Race car drivers raise awareness for cold-case murder victims

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Race car drivers at Kalamazoo Motor Speedway are driving for more than just a fast time this year. Decals of West Michigan cold case murder victims will be helping find justice on the track all year.

Hundreds of adrenaline junkies flooded the speedway’s opening day, Friday for the Intimidator 100 race with nearly 120 race cars taking on their need for speed.

A special initiative spearheaded by Kellie Yunginger has many race cars showcasing more than just sponsors on their cars. Nearly 30 drivers have chosen to advertise the face and stories of two cold-case homicide victims, Erik Cross and Richard Hitchcock.

“It helps us keep the faith and keep hope alive,” said Yunginger. “That one day we’ll get the answers we deserve.”

Yulinger has been searching for her cousin, Richie Hitchcock’s remains ever since his disappearance more than 25 years ago from the River Front Lounge in Allegan.

Five cars will be sharing Richard’s story while many others will be supporting the Erik Cross Campaign all season, a 16-year-old who was found dead outside his home in Vicksburg in 1983.

“I can’t tell you how many drivers I approached over the last two weeks and not one of them said, ‘no’ to having a decal on their car,” said Yunginger.

Those involved are hoping the exposure will find someone in the crowd with new information to come forward.

With more than 4,000 missing people in the state of Michigan, the Kalamazoo Motor Speedway is doing their part in spreading the word one lap at a time.

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