Photos courtesy of Mike Horne “Win this Race” has been Billy and Mary’s motto for beating cancer.

Sprint car racer Billy Boyd found himself in the race of his life against cancer. He crossed the finish line, winning the checkered flag. He won his race.

Boyd is in remission after battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for the last four years. After winning two consecutive sprint car championships in 2013 and 2014, he had to start chemotherapy when he found out that he had cancer. After two years of treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center, he wasn’t cured. He later got a bone marrow transplant from his brother, Adam Boyd, which helped tremendously.

His family was by his side the entire time he was sick, especially his wife of 28 years, Mary Boyd, who is Billy’s biggest supporter. “He had many long days and nights he didn’t think he was going to make it to the next, but we all continued to encourage him to stay positive and prayed every day for a new day to come,” said Mary. “I had faith that God would guide the doctors and give us the miracle we needed. That he did. We are very blessed that Billy is in remission after one and a half years since the transplant, and no signs of leukemia.”

The Boyd family is very thankful to the Riverview community for their support through this process. “Simple things to some meant a lot to us, from bringing us food, to mowing our yard, to checking on my children, to sitting with us for hours at the hospital to keep us company,” said Mary.

Kelly Coates, Billy’s barber at Sports Clips, and her family put on a fundraiser for the Boyds before Christmas to help with their finances. She gathered local businesses and friends to have a car show with local racers at the race track to come out and help raise money for the family while Billy was going through the transplant. “Billy and I were both raised in this community, and we are very happy and blessed to have a community as wonderful as they are that help those who are in need.”

Billy is also thankful to his friend Rick Amans, who is part owner of the car that Billy races. Amans had a battle with cancer as well, which made Billy relate to him even more. “He never gave up on me, even when I was in the hospital, he always knew that I was going to get back out and drive,” said Boyd.

On May 5 at East Bay Raceway Park, he finally won a Sprint Car Race to complete his comeback. “Considering where I was a couple of years ago when I had to learn how to walk again, it means quite a bit just to be with my family and to be able to do what I have done most of my life and get back on the racetrack,” said Boyd.

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.