NASCAR driver's vehicle, equipment worth over $80K stolen

- Akinori Ogata is a racer at heart, doing things the old school NASCAR way by working on his own cars, at his own shop.

Now, just days before the season of giving, there is an empty space that sits in the garage.

"My stuff all gone so I cannot work on the car. I cannot move my racecar," Ogata said. 

On Monday around 1:00 a.m. someone stole Ogata's pick-up truck and trailer with his son's race car inside from the family's home in Mooresville. More than $80,000 of equipment vanished within seconds.

"It's very sad. I came here. Six years ago from Japan with nothing. No equipment, no friends," Ogata said. 

Ogata didn't let the lack of equipment stop his racing dream. He found a sponsor and was finally able to add his name to the top of the racecar, but that wasn't enough. Ogata wanted to pass his racing dream on to his son, so he bought him a Legends Car.

"That was gone in just a few minutes. We cannot race so we are very disappointed," Ogata said. 

With another racing season fast approaching, the Ogata racing operation remains on hold for now.

"Some how I want to make sure that my sons potential as a racecar driver isn't stopped by this crime," Ogata said. 

The trailer that was stolen has a tag number AD-57361. If you have any information you are asked to call Mooresville Police at 704-664-3311.

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