More than 70 race cars took five slow laps around the track Sunday at the Colorado National Speedway in Dacono as the tight-knit racing community paid tribute to one of their own.
The drivers then parked and joined the large crowd gathered in the center of the track for 20-year-old Makayla Grote’s memorial service.
Grote, a Colorado native, started driving go-karts at age 8 and went on to race a late-model stock car numbered 97 at the speedway. A graduate of Lakewood’s Green Mountain High School, she aspired to be a NASCAR driver and was living in Longmont.
“She had this incredible ability of making you feel loved,” said Rev. Jim Mitchell, a chaplain at Colorado National Speedway. “She just had this gift.”