Shelbyville — The community gathered at the Shelby County Fairgrounds to honor 24-year-old Ashlea Albertson Saturday evening.
“She is a racer. She is a daughter. She is a sister. She is friends with everyone here,” Ashlea’s father, Todd Albertson, said.
Indiana State Police say Ashlea was a passenger in an SUV that was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 65, south of Seymour, Friday morning. She died at the hospital.
Ashlea was a race car driver from Indianapolis. Her father says she started racing at a young age.
Family members, friends and community members decorated Ashlea’s race car. They filled it with notes, mementos and flowers.
“I need this tonight. My family needs this tonight. In all honesty, these guys back here — her competitors — they need it,” Albertson said.
Albertson says the last few days have been extremely rough on his family, but he finds comfort in knowing that she touched so many lives.
“Every race day she would call me and say, ‘Dad, it’s race day. Did you get your coffee?’ I didn’t get that call today,” Albertson told WRTV.
Ashlea raced for Tony Stewart Racing. Tony Stewart shared an emotional tribute to her on social media.
“We were actually not going to bring the car tonight, but her dad insisted because this is where Ashlea would want to be — Right here at the track,” Ron Combs, Tony Stewart Racing TQ Midget Team Manager, said.