Jerry Caryer sits in his sprint car prior to a Must See Racing sprint car event. Caryer passed away Saturday. (David Sink photo)

Must See Sprint Car Veteran Jerry Caryer, 62

NEY, Ohio – Veteran sprint car driver Jerry Caryer passed away unexpectedly at his residence on Saturday. Caryer was 62.

Caryer was expected to compete in a Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro event at Lorain County Speedway later that evening.

Caryer was one of the true gentlemen of the sport, rarely complaining or whining about situations that arose time-to-time at the track or the rising costs to compete.

He competed on a lower budget than most, but his passion to compete was as strong as teams with much larger racing budgets. He was highly competitive and won his fair share of races throughout his career.

Caryer’s desire to compete in later years wasn’t fueled by trophies or victory lane photos. His passion to compete was driven to keep his son’s memory alive.

“I’m basically sorta running for my boy who passed away when he was 10. I’m sorta keeping him going by doing this myself,” Caryer said in 2017. “He wanted to race go-karts. I told him next year. That never happened. I sorta think about him every day I’m out here.”

His son J.J. passed away in 1994 due to cancer. Caryer has continued to race in his memory ever since.

Caryer got his start racing Street Stocks at Bryan Motor Speedway in 1975. By 1977, he became track champion before switching to late models. By 1985, sprint cars had caught Caryer’s attention.

The early years of Caryer’s career found him mostly running at Bryan Motor Speedway and with the All Star Circuit of Champions. Caryer captured his first dirt sprint car win in 1987.

Caryer’s time on the dirt found him running select events and never chasing points.

In 1991, Caryer began running some non-winged dirt events and decided to race with the California Racing Ass’n when they came to the Midwest for their 1991 Eastern Swing.

When the dust had settled on May 21, 1991 at Liberty, Ind., Caryer found himself with a podium finish. He scored a third-place finish against the best non-winged sprint car drivers the country had to offer.

In 2000, Caryer decided to try pavement sprint cars. At first, he switched back and fourth until sticking with pavement exclusively in 2005. Caryer has raced primarily with Must See Racing since its inception in 2010 and finished second in the series points in 2016.

The final few years of Caryer’s career provided good showings. He won at Indiana asphalt speedways including Ft. Wayne, New Paris, and Plymouth. He won with the Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series and the Auto Value Super Sprints.

During a three-year stretch, Caryer won at New Paris Speedway three consecutive years.

When asked during a recent interview about what he is most proud of what he has accomplished in his racing career, Caryer answered humbly in reflecting on his career.

“I guess running with the All Stars and making a lot of the shows with my low budget team was special for me,” Caryer noted. “I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m still having fun. I’ll keep racing if I’m having fun and can keep my boy’s memory alive.”

Caryer finished sixth in his final start on Aug. 8 during a Must See Racing event at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wis.