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We lost a good man – Dave Hollander, RIP

January 10, 2015
Hollander at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Photo by Shawn Racette

Hollander at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Photo by Shawn Racette

The racing world lost a giant on January 9, 2015. Dave Hollander, also known as Safety 2, has died.

Dave was part of the CART/Champ Car safety team that traveled that circuit, led by Lon Bromley (aka Safety 1). The team would come to town early, do some training at the track with their local assistants and work from dawn to dusk and often beyond, taking care of the flock. It didn’t matter if you were a driver, team owner, official, mechanic, engineer, flunky, or even a member of the media. If you saw Lon, Dave, Mike Carey (Safety 3, still working with the Verizon IndyCar Series) and their crew, you knew that whatever danger you may have been facing was now over.

Dave Hollander, a New Jersey boy, was a big guy. He had a big voice, a big personality and an even bigger heart. His jokes were wonderfully off-color much of the time, but just being in his presence had to make you feel comfortable and happy. All business at the track, he was a heck of a lot of fun away from it.

From the time former Champ Car safety team Jeff Cuomo posted the news in the morning, tributes began coming in to the Cartalumni-Reunion Facebook page of nearly 200 members. Here are a few, without naming names:

“Hear his voice and feel his kindness and humor. The Angels are the lucky ones today.”

“Dave was one of a kind. We were so lucky to have known and loved him.”

“Dave was a great man and I’m proud to have known him and called him my friend. RIP Dave.”

“Don’t know anyone who didn’t love Dave and he will be missed by many. Just seeing him in the Safety truck made me believe all would be well… “

“When Davey Hollander was on the scene, you knew it was being handled by one of the best. He always looked after me very well and you just knew that under that rough and tough exterior was someone who would do whatever it took to make it right. And don’t stand in his way while he was doing it!”

“My heart is truly saddened. RIP my friend, prayers to the family. Truly lost a very special man today.”

“Rest in peace Davey. You will be missed amongst the CART alumni. I will miss that unending and crazy sense of humor.”

“A pro’s pro. RIP Safety 2.”

“He will be so missed. What a wonderful person who took care of all of us.”

“Davy was like a rock, can’t even describe what a fantastic person he was. Under that gruff exterior was a big softie, like a favorite teddy bear. And he knew his stuff. Anytime there was an accident, a driver knew when he saw Davy that he would be OK.”

“I have no words to add. I’m deeply saddened to read this. Godspeed to the family.”

“I used to travel to the races with my dad for years as a kid, and many times Dave would put me in the safety truck and take me around the race track for a lap right before the race. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. He always made time to make me feel special; he was such a nice guy.”

The CART/Champ Car community, expressing its admiration for a man who kept them safe from harm, is letting the rest of the world know their sadness at the loss of this larger-than-life and gentle man. Cancer may have claimed its latest victim, but the racing community will never forget Dave Hollander. My thoughts go to his daughter and entire family.

By Anne Proffit

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