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Sad News

About deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series will ONLY post with confirmed link to an obit. We are very careful with these posts.
NOTE: We try to keep this page to the main three National series [Cup, XFINITY, Trucks], major auto racing [F1, Indy, etc], their immediate family [mother, father, etc] and NASCAR related media.


 

Sad News – Betty Adkins Thomas: Betty Adkins Thomas, 88, of Christiansburg, passed away on Monday, May 13, 2019, after battling Alzheimer’s for 12 years. She was born in Walton, VA on September 24, 1931 to the late Frank and Mary Adkins.(More)(5-15-2019)

Sad News – Alan Dillard, Jr.: Alan Gault Dillard, Jr., 80, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2019 with family by his side in Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with his career and work ethic, he had a passion for auto racing that started all the way back in Texas. He built and raced his own cars with much success in Texas and continued upon his return to Virginia. He gave up driving in the mid-1970s and took a break from motorsports before returning in the mid-1980s as a NASCAR team owner. He enjoyed success at the highest levels of stock car racing before retiring fully from the sport in the mid-1990s.(More)(5-14-2019)

Sad News – Clint Smith, Jr.: Clinton “Clint” Prescott Smith, Jr., 57, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at Atrium Healthcare, Charlotte. He was born August 17, 1961, in Neptune, NJ, to Patricia Ann Brodowski Smith and the late Clinton Prescott Smith. Racing was Clint’s passion. He started at a dirt track in NY as a crew chief for Bill Frisbie, and later went on to a career in NASCAR where he served as a “gas man” for 24 years prior to retiring in 2018. He worked for NASCAR teams such as Roush/Fenway, drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Bobby Labonte and Grant Enfinger. He also worked at XCalibur Pit School for Chuck Efaw as a pit crew coach/instructor. A Celebration of Clint’s life will be held Tuesday, May 7, at 5:00 PM at the XCalibur Pit School, 115 Denver Business Park, Mooresville, NC. A service will also be held at a later date in Ithaca, NY. Full obituary and details at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home.(5-4-2019)

Sad News – Bill Fleischman: [Bill] Fleischman, the long-time Philadelphia Daily News auto racing reporter who died Wednesday at 80, was certainly avuncular … He was friendly, funny, accurate and exceedingly fair — but no pushover, either. Bill covered the Philadelphia Flyers when they won Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, and he wrote about other topics and was an assistant sports editor, but he covered auto racing with a passion, contributing stories about NASCAR for 10 years to the Daily News after he retired in 2006. He had a national reach. As NASCAR hit its peak in popularity in the late 1990s, Fleischman and another veteran, Al Pearce, put together “The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide,” an 600-page almanac of facts and figures about stock-car racing, updating it every year.(Forbes)(5-2-2019)

Sad News – Dean McNulty: Canadian motor racing reporter Dean McNulty died on Monday at the age of 70 after a battle with leukemia. Recently inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, the veteran was a leading voice for fans of IndyCar, NASCAR, and other popular series since starting at the Toronto Sun in 1979. He also played a pivotal role in identifying and championing young Canadian racing talent through decades of coverage in print, and online, before retiring in 2015.(Racer)(5-2-2019)

Sad News – Brenda Jackson: Brenda Jackson, a longtime employee at JR Motorsports and mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, has passed away following a battle with cancer. She was 65 years old. Known for her wit, charisma and unparalleled ability to cut to the heart of any matter, Jackson became an instant favorite to her friends and colleagues at JR Motorsports when she joined the company as an accounting specialist in 2004. Her sarcastic musings and straightforward approach injected a brand of humor at JR Motorsports that became part of its fabric as it grew into a full-time NASCAR racing operation in 2006 and a championship-winning organization in 2014. Brenda Gee and Dale Earnhardt were married in 1972 and had two kids – Kelley and Dale Jr. – over the span of their marriage. The couple eventually separated, and the children stayed with their mother as Dale Sr. struggled to get his racing career going. Following a house fire that left the three with no home, Brenda moved back to Virginia to start over. She re-married in 1985 to Willie Jackson, a firefighter in Norfolk. When Willie retired, they moved back to North Carolina with step-daughter Meredith to work with Kelley and Dale Jr. at JRM. Memorial contributions may be sent to Piedmont Animal Rescue or Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell.(JR Motorsports)(4-22-2019)

Sad News – Carl Wegner: Carl David Wegner, age 70 of Markesan, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Monday, April 15, 2019. Carl was born on February 19, 1949, in Waukesha County, a son of Raymond and Margarite (Moll) Wegner. On May 15, 1971, he was united in marriage to Jane Semrow at St. James Catholic Church in Menomonee Falls. In 1974, Carl and Jane moved to a farm outside of Markesan and started Wegner Automotive in 1975. He had a passion for engines and racing from a young age, assembling and disassembling his first engine at 14 in his parent’s basement. Carl was an innovator, always seeking ways to make engines more affordable and looking out for short track racing in Wisconsin.(Markesan Community Funeral Home). Wegner Engines have competed in nearly every NASCAR division. Most notably winning multiple championships in the BUSCH Grand National series. Wegner short track Engines have won championships on asphalt and dirt throughout the United States. (4-20-2019)

Sad News – TA Toomes: Mr. Toomes was born December 18, 1930 the son of Thadeus and Bertha Vickery Toomes.TA was a native of Randolph County and was the owner of Mopey’s High Performance in Randleman. TA built engines for Lee Petty, Petty Enterprise, Smokey Yunick in Daytona Beach, Fla., Bill Ellis in North Wilkesboro, and Hagan Enterprise in Thomasville for Terry Labonte Racing.[More](1-21-2019)

Sad News – Glen Wood: NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood, who founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1953, has died. He was 93. While Wood won four times as a driver, the team — which is now run by sons Eddie and Len and daughter Kim — has won 99 times, most recently with Ryan Blaney behind the wheel in 2017. NASCAR’s longest-active team, Wood Brothers racing has won at least one race in seven consecutive decades.[More](1-18-2019)

Sad News – Clem Droste: Clarence “Clem” Droste, age 76, of Wisconsin Rapids, WI died Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at his residence. Clem was a service manager for Johnson & Sons in Wisconsin Rapids for 40 years and also was employed by NASCAR for 35 years. He retired in December 2017.[More](1-17-2019)

J.D. Gibbs memorial service details announced: The J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund has also been established to support the Young Life Ministry.[More](1-15-2019)

J.D. Gibbs, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing, dies at 49: J.D. Gibbs, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs and a co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing with his father, died Friday after a four-year battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49. “Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone’s respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time,” the team said in a statement.[More](1-12-2019)

Sad News – Carl Hill: He joined NASCAR in 1976 as a technical inspector but quickly promoted to a track official. During his time with NASCAR he traveled with the racing circuit from coast to coast. Some of his many accolades include being featured on several race trading cards and a special appearance in the movie ‘Stroker Ace’. He retired as Chief Steward of NASCAR in 1996.[More](1-2-2019)

Sad News – David Pearson: David Pearson, a three-time champion in what is now NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series, died Monday at 83, the Wood Brothers Racing team confirmed to ESPN. Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its second class in 2011, Pearson won 105 Cup races, second only to Richard Petty, Pearson’s chief rival in the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1963 and 1977, the two finished first and second in 63 races, with Pearson winning 33 of them.[More](11-12-2018)

Sad News – Kevin Caldwell: Kevin Duane Caldwell, 55, of Altus, Oklahoma, was welcomed into heaven on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018. In 1994, Kevin moved to Mooresville, North Carolina, to pursue his passion for racing. It was this dedication and talent that led him to work for many different racing teams, which included USAir and Smokin’ Joe’s NASCAR Winston Cup Teams. He was Crew Chief for Dupont Chevy Monte Carlo NASCAR Busch Grand National Team, with driver Ricky Craven.[More](8-12-2018)

Sad News – Tom Higgins: Tom Higgins, a legendary newspaper reporter who brought life to NASCAR in the pages of the Charlotte Observer for 33 years, died Tuesday morning. He was 80. Higgins was a larger-than-life character at the Observer from 1964-97, covering the rise of stock-car racing and its cast of colorful characters as the uniquely Southern sport gained national attention. He suffered a stroke in August 2017 – four days after his 80th birthday – and family members said his health had slowly spiraled downhill in the ensuing 11 months.[More](7-31-2018)

Sad News – James Hylton: Former NASCAR driver James Hylton, the 1966 Rookie of the Year, was killed in a traffic accident Saturday, authorities said. He was 83. Hylton and his son, 61-year-old James Hylton Jr., died at the scene of the crash, which happened on Interstate 85 in Carnesville a little after 6 a.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol. Both were from Inman, South Carolina.[More](4-28-2018)

Sad News – Jim Foster: Jim Foster, the fourth president of Daytona International Speedway, died Friday after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91.[More](4-28-2018)

Sad News – Russ Truelove: Russ Truelove, 93, who was known for his terrifying rollover crash during a NASCAR race on the Daytona Beach & Road Course, died in his Waterbury, Connecticut, home surrounded by family Wednesday night.[More](4-27-2018)

Sad News – Rich Rubenstein: Rich Rubenstein, of Matthews, N.C., passed away at age 72 on March 1 following a lengthy and valiant battle with cancer. Rich’s intro to motorsports came in the form of an offer from a friend who worked for CRC Chemicals. The company was starting a racing program and needed someone to oversee it. [More](3-19-2018)

Sad News – Charles Strang: Charles Strang, who oversaw NASCAR appeals as the national commissioner for the sanctioning body for more than a decade, died Sunday. He was 96.[More](3-14-2018)