List of NASCAR fatal accidents

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14 drivers have died at Daytona International Speedway, more than any other circuit.

This list covers drivers who lost their lives while competing in or in preparation for (testing, practice, qualifying) races sanctioned by NASCAR, which has been holding events since 1948. The list does not depict spectators, track marshals, or crew members.

The list includes drivers who competed in current or previous incarnations of the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, Whelen Modified Tour or NASCAR Toyota Series. It also shows drivers who participated in former series like the Sportsman Series (before and after 1982), Grand American, Convertible Division, Dash Series prior to 2004, or Midget Division.

The list also includes three drivers – Don Williams, Bruce Jacobi, and Rick Baldwin – who lingered in (semi)comas for years following their respective accidents.

Fatal incidents, by decade: 1940s - 1; 1950s - 17; 1960s - 10; 1970s - 6; 1980s - 14; 1990s - 11; 2000s - 9; 2010s - 0; total - 68.

The most fatalities in a year is 5, which occurred in 1956.

Drivers from the top level of NASCAR (currently "Sprint Cup Series") have had the most fatal accidents, with 28. All but three of the fatalities involved drivers from the United States (two drivers from Mexico, one from Canada), and all but two of the fatalities happened at NASCAR races held in the United States (two in Mexico).

Safety in the sport has evolved through the decades. Advances in roll cages, window nets, seat mounts, air flaps, helmets, driving suits, on-site medical facilities with helicopters, SAFER Barriers[1] and the HANS device[2] are some of the improvements that may have contributed to the decline in fatalities since the 1980s.

Accidents[edit]

Driver Date of accident Event Circuit Series During
Mexico Carlos Pardo[3][note 1] June 14, 2009 100-lap race Autódromo Miguel E. Abed Mexico Corona Series Race
United States John Blewett III[4] August 16, 2007 New England Dodge Dealers 150 Thompson International Speedway Whelen Modified Tour Race
United States Tom Baldwin Sr.[5] August 19, 2004 New England Dodge Dealers/Budweiser 150 Thompson International Speedway Featherlite Modified Series Race
Mexico Marcelo Núñez[note 2] August 1, 2004 80-lap race Autódromo Monterrey Desafío Corona Race
United States John Baker[7] June 8, 2002 K&N Filters 150 Irwindale Speedway Featherlite Southwest Tour Race
United States Dale Earnhardt[8] February 18, 2001 Daytona 500 Daytona International Speedway Winston Cup Series Race
United States Tony Roper[9][note 3] October 13, 2000 O'Reilly 400 Texas Motor Speedway Craftsman Truck Series Race
United States Kenny Irwin, Jr.[11] July 7, 2000 thatlook.com 300 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Winston Cup Series Practice
United States Adam Petty[12] May 12, 2000 Busch 200 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Busch Grand National Series Practice
United States John Nemechek[13][note 4] March 16, 1997 Florida Dodge Dealers 400K Homestead-Miami Speedway Craftsman Truck Series Race
United States Russell Phillips[15] October 6, 1995 Winston 100 Charlotte Motor Speedway Limited Sportsman Division Race
United States Rodney Orr[16] February 14, 1994 Daytona 500 Daytona International Speedway Winston Cup Series Practice
United States Neil Bonnett[17] February 11, 1994
United States Joe Booher[18] February 12, 1993 Florida 200 Daytona International Speedway Goody's Dash Series Race
United States Clifford Allison[19] August 13, 1992 Detroit Gasket 200 Michigan International Speedway Busch Grand National Series Practice
United States Gary Batson[20][note 5] May 15, 1992 Sportsman 100 Charlotte Motor Speedway Limited Sportsman Division Qualifying Race
United States J. D. McDuffie[22] August 11, 1991 Budweiser At The Glen Watkins Glen International Winston Cup Series Race
United States Gary Neice[23][note 6] May 4, 1991 Carquest 300 South Boston Speedway Busch Grand National Series Race
United States David Gaines[25] May 16, 1990 Sportsman 100 Charlotte Motor Speedway Limited Sportsman Division Practice
United States Tony Jankowiak[26] April 22, 1990 Coors Spring Sizzler Stafford Motor Speedway Winston Modified Tour Race
United States Grant Adcox[27] November 19, 1989 Atlanta Journal 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway Winston Cup Series Race
United States Don Pratt[28] September 17, 1989 Sunoco Race of Champions Pocono Raceway Winston Modified Tour Race
United States Tommy Druar June 10, 1989 30-lap race Lancaster Speedway Winston Modified Tour Race
United States Corky Cookman[29] July 19, 1987 75-lap Outside Pole Qualifier Thompson International Speedway Winston Modified Tour Race
United States Charlie Jarzombek[30] March 22, 1987 Miller 500 Classic Martinsville Speedway Winston Modified Tour Race
United States Joe Young[31] February 13, 1987 Komfort Koach 200 Daytona International Speedway Charlotte/Daytona Dash Series Race
United States Rick Baldwin[32][note 7] June 14, 1986 Miller American 400 Michigan International Speedway Winston Cup Series Qualifying
United States Charles Ogle[34][note 8] December 15, 1985 Test Daytona International Speedway Charlotte/Daytona Dash Series Testing
United States Richie Evans[36] October 24, 1985 Winn-Dixie 500 Martinsville Speedway Winston Modified Tour Practice
United States Terry Schoonover[37] November 11, 1984 Atlanta Journal 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway Winston Cup Series Race
United States Bruce Jacobi[38][note 9] February 17, 1983 UNO Twin 125 Qualifier Daytona International Speedway Winston Cup Series Qualifying Race
United States John Nelson[40][note 10] May 29, 1982 Bowman Gray Stadium Practice
United States Ricky Knotts[41] February 14, 1980 125 Mile Qualifying Race Daytona International Speedway Winston Cup Series Qualifying Race
United States Tim Williamson[42] January 12, 1980 Stock Car Products 300 Riverside International Raceway Race
United States Don Williams[43][note 11] February 17, 1979 Sportsman 300 Daytona International Speedway Late Model Sportsman Division Race
United States Sonny Easley[45] January 15, 1978 Stock Car Products 300 Riverside International Raceway Practice
United States Tiny Lund[46] August 17, 1975 Talladega 500 Talladega Superspeedway Winston Cup Series Race
United States Larry Smith[47] August 12, 1973 Talladega 500 Talladega Superspeedway Winston Cup Series Race
United States Friday Hassler[48] February 17, 1972 125 Mile Qualifying Race Daytona International Speedway Winston Cup Series Qualifying Race
United States Talmadge Prince[49] February 19, 1970 125 Mile Qualifying Race Daytona International Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Don MacTavish[50] February 22, 1969 Daytona Permatex 300 Daytona International Speedway Late Model Sportsman Division Race
Canada Billy Foster[51] January 20, 1967 Motor Trend 500 Riverside International Raceway Grand National Series Practice
United States Harold Kite[52] October 17, 1965 National 400 Charlotte Motor Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Buren Skeen[53][note 12] September 6, 1965 Southern 500 Darlington Raceway Grand National Series Race
United States Billy Wade[55] January 5, 1965 Goodyear tire test Daytona International Speedway Grand National Series Testing
United States Jimmy Pardue[56] September 22, 1964 Goodyear tire test Charlotte Motor Speedway Grand National Series Testing
United States Fireball Roberts[57][note 13] May 24, 1964 World 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Joe Weatherly[59] January 19, 1964 Motor Trend 500 Riverside International Raceway Grand National Series Race
United States Ray Platte[note 14] July 20, 1963 100-lap race South Boston Speedway Sportsman Division/Modified Series Race
United States Harold Haberling[61] February 21, 1961 Modified Sportsman Race Daytona International Speedway Sportsman Division/Modified Series Practice
United States Glen Wagner[62] September 28, 1958 100-mile race New York State Fairgrounds Sportsman Division Race
United States Gwyn Staley[63] March 23, 1958 100-mile race Richmond International Raceway Convertible Division Race
United States Bobby Myers[64] September 2, 1957 Southern 500 Darlington Raceway Grand National Series Race
United States Hap Brown[note 15] June 23, 1956 Feature race Lancaster Speedway Midget Division Race
United States Cotton Priddy[66] June 10, 1956 250-mile race Memphis-Arkansas Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Clint McHugh[67] June 9, 1956 Qualifying
United States Dickey Reynolds[68] June 8, 1956 25-lap race Greensboro Fairgrounds Midget Division Race
United States John McVitty[69] April 21, 1956 150-mile race Langhorne Speedway Grand National Series Qualifying
United States Jimmy Knowlan[70] September 9, 1955 Islip Speedway Midget Division Race
United States Al Briggs[71][note 16] February 26, 1955 125-mile race Daytona Beach Road Course Modified Series Race
United States Lou Figaro[note 17] October 24, 1954 Wilkes 160 North Wilkesboro Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Dick Kaufman[74] February 20, 1954 125-mile race Daytona Beach Road Course Modified Series Race
United States Bill Blevins[75] September 19, 1953 200-mile race Raleigh Speedway Sportsman Division/Modified Series Race
United States Jesse Midkiff[75]
United States Frank Arford[76] June 20, 1953 International 200 Langhorne Speedway Grand National Series Qualifying
United States Larry Mann[77] September 14, 1952 250-mile race Langhorne Speedway Grand National Series Race
United States Rex Stansell[78][note 18] July 4, 1952 200-mile race Darlington Raceway Sportsman Division/Modified Series Race
United States William Davis[80] July 25, 1948 40-lap race Greensboro Fairgrounds Modified Series Race

By circuit[edit]

Circuit Fatal accidents
Total First Last
Florida Daytona International Speedway 14 1961 2001
North Carolina Charlotte Motor Speedway 6 1964 1995
California Riverside International Raceway 4 1964 1980
Connecticut Thompson International Speedway 3 1987 2007
South Carolina Darlington Raceway 1952 1965
Pennsylvania Langhorne Speedway 1952 1956
New Hampshire New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2 2000 2000
Michigan Michigan International Speedway 1986 1992
Virginia South Boston Speedway 1963 1991
Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta Motor Speedway 1984 1989
Virginia Martinsville Speedway 1985 1987
Alabama Talladega Superspeedway 1973 1975
Arkansas Memphis-Arkansas Speedway 1956 1956
North Carolina Greensboro Fairgrounds 1948 1956
Florida Daytona Beach Road Course 1954 1955
North Carolina Raleigh Speedway 1953 1953
Puebla Autódromo Miguel E. Abed 1 2009
Nuevo León Autódromo Monterrey 2004
California Irwindale Speedway 2002
Texas Texas Motor Speedway 2000
Florida Homestead-Miami Speedway 1997
New York Watkins Glen International 1991
Connecticut Stafford Motor Speedway 1990
Pennsylvania Pocono Raceway 1989
New York Lancaster Speedway 1989
North Carolina Bowman Gray Stadium 1982
New York New York State Fairgrounds 1958
Virginia Richmond International Raceway 1958
Pennsylvania Lancaster Speedway 1956
New York Islip Speedway 1955
North Carolina North Wilkesboro Speedway 1954

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The race was suspended with Pardo being declared the posthumous winner.[3]
  2. ^ The 26-year-old driver died on August 9, 2004, eight days after the accident.[6]
  3. ^ Roper died on October 14, 2000, one day after the accident.[10]
  4. ^ Nemechek died on March 21, 1997, five days after the accident.[14]
  5. ^ The 40-year-old restaurateur died on May 16, 1992, one day after the accident.[21]
  6. ^ The 36-year-old driver hit a wall at a slow pace but died of a heart attack.[24]
  7. ^ Having remained in a coma for eleven years, Baldwin died on June 12, 1997.[33]
  8. ^ The 44-year-old physician died on December 26, 1985, eleven days after the accident.[35]
  9. ^ Having remained in a semicomatose state for four years, Jacobi died on February 4, 1987.[39]
  10. ^ The 51-year-old driver died after suffering a heart attack.[40]
  11. ^ Having remained in a semicomatose state for more than ten years, Williams died on May 21, 1989.[44]
  12. ^ Skeen died on September 13, 1965, a week after the accident.[54]
  13. ^ Roberts died on July 2, 1964, 39 days after the accident.[58]
  14. ^ Platte died on July 21, 1963, one day after the accident.[60]
  15. ^ Brown died on June 24, 1956, one day after the accident.[65]
  16. ^ Briggs died on February 27, 1955, one day after the accident.[72]
  17. ^ Figaro died on October 25, 1954, one day after the accident.[73]
  18. ^ Stansell died on July 5, 1952, one day after the accident.[79]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aumann, Mark (April 18, 2008). "Putting up barriers to make NASCAR that much SAFER". NASCAR.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ Tyler, Marty (March 27, 2006). "The history of the HANS device as told by Dr. Bob Hubbard". Catchfence.com. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Mexico driver killed in crash". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Two brothers crash, one dies". Star-News (Wilmington, North Carolina). Associated Press. August 18, 2007. 
  5. ^ Mitchell, Charlie (August 22, 2004). "A sad week at Thompson International Speedway". The Sunday Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut). 
  6. ^ "Driver dies after crash in Mexican stock car series". HighBeam Research. Associated Press Worldstream. August 9, 2004. 
  7. ^ Glick, Shav (June 10, 2002). "Tucson driver dies at Irwindale". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Dale Earnhardt death overshadows Waltrip win at Daytona". Kingman Daily Miner. Associated Press. February 19, 2001. 
  9. ^ "Driver critically injured". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 14, 2000. 
  10. ^ Hawkins, Stephen (October 15, 2000). "Fiery wreck kills Roper". Sunday Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  11. ^ Brinster, Dick (July 8, 2000). "Practice crash claims NASCAR's Irwin". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. 
  12. ^ Mahoney, Rebecca (May 13, 2000). "Crash claims youngest Petty". The Item (Sumter, South Carolina). Associated Press. 
  13. ^ "John Nemechek 'extremely critical'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. March 17, 1997. 
  14. ^ Zier, Patrick (March 22, 1997). "Racer John Nemechek, 27, dies". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). 
  15. ^ "Sportsman driver dies in fiery crash in Winston 100". The Item (Sumter, South Carolina). Associated Press. October 7, 1995. 
  16. ^ Owens, Jeff (February 15, 1994). "Tragedy shocks NASCAR scene. Rookie racer Orr killed in crash". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). 
  17. ^ Harris, Mike (February 12, 1994). "Neil Bonnett remembered for devoting life to racing". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  18. ^ "Three-car crash claims life of driver Booher". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). Associated Press. February 13, 1993. 
  19. ^ "Clifford Allison killed". Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington). Associated Press. August 14, 1992. 
  20. ^ Kelly, Godwin (May 16, 1992). "Sprint driver badly burned". The News-Journal (Daytona Beach, Florida). 
  21. ^ Pearce, Al (May 17, 1992). "Injured driver dies from Charlotte crash". Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia). Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  22. ^ "McDuffie killed in crash". TimesDaily (Florence, Alabama). Associated Press. August 12, 1991. 
  23. ^ "NASCAR officials will investigate driver's death". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. May 6, 1991. 
  24. ^ "Neice died of heart attack". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). May 8, 1991. 
  25. ^ Green, David (May 17, 1990). "Gaines dies in violent crash during practice at Charlotte". Ocala Star-Banner. 
  26. ^ "Stafford fatality". The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, New York). April 27, 1990. 
  27. ^ Smith, Wayne (November 20, 1989). "Crash injuries fatal to Adcox". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). 
  28. ^ "Hirschman takes checkered in ROC". The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut). September 18, 1989. 
  29. ^ "Driver killed in Connecticut". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). July 21, 1987. 
  30. ^ "NASCAR driver killed". Daily News (Bowling Green, Kentucky). Associated Press. March 23, 1987. 
  31. ^ Froscher, Norm (February 14, 1987). "Joe Young dies in Daytona crash". Gainesville Sun. 
  32. ^ "Richmond captures pole; 31 drivers surpass record". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press. June 15, 1986. 
  33. ^ "Racing notes:". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). June 13, 1997. 
  34. ^ "Cut tire apparently cause of crash". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. December 17, 1985. 
  35. ^ "Race driver Ogle dies". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. December 27, 1985. 
  36. ^ "Race driver Richie Evans killed in Martinsville wreck". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. October 25, 1985. 
  37. ^ "Death mars Atlanta race". TimesDaily (Florence, Alabama). United Press International. November 12, 1984. 
  38. ^ Long, Gary (February 18, 1983). "The ultimate penalty looms over the qualifying races". Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida). 
  39. ^ "Race driver dies". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. February 6, 1987. 
  40. ^ a b "Heart attack kills race driver". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. May 30, 1982. 
  41. ^ Balewski, Larry (February 15, 1980). "Rookie driver killed in race". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  42. ^ "Rookie driver dies in crash". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. January 13, 1980. 
  43. ^ "Waltrip takes first in rain-shortened race". Rome News-Tribune. United Press International. February 18, 1979. 
  44. ^ "Ex-Daytona driver loses 10-year race for his life". Orlando Sentinel. May 24, 1989. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Easley, mechanic killed". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. January 16, 1978. 
  46. ^ Furlong, Jim (August 18, 1975). "Tiny Lund killed at Talladega in five-car early race crash". The Tuscaloosa News. 
  47. ^ "Smith killed in Talladega 500 accident". Rome News-Tribune. Associated Press. August 13, 1973. 
  48. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 18, 1972). "Tennessee driver 'Friday' Hassler killed in pileup". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  49. ^ "Rookie driver killed at Daytona". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. February 20, 1970. 
  50. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 23, 1969). "Race driver killed; Lee Roy wins 300". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. 
  51. ^ "Crash kills Foster in trial run". Milwaukee Sentinel. United Press International. January 21, 1967. 
  52. ^ "Lorenzen takes Charlotte duel". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. October 18, 1965. 
  53. ^ Littlejohn, Jim (September 7, 1965). "Jarrett outlasts opponents to capture Darlington classic". Florence Morning News. 
  54. ^ "Stock car driver hurt in Darlington race dies". The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). United Press International. September 14, 1965. 
  55. ^ Kahn, Bernard (January 6, 1965). "Wade killed in test run". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  56. ^ "Accident kills Pardue". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. September 23, 1964. 
  57. ^ "Burns critical to Fireball Roberts". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). Associated Press. May 25, 1964. 
  58. ^ "Fireball Roberts dies at 33". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. July 2, 1964. 
  59. ^ Burnett, Obert M. (January 20, 1964). "Weatherly said: 'Biggest thrill was getting paid'". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  60. ^ "Platte dies after crash at speedway". The Gazette-Virginian (South Boston, Virginia). July 25, 1963. 
  61. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 22, 1961). "Racing driver dies in practice run". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  62. ^ Reddy, Bill (September 29, 1958). "Driver killed in race at state fair track". The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York). 
  63. ^ "Stock driver Staley killed on race track". The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina). Associated Press. March 24, 1958. 
  64. ^ Booth, Del (September 3, 1957). "Thompson wins tragedy marked Southern 500". The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina). Associated Press. 
  65. ^ "Midget car driver killed during race". The Lowell Sun. Associated Press. June 25, 1956. 
  66. ^ "Paschal declared victor of auto speed classic". The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). United Press International. June 11, 1956. 
  67. ^ "Clint McHugh killed in NASCAR accident". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. June 10, 1956. 
  68. ^ "Midget race driver killed at Greensboro". 
  69. ^ "John McVitty is killed driving". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Associated Press. April 22, 1956. 
  70. ^ "Three killed in weekend crashes". The Suffolk County News (Sayville, New York). September 16, 1955. 
  71. ^ "Crash halts stock races". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. February 27, 1955. 
  72. ^ "Stock car driver dies after burns". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. February 28, 1955. 
  73. ^ "Stock car driver dies of injuries". The Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. October 26, 1954. 
  74. ^ "Driver killed in auto races". The Rocky Mount Sunday Telegram. Associated Press. February 21, 1954. 
  75. ^ a b "Newberry car second in Raleigh race". The Newberry Observer. September 22, 1953. 
  76. ^ "Racer fatally injured as car cracks in test". Monroe Morning World. Associated Press. June 21, 1953. 
  77. ^ "Auto race driver dies of injuries". Redlands Daily Facts. United Press. September 15, 1952. 
  78. ^ Weirich, Bob (July 5, 1952). "Curtis Turner wins NASCAR championship at Darlington". Florence Morning News. 
  79. ^ "Stansell dies from injuries in auto race". Miami Daily News. Associated Press. July 5, 1952. 
  80. ^ "Race driver killed on Greensboro track". The Robesonian (Lumberton, North Carolina). Associated Press. July 26, 1948. 

External links[edit]