List of NASCAR fatal accidents

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

This presumably incomplete list depicts NASCAR drivers who lost their lives while competing at, or in preparation for (practice, qualifying, testing), NASCAR events since the inauguration of the Strickly Stock Series in 1949. The list does not include spectators, track marshals, or crew members.

This list covers 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 Sportsman Series (before and after 1982), Grand American, Convertible Division or Dash Series prior to 2004.

The list also includes three drivers – Don Williams, Bruce Jacobi, and Rick Baldwin – who lingered in (semi)comas for years following their respective accidents. Moreover, Jim Robinson is listed: He never recovered from head injuries sustained in a crash which occurred almost eight years before he died of complications from pneumonia.

Fatal incidents, by decade: 1950s - 14; 1960s - 9; 1970s - 6; 1980s - 15; 1990s - 11; 2000s - 9; 2010s - 0; total - 64.

The most fatalities in a year is 3, which occurred seven times — 1953, 1956, 1964, 1965, 1987, 1989, 2000.

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]

DriverDate of accidentRaceCircuitSeriesDuring
Mexico Carlos Pardo[3][note 1]June 14, 2009100-lap raceAutódromo Miguel E. AbedMexico Corona SeriesRace
United States John Blewett III[4]August 16, 2007New England Dodge Dealers 150Thompson International SpeedwayWhelen Modified TourRace
United States Tom Baldwin Sr.[5]August 19, 2004New England Dodge Dealers/Budweiser 150Thompson International SpeedwayFeatherlite Modified SeriesRace
Mexico Marcelo Núñez[note 2]August 1, 200480-lap raceAutódromo MonterreyDesafío CoronaRace
United States John Baker[6]June 8, 2002K&N Filters 150Irwindale SpeedwayFeatherlite Southwest TourRace
United States Dale Earnhardt[7]February 18, 2001Daytona 500Daytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Tony Roper[8][note 3]October 13, 2000O'Reilly 400Texas Motor SpeedwayCraftsman Truck SeriesRace
United States Kenny Irwin, Jr.[10]July 7, 2000thatlook.com 300New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesPractice
United States Adam Petty[11]May 12, 2000Busch 200New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayBusch Grand National SeriesPractice
United States John Nemechek[12][note 4]March 16, 1997Florida Dodge Dealers 400KHomestead-Miami SpeedwayCraftsman Truck SeriesRace
United States Russell Phillips[14]October 6, 1995Winston 100Charlotte Motor SpeedwayLimited Sportsman DivisionRace
United States Rodney Orr[15]February 14, 1994Daytona 500Daytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesPractice
United States Neil Bonnett[16]February 11, 1994Daytona 500Daytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesPractice
United States Joe Booher[17]February 12, 1993Florida 200Daytona International SpeedwayGoody's Dash SeriesRace
United States Clifford Allison[18]August 13, 1992Detroit Gasket 200Michigan International SpeedwayBusch Grand National SeriesPractice
United States Gary Batson[19][note 5]May 15, 1992Sportsman 100Charlotte Motor SpeedwayLimited Sportsman DivisionQualifying Race
United States J. D. McDuffie[21]August 11, 1991Budweiser At The GlenWatkins Glen InternationalWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Gary Neice[22][note 6]May 4, 1991Carquest 300South Boston SpeedwayBusch Grand National SeriesRace
United States David Gaines[24]May 16, 1990Sportsman 100Charlotte Motor SpeedwayLimited Sportsman DivisionPractice
United States Tony Jankowiak[25]April 22, 1990Coors Spring SizzlerStafford Motor SpeedwayWinston Modified TourRace
United States Grant Adcox[26]November 19, 1989Atlanta Journal 500Atlanta Motor SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Don Pratt[27]September 17, 1989Sunoco Race of ChampionsPocono RacewayWinston Modified TourRace
United States Tommy DruarJune 10, 198930-lap raceLancaster SpeedwayWinston Modified TourRace
United States Jim Robinson[28][note 7]February 7, 1988Skoal Bandit Copper World ClassicPhoenix International RacewayFeatherlite Southwest TourRace
United States Corky Cookman[30]July 19, 198775-lap Outside Pole QualifierThompson International SpeedwayWinston Modified TourRace
United States Charlie Jarzombek[31]March 22, 1987Miller 500 ClassicMartinsville SpeedwayWinston Modified TourRace
United States Joe Young[32]February 13, 1987Komfort Koach 200Daytona International SpeedwayCharlotte/Daytona Dash SeriesRace
United States Rick Baldwin[note 8]June 14, 1986Miller American 400Michigan International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesQualifying
United States Charles Ogle[33][note 9]December 15, 1985TestDaytona International SpeedwayCharlotte/Daytona Dash SeriesTesting
United States Richie Evans[35]October 24, 1985Winn-Dixie 500Martinsville SpeedwayWinston Modified TourPractice
United States Terry Schoonover[36]November 11, 1984Atlanta Journal 500Atlanta Motor SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Bruce Jacobi[37][note 10]February 17, 1983UNO Twin 125 QualifierDaytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesQualifying Race
United States John Nelson[39][note 11]May 29, 1982Bowman Gray StadiumPractice
United States Ricky Knotts[40]February 14, 1980125 Mile Qualifying RaceDaytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesQualifying Race
United States Tim Williamson[41]January 12, 1980Stock Car Products 300Riverside International RacewayRace
United States Don Williams[42][note 12]February 17, 1979Sportsman 300Daytona International SpeedwayLate Model Sportsman DivisionRace
United States Sonny Easley[44]January 15, 1978Stock Car Products 300Riverside International RacewayPractice
United States Tiny Lund[45]August 17, 1975Talladega 500Talladega SuperspeedwayWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Larry Smith[46]August 12, 1973Talladega 500Talladega SuperspeedwayWinston Cup SeriesRace
United States Friday Hassler[47]February 17, 1972125 Mile Qualifying RaceDaytona International SpeedwayWinston Cup SeriesQualifying Race
United States Talmadge Prince[48]February 19, 1970125 Mile Qualifying RaceDaytona International SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Don MacTavish[49]February 22, 1969Daytona Permatex 300Daytona International SpeedwayLate Model Sportsman DivisionRace
Canada Billy Foster[50]January 20, 1967Motor Trend 500Riverside International RacewayGrand National SeriesPractice
United States Harold Kite[51]October 17, 1965National 400Charlotte Motor SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Buren Skeen[52][note 13]September 6, 1965Southern 500Darlington RacewayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Billy Wade[54]January 5, 1965Goodyear Tire TestDaytona International SpeedwayGrand National SeriesTesting
United States Jimmy Pardue[55]September 22, 1964Goodyear Tire TestCharlotte Motor SpeedwayGrand National SeriesTesting
United States Fireball Roberts[56][note 14]May 24, 1964World 600Charlotte Motor SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Joe Weatherly[58]January 19, 1964Motor Trend 500Riverside International RacewayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Harold Haberling[59]February 21, 1961Modified Sportsman RaceDaytona International SpeedwayModified SeriesPractice
United States Glen Wagner[60]September 28, 1958100-mile race in SyracuseNew York State FairgroundsSportsman DivisionRace
United States Gwyn Staley[61]March 23, 1958100-mile raceRichmond International RacewayConvertible DivisionRace
United States Bobby Myers[62]September 2, 1957Southern 500Darlington RacewayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Cotton Priddy[63]June 10, 1956250-mile raceMemphis-Arkansas SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Clint McHugh[64]June 9, 1956250-mile raceMemphis-Arkansas SpeedwayGrand National SeriesQualifying
United States John McVitty[65]April 21, 1956150-mile raceLanghorne SpeedwayGrand National SeriesQualifying
United States Al Briggs[66][note 15]February 26, 1955125-mile raceDaytona Beach Road CourseModified SeriesRace
United States Lou Figaro[note 16]October 24, 1954Wilkes 160North Wilkesboro SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Dick Kaufman[68]February 20, 1954125-mile raceDaytona Beach Road CourseModified SeriesRace
United States Jesse Midkiff[69]September 19, 1953200-mile raceRaleigh SpeedwaySportsman Division/Modified SeriesRace
United States Bill Blevins[69]September 19, 1953200-mile raceRaleigh SpeedwaySportsman Division/Modified SeriesRace
United States Frank ArfordJune 20, 1953International 200Langhorne SpeedwayGrand National SeriesQualifying
United States Larry MannSeptember 14, 1952250-mile raceLanghorne SpeedwayGrand National SeriesRace
United States Rex Stansell[70][note 17]July 4, 1952200-mile raceDarlington RacewaySportsman Division/Modified SeriesRace

By circuit[edit]

CircuitFatal accidents
TotalFirstLast
Florida Daytona International Speedway1419612001
North Carolina Charlotte Motor Speedway619641995
California Riverside International Raceway419641980
Connecticut Thompson International Speedway319872007
South Carolina Darlington Raceway19521965
Pennsylvania Langhorne Speedway19521956
New Hampshire New Hampshire Motor Speedway220002000
Michigan Michigan International Speedway19861992
Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta Motor Speedway19841989
Virginia Martinsville Speedway19851987
Alabama Talladega Superspeedway19731975
Arkansas Memphis-Arkansas Speedway19561956
Florida Daytona Beach Road Course19541955
North Carolina Raleigh Speedway19531953
Puebla Autódromo Miguel E. Abed12009
Nuevo León Autódromo Monterrey2004
California Irwindale Speedway2002
Texas Texas Motor Speedway2000
Florida Homestead-Miami Speedway1997
New York Watkins Glen International1991
Virginia South Boston Speedway1991
Connecticut Stafford Motor Speedway1990
Pennsylvania Pocono Raceway1989
New York Lancaster Speedway1989
Arizona Phoenix International Raceway1988
North Carolina Bowman Gray Stadium1982
New York New York State Fairgrounds1958
Virginia Richmond International Raceway1958
North Carolina North Wilkesboro Speedway1954

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 his crash.
  3. ^ Roper died on October 14, 2000, the day following his crash.[9]
  4. ^ Nemechek died on March 21, 1997, five days after his crash.[13]
  5. ^ The 40-year-old restaurateur died on May 16, 1992, the day following his crash.[20]
  6. ^ The 36-year-old driver hit a wall at a slow pace but died of a heart attack.[23]
  7. ^ Never having recovered from head injuries, Robinson died on December 28, 1995, almost eight years after his crash.[29]
  8. ^ Having remained in a coma for eleven years, Baldwin died on June 12, 1997.
  9. ^ The 44-year-old physician died on December 26, 1985, eleven days after his crash.[34]
  10. ^ Having remained in a semicomatose state for four years, Jacobi died on February 4, 1987.[38]
  11. ^ The 51-year-old driver died after suffering a heart attack.[39]
  12. ^ Having remained in a semicomatose state for more than ten years, Williams died on May 21, 1989.[43]
  13. ^ Skeen died on September 13, 1965, a week after his crash.[53]
  14. ^ Roberts died on July 2, 1964, 39 days after his crash.[57]
  15. ^ Briggs died on February 27, 1955, the day following his crash.[67]
  16. ^ Figaro died on October 25, 1954, the day following his crash.
  17. ^ Stansell died on July 5, 1952, the day following his crash.[71]

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. ^ Glick, Shav (June 10, 2002). "Tucson Driver Dies at Irwindale". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Dale Earnhardt death overshadows Waltrip win at Daytona". Kingman Daily Miner. Associated Press. February 19, 2001. 
  8. ^ "Driver critically injured". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 14, 2000. 
  9. ^ Hawkins, Stephen (October 15, 2000). "Fiery wreck kills Roper". Sunday Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  10. ^ Brinster, Dick (July 8, 2000). "Practice crash claims NASCAR's Irwin". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. 
  11. ^ Mahoney, Rebecca (May 13, 2000). "Crash claims youngest Petty". The Item (Sumter, South Carolina). Associated Press. 
  12. ^ "John Nemechek 'extremely critical'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. March 17, 1997. 
  13. ^ Zier, Patrick (March 22, 1997). "Racer John Nemechek, 27, Dies". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). 
  14. ^ "Sportsman driver dies in fiery crash in Winston 100". The Item (Sumter, South Carolina). Associated Press. October 7, 1995. 
  15. ^ Owens, Jeff (February 15, 1994). "Tragedy shocks NASCAR scene. Rookie racer Orr killed in crash". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). 
  16. ^ Harris, Mike (February 12, 1994). "Neil Bonnett remembered for devoting life to racing". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  17. ^ "Three-car crash claims life of driver Booher". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). Associated Press. February 13, 1993. 
  18. ^ "Clifford Allison killed". Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington). Associated Press. August 14, 1992. 
  19. ^ Kelly, Godwin (May 16, 1992). "Sprint driver badly burned". The News-Journal (Daytona Beach, Florida). 
  20. ^ Pearce, Al (May 17, 1992). "Injured Driver Dies From Charlotte Crash". Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia). Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  21. ^ "McDuffie killed in crash". TimesDaily (Florence, Alabama). Associated Press. August 12, 1991. 
  22. ^ "NASCAR officials will investigate driver's death". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. May 6, 1991. 
  23. ^ "Neice died of heart attack". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). May 8, 1991. 
  24. ^ Green, David (May 17, 1990). "Gaines dies in violent crash during practice at Charlotte". Ocala Star-Banner. 
  25. ^ "Stafford Fatality". The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, New York). April 27, 1990. 
  26. ^ Smith, Wayne (November 20, 1989). "Crash injuries fatal to Adcox". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). 
  27. ^ "Hirschman takes checkered in ROC". The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut). September 18, 1989. 
  28. ^ "Stock Car Racer Jim Robinson Remains 'Very Critical'". Los Angeles Times. February 10, 1988. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  29. ^ Glick, Shav (January 5, 1996). "Services for Robinson, Former Champion, Are Today". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  30. ^ "DRIVER KILLED IN CONNECTICUT". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). July 21, 1987. 
  31. ^ "NASCAR driver killed". Daily News (Bowling Green, Kentucky). Associated Press. March 23, 1987. 
  32. ^ Froscher, Norm (February 14, 1987). "Joe Young dies in Daytona crash". Gainesville Sun. 
  33. ^ "Cut Tire Apparently Cause Of Crash". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. December 17, 1985. 
  34. ^ "Race Driver Ogle Dies". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. December 27, 1985. 
  35. ^ "Race Driver Richie Evans Killed In Martinsville Wreck". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. October 25, 1985. 
  36. ^ "Death mars Atlanta race". TimesDaily (Florence, Alabama). United Press International. November 12, 1984. 
  37. ^ Long, Gary (February 18, 1983). "The ultimate penalty looms over the qualifying races". Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida). 
  38. ^ "Race driver dies". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. February 6, 1987. 
  39. ^ a b "Heart Attack Kills Race Driver". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. May 30, 1982. 
  40. ^ Balewski, Larry (February 15, 1980). "Rookie Driver Killed In Race". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  41. ^ "Rookie driver dies in crash". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. January 13, 1980. 
  42. ^ "Waltrip takes first in rain-shortened race". Rome News-Tribune. United Press International. February 18, 1979. 
  43. ^ "Ex-daytona Driver Loses 10-year Race For His Life". Orlando Sentinel. May 24, 1989. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Easley, Mechanic Killed". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. January 16, 1978. 
  45. ^ Furlong, Jim (August 18, 1975). "Tiny Lund killed at Talladega in five-car early race crash". The Tuscaloosa News. 
  46. ^ "Smith killed in Talladega 500 accident". Rome News-Tribune. Associated Press. August 13, 1973. 
  47. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 18, 1972). "Tennessee Driver 'Friday' Hassler Killed In Pileup". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  48. ^ "Rookie Driver Killed At Daytona". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. February 20, 1970. 
  49. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 23, 1969). "Race Driver Killed; Lee Roy Wins 300". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. 
  50. ^ "Crash Kills Foster in Trial Run". Milwaukee Sentinel. United Press International. January 21, 1967. 
  51. ^ "Lorenzen Takes Charlotte Duel". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. October 18, 1965. 
  52. ^ Lord, Lewis (September 7, 1965). "Ned Jarrett Wins Darlington Southern 500 Auto Race". The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). United Press International. 
  53. ^ "Skeen Succumbs To Crash Injuries". The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). September 14, 1965. 
  54. ^ Kahn, Bernard (January 6, 1965). "Wade Killed In Test Run". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  55. ^ "Accident Kills Pardue". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. September 23, 1964. 
  56. ^ "Burns Critical To Fireball Roberts". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). Associated Press. May 25, 1964. 
  57. ^ "Fireball Roberts Dies at 33". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. July 2, 1964. 
  58. ^ Burnett, Obert M. (January 20, 1964). "WEATHERLY SAID: 'Biggest Thrill Was Getting Paid'". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. 
  59. ^ Kahn, Bernard (February 22, 1961). "Racing Driver Dies In Practice Run". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 
  60. ^ "Auto Racing Toll Heavy, Accidents Kill 3 Drivers". The Miami News. September 29, 1958. 
  61. ^ "STOCK DRIVER STALEY KILLED ON RACE TRACK". The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina). Associated Press. March 24, 1958. 
  62. ^ "Speedy Thompson Wins 8th Southern 500 In Chevy; Bobby Myers Killed In Wreck". The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. September 3, 1957. 
  63. ^ "Paschal Declared Victor Of Auto Speed Classic". The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). United Press International. June 11, 1956. 
  64. ^ "Clint McHugh Killed In NASCAR Accident". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. June 10, 1956. 
  65. ^ "John McVitty Is Killed Driving". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Associated Press. April 22, 1956. 
  66. ^ "Six Are Hurt In Auto Race At Daytona". The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. February 27, 1955. 
  67. ^ "Buick Cops Car Race At Daytona". St. Petersburg Times. United Press International. February 28, 1955. 
  68. ^ "Dick Kaufman Is Killed As Car Overturns". The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. February 21, 1954. 
  69. ^ a b "Newberry Car Second In Raleigh Race". The Newberry Observer. September 22, 1953. 
  70. ^ "Curtis Turner Wins Darlington Auto Race". The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. July 5, 1952. 
  71. ^ "STANSELL DIES FROM INJURIES IN AUTO RACE". Miami Daily News. Associated Press. July 5, 1952. 

External links[edit]