Drag Strip Deaths


      2005-2009 Fatalities
Joe Angelo

Born:  March 27, 1942

Died:  May 12, 2005


Age:  63

Full Name:  Joseph R. Angelo

Nickname:  "Super Wop"

Drag Strip:  Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas

Event:  Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

Accident Date:  April 30, 2005

Car:  Chev-powered B/econo dragster

Biographical:  He crashed his dragster while making a qualifying run.  He was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas in critical condition and died twelve days later from multiple injuries.  He lived in Zimmerman, Minnesota, and was survived by his wife, Rosie, one son, and three daughters.  He was an active NHRA drag racer for more than twenty years.  He was a retired school teacher.


Motorsport.com website  (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=4928)

"Joe Angelo dies following crash," Star News, May 17, 2005  (http://erstarnews.com/2005/may/17Angelo.html) 

Super Stock Forum (http://www.superstockforum.com/showthread.php?s=320d6152d0ad4451029b0ef1a28338cb&threadid=8132

Warren Grabow, e-mail correspondence with site administrator, May 31, 2014

Social Security Death Index


Gary Cole

Born:  August 11, 1945

Died:  January 27, 2007


Age:  61

Full Name:  Gary Donald Cole


Drag Strip:  Moroso Motorsports Park, Jupiter, Florida


Accident Date:  January 27, 2007

Car:  motorcycle

Biographical:  He crashed his motorcycle during a practice session.


"Driver killed in Moroso crash," Palm Beach Post, Nov. 26, 2007


Ed Conrad

Born:  November 29, 1944

Died:  September 6, 2007


Age:  62

Full Name:  Edward J. Conrad

Nickname:  "Corvette Ed"

Drag Strip:  Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, California

Event:   NHRA bracket race

Accident Date:  September 6, 2007

Car:  1983 Ford Mustang

Biographical:  A resident of Gardena, California, he suffered an apparent heart attack while staging his car prior to making a run.  The car roared down the race track in first gear, but nosed in to the K-rail near the end of the 1/8th mile track with its tires still spinning and engine screaming.  Track officials broke his window and pulled him from the car, removed his helmet, and administered CPR. He was taken to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia where he was pronounced dead.  He was survived by two sisters, three children, and five grandchildren.  He worked at Big George's "Hot Rods and Harleys."  He was one of the original members of the International Brotherhood of Street Racers and had been devoted to trying to save Brotherhood Raceway in the Los Angeles Harbor area.


Motorsport.com website  (http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=268452&FS=OBITUARIES)

The Car Nut website  (http://thecarnut.typepad.com/hall_of_fame/2007/12/ed-conrad-longt.html)

Social Security Death Index


StevesNovaSite.com website  (http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73025)


Jim Cunningham

Born:  March 30, 1944

Died:  November 16, 2009

Buried: Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton, Illinois

Age:  65

Full Name:  James Dale Cunningham


Drag Strip:    Ozark Raceway Park, Rogersville, Missouri

Event:  test-and-tune

Accident Date:  November 7, 2009

Car:  snowmobile

Biographical:  He lost his helmet and crashed into a guard rail while driving a snowmobile.  He was flown to Cox Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.  He was from Gassville, Arkansas, and was survived by his son, a brother, and three sisters.  He was a retired pipefitter.


"Man flown to Springfield after snowmobile crash," Springfield News Leader, Nov. 8, 2009

http://www.tributes.com/show/James-Cunningham-87271757 (accessed 9/30/10)

http://ozarksfirst.com/search-fulltext?nxd_id=203641 (accessed 9/30/10)

http://www.ozarkracewaypark.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2016&start=0  (accessed 9/30/10)



Larry Eaton

Born:  November 4, 1950

Died:  July 12, 2008

Buried:  Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan

Age:  57

Full Name:  Larry Allan Eaton


Drag Strip:    Thunderbird Raceway, Dalton Twp., Michigan


Accident Date:  May 28, 2008

Car:  altered car

Biographical:  Engine malfunction caused him to lose control and the car flipped several times.  He was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He passed away six weeks after the accident.  He lived in Fruitland Township, Michigan.  After the accident, other racers questioned whether the condition of the track might have played a part.  Officials at the race track admitted that the track was bumpy and sometimes sandy.  Operation of the drag strip was suspended because of his death.


"Drivers question safety of Thunderbird Racepark," Muskegon Chronicle, May 30, 2008 (http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2008/05/drivers_question_safety_of_thu.html) 

Thunderbird Dragway (http://waterwinterwonderland.com/drags.asp?id=1343&type=6)

Social Security Death Index  (SS# issued in Michigan) 

Cheryl Eaton, telephone conversation, February 20, 2010 


Find a Grave


David Edgar

Born:  February 8, 1949

Died:  March 24, 2008

Buried:  cremated

Age:  59

Full Name:  David Charles Edgar


Drag Strip:   Auto Club Dragway, Fontana, California


Accident Date:  March 15, 2008

Car:  Jeep

Biographical:  During a sanctioned drag race, he was going about 120 MPH when he made an abrupt turn to the side and crashed head-on into the retaining wall.  It was thought that his brake line popped and prevented him from slowing the vehicle.  He built the car with his brother, Pat.  He lived in Modjeska Canyon, California, and operated an equestrian center.


"Canyon resident dies after raceway accident," Orange County Register, Mar. 27, 2008

Social Security Death Index

Sally Barna, e-mail communication to site administrator, Dec. 4, 2010


"Canyon resident dies after raceway accident," Orange County Register, Mar. 27, 2008

Steve Engel

Born:  May 21, 1959

Died:  September 14, 2008

Buried:  New London Cemetery, Shandon, Ohio

Age:  49

Full Name:  Steven J. Engel


Drag Strip:  O'Reilly Raceway Park, Clermont, Indiana  

Event:   54th Mac Tools NHRA U. S. Nationals

Accident Date:  August 30, 2008

Car:  Diamond Heavy Haul Pro Mod Corvette

Biographical:  He had 21 years experience in drag racing and had competed in 31 JEGS ProMod Challenge events for several years.  He won his first event at Bristol in 2008 and had two runner-up finishes.  His car swerved wildly near the top end of the race track where he struck the retaining wall head-on.  He was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  He died from complications of severe back injuries.  A resident of Shandon, Ohio, he was survived by a wife and two sons.  Officials with the JEGS ProMod Challenge created the Steve Engel "Big Man, Big Heart" Award to be given annually to the ProMod racer who most exemplifies Engel's gregarious spirit and generous nature.  The award will be accompanied with a $10,000 cash prize that the recipient may donate to the charity of his choice. 


The Car Nut website (http://thecarnut.typepad.com/steve_parker_the_car_nut_/hall_of_fame/)

Motorsport.com website (http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=307858&FS=OBITUARIES)


The Car Nut website (thecarnut.typepad.com/)


Robert Filmore

Born: October 15, 1979

Died:  July 29, 2007

Buried:  New Zion United Methodist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina

Age:  35

Full Name: Robert Omar Filmore


Drag Strip:  Currie Dragstrip, St. Pauls, North Carolina


Accident Date: July 29, 2007

Car:  motorcycle

Biographical:  The fatal accident occurred at 12:30 A.M. on a drag strip that was only permitted by the county to operate from 1 to 7 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays.  He was airlifted to Charlotte Medical Center where he succumbed from his injuries received from being thrown from his motorcycle. He resided in Rowland, North Carolina.  Investigations into the accident were forthcoming.


"Drag strip wreck kills man," The Robesonian, Aug. 2, 2007

Social Security Death Index

"Obituary," Charlotte Observer, Aug. 1, 2007


Vernon Goins

Born:  June 27, 1953

Died:  October 9, 2005

Buried: Lake City Memorial Park, Lake City, South Carolina

Age:  52

Full Name:  Vernon Lee Goins


Drag Strip:  Clarendon County Dragstrip, near Silver, South Carolina


Accident Date:  October 9, 2005


Biographical:  He died after his car went through a guard rail and flipped at the unsanctioned 1/8th-mile track.  He was transported to Clarendon Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  He lived in Coward, South Carolina, and owned a garage in Florence County.  A policeman deemed the guard rails unsafe.  Goins's death was the third at the race track since 2000.


"Racing deaths persist at small tracks in U.S.," Charlotte Observer, May 26, 2006

"Clarendon man dies on drag racing track," Beaufort Gazette, Oct. 12, 2005

"Man killed in crash on drag racing track," Associated Press State and Local Wire, October 11, 2005


Find a Grave


Svein Gottenberg

Born: April 13, 1961

Died:  September 1, 2006

Buried:  Skedsmo, Norway

Age: 45

Full Name:  Svein Ivar Gottenberg

Nickname: Gotten

Drag Strip:  Mosten Raceway, Denmark


Accident Date:  September 1, 2006

Car:  Top Fuel Harley Davidson motorcycle

Biographical: The well-liked Norwegian was due to run in the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, but died a week before they were to be held.  At the 1/8th mile Mosten strip he went off the end of the track. The bike flipped and landed on him, resulting in fatal injuries.  He was one of the driving forces in nitro-twin racing in Norway. 



Mick Lewin, e-mail communication to site administrator, May 4, 2011

http://www.motorcyclekb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/harley/78671/Svein-Gottenberg-Good-friend-and-dragracer  (accessed May 7, 2011)

Norway Burial Index (Ancestry.com)


http://www.yellowbullet.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3674308   (accessed May 7, 2011)


Chris Gould

Born:  December 27, 1954

Died:  November 25, 2007

Buried:  Growstown Cemetery, Brunswick, Maine

Age:  52

Full Name:  Christopher Joseph Gould


Drag Strip:  Moroso Motorsports Park, Jupiter, Florida

Event:  Citrus Nationals

Accident Date:  November 25, 2007

Car:  "Firepower" 2006 Ford Mustang jet funny car

Biographical:  After being clocked at 268 MPH, he veered suddenly to the right crossing both lanes and flipping end over end before finally coming to a stop in the grass.  He was thrown from the car.  He was racing against Ken Marley's "Rocky Mountain Thunder" jet car.  His primary and secondary parachutes failed, causing him to lose control.  The engine was a General Electric J-85-17 jet engine. He lived in Bowdoin, Maine, where he operated an import-export business and was survived by his son and partner.



"Day after drag racer dies in Jupiter, hot rod circuit balances safety and speed," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 27, 2007

"Jet dragster driver killed," CompetitionPlus Magazine (http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/4704-jet-dragster-driver-killed)

"Parachute fails on race car, driver dies during crash at Jupiter track," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 26, 2007 

"Man killed in drag racing crash," WTSP.com (http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=68473) 

"Dragracer made mark in North Bay," North Bay Nugget, November 28, 2007


Motorsport Memorial website  (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7130)


"Man killed in drag racing crash," FirstCoastNews.com, November 26, 2007

Find a Grave website (photo courtesy of Brett Strout)




Ben Greyling

Born:  April 18, 1950

Died:  December 27, 2008

Buried:  Cape Town, South Africa

Age:  58

Full Name:  Barend Christiaan Greyling


Drag Strip:  Killarney Race Track, Tableview, near Cape Town, South Africa

Event:  Fast, Furious and the Glorious Car Show and Family Fest

Accident Date:  December 27, 2008

Car:  Ford Fiesta

Biographical:  It is suspected that he lost control of his car as a result of some mechanical failure.  His car slammed into a barrier, catapulted over it, flipped, and rolled a few times.  He died after sustaining severe injuries to his head and neck.  On the fatal run, he broke his own speed record and was clocked under ten seconds at the track.  He was traveling at a speed of about 125 MPH at the time of impact.  He was from Cape Town, South Africa, and was survived by five children and six grandchildren.



"Driver dies trying to set drag record," Independent Online, December 28, 2008

Marianne Hulbert, e-mail communication to site administrator, August 29, 2010


http://www.fordstownerssa.co.za/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22936  (accessed 12/19/10)


Kendall Hebert

Born:  May 1, 1989

Died:  October 1, 2006

Buried:  Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Oldcastle, Ontario, Canada

Age:  17

Full Name: 


Drag Strip: Toronto Motorsports Park, Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

Event:  exhibition run

Accident Date:  October 1, 2006

Car:  "Firestorm" jet dragster

Biographical:   She was making an exhibition run when, at the end of the quarter mile, her car suddenly swerved, slammed into a concrete barrier, bounced over the wall, and rolled several times. She was ejected from the vehicle.  She died at West Haldimand Hospital in Hagersville, Ontario, Canada.  She lived in Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada.



"Drag racer killed in crash," Stratford Beacon Herald, October 2, 2006

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=5364) 

"World's fastest female dies in dragster accident," CanWest News Service, October 3, 2006 (http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/story.html?id=f2be1c66-24eb-44be-82d5-2a1687dfdf7b)


Find a Grave website

"World's fastest female dies in dragster accident," CanWest News Service, October 3, 2006 (http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/story.html?id=f2be1c66-24eb-44be-82d5-2a1687dfdf7b)


Todd Hilligoss

Born:  December 11, 1964

Died:  October 19, 2008

Buried:  cremated, ashes at East Maplewood Cemetery, Anderson, Indiana

Age:  43

Full Name:  Todd Allen Hilligoss


Drag Strip:  Osceola Dragway, Indiana


Accident Date:  October 19, 2008

Car:  motorcycle

Biographical:  Soon after the start, he lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a guardrail at a speed of about 50 MPH.  He suffered serious head and upper body injuries and died at the scene.  It was his first experience racing on a drag strip.  He lived in Elkhart, Indiana, and was survived by his wife, father, and sister.  By profession, he was a forklift operator.


"Friends remember man killed in Osceola Dragway accident," WSBT.com (http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/31294274.html)

"Friends, witness respond to deadly motorcycle drag racing crash," WNDU.com (http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/31255669.html)

"Obituary," Elkhart Truth, October 22, 2008 (http://www.etruth.com/Know/News/Story.aspx?id=464921)


"Friends remember man killed in Osceola Dragway accident," WSBT.com (http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/31294274.html)


Shelly Howard

Born:  November 4, 1945

Died:  April 2, 2005

Buried: Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Age:  59

Full Name:  Michele L. Howard

Nickname:  Shelly

Drag Strip:  Tulsa Raceway Park, Oklahoma

Event:  testing accident

Accident Date:  April 2, 2005

Car:  A/FD

Biographical:  Her car went airborne near the finish line and spun 180 degrees in the midair.  Upon landing, the car accelerated and headed back toward the starting line.  Witnesses speculated that she was knocked out when her car landed.  The race car collided with the team's tow vehicle, killing her son and crew member, 36-year-old Brian Howard.  Shelly, a veteran driver and registered nurse who lived in Tulsa, had just received the new A/FD.  She had competed successfully for several years in T/AD. She was survived by her husband and two daughters.



"Dragster testing mishap kills racer Howard, son," Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 5, 2005

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=3082)

Find a Grave website


Competition Plus: Drag Racing's Internet Magazine (http://www.competitionplus.com/2005_03_05/shelly.html)



Danny Jenkins

Born:  November 16, 1952

Died:  September 19, 2008

Buried:  Bells Campground Cemetery, Knoxville, Tennessee

Age:  55

Full Name:  Danny Esco Jenkins


Drag Strip:   Knoxville Dragway, Maynardville, Tennessee


Accident Date:  September 19, 2008

Car:  Suzuki motorcycle

Biographical:   During a time trial run, he veered to the left just after leaving the starting line.  When he crashed into the guard rail, he was pinned between his bike and the rail.  He had been drag racing for about fifteen years.  His helmet came off during the crash and he succumbed from severe chest and head trauma.  Efforts to revive him with CPR were unsuccessful.  He was single, worked as a mechanic, and lived in Knoxville, Tennessee.


"Knoxville man killed in drag racing crash," WBIR.com (http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=64148&provider=rss)

"Professional motorcycle racer killed Friday at Knoxville Dragway," WVLT-TV.com, September 20, 2008  (http://www.volunteertv.com/union/headlines/28704059.html) 

James Jenkins, telephone conversation, February 20, 2010


Find a Grave website


Scott Kalitta

Born:  February 18, 1962

Died:  June 21, 2008

Buried:  Skyway Memorial Gardens, Palmetto, Florida

Age:  46

Full Name:  Scott Douglas Kalitta


Drag Strip:  Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey

Event:  Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals

Accident Date:  June 21, 2008

Car:  Toyota Solara FC

Biographical:  While making a qualifying run at a speed of about 300 MPH his engine suddenly exploded.  His car was engulfed in flames and the parachutes were burned.  The car continued down the drag strip until it crashed into the barriers at the end of the sand trap.  After extinguishing the fire, safety officials extracted him from the car.  He was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center where he subsequently died.  He lived in Palmetto, Florida, and was survived by his wife, two sons, and his drag racing father, Connie Kalitta.  He began drag racing in the early 1980s and was successful in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.  He was the NHRA national champion in Top Fuel in 1994 and 1995. 



Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7819) 


Competition Plus: Drag Racing's Internet Magazine (www.competitionplus.com/)

Drag Racing Online.com  (www.dragracingonline.com/)


Rockey Keyes

Born:  October 1, 1956

Died:  August 7, 2006

Buried: unknown

Age:  49

Full Name: Rockey Nelson Keyes


Drag Strip:  Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas


Accident Date:  August 7, 2006

Car:  1966 Ford Cobra Super Comp roadster

Biographical:  At the finish line following a time trial run, witnesses saw a puff of smoke at the back of his car, then the car moved violently to the left on the driver's side and crashed into the retaining wall.


Nitromater.com (http://www.nitromater.com/nhra/904-rockey-keyes-dies-houston-raceway-park.html)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=6047) 

CompetitionPlus.com (http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/93-rockey-keyes-services-tonight)

Social Security Death Index


Nitromater.com (http://www.nitromater.com/nhra/904-rockey-keyes-dies-houston-raceway-park.html)

Rockey Keyes (http://darrenscustommotorsports.com/Rockey_Keyes.htm)



Gene Kinman

Born:  August 24, 1941

Died:  August 20, 2006

Buried:  New Warsaw Cemetery, Warsaw, Kentucky

Age:  64

Full Name:  Gene Herman Kinman


Drag Strip:  Edgewater Sports Park, Cleves, Ohio

Event:  3rd annual Hot Rod Old Car Drags

Accident Date:  August 20, 2006

Car:  1927 Ford Model A

Biographical:  He lost control of the car after crossing the finish line.  After hitting the wall, his body was partially ejected.  The car rolled over on him causing severe head trauma.  A resident of Carrollton, Kentucky, he was survived by his wife, Wilma, a daughter, and a son.


QueenCityMotorsports.com (http://home.fuse.net/kewendel/QCM_DC_Gene_Kinman.html)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=5209) 


Find a Grave website



Richard Knowles

Born:  October 19, 1950

Died:  June 27,  2005

Buried:  Parkhill Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia

Age:  54

Full Name:  Richard Carl Knowles


Drag Strip:  Macon National Dragway, Georgia

Event:  South East Motorcycle Drag Racing Association

Accident Date:  June 18, 2005

Car:  Kawasaki KZ 1000

Biographical:  He suffered severe head injuries when his helmet came off in a finish-line crash. He was transported to Macon Medical Center where he succumbed from his injuries about nine days later. He was survived by his wife, Gale, and children.


Motorsport Memorial


Manabu Kondo


Died:  October 8, 2006


Age:  38

Full Name:  


Drag Strip:  Heathcote Park Raceway, Victoria, Australia

Event:  test/tune

Accident Date:  October 8, 2006

Car:  "Aussie Thunder" jet car

Biographical:  He crashed into a retaining wall at a speed of about 186 MPH on the final test run.  The car disintegrated and caught fire.  He died before safety personnel could reach him.  He had bought the Australia-based car about six weeks previously.  It had been in storage for several years.  He had come to Australia with business associates to retrieve the car to race in Japan.  They had taken about 13 or 14 test runs during the course of the weekend before the accident occurred.  A coroner's inquest had been told he had not received proper instructions on driving the car prior to the accident.  One of the parachutes deployed prematurely and was burned due to mechanical error.  In court testimony later in Melbourne, the owner attested that he had only agreed to teach Kondo how to start the car and engage the after-burner, not to drive the vehicle.  In 2012 the Victorian coroner handed down his findings and determined that the previous owner and track owner hadn't provided adequate supervision and training to Kondo.  He also found that the vehicle hadn't been adequately inspected prior to allowing Kondo to drive it.  The police inspector found several mechanical faults with the car (particularly the wheel bearings).



"Drag race crash inquest told of mechanical problems," abc.net.au (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/11/2056828.htm?site=news)

"Jet-powered racer 'was not safe'," Herald Sun, Oct. 12, 2007

Terry Jongen, e-mail communication to site administrator, June 5, 2012

"Family to claim Japanese jet-car driver's body," theage.com.au (http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/family-to-claim-japanese-jetcar-drivers-body/2006/10/09/1160246059681.html

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=5377)

Bronwyn Beyers, e-mail communication to site administrator, Feb. 16, 2012


Bobby Lee

Born:  December 11, 1962

Died:  November 13, 2005

Buried: Mechanicsburg Cemetery, Pennsylvania

Age:  42

Full Name:  Robert Edwin Lee


Drag Strip:  Mason-Dixon Dragway, Boonsboro, Maryland


Accident Date:  November 13, 2005

Car:  2000 Buell Lightning X1 motorcycle

Biographical:  He was killed when he was thrown from his motorcycle at a speed of about 90 MPH.  He resided in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.


"Man dies in drag strip crash," Associated Press State & Local Wire, November 14, 2005

Social Security Death Index (SS# issued in Maryland) 


John Lupco

Born:  January 30, 1963

Died:  July 25, 2005

Buried:  Neshanic Cemetery, New Jersey

Age:  42

Full Name:  John T. Lupco


Drag Strip:  Atco Raceway, Waterford, New Jersey

Event:  test/practice run

Accident Date:  July 25, 2005

Car:  1999 Cressman dragster

Biographical:  During a test run prior to an official meet, he sped past the finish line at over 170 MPH and deployed his parachute.  His throttle stuck and he kept speeding into the sand trap and through the tire barricade.  He was killed when his vehicle impacted a tree.  He was a resident of Hillsborough, New Jersey, and was survived by his wife, daughter, mother, and three sisters.  He was the owner of Highline Automotive in South Brunswick, New Jersey.


Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=3121)

"John Lupco killed in a crash at Atco," NorthEastBracketRacing.com (http://northeastbracketracing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549) 

"Obituaries," East Brunswick Sentinel, July 28, 2005

Social Security Death Index (died July 23 [sic], 2005, SS# issued in New Jersey) 


Life in Legacy (http://www.lifeinlegacy.com/display.php?weekof=2005-07-23#P1086)

Find a Grave website

Doug McRobie

Born:  February 11, 1959

Died:  September 21, 2008

Buried:  Westlawn Cemetery, Mount Eaton, Ohio

Age:  49

Full Name:  Douglas James McRobie


Drag Strip:  National Trail Raceway, Hebron, Ohio

Event:  Jegs NHRA Northern Sportsnationals

Accident Date:  September 21, 2008

Car:  S/G 1934 Chevrolet roadster

Biographical:   He was driving in the right lane and swerved into the left lane after passing the finish line and then drifted into the wall.  He then came back into the right lane and slammed into the wall on the right side at a speed over 100 MPH.  He was transported to Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark, Ohio, where he was pronounced dead.  He lived in Mount Eaton, Ohio, and was survived by his wife, son, parents, and three brothers.  It was reportedly the third fatality at the race track since opening in 1964.


"Race-car driver dies after crash at National Trail," Newark Advocate, September 23, 2008

"Super Gas racer killed in Columbus," CompetitionPlus Magazine (http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/7905-super-gas-racer-killed-in-columbus)

Competition Plus (http://forum.competitionplus.com/showthread.php?t=3761)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8104) 

Irene McRobie, telephone conversation, February 20, 2010 


SpidellFuneralHome.com (http://obit.spidellfuneralhome.com/obitdisplay.html?id=585309&listing=Found)

Find a Grave


Ronnie Marcum

Born:  May 26, 1956

Died:  August 8, 2009

Buried:  Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, California

Age:  53

Full Name:  Ronald Farmer Marcum


Drag Strip:  Auto Club Dragway, Fontana, California

Event:  Super Category Drag Races

Accident Date:  August 8, 2009

Car:  dragster

Biographical:  He was killed when his transmission engaged during a tran-brake test, raced 200 feet, and slammed  into a parked trailer in the pit area.  The car was speeding at about 100 MPH when it crashed into the trailer and caught fire.  The driver failed to follow NHRA rules which required that a vehicle's tires be off the ground during such tests.  No one else was hurt. 


"La Habra drag racer killed during brake test," CBS2/KCAL9 website  (http://cbs2.com/local/drag.racer.killed.2.1120396.html)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8988)

"Drag racer killed during test run Saturday morning in Fontana," Estey & Bomberger Accident and Injury Blog  (http://losangeles.esteybomberger.com/blog/2009/08/08/drag-racer-killed-during-test-run-saturday-morning-in-fontana/)

Social Security Death Index

photobucket.com (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t256/creracing/fedburnout.jpg&imgrefurl=http://drr.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/75460652/m/251108861&usg=__fN9-94aIMhUKkBpxgwevT6xu6aM=&h=214&w=321&sz=48&hl=en&start=5&um=1&tbnid=jEKcNpWrLjGq7M:&tbnh=79&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dronnie%2Bmarcum%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1) 


MarcumBrothers.com (http://www.marcumbrothers.com/Photo_Gallery_5A49.php)

MarcumBrothers.com (http://www.marcumbrothers.com/Page_2.php)



Dean Martin

Born:  February 8, 1952

Died:  May 29, 2005


Age:  53

Full Name:  Harold Dean Martin


Drag Strip:  Orangeburg Drag Strip, South Carolina

Event:  IHRA practice run

Accident Date:  May 29, 2005

Car:  circa 1960s Chevrolet Nova

Biographical:  He was making a practice test run on the 1/8th mile track and was slowing down after having reached a speed over 90 MPH when the car veered and crashed into the guardrail.  The car flipped upon impact and he was partially thrown from the car.  He died at the scene from massive head trauma.  His helmet had fallen off his head.  He was a veteran drag racer and operated a generator business in Orangeburg.  The race track lost its IHRA sanction after Martin's death.


"Drag racer dies in wreck," The State, May 31, 2005

"Racer killed in crash at Orangeburg Drag Strip," Charleston Post and Courier, June 1, 2005

"Drag racer killed at South Carolina track," Associated Press, May 31, 2005

"Racer killed on S. C. drag strip," Charlotte Observer, June 1, 2005

"S. C. track owner buys into safety," Charlotte Observer, May 26, 2006

"Making racing safer," Charlotte Observer, May 28, 2006

Social Security Death Index

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=3080)


Bobby Martindale

Born:  February 18, 1943

Died:  October 4, 2008

Buried:  Dale Memorial Park, Midlothian, Virginia

Age:  65

Full Name:  Bobby Joe Martindale


Drag Strip:  Atlanta Dragway, Georgia

Event:  NHRA Southeast Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

Accident Date:  October 4, 2008

Car:  "Nikki" 1996 Dodge Daytona TA/FC

Biographical:  His car crashed after he experienced engine failure.  His parachutes did not deploy and he brushed the left side retaining wall.  His car continued to speed down the race track, through the sand trap and catch fence, and came to a halt in the forest behind it.  It was estimated he was traveling at about 180 MPH when the crash occurred.  He lived in Glen Allen, Virginia, and was survived by his wife, Geraldine, and other family.


"Glen Allen drag racer killed," Richmond Times Dispatch, October 8, 2008

"Virginia man killed in racing accident at Atlanta Dragway," MainStreetNews, October 6, 2008 (http://www.mainstreetnewssports.com/archives/529-Virginia-Man-Killed-In-Racing-Accident-At-Atlanta-Dragway.html)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8190)


Find a Grave website


"Virginia racer killed in Dragway clash," MainStreetNews, October 8, 2008 (http://www.mainstreetnewssports.com/archives/544-Virginia-Racer-Killed-In-Dragway-Crash.html

Find a Grave website

Mark Martinez

Born:  November 22, 1971

Died:  September 12, 2006

Buried: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Age:  34

Full Name:  Mark A. Martinez


Drag Strip:  Albuquerque National Dragway, New Mexico


Accident Date:  September 2, 2006

Car:  Super Pro E.T. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette

Biographical:  He was driving in the right lane on a run when his car suddenly shot across the center line into the left lane.  He crashed into the retaining wall and catapulted over it.  The car caught on fire and burned for about a minute before it was finally extinguished.  He had extensive burns but was able to walk after the accident.  He was first transported to University of New Mexico Hospital, then to the burn center in the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  Unfortunately he developed pneumonia and an infection that subsequently led to his death ten days after the accident.  He had drag raced for eighteen years. He was survived by his parents and his sister.


Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8033)

Social Security Death Index (SS# issued in Arizona)

"Living, dying in fast lane," Albuquerque Journal, Sep. 30, 2006


Find a Grave


Eric Medlen

Born:  August 13, 1973

Died:  March 23, 2007

Buried:  West Ridge Park Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

Age:  33

Full Name:  Eric John Medlen

Nickname:  Duffy

Drag Strip:  Gainesville Raceway, Florida

Event:  testing accident

Accident Date:  March 19, 2007

Car:  John Force Racing's Castrol Ford Mustang FC

Biographical:  A day following the Gatornationals,  he was performing a series test when his tire went flat and came apart.  The car began shaking violently from side to side.  An autopsy determined that the shaking was the cause of his death, not the impact into the retaining wall.  He suffered severe traumatic brain injuries.  He was transported to the Shands at the University of Florida, but never regained consciousness and died four days later.  He began racing funny cars for John Force in 2004.  In that first season he garnered the funny car rookie of the year title.  He won six national events in three years.



Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=6160)

Social Security Death Index

Find a Grave website


autoimagery.com (http://www.autoimagery.com/)

eliteracingteam.com (http://www.eliteracingteam.com/)

Find a Grave




Josh Messerschmidt

Born:  July 5, 1986

Died:  September 25, 2008

Buried: Allouez Catholic Cemetery, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Age:  22

Full Name:  Joshua M. Messerschmidt

Nickname:  Mess

Drag Strip:  Shadyside Dragway, Shelby, North Carolina


Accident Date:  September 25, 2008

Car:  Honda Civic

Biographical:  After the onset of rain forced the stopping of the Thursday night racing at the 1/8th mile track, all lights were turned off and safety personnel had left.  Messerschmidt decided he would get onto the race track at the finish area and race toward the start line.  He crashed into a ditch and overturned in the woods.  He lived in Mount Holly, North Carolina.



"Memorial service planned for man who died in wreck at dragway," WSOCTV.com (http://www.wsoctv.com/news/17562843/detail.html)

LS1GTO.com forums (http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268777)


Find a Grave


Roy Moore

Born:  November 16, 1928

Died:  October 29, 2005

Buried: Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, California

Age:  76

Full Name:  Roy R. Moore


Drag Strip:  Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California

Event:  VRA Goodguys Nostalgia Fuel and Gas Championships

Accident Date:  October 29, 2005

Car:  1967 Chevrolet Camaro C/G

Biographical:  He was making a qualifying run in the left lane when his car suddenly veered to the right about 300 feet from the start.  The car plowed into the right concrete retaining wall, bounced off and spun down the track.  It came to a halt about 800 feet from the start.  He was transported by helicopter to Kern Medical Center where he died from his injuries.  He was from Santa Paula, California.


Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=3659)

Gone Racin website (http://www.oilstick.com/rparks/blltnbrd/95.htm)

Social Security Death Index (last residence in Santa Paula, CA; SS# issued in California) 


http://www.pbase.com/marylin90504/classic_race_cars_and_nostalgia_dragsters  (accessed 12/19/10)


Roy Moore in staging prior to making his fatal run.

Dusty Murphy

Born:  February 27, 1983

Died:  August 4, 2006

Buried: Antioch Cemetery, Hamilton County, Illinois

Age: 23

Full Name: Dustin James Murphy


Drag Strip: I-57 Dragstrip, Benton, Illinois

Event:  grudge racing

Accident Date: August 4, 2006

Car: motorcycle

Biographical: He lost control of the motorcycle after being timed at about 90 MPH.  After a high speed wobble, he crashed into the guardrail. He was from Thompsonville, Illinois.  He was survived by his two-year-old daughter, Kayla, and his parents, James and Sherrie Murphy.


"Racer dies in crash at I-57 Dragstrip," The Southern Illinoisan, Aug. 6, 2006.

Social Security Death Index


"Heartland racer killed in drag strip crash," KFVS Heartland News.


Vance Newman

Born:  February 28, 1978

Died:  January 11, 2009

Buried: Peniel Baptist Church Cemetery, Polk County, North Carolina

Age:  30

Full Name:  Vance Roger Newman


Drag Strip:  Shadyside Dragway, Shelby, North Carolina


Accident Date:  January 11, 2009

Car:  motorcycle

Biographical:  During a practice run on a friend's motorcycle, his front brakes locked up at the 1/8th mile track after he crossed the finish line.  He was thrown from the motorcycle after crashing into the concrete retaining wall.  His helmet, which may have been too big for his head, came off in the crash.  The motorcycle kept going until it landed in the woods.  Still alive, he was rushed from the scene of the accident, but died.  From Boiling Springs, North Carolina, he was a regular racer at the race track.



"Speedway motorcycle wreck claims driver's life," Shelby Star, January 13, 2009

Social Security Death Index (SS# issued in Washington) 


http://www.hendersonvillepost.com/?p=1624  (accessed 12/19/10)

Find a Grave


Boris Obukhov

Born:  November 26, 1976

Died:  March 26, 2008


Age:  31

Full Name:  Boris Sergeevich Obukhov

Nickname:  Borka Kosmich

Drag Strip:  Public road in Tushino, district in northwest Moscow, Russia

Event:   testing

Accident Date:  March 26, 2008

Car:  ZAZ-968M with Renault engine

Biographical:  He was killed while performing a night-tuning test on a public road. He skidded and crashed into a tree. He had not fastened his safety belt and was thrown from the car upon impact. He was the 2004 Russian champion. Andrei Sidorov wrote: "Member of RS Tuning racing team, he started his career as drag racer at the wheel of Moskvitch 2141 and then switched to Renault-powered ZAZ. Known as 'Borka Kosmich,' he won over 30 prizes in competitions, most of them for first place."


Andrei Sidorov, e-mail communication with site administrator, Feb. 4, 2019


Timmy Powell

Born:  November 29, 1966

Died:  June 9, 2007

Buried: Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Maryland

Age:  40

Full Name:  Timothy James Powell


Drag Strip:  Capitol Raceway Dragstrip, Crofton, Maryland


Accident Date:  June 9, 2007

Car:  1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Biographical:  He lost control of his car, crossed into the other lane and crashed into a wall.  His car overturned.  He was pulled from the car and CPR was performed without success. He was transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie where he was pronounced dead.  He lived in Waldorf, Maryland, and had been racing since the 1980s.


"Waldorf man killed at racetrack," SoMDNews.com, June 13, 2007  (http://www.somdnews.com/stories/061307/indymor105506_32165.shtml)

"Sportsman racer killed," CompetitionPlus Magazine (http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/3018-sportsman-racer-killed) 

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7278)


http://www.quartermilebrothers.com/id1052.htm  (accessed 12/19/10)

Find a Grave website



Larry Prestige


Died:  March 21, 2009


Age:  51

Full Name:  Larry Allen Prestige


Drag Strip:  Chilton County Dragway, Maplesville, Alabama


Accident Date:  March 21, 2009


Biographical:  He died after his car struck the wall. He was from Pleasant Grove, Alabama.



"Man dies on track at drag strip," Clanton Advertiser, Mar. 23, 2009


Willy Quevedo


Died:  March 2, 2007



Full Name:  


Drag Strip:  Picódromo de Luján de Cuyo, Argentina

Event:  Las Picadas de Lujan de Cuyo

Accident Date:  March 2, 2007

Car:  De Carlo, Fiat rear-engine

Biographical:  He was hit by debris from his exploded engine and killed almost instantly while making an exhibition run on the 1/4-mile straightaway.


Motorsport Memorial


Rudy Ramos

Born:  October 26, 1946

Died:  July 4, 2009

Buried:  Kauai Memorial Gardens, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Age:  62

Full Name:  Rudy Phillip Ramos


Drag Strip:  Kauai Raceway Park, near Kekaha, Hawaii

Event:  NHRA King of the Track

Accident Date:  July 3, 2009

Car:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette

Biographical:  He was thrown from his car during time trials.   He was transported to Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital and then to Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu, where he subsequently died.  He lived in Waimea, Hawaii, and was survived by his wife and son.  He had been an active drag racer for 30 years.


Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8932)

"Kaua'i drag racer killed," Honolulu Advertiser, July 5, 2009


http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=297826  (accessed 12/19/10)

Find a Grave (photo courtesy of Lalita Kuhn)



Mike Reed

Born:  May 20, 1963

Died:  October 15, 2005

Buried:  Creola Cemetery, Alabama

Age:  42

Full Name:  James Michael Reed


Drag Strip:  Mobile Dragway, Irvington, Alabama

Event:  Big Dawg Shootout

Accident Date:  October 15, 2005

Car:  Pro Mod Chevrolet Camaro

Biographical:  About halfway down the 1/8th mile track, witnesses state that his rear wheels seem to have lost traction.  He lost control of the car about 100 feet from the finish and struck a retaining wall at approximately 140 MPH at a 45-degree angle.  The car passed the finish and continued down the race track into a wooded area.  It overturned at least once and came to a stop upside down.  He was transported to the University of South Alabama Medical Center where he died from head injuries about an hour afterwards.  He was a resident of Satsuma, Alabama, and was survived by his wife, Patricia, and three daughters.  He was an experienced drag racer of twenty years and was a welder and fabricator by profession.


"Officials say head injuries killed driver at dragway near Mobile," Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 18, 2005

"Sports digest," Birmingham News, October 19, 2005 

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8030)


Linda Lippert, e-mail to site administrator, Dec. 24, 2010
Mo Rockefeller

Born:  September 30, 1957

Died:  August 28, 2005

Buried: Unknown

Age:  47

Full Name:  Elmo Tbone Rockefeller

Nickname:  "E. T."

Drag Strip:  Woodburn Dragstrip, Oregon

Event:  All Harley Drag Racing Association national event

Accident Date:  August 28, 2005

Car:  Pro Dragster Harley-Davidson fuel-burning motorcycle

Biographical:  He was timed at the 1/8th mile mark at a speed of 140 MPH.  He hit the retaining wall whereupon he was thrown from the bike over the wall.  The bike continued upright down the racetrack, going through the 1/4 mile clocks at 105 MPH before coming to a stop off the end of the track.  Attempts to revive Rockefeller were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  Competing in the Nitro Outlaw category, he had earlier that day posted a run of 8.04 at 166 MPH.  He lived in  Sacramento, California, and had been a veteran racer for almost twenty years.


Social Security Death Index  (Elmo T. Rockefeller, born September 30, 1957, died August 28, 2005, SS# issued in Calif. In 1972, last residence was West Sacramento, Calif.)

Phil Schmidt, e-mail communication to site administrator, May 17, 2010

www.cmdra.com/forum/read.php?1,7919  (accessed 5/20/10)

U.S. Public Records Index  (Elmo T. Rockefeller, born September 30, 1957, 602 Cummins Way, Broderick, Cal. In 1993)


http://www.ahdra.com/prlib/pr083005.html  (accessed 12/20/10)


John Serpa

Born:  January 31, 1962

Died:  September 13, 2009

Buried:  St. Mary's Cemetery, Bristol, Rhode Island

Age:  47

Full Name: John Paul Serpa


Drag Strip:  New England Dragway, Epping, New Hampshire

Event:  IHRA Amalie Motor Oil North American Nationals Nitro Jam

Accident Date:  September 13, 2009

Car:  bracket racer

Biographical:  After losing a race, he was in the pit area and reported that he was not feeling well and was short of breath.  While trying to walk to an ambulance, he collapsed.  Security officers and medical personnel performed CPR, but he died from the heart attack after being transported to Exeter Hospital.  He lived in Bristol, Rhode Island.


"Racer dies after hot-rod race at New England Dragway," Manchester Union Leader, September 15, 2009



Providence Journal, Sep. 16, 2009



John Shoemaker

Born:  November 23, 1942

Died:  March 8, 2008

Buried: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Bakersfield, California

Age:  65

Full Name: 


Drag Strip:  Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California

Event:  March Meet

Accident Date:  March 8, 2008

Car:  T/F nostalgia dragster

Biographical:  His car went out of control and crashed during a qualifying run.  His time on that run was 6.11 and 249.93 MPH.  His parachute never deployed and his car hit the dirt berm at the end of the sand-trap, flipped and landed upside down.  He was transported to Kern Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead as a result of the injuries in the crash.  He apparently had a heart attack while driving and lost consciousness. He was survived by his wife and two sons.  A resident of Sacramento, California, he had a 42-year career in drag racing.  He was one of the pioneers with blown alcohol dragsters and was a longtime chassis builder.  His first significant win was in 1964 at the Bakersfield U.S. Fuel & Gas Championships with a rear-engined 1934 Ford B/F coupe.  Twenty years later he won at the same event with his blown alcohol dragster.  He competed regionally and nationally until 1998, then came out of retirement in 2007 to compete in the nostalgia events.



NHRA.com (http://search.nhra.com/default.aspx?keywords=shoemaker&x=10&y=4)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7462)

wediditforlove website (http://wediditforlove.com/Shoemaker.html)

Askville.Amazon.com website (http://askville.amazon.com/Scott-Kalitta-Drag-Racer-killed-year/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=10688106)


wediditforlove website (http://wediditforlove.com/Shoemaker.html)

Jan Tadlock, e-mail communication to site administrator, Dec. 5, 2010 [photo of final run]




Kenneth Smith


Died:  March 3, 2007


Age:  59

Full Name:  Kenneth Richard Smith


Drag Strip:  Willowbank Raceway, west of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Event:  Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Drags

Accident Date:  March 3, 2007

Car:  front-engined dragster

Biographical:   He was making a practice run in his almost-new dragster for a race to be held the following day.  He crashed into a concrete barrier at top speed.  He had been competing in drag racing for about fifteen years.  He was from Nebo in Queensland.


"Driver dies at dragway," Townsville Bulletin, March 5, 2007

"Nebo man dies in dragster crash," Mackay News, Mar. 5, 2007

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=6127)



Rodney Stotesberry

Born:  April 2, 1946

Died:  May 12, 2007


Age:  61

Full Name:  Rodney Thomas Stotesberry


Drag Strip:  Newtown Dragway, Virginia


Accident Date:  May 12, 2007

Car:  2007 Kawasaki KFX 700 ATV

Biographical:  He had just crossed the finish line when his ATV flipped forward and rolled in the middle of the track. He was thrown off the ATV, in the process, losing his helmet. He lived in Chesterfield, Virginia.


"Man killed at Newtown Dragway," Southside Sentinel, May 17, 2007

Social Security Death Index


Edmond Thorne

Born: August 12, 1948

Died:  January 14, 2006

Buried:  Paradise South Cemetery, Pearland, Texas

Age:  57

Full Name: Edmond Thorne, Sr.


Drag Strip:  Houston Motorsports Park, Texas

Event:  MLK Shootout

Accident Date:  January 14, 2006


Biographical:  He lost control of his car and crashed.  He was a veteran drag racer, one of the first black racers in the Houston area.


"Drag racer dies in weekend crash," Houston Chronicle, January 17, 2006

eman, email communication to site administrator, Dec. 1, 2018


CarDomain website (http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2151409)



Gert Vorster

Born:  April 22, 1971

Died:  May 25, 2008


Age:  37

Full Name: 


Drag Strip:  Greyville's First Avenue Drag Strip, near Durban, South Africa


Accident Date:  May 25, 2008

Car:   Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII

Biographical:  He crashed his car into a tree at a speed of about 125 MPH after losing control of the vehicle.  The impact of his collision uprooted the tree.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  He had the fastest time of the meet at 10.9 seconds.  He lived in Johannesburg, South Africa.


"Dragster dies in 200 km/h accident" (http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=181&art_id=vn20080526054608656C875332)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7853)


Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=7853)



Bobby Walters

Born: July 19, 1967

Died: July 10, 2009


Age:  41

Full Name: John Walters


Drag Strip: Jefferson Pageland Dragway, Pageland, South Carolina

Event:   IHRA Summit Super Series Points Race

Accident Date:  July 10, 2009

Car: "Doo Doo Brown" Ford Mustang

Biographical: After losing control of his car, he bounced between two guardrails and his vehicle went airborne. He crashed into a parked recreational vehicle.  He was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Monroe, South Carolina. He was from Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked as a mechanic at Johnny Gibbons Race Cars.


"Racer dies in local crash," Pageland Progressive, July 13, 20[09]

"Obituary," Gaston Gazette, July 13, 2009

Social Security Death Index


Michael Weekly

Born:  February 5, 1981

Died:  November 3, 2008

Buried:  Lawnwood Memorial Park, Covington, Georgia

Age:  27

Full Name:  Michael Scott Weekly


Drag Strip:  Headhunters Dragway, Eatonton, Georgia


Accident Date:  November 2, 2008

Car:  1974 Chevy Nova

Biographical:  He was driving John Hobbs's Nova and lost control 200 feet out  when he shifted into high gear and hit a guard rail.  The steel ribbon guard rail pierced through the vehicle and severed his leg.  He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where he died the next morning.  He lived in Conyers, Georgia, and was survived by his expectant wife.


Chevy Nova Forum (http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106983)

Social Security Death Index  (Michael S. Weekly, born February 5, 1981, died November 3, 2008, SS# issued in Georgia) 


Find a Grave 


Donnie Whitehurst

Born:  October 12, 1979

Died:  October 14, 2006

Buried:  Westlawn Memorial Cemetery, Elizabeth City, New Jersey

Age: 27

Full Name:  Donovan Carlton Whitehurst


Drag Strip:  Outer Banks Dragway, Creswell, North Carolina

Event:  IHRA

Accident Date:  October 14, 2006

Car: dragster

Biographical:  He was making a solo run on the 1/8th-mile track when a mechanical failure caused his throttle to stick.  He was unable to slow the car and hit the dirt embankment head-on at over 200 MPH at the end of the track.  The parachute never deployed.  He was pronounced dead at the scene. He lived in Pikeville, North Carolina, and was survived by his wife and daughter.  He was a staff sergeant in the Air Force at the time at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina.


"Pikeville man dies on Outer Banks Speedway," Washington Daily News, October 16, 2006 (http://www.wdnweb.com/articles/2006/10/17/news/news05.txt)

"Airman dies in drag racing accident on Outer Banks," Associated Press, October 16, 2006

"SJAFB airman, 27, killed in racing crash," Goldsboro New-Argus, October 17, 2006 (http://www.newsargus.com/news/archives/2006/10/17/sjafb_airman_27_killed_in_racing_crash/index.shtml

"Services for fallen racer," CompetitionPlus Magazine, October 18, 2006 (http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/755-services-for-fallen-racer)

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=5443)

Louvenia Whitehurst, telephone conversation, February 20, 2010 


OPS Talk


Scott Williams

Born:  December 11, 1978

Died:  February 19, 2007

Buried: Lakewood Memorial Park, Jackson, Mississippi

Age:  28

Full Name:   Scott Michael Williams


Drag Strip:  Hub City Dragway, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Event:  Mardi Gras 4-day race

Accident Date:  February 19, 2007

Car:  Fox-body Ford Mustang

Biographical:  He was permitted to make test runs on the car, which had not yet been certified, between races.  Williams was an experienced drag racer and had been asked if he would test drive the car.  Although the racing was being conducted on only an 1/8th mile track, Williams made a test run on the quarter mile.  At the 1/8th mile mark, he was traveling at 113 MPH.  He had difficulty keeping the car in a single lane, veering from one side to the other.  It slid a few hundred feet sideways, went into a spin, then became airborne.  He came down on the top of the guard rail, then hit in a mid-air impact on a support beam on the scoreboard.  This caused his car to disintegrate and the roll cage and safety harness being ripped and torn apart.  He was thrown from the car and instantly killed.  A mechanic, he was a resident of Clinton, Mississippi.  He was survived by his wife, Blair.


Hot Rod Forums at Hot Rod Magazine (http://forums.hotrod.com/70/1409742/off-topic/subject-drag-race-death-at-hattiesburg/index.html)

"Clinton man ejected, killed during drag race," Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Feb. 21, 2007

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=6041)


Find a Grave


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