You will be missed.
When the news came out of Chapel Hill, Tennessee on Saturday, time stood still. The pulling community scrambled to make sense of the tragic news, that we had lost one of the pillars of the greatest show on dirt, the veteran pilot of the Footloose Mini Modified Tractor, Wadesville Indiana’s Larry Koester.
Larry needed no Introduction, He was a Giant in our sport and to know him was to love him. I referred to him as the Magic Eraser because to me He was Equal parts Elvis, James Dean, Evel Knievel and Kris Kringle all rolled into one. If you spent some time with him, he could magically take you away from your own problems, and troubles, kickstart your energy and make you want to try harder and do better sometimes without even knowing it.
Larry was the real deal. A tough cookie, a fighter. After surviving his accident in 1986 he didn’t let not having legs stop him from doing and being anything he wanted to be. A Husband to Caesar, A Father to Ashley and Adam, A Championship Puller, A businessman, An Ambassador to our sport, A supporter of the Make a Wish Charities and a friend to all of us who interacted with him. He was just someone you wanted to talk to and learn from and I took the opportunity any time I could.
I remember being in Tennessee in the early 2000s at a Pull with my dad and brother. I noticed that Larry was there so I went to tell him hello. He was there all by himself, working on the tractor, “Will you start me later on”? I heard in his thunderous tone.
It was an awesome experience that night for me to have the opportunity to work crew and fire his tractor, it’s a memory I will always cherish.
Larry Koester touched numerous lives, and the shining example of his character, and his ability to adapt to any given situation will long remain in anyone who was ever lucky enough to spend time with him. I will miss his laugh, his handshake (it hurt), his karaoke,watching him with his grandkids, and seeing him be with his Make a Wish kids that he so dearly loved,
Larry loved our sport, so much so that he passed it down to his daughter Ashley who is a successful driver on the Light Unlimited Modified Circuit, and also to his son Adam who is a great Mini Modified driver, and engine builder for Miner Brothers Racing. I don’t believe there is any greater gift that a dad could give to his kids then handing down the sport that brought him so much joy.
My thoughts and prayers are with Caesar, Ashley and Craig, and their children. Adam and Jamilyn. Toby and the whole Shell Rotella team. We love you and we are here for all of you during this difficult time.
Rest well Larry, Love ya, Mean it. Thank you, from all of us.