When race car enthusiast Eleanor Vogler saw Dan Wheldon’s fatal crash on television, it brought back the painful memories of her own tragedies.
In May of 1981, her husband Donald Vogler also died during a race. And then in July of 1990, her son Richard met that same fate.
"You know something can happen, but you never think that it's going to happen,” said Vogler as she sat in her Indianapolis home. “It happened twice to me."
She said when her husband died, her “whole life changed,” because she wasn’t just a race fan, she was part of the team. But sitting on the sidelines didn’t last for long. Her son’s career in racing was taking off.
Richard won nearly 200 races and even placed 8th in the Indy 500. He was unstoppable, until, the unthinkable. Just says before he turned 40, Richard was competing in Salem, Indiana when he crashed on the track and died.
"Why would lightning strike twice in the same place?" asked Vogler. "I was devastated. I couldn't stop crying. I was still crying for my husband and then I'm crying for my son."
She said every driver and his or her family knows the risks, but she and her family never thought about them. She said there is no room for fear on the race track.
"If you're fearful, this is not the business to be in."
Despite the two tragedies, Vogler continues to support the racing world. She even created the Richard Vogler Fund which gives out scholarship money to students involved in the racing community. She told Fox 59, she does it, because racing is a part of her as much as it was a part of her husband and son and she’d never give up on it.
"It doesn't do any good to rant and rave… cry or kick the wall," said Vogler. "You have to do what you wanna do. Life is too short to be miserable."
Although she lost two of her loved ones in racing, she credits the sport, her passion for it, and the support of the racing community’s for what keeps her going.
"If it wasn't for that I'd probably be devastated if I didn't have all the friends to help me through it."
To find out more about the Richard Vogler Fund click here.