THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A second member of the Rick Ware Racing team in Thomasville died as a result from injuries he sustained in a one-vehicle crash earlier this month.Stephen Masch, 29, of Saline, Mich., died on March 23 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from complications following a 10-hour surgery to stabilize injuries to his spine he received when the vehicle he was riding in on Ball Park Road struck a utility pole and flipped several times. Masch suffered a fractured C5 vertebra in the March 11 crash and was left paralyzed. Following last week’s surgery, Masch developed pneumonia and was unable to combat the infection.“His body just wasn’t strong enough to fight the pneumonia,” David Mitchell, vice president of RWR, said. “Its been a rough month at RWR, that’s for sure. It’s hard to cope with but we’ll keep going. We’re going to get stronger and race in their honor for the rest of the year.”Masch was riding with fellow RWR crew member Dean Shaut, who apparently lost control of his Toyota Tundra at approximately 11 p.m. on March 11 on the 2000 block of Ball Park Road. Shaut died at the scene, but Masch, who was ejected from the vehicle, was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with severe spinal cord injuries. Masch’s funeral was held Wednesday in his hometown.Shaut and Masch joined RWR in January and the two worked on the organization’s Nationwide and Craftsmen Truck Series teams. Masch, nicknamed “Dirt” for his willingness to do difficult jobs, was a contract mechanic and Shaut served as a fabricator and rear-tire changer.“The smallest piece to this is not having two guys in the shop working,” said Mitchell. “The hardest part is the emotional side of it. We have 10 guys in the shop and we’re together non-stop. We go into the shop and you’re used to having a guy working next to you and he’s not there. It’s really rough on everybody, all across the board.“Even for me, I was booking flights for Texas and I wrote both of their names down as a natural instinct. They just become part of your every day like and that’s the most difficult.”Mitchell said other racing organizations have been offering support in the wake of the wreck. The two crew members had worked on other teams throughout NASCAR and Mitchell said the outpouring of support has helped the RWR team heal.“That has really been keeping us going,” Mitchell said. “That’s just the way the NASCAR community is. We really lean on each other and help each other out.”RWR heads to Martinsville Speedway for this week’s truck race, and will do so with a new driver. Mitchell said the organization recently released driver Jeffrey Earnhardt after learning he was looking to join another team.“To put it mildly, [Earnhardt] had recently started talking to other teams while we were in California and tried to take our sponsor [Field Doctor] with him,” said Mitchell. “We’re just going out there trying to race and do the right things and you come back and hear this. We had to let him go and we’ll put another driver in for Martinsville. We feel good about our chances there and we’ll put a driver in who can get some things done.”RWR, headquartered at 111 Sunrise Center, has set up an account to help family members of the two men pay for hospital expenses and funeral costs. Donations can be sent to Stephen Masch and/or Dean Shaut, c/o Sun Trust Bank at 232 Williamson Road in Mooresville. For more information, contact Melissa King at 704-664-2067. This article appeared in Thursday's edition of the Thomasville Times.