Community holds benefit for injured drag racer

A community of racers dropped into fourth gear to support one of their own.

The Osceola drag-way hit full capacity this afternoon after 3,000 people came to a fundraiser for Ryan Gortney, 38, of Granger.

Earlier in June, Gortney, a nationally recognized drag racer and longtime Elkhart community schools auto instructor, was seriously injured in a crash at the Osceola raceway.

Mounting medical bills have put a burden on his wife and three sons. Sunday, the community looked to change that.

"The bible defines faith as being sure of what we're hope for and certain of what we do not see,” said Jason Gortney, Ryan’s brother. “And a few weeks ago we weren't sure of certain of Ryan's outcome was going to be from this accident, but we had faith that all of it would work for good."

Family members say Gortney has multiple broken vertebrae in his neck and back, a broken rib, and bruised lungs. While a full recovery could take more than a year, the acclaimed teacher hopes to race again.

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