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Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

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Annalee

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Post Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:39 pm

Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

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Fate steers our lives in so many ways..... we know not why ......this is a great story about FATE and Rodney Childers



Judging by his background, there doesn't seem to be anything unusual about Rodney Childers' career path in NASCAR.The crew chief for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team raced go-karts as a youngster, progressed up the ranks through late model stock cars and even had one start in what's now the NASCAR Nationwide Series.When he moved up to Cup in 2003, it was to work as a crewman instead of a driver. Through the years, he worked for a handful of teams in several different capacities: interior, front-end mechanic, car chief.
His first crew chief role came in 2005 with MB2/MBV Motorsports and driver Scott Riggs. In 2009, he earned his first win atop the pit box, with David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.He and Reutimann won again the following year at Chicago, then at New Hampshire while paired with Brian Vickers in 2013.
Childers and Harvick scored their first win together in just their second outing when Harvick captured The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year.His story is familiar; he was just another former racer who worked on his own equipment and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge while doing so.But then Childers mentions the hurricane, and you realize his story isn't quite like the others after all.

"I probably had no business with a chainsaw," Childers said.It was days after Hurricane Hugo had made its way up the East Coast in 1989. Although downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit Charlotte, Hugo packed plenty of punch as it roared across the region on Sept. 22. Reports say the
storm did $1 billion in damage to Charlotte and surrounding areas.Schools were closed. Trees and power lines were down. Buildings were damaged."We were actually stuck at our house for about six days, I think," Childers said. "It was bad."
Clean-up efforts eventually began and Childers, who was 13 at the time, was offered the opportunity to make a little spending money. A friend of the family needed help clearing debris from her yard."So my mom took me down there and dropped me off; she was going to run some errands and come back," Childers said. "When she got back I was sitting there waiting because I needed to jack the limb up to get the chainsaw out."

The saw had gotten stuck in a tree limb. Childers knew he could use the jack from the car to lift
the limb and free the blade of his saw, and that's just what he did once his mom returned. But while walking across the yard to return the jack, a limb from one of two huge oak trees in the front yard fell, just as Childers was passing underneath. The limb struck him squarely on top of his head.
"It knocked me out; I wasn't breathing or anything," he said. "My mom started doing CPR on me, got me breathing. I stayed unconscious until the ambulance got there."Before the emergency workers could depart, Childers took a turn for the worse.
"I started having what they call grand mal seizures," he said. "They actually jerked me back out of the ambulance and put me back on the road right there and tried to get me to breath. My dad said I turned black; he said it wasn't 20 seconds and I was completely black."Two days later, Childers woke up in a hospital bed. And that, he said, was when he got scared."They come in there and tell me everything that's going on and what happened," he said. "They're sitting there explaining seizures to a 13-year-old. I don't know what they're talking about."Later that day, a doctor showed up and gave Childers two options. He could write Childers a prescription for medication he would have to take the rest of his life and he wouldn't be able to get his driver's license when he turned 16, or he could release him from the hospital, "pray you never have another (seizure), and you can get your license when you're 16 just like everybody else," Childers said. "For somebody that's 13 years old that had been driving since they were 7, getting your license was a big deal."

Childers chose the latter.

It was after the hurricane, after the accident and shortly after leaving the hospital that Childers first broached the subject of racing to his parents.Even today, he said, he has no idea why.
"We were driving down the interstate, had just left the hospital when out of the blue ? I said 'I want a racing go-kart for Christmas,' "he said. "My mom and dad were like 'Where did you come up with this?' " Three months later, Rodney Childers got a racing go-kart for Christmas.Was Childers, who grew up in Mooresville, N.C., destined to work in the sport, growing up in an area already teeming with NASCAR teams and other racing-related industries?

Or did those other outside factors shape his future? Childers admits he isn't sure.He only knows one thing -- the hurricane was when it all began.
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ndunn

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Post Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:47 pm

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

Wow Rodney! What a background. Can't blame you tho as it's now or never. So far the start is now. Keep up the good work with Kevin......
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beaverpond

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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:18 am

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

I know all about the seizure issue as does my daughter. So far she has only had one grand mal, but there has been a major uptick in her petite mals over the couple of years. Not enough to put her on meds yet. However for me, my seizures were so bad that they ended up putting a medical implant device in my head, kind of like a pacemaker for the brain...yup, that is why I am not alright in the head. It certainly explains some things now doesn't it.
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Annalee

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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:52 pm

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

I hope the hospital can help LIL beaver.... I have heard of a program about service dogs that can sense when someone is going to have a seizure and alert someone for help. Not sure if this would help her or not. Hope she is feeling better...It's hard when your children are sick.
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beaverpond

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:47 am

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

Her last grand mal was two years ago. However with her increase in petite mals, that is what we are watching because that will eventually lead to another grand mal...from my experience. They say she may grow out of it. I highly doubt it when looking at me, my dad, my grandfather, and his uncle. Too much family history to think she will just outgrow it.

For a service animal, you have to be an extreme case when most other methods have failed and right now she is considered low risk.

I became the frustrated parent with the local hospital because they did not do enough fast enough, then lied to me and I have proof, whether I choose to act remains to be seen. Then took on the school administration yesterday. I figure one battle a day is good enough. The hospital may get my wrath, just not this week. I have enough going on.

I have given the school every medical document they have asked for and have been very open and honest with them about everything. I finally had, had enough. When they asked us to sign medical release forms for the most recent events this week. I told them "NO" and they said "excuse me" and I said "NO and if you have a problem with it, subpoena me and I will have a lawyer all over you for it". Then they thought because she has missed so much school that she should see a psychologist for re-entry into the school system. I said " You have to be kidding me, if our daughter is going to seek out a counselor, it will be one of our choosing, one of the Christian Faith, as to which it would be our Pastor who is a Professional Counselor, not somebody you recommend". Then they wanted her to attend a summer school program as to which she would have to attend every day no absences permitted whatsoever. I said " so what you are saying is that if we wanted to take a family vacation or some family time and get away for a few days, that would not be permitted because she needs to be here to take this summer school program and there is a zero tolerance policy for missed days". They told me that this is correct. I said "As many of you know, my daughter is a huge fan of NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick and I am a huge fan of Tony Stewart and we have plans to spend a good portion of the week at Loudon the week that NASCAR is here and if you think I am changing that you have another thing coming. I had to cancel last year because I was teaching Vacation Bible School and this year the Pastor and I are working around it and expanding the program as well as adding a middle school program for the eight weeks this summer as to which I will be running it. The week that NASCAR comes to town I have other people taking over for me. So this program of yours is not for our child." They said we are only doing what is best for your child. I said "you are not trying to do what is best for our child, you are trying to run our lives, you want every medical document known to man, you want her entire summer vacation so that she has no life, you want her to seek out psychological counseling...this is not in the best interest of the child. This in not about education. This is about you taking over the role of parents of kids and that is not going to happen here. Other parents may give in, but that is not going to happen here. We are done on this subject and there will be no further discussion of the matter". So when I was done there was a lot of scribbling on notepads by all the administrators. I warned my wife ahead of time that there were some things that I had not told her about and to just follow my lead and roll with it. She said no problem.
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Annalee

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:04 am

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

It is soooo frightening what can happen with school authorities and what they can do to families....I swear you give someone a title and a little authority and they think they rule the world....it's no wonder that more people are home schooling....thank goodness my son is NO longer in school.....I was involved in every step of his education.....I didn't trust any of them..plus with my husband in the military and us moving all the time, it was a constant battle, but I won in the end....he graduated from Harvard with a PHD in Organic Chemistry, and now is a chemist at Amgen.....Don't give up, stand your ground...there is no one who knows your child better than you....it is my belief that one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a good education....
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14Smokem

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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:15 am

Re: Hugo....the Winds of Change for Rodney Childers

Good move Beaver,

It seems we have all made our own way without Big Brother
holding our hands. The Justina Pelletier gambit has revealed
how overreaching the Government can be.

The temptation to rant wildly about this is overwhelming.
Let us all agree that life is a risk, we simply have to do the best
we can with the gifts we are given. Life is not perfect, and the
path is not strewn with rose petals. Keep the faith Beaver.
1994 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Midget Champion ** 1995 USAC Sprint Car Champion ** 1995 USAC Silver Crown Champion
1997 Indy Car Champion ** 2006 IROC Champion ** 2002 NASCAR Champion ** 2005 NASCAR Champion ** 2011 NASCAR Champion

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