John Cardinale, long-time vice president of media and community relations at Sonoma Raceway, has died after a two-year battle with gastric cancer.
Cardinale, 47, passed away at home with his family, the raceway said in a statement Friday.
“There is a hole in the heart of this organization," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway.
"John Cardinale was as true a friend, as loyal a colleague, as devoted a husband and father and as fine a human being as you could ever hope to know."
"John has been a part of every good thing that has happened at this track over the last 15 years. We are all so fortunate to have had him in our lives and to have shared in his intelligence, his wit, his integrity and his brave spirit.”
Cardinale was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer in March 2011. According to Sonomanews.com, Cardinale fought back against the illness through "medical treatment, fitness and healthy diet regimes and a loving circle of family and friends."
In January, Cardinale lead the second annual John’s March Against Stomach Cancer at Sonoma Raceway. The event raised funds for the nonprofit organization No Stomach for Cancer, whose aim is to raise awareness of stomach cancer.
Cardinale is survived by his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters.
A memorial fund has been established for Cardinale's family. Donations may be sent to the John Cardinale Memorial Fund, C/O Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476.
At Skirts and Scuffs, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of John Cardinale and the staff of Sonoma Raceway.