Our friend and teammate Gary W. Clark passed away January 7th, 2012 in Knoxville, TN at the age of 53. A line from his obituary really rings true, "Gary never met a stranger." We'll all miss his him greatly. He was fun to race against, a great teammate, and truly one of the good guys.
Below are just some of the tributes that have been pouring in.
I've raced Gary more than any other driver to date. For a good while, he ran nearly every race there was to run in the Star Mazda. I bet a lot of you also have the same stat. You always knew when Gary was in a session. There was always at least one or two people that would say "Hi Gary". They'd specifically say hi to Gary. He'd always respond. You need a setup, Gary would make sure you'd have his. You need to know how much fuel, Gary would be right there with the answer.
It just won't be the same around here without you. Not only am I honored to call him a team-mate, but also a friend. You'll be missed.
I never got the pleasure to meet Gary in person but he was a great friend. I first meet Gary at Zandvoort in an OP and he seen that I was struggling. He shared his setup and helped me figure out the car and track. Gary was an exceptional gentleman.
Gary had that attitude that no matter how bad your day was going, it would instantly get better just by speaking to him. Gary would race you with everything he had while racing you clean. I think everyone respected and looked up to him for helping out everyone and for putting others before himself.
I raced against Gary 99 times. We had a couple of truly memorable battles in those 99 races. What always struck me about how he raced was that he would press like hell to pass you, but if he felt he had pushed too hard and caused you to screw up, he'd back off and give you the position back. A fierce competitor for sure, but he did it with a code of honor that was truly admirable.
I was proud to be able to call him a friend and will miss him a lot.
I am honored that I could call myself his team mate. I knew Gary long before I was a TNT driver. Out of all the races or been in, his name always stuck with me, his accent and his manner. He is a real gentlemen. A real loss and it's very sad to not have him here anymore.
Condolences to his family and friends. RIP buddy.
I am incredibly and deeply saddened by the news today. Not only did TNT Racing and the Iracing community lose a dear friend, but the world lost a true southern gentlemen and all around nice guy. I will always remember coming into race servers and being greeted so warmly by Gary. Mark and I worked for a long time to bring Gary under the TNT banner because we thought he was such a great person and ambassador in the Iracing community. I dont think anyone in this service could really say anything other than Gary was a genuinely nice person.
I am personally still really at a loss for words on this one and so I will just say that Gary, I hope you rest in peace my dear friend, and know that you were loved and will be missed by this community.
Gary was the nicest most warm hearted person I ever knew. I remember having a long chat with him after the first time I raced him, and I instantly felt like I had known him for years, he was just that sort of person, so welcoming ,friendly and helpful.
He will no doubt be missed by alot of people and my heart goes out to his friends and family.
If everyone had only half the decency of that man, the world would be a better place.
All of us can only dream of being the type of person Gary was. Out of all the sim racers I have come across in my 10+ years of racing, Gary was probably the coolest person I ever met online. Always cheerful, always a joke to say (like Ryan said, it was always his birthday) and always yearning for information to become a better racer. Gary and I had many races together in the IndyCar and probably raced each other over 20 times when the SM was first at Richmond last year. I'll cherish those times and always have the utmost respect for him not only as a racer, but as a genuinely cool human being. This is very sad news for all that knew him.
I'm really sad with this news, I raced with him many times in the SM and as many said i always felt the need to say a "hi Gary" since he was always a nice person, very communicative, always glad to help... a gentleman.
Tony Repussard won a race and dedicated it to Gary. My stomach turned in fear and I typed just "Gary?" and hoping that it wasn't what i thought it was.... Sadly Tony confirmed that we have lost a good man. Gary W Clark...when I saw that name in the drivers list I knew I would enjoy that race if not because of good racing, then because of fun radio chatter. He was like a father to newcomers to Star Mazda series, always trying to help out. I remember a race in november at Okayama, when Gary was radio chatting with a 10 year old. I can bet that all of the 18 drivers were more enjoying listening to their conversation, that they were enjoying a race. You could hear through the trembling of his voice, how glad he was when he had a good race with somebody, and that sound can really warm a heart. He was always a positive force and he certainly brought many smiles on my face. I wish to thank him for many hours of fun he gave me, and it was a pleasure to meet such a friendly guy.