Famed sprint car driver David Steele died following a crash on Saturday, March 25, at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida, the Associated Press reports. He was 42.
Steele passed away in the opening lap of the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series. A Manatee County Sheriff's Office report states that his vehicle spun 180 degrees and hit the retaining wall when the left front wheel struck the right rear wheel of another car. Medics tried to treat him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The track released a statement about the incident on Facebook. "Desoto Speedway owners and staff are saddened by tonight's passing of David Steele in the Sprint Car feature," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time."
Nascar driver Kyle Larson paid his condolences on Saturday. "Dave Steele was always the man when it came to pavement racing," he said, via the AP. "I got to watch him win a lot on TV. I didn't know him personally very well, but I was lucky enough to be teammates with him one time at New Smyrna when I ran a USAC midget race there. He was a very quiet guy. I just remember it being an honor to be a teammate with him that night because he was so good at pavement racing. I knew we were going to be good, and we got the win. That was cool, to get to spend a little bit of time with him that weekend."
Steele was a two-time USAC silver crown champion. His death comes seven months after sprint car driver Bryan Clauson also died in a race crash at age 27.
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