Parents wait in line for driver signatures in honor of deceased daughter


As Mike and Maura Sudik made their way through the autograph line at this year's Community Day Wednesday, an important member of their family was not with them.

"It is special for us to be here this time," said Mike Sudik. "In memory of Theresa."

Theresa Sudik loved going to the race, she enjoyed meeting the drivers more. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at Christmas. Theresa's father, Mike, said her first surgery didn't go well.

"The first operation was not successful," said Mike Sudik. "The second operation was risky and she did not ever come out of it. She was on life support and we took her off life support on Valentine's Day."

Theresa Sudik was 30 years old.

The Sudik family has been coming to the race ever since 1963. They missed only three races during that time, despite moving to Philadelphia. After the death of Theresa, the family thought about not coming this year, thankfully they did.

On the back of this year's Community Day program was a picture of their daughter, taking part in her favorite race week event, getting driver's autographs.

Mike Sudik: "People who do not believe in coincidence. To us..."
Maura Sudik: "She is here."
Mike Sudid: "She is still here racing with us."

Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon were two of Theresa's favorite drivers. Both men were moved as they heard Theresa's story, and what their autographs meant to the family's healing process.

"They were just so nice to her, it just made her life," said Mike Sudik.

The family used Photoshop to superimpose their daughter into pictures with all of her favorite drivers. Her parents said their daughter would appreciate the effort.

"This is what we do as a family, and we will continue doing it. We will just find a different way to do it, with her in our memory," said Sudik.

Theresa and her sister became famous for making up songs while waiting in the autograph line. They were even dubbed "The Singing Sisters."  One of their proudest moments was singing happy birthday to Dan Wheldon.

The family hopes to get their stack of pictures all signed so they can be put into an album and displayed in their home in Philadelphia.