Tara Hurlin
Tara Hurlin
10/20/22 5:04 p.m.

You’d hear his loud-and-proud, LS-powered Mazda RX-7 named Rexine before you saw it. Spectators went wild every time rally fan favorite No. 50 rounded a corner, cheering and waving as Al Dantes Jr. flicked the car sideways while simultaneously honking the horn and throttling out rhythmic revs, the music of our people.

If, through all the action you were lucky …

Read the rest of the story

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/20/22 6:25 p.m.

I still can't believe  it. I only met him at a few rallys but each time he treated me like an old friend and just made every rally more fun.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/22 10:48 p.m.

I wasn't at too many rallies Al was at also (and when I was, i was nowhere near him in the start order so never really hung out), but the few times we chatted he was a super-friendly guy (and many good interactions on social media). Truly someone with the joy of life in his heart. A tragic loss.  

fidelity101 UberDork
10/21/22 8:50 a.m.

Thank you Tara for this - I think that push start story for beers in there is definitely one of my experiences, I'm sure he did it for others too. 

Real bummed about missing summer sno*drift this year, was hoping for a RWD battle and I didn't get the engine in time but the only thought that went through my mind is, I'll get to race against him next time, LSPR is coming up! That day never came. We loved having the battling rx7s, two very different yet similar machines and would constantly trade times. He will be missed, I don't have any famous last stage selfie with him because we always used his phone!

There are a few of us downstaters trying organizing to visit the memorial on the 29th. if anyone wants to drop something off for us to take up let me know. 


if you take the time to support his daughters that have been left behind please check the gofundme below.




EDIT: they close the gofundme so they dont get taxed to death but i'll post up the paypal link for donations as gifts which are non taxable. 


and in other thoughts, the only 3 numbers to be retired were all Michiganders...


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/24/22 1:39 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 :

Thank you to Tara as well for writing this for us–never an easy assignment, I know. 

pilotbraden UberDork
10/26/22 4:54 a.m.

I made a point to always say hello in Lewiston and Atlanta when attending the sno drift. Summer of 2021 he was giving it hell and was definitely a crowd pleaser. He always encouraged me to get off my ass and start racing.. A very congenial man he will be missed by many


dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/26/22 9:22 a.m.

Did not know him but sounds like a top-shelf guy.  Losing a friend/competitor in the Motorsports world hurts that bit more.  When you race with/against someone there is a bond that is hard to explain.

Hopefully, his kids will be ok.  I hope that someday they can look back after the sadness clears and can smile and laugh again.  I hope that time comes sooner than later.  That is what I have told my kids. It is ok to be sad but my biggest wish is for them to be able to smile and laugh again when I am gone.

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