For the second year in a row, Ray Ciccarelli is competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series “Eldora Dirt Derby” at the famed Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio.
In an interview with Howard County Times, sports journalist Kyle McFadden wrote: “Ciccarelli is in race mode as he makes the finishing touches to his dirt modified ahead of an 18-lap race on July 13 at Bedford Fairgrounds Speedway in southwest Pennsylvania, prepping for another go-around at a childhood dream that seemed shattered not long ago.”
In 2002, Ray was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After an annual colonoscopy in 2015, the news wasn’t good — there were pre-cancer cells in his colon. He needed lifesaving ileostomy surgery within 30 days.
“I really wasn’t sure if I was going to race again,” Ciccarelli told Howard County Times. “I thought I was really done. We sit pretty tight in these race cars, and the belts go up all in that area. I thought I was never going to race again.”
Ray started wearing an ostomy accessory called Stealth Belt; a custom support belt made to hold an ostomy pouch securely against the stomach. What’s even better, two years after what seemed like career-ending surgery, Stealth Belt became the sponsor that kept his racing aspirations alive.
Now that Ray is back in race mode with a competitive spirit and renewed health, the 48-year-old ostomate will compete on July 18 in the No. 0 Stealth Belt Chevrolet Silverado for Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing at the place he made his NASCAR national touring series debut last year.