Indianapolis businessman Eugene Nolen has owned and operated a race car team for 30 years, zigging and zagging to races across the country about once a month. But whoever stole a pickup and trailer belonging to Nolen last week in Oklahoma City may have robbed him of more than just one of his four race cars. "It may put me out of business, I don’t know,” Nolen, 65, said Monday when reached by telephone at his home. "Insurance is way, way too high on race cars, so I don’t have it.” Sometime late Feb. 16 or early Feb. 17, Nolen’s white 2005 Ford F-350 and a white trailer were stolen from outside an Oklahoma City motel, police said. Inside the trailer was an open-wheel race car used in the U.S. Auto Club’s Silver Crown Series, a spare engine, spare parts, tools and an all-terrain vehicle, Nolen said. The pickup, trailer and its contents are worth more than $250,000, he said. The pickup is insured, but the rest was not. The race car is yellow with a number 20 on the side, Nolen said. The closed trailer is white, and it and the pickup have Indiana tags. Two race team members were hauling the trailer from Indiana to Arizona for a race, and Nolen had planned to fly there over the weekend to meet them, he said. The men parked at the Red Roof Inn on S Meridian Avenue at Interstate 40 late Feb. 16. The pickup and trailer were gone by morning, police said. Nolen said he operates the Indianapolis-based race team at a "very small” profit and makes his living through another business he owns, but he’s passionate about racing and his team will be financially devastated if the stolen items aren’t recovered. He said he thinks whoever stole the trailer will have trouble selling the car or parts because they’re mostly useless outside of racing. "It won’t be easy (to sell) unless they know what they’re getting into,” Nolen said. Police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 235-7300 or sending a text message to (405) 415-5666. Those with tips about the crime may remain anonymous.
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