Bakersfield, CA – Nick Sivesind was a popular personality at the racetrack for many years. He was a man who left his mark on many of the competitors who will be at the 33rd Annual October Classic at Kern County Raceway this weekend. Nick was a fan, friend, crew member, sponsor, and car owner for multiple teams in the Bakersfield area, going back to the days of Mesa Marin Raceway. This weekend, a celebration and remembrance of his life will be held at the Kern County half-mile oval, located just west of Bakersfield, off I-5 and Enos Lane. A special fireworks display will be presented to remember a spectacular life that has been lost.
Many fans may not have known the deep involvement that Nick had with the racing community, in the Bakersfield area, as he was not one to boast or make his presence known. But to those around him, they knew of his dedication to the sport and love of oval track racing as his sister Kristin recalled.
“Nick Sivesind was a dedicated member of the racing community and loved racing more than any other sport”, she stated. “He grew up in Bakersfield, driving go karts and going to Mesa Marin to watch his favorite drivers every weekend. Like many, Nick immersed himself in racing. Over the years, he got more and more involved becoming a sponsor, a crew member and even a car owner. The community of drivers, crews and crew chiefs were incredibly important him. Anyone who knew Nick knows his stories from the track were never-ending.”
Nick’s involvement included the ownership of several teams that earned success over the years. Buddy Shepherd was one of the main beneficiaries of his passion for the sport. Shepherd had a great deal of success at Madera Speedway with three Nut Up Pro Late Model Series titles, a Late Model Track Championship at Kern County Raceway, a win in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, a Pole at the Winter Showdown, and the resulting runner-up finish to Kyle Busch at the prestigious event. His likely 2021 Rookie-of-the-Year title in the SRL is another part of those successes, which could be directly attributed to Nick.
“Nick has done so much for me, from winning my first SRL race, to qualifying on the Pole at the Winter Showdown against guys like Kyle Busch in his cars”, Shepherd explained. “Our 2021 season wouldn’t be nearly as good as it has been, without Nick getting me and Butch Vandoorn back together in a VRD race car. Nick was such an amazing guy away from the racetrack and has taught me many life skills that I will never forget and remember forever.”
Nick was also instrumental in fielding cars for some of the biggest stars in racing, in addition to drivers from his area. He supplied rides for NASCAR stars Eric Jones and Daniel Hemric at the Winter Showdown, bringing much appreciated attention to the event. He had a longstanding relationship with Lance Wilson as well, heading Wilson Motorsports for several seasons. His personality traits as an owner and crew member where some of the things most respected by his good friend Lance.
“Nick’s attitude, work ethic, and character were always something I looked up to”, Wilson began. “His passion for helping the racing community was unbelievable, and gave racers like myself and many others, the opportunity to do something we may not have otherwise been able to do. Nick and Mike, at Wilson’s Industrial Pumps, have given me a lifetime of on-track racing memories. But what I hold closest to my heart are the late-night sessions at the race shop, the get togethers on an off weekend with family and friends, and the life lessons he taught me without even knowing he was teaching me.”
Wilson continued, “While his competitiveness was certainly there, I don’t think Nick was as concerned with winning races as one might think. I think his main goal was just to see others enjoy what they were doing.”
As the racing community appreciated Nick for his involvement in the sport, his family also appreciated what Nick got out of the sport, and the relationships it fostered over the years.
“Nick’s family would like to thank Lance Wilson, Butch VanDoorn and Buddy, Kellie and Dick Shepherd for their friendship and support over the years, and especially during this very difficult time”, Kristin stated. “Nick was so proud of each of them and all of the hard work they did. He always looked forward to weekends with these teams at KCRP.”
This weekend at The October Classic, we’ll honor Nick Sivesind and his contributions to the world of racing. His family and friends will be in attendance Saturday to celebrate his life, and there will be a special firework show in his honor. The family would like to encourage all to come out and remember Nick for the special person he was, at a place that was near and dear to his heart. None would be happier to see all the friends, family, and fans this weekend than his wife Traci, and their new-born son Nicholas, as she highlighted.
“I miss my husband so much every day, so it brings me great comfort to be at the track with so many of his favorite people. Our weekends will never be the same, but I look forward to bringing our son, Nicholas, to the races and continuing this tradition.”
The Admission Gates officially open this weekend at Kern County Raceway Park at 4:00 pm. Qualifying begins for the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, SPEARS Modified Series, and the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series at 4:15 pm. On-track trick or treating will commence at 5:20 pm with racing getting underway at 6:00 pm. The fireworks for the celebration of Nick’s life will proceed the 33rd Annual “Bulwark ‘FR October Classic 150” for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.