News Release: Emory Healthcare

Sep. 1,  2010

Cancer Survivor and Race Team Owner Will "Drop the Green Flag" to Start the Emory Healthcare 500

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Wayne Reese has been racing motocross and super late model cars on dirt tracks for more than 11 years, and he knows the risks. One risk he won’t take, however, is with his health.

Reese, a prostate cancer survivor, will be the Honorary Starter at the Emory Healthcare 500 to be held Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In this role, Reese will drop the Green Flag to start the race. In addition, his son Brian will drive his Reese Motorsports Super Late Model Number 33 in the pre-race parade.

“If someone asked me, I’d tell him to make sure he got his prostate test when he turned 50,” he says. “I got lucky one day and listened to my wife who told me I needed a physical. That’s how they found the cancer.”

Reese, 55, recently completed therapy at Emory University Hospital's Department of Radiation Oncology. He says he knew he wanted to be treated at Emory because his wife, Linda, was treated at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute for breast cancer in 1996.  “We appreciate all the help we’ve gotten there.

“You hear the word ‘cancer,’ and it’s a real wake-up call,” he says. “We’ve been going to Emory all these years. We appreciate being well.” Reese recently demonstrated his appreciation by putting the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University logo on his race cars.

Reese Motorsports runs two late model rocket chassis cars on dirt tracks throughout the Southeast. Rocket chassis cars are the highest class of local stock car racing at many racetracks throughout the United States. Many current NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and crew chiefs raced in this classification early in their careers. 

While Reese and his son have been racing for many years, their aspirations received a boost in 2009 when Reese, while stopping at a grocery store for a Moon Pie and a Coke, bought a winning mega-millions lottery ticket. Twelve million dollars later, neither he nor his wife or son have changed much.

 “It was certainly a life-changing event,” says Reese, “but we really haven’t changed.  I’ve worked all my life building up my septic tank, grading and remodeling business.  I’ve still got the same guys working for me. I can dress up when I have to, but I still like to wear the same ol’ clothes.”

For more information about the Emory Healthcare 500, visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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