While most of us were working Sunday's NHRA national event, The Strip at LVMS lost one of its most dedicated employees in a car accident. There is a small article in today's newspaper, but it says nothing about how valuable he was to us, and how much we liked him. Chris Blair, LVMS' Sr. Director of Drag Racing Operations, issued the following statement late Sunday night:

"On Sunday evening I received a call that Strip employee Nik Bezwerchyj (or 'Little Nicky,' as I called him), had passed away earlier in the day after a traffic accident. According to Tom Anderson (Nik lived with Tom), the accident occurred near Lake Mead (on Pabco Rd.). Nicky was 20 years old.


"I really don't know what to say other than that I hope you will put Nik's family and Tom in your prayers tonight. As we find out ways to offer our support and help them through this difficult time I will pass it along.


"Nik came to us a couple of years ago through his uncle, Danny Morales. Danny started bringing Nik to the races and he worked his way onto out crew. Over time Nik learned just about every job at the track and was a tremendous help to all of us.  Nik won me over two years ago when he rode a bus to the front gate of Nellis Air Force Base and then walked the rest of the distance to work.  It was more than 100 degrees, but Nik wanted to be a part of our family so bad that he walked the rest of the way to be with us.  He immediately earned my respect and I don't think I could ever ask of anything more from an individual.


"Week in and week out Nik was there to help. He would do any job that we asked and he always had a smile, he was a team player and he epitomized dedication. He gave us everything he could possibly give, he had a big heart and he touched all of us. I really don't know what else to say except that he meant so much to me and he became a big part of this family that we've assembled. He was loved, he was appreciated and he will be missed.


"Please keep Nik's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers."


                    -- Chris Blair, LVMS' Senior Director of Drag Racing Operations


Visitation will take place at Desert Memorial, 1111 Las Vegas Blvd. North

(near Washington) on Friday, April 14, from 5-8 p.m.