Series and was still club racing thirty years later. Shaw, for a very long time, was a devout fan of Yamaha motorcycles.
Shaw's day job, that he retired from a few years ago, was as a Florida policeman. Rick sometimes showed up at the racetrack in his police car with his black and white ("I can't escape it," he'd joke) leathers hanging in the back seat.
Rick wasn't above nudging past the speed limit in his cruiser occasionally, and I recall a spirited run to the airport in that black and white. Hammer down and with the lights flashing, Shaw was silent as he negotiated traffic at well, well, over the speed limit at times.
Blazing through the cars, I looked over my shoulder at the surreal scene. Through the metal cage separation to the back seat--where probably a lot of people had sat in cuffs--Rick's racing leathers hung over the back door and his helmet rolled around on the seat.
"So your leathers are the perp right now," I asked him, dropping some cop jargon I'd picked up from television.
Mirrored sunglasses and in uniform, Rick looked at me, smiled, then went back to driving.