Richmond Gage, who went from working in the pits with NASCAR teams to pioneering the teaching of motorsports in college, has died of an aneurysm, according to officials at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Gage had been chair of the Motorsports Management Technology program at the college’s south campus.
Before becoming a teacher at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Gage worked for many years in a variety of roles with auto racing.
Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty tweeted this week that Gage was a member of Petty’s pit crew in the early 1980s. Later, he served as business manager for several teams.
John Davison, a veteran motorsports photojournalist, said Gage was the first pit crew member to use a notebook computer in the pits during what is now the Sprint Cup series.
“In the early 1980s, Petty bought a pair of early notebooks and had a program written to track fuel and tire use to predict pit stops,” Davison said. “Gage ran the computer as part of his duties with Kyle Petty.”
He said Petty and Michael Waltrip also were ushers at Gage’s wedding.
Gage began teaching motorsports at the college nearly a decade ago and helped build what is said to be the first college degree program in motorsports.
“He created a signature program, the first of its kind across the country, that will reap benefits for our community for years ago come,” Rowan-Cabarrus Community College said in an official statement.
“He was a talented and caring instructor who always put his students first,” the college said.