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Sad / Tragic News, Deaths, Memorials

About deaths of those involved in NASCAR main three divisions or major auto racing series will ONLY post with confirmed link to an obit, am very careful with these posts.
NOTE: do NOT post fan deaths, small series drivers, etc., usually keep it to the main three National series [Cup, XFINITY, Trucks], major auto racing [F1, Indy, etc], immediate family [mother, father, etc] and NASCAR related media.
past years..... Main Page / Current news | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005


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)

Sad News - Barry Dodson: Barry Dodson, a savvy crew chief who led NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace to his lone premier series championship in 1989, died Wednesday. He was 64. Dodson worked with several of the sport's top drivers and is credited with 19 victories in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In addition to Wallace, Dodson also served as crew chief for Tim Richmond and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip.[More](12-21-2017)

Sad News - Ryan Yanoshak: Mr. Ryan Yanoshak, 42, a resident of Mount Pocono, formerly of Hanover Twp., passed into eternal life Friday morning, Dec. 8, 2017, in the care of the Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest location, following a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer. Until illness caused his early retirement from professional duties, Ryan had been employed as the managing director of marketing communications with the Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond for two years.[More](12-9-2017)

Sad News - Bud Moore: Walter "Bud" Moore Jr., a decorated member of America's "Greatest Generation" who went on to win NASCAR championships as car owner and crew chief, has died at the age of 92. Moore, a Spartanburg, South Carolina, native who won the NASCAR premier series title in 1957 as crew chief for Buck Baker and car owner titles in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly, had been the oldest living member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2011.[More](11-28-2017)

Sad News - C.W. "Skip" Smith: C.W. "Skip" Smith, 70, died peacefully, Saturday, November 4, 2017, surrounded by his loving family at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after a year battle with leukemia. His love for working on and racing cars led Skip to start his racing career in 1985 at Selinsgrove Speedway (track champion 1987), and continue racing in the ARCA and Busch series from 1994 - 2005, when he retired from racing.[More](11-6-2017)

Sad News - Sandy Belmont: Sandra L. Belmont, 'Sandy", of Feasterville, PA passed away on Monday, October 30, 2017 at The Birches at Newtown. She was 77. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Charles A. "Chic" Belmont; two sons, Andy Belmont and Kevin Belmont (Rebecca)[More](11-2-2017)

Sad News - Jim Watson: James "Jim" Watson, a road-crew fabricator for Furniture Row Racing's NASCAR Cup Series teams, passed away Saturday night at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack. A native of Greenfield, Wis. (near Milwaukee), Jim had been a member of Furniture Row Racing since February 2017. [More](10-22-2017)

Sad News - Randy Howe: Randall "Randy" Lee Howe, 65, passed away doing what he loved, riding his motorcycle in Huntsville, AR, on Thursday, September 21, 2017. He loved his high-paced lifestyle of racing, sports, and motorcycles. Randy spent sixteen year as a spotter for NASCAR with NEMCO Motorsports. Randy lived life with gusto, enthusiasm and never knew a stranger.[More](10-9-2017)

Sad News - Robert Yates Robert Yates, a NASCAR Cup champion car owner and an innovative engine builder who once was told by a college professor that he wouldn't amount to anything because he spent his time working on vehicles and not studying, died Monday. He was 74. Selected in May as part of the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class, Yates won the 1999 NASCAR Cup title with driver Dale Jarrett. His Robert Yates Racing team compiled 57 wins and 48 poles from 1989-2007. His son, Doug Yates, followed in his father's footsteps and operates Roush Yates Engines.(ESPN)
FORD PERFORMANCE STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF ROBERT YATES DAVE PERICAK, Global Director, Ford Performance "Robert Yates knew the value of hard work and earned everything he achieved in life. Not only was Robert a legendary engine builder and championship car owner, but he was a husband, father, grandfather and loyal Ford man who left an unmeasurable impact on those who knew him.
"He was a respected and valued member of the Ford family and co-founder of Roush Yates Engines, and while we'll miss the wisdom he possessed for working on engines and race cars, we will miss his caring demeanor and friendship even more. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Robert's wife, Carolyn, his two children, Doug and Amy, and his eight grandchildren." (Ford Performance)(10-3-2017)

Legendary Modified Champ Ted Christopher Killed In Plane Crash Ted Christopher, a former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National champion, was killed Saturday afternoon in a plane crash. The Plainville, Conn., native was 59 years old. Christopher, who was scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race Saturday at New York's Riverhead Raceway, was on his way to Riverhead Raceway when the small plane he was in crashed into a wooded area in Guilford, Conn. The Federal Aviation Administration indicated that two people were on the plane at the time of the crash. The second person on the plane has not been identified.(Speed Sport)[Read More Here](9-16-2017)

Sad News - Adam Wright: Michael 'Adam' Wright, 33, of Troutman and formerly of Thomasville, passed away Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Adam's seemingly short life was filled with many, many friends. Many of which he met while doing what he loved, NASCAR racing, and most recently, the Xfinity series. When he decided to take a break from the travel of racing, Adam started his own business, AWRestorations, creating beautiful wood products from recycled, antique wood sources. His love for racing lead him back to the sport, joining JRMotorsports.[More](8-23-2017)

Sad News - Shane Sieg: Shane Sieg, a former Camping World Truck Series driver and older brother of Xfinity driver Ryan Sieg, died over the weekend at the age of 34. A native of Tucker, Georgia, Shane Sieg was a veteran of 68 Truck Series races and two Xfinity starts. Sieg made his last Truck start in June 2011 at Pocono Raceway.[More](8-22-2017)

Sad News - Harry Scott: Former NASCAR team owner Harry Scott, who fielded cars in the NASCAR Cup Series from 2013 to '16, died Wednesday. He was 51. Scott owned HScott Motorsports, which purchased Phoenix Racing in August 2013 and competed up until last season primarily with drivers Justin Allgaier, Clint Bowyer and Michael Annett.[More](8-3-2017)

Sad News - Mark Smith: Mark C. Smith, 63, of Mooresville, NC, passed away peacefully in his home on July 22, 2017 surrounded by loved ones after a long and private battle with cancer.[More](7-24-2017)

Darrell, Michael Waltrip's mother dies at 90: Margaret Waltrip, the mother of former NASCAR Cup Series drivers Darrell, a Franklin resident, and Michael died Wednesday morning, the family announced on social media. She was 90. "Mom went home to be with Jesus this morning, we had her for 90 wonderful years, we were all there this morning, thanks for your prayers," Darrell Waltrip tweeted. Margaret Waltrip was born in Owensboro, Ky. Darrell Waltrip was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers of all time in 1998. He is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and now an analyst for Fox Sports. Michael Waltrip is a two-time Daytona 500 winner and also an analyst for Fox Sports. Margaret Waltrip's third son, Bobby, died in 2014.(Tennessean)(7-12-2017)

Sad News - Bruce Hill: Topeka native Bruce Hill, the 1975 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie of the year, passed away Sunday from complications due to esophageal cancer at the age of 67. A Shawnee Heights graduate, Hill began racing in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series (now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) fulltime in '75 and earned rookie of the year honors after recording three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 26 events, finishing 16th in points.[More](5-15-2017)

Sad News - Sam Ard: Two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Sam Ard passed away Sunday, April 2. The Asheboro, North Carolina, native was 78. Ard had compiled an impressive record in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series before that circuit was retooled and renamed in 1982. In the series that today is known as the XFINITY Series, Ard scored 22 victories and won titles in 1983 and '84. [More]{4-2-2017)

Sad News - Pete Hamilton Pete Hamilton, the winner of the 1970 Daytona 500, has passed away at the age of 74. Hamilton started 64 Cup races between 1968 and 1973, winning four times -- twice at Daytona and twice at Talladega.[More](3-22-2017)

Sad News - Henry Furr: Henry Lee Furr, 83 years of age, of Concord, passed away Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast in Concord. Henry was owner, builder and promoter of the Concord Motor Speedway.[More](2-23-2017)

Sad News - Gene Sanders: Harry Eugene (Gene) Sanders, Sr., 76, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Mr. Sanders was born on August 19, 1940 in Sumter County. He grew up in Conway, S.C. but has lived in the Orangeburg-Cordova area for the past 50 years. He taught at Cope Area Vocational Center for 31 years and he worked with NASCAR for 17 years. He was awarded Orangeburg District #4 Teacher of the Year and S.C. Vocational Teacher of the year. Mr. Gene was a member and former deacon of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was a founding member of the Edisto Jaycees. He was Past Master of the Progress Lodge 356 and a member of the Omar Shriners. Mr. Gene was an avid Clemson Tiger Fan and a longtime supporter of IPTAY. He loved NASCAR and Go Kart racing with his sons; camping with his family and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers, Windell Sanders and Edward Sanders and sisters, Patricia Sanders and Wanda Sanders. A visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at Edisto Primary School Gymnasium. Memorials may be made to Ebenezer Baptist Church New Vision Fund 3144 Cordova Road, Cordova, S.C. 29039; Grove Park Hospice 1324 Grove Park NE, Orangeburg, S.C. 29115; The National Parkinson Foundation 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami FL 33131 or The Shriner's Hospital for Children 950 Faris Road, Greenville, S.C. 29605. Services are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home.(2-6-2017)

Sad News - Howie Hodge: The Northeast short track racing scene lost a giant and cornerstone figure of the sport on Saturday. Howie Hodge, a fixture as a photographer documenting racing across the country and primarily at Connecticut short tracks, passed away Saturday. Hodge was 77. Hodge's decades in the pits, at tracks across New England almost always with his wife Mary by his side shooting with him, made him known and virtually beloved by all around the sport. Hodge and his wife were inducted in the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 7. "I'm totally flabbergasted by this," Hodge said that night. "It's beyond my belief that doing what we enjoy and love so much for so many years, to get an honor like this." "He has captured decades of the history of New England auto racing with his photography," longtime motorsports journalist Dick Berggren said. "His contribution is beyond measure. We know history by pictures and he took great ones." Hodge is survived by his wife Mary and son Kevin.(RaceDayCT)(1-29-2017)

Sad News - Lance Childress: Lance Dudley Childress, Sr., 70, a resident of the Arcadia community, passed away the morning of January 21, 2017, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC. He was born on November 17, 1946 in Winston Salem, NC, the only son to Gaither Melvin and Faye Staley Childress. On May 3, 1968, he was married to Patricia Jackson. After graduating from James A. Gray High School in 1965, Lance attended North Carolina State University where he was a brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1967, Lance joined the US Army Reserves and was later activated with the 312th Evacuation Hospital unit stationed in Chu Lai Vietnam. Lance was honorably discharged in 1969. He went on to follow in his father's footsteps, becoming an official for NASCAR, where he was a pioneer for what is now known as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. Retiring from NASCAR in 1985 led Lance back to college to complete an Associate Degree in Business at Forsyth Technical Community College before beginning his own business in 1986. Halonite Fire Systems was in operation for 30 years with the help of Lance's son, his mother, and his daughter. During his free time spanning the late 1980's through the mid-2000's Lance could be found coaching a Little League game, running a Pop Warner booster club, or directing short-track races for the NASCAR Winston Weekly Racing Series as well as dabbling in his hobby as a collector of art, stamps, coins, and his favorite: old beer cans. Lance is survived by his loving wife, Patricia J. Childress (Pat), of the home. Also surviving are one son, Lance Childress, Jr. (Kip) and wife Jenny of Winston Salem; one daughter, Kristen Childress (Kris) and husband Edward Eisenbraun of Winston Salem; and four grandchildren, Sarah, Hailey, Brianna and Charlie. As well as two special pets, Daisy and Topaz. A celebration of life will be held Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM, with the Reverend James C. Newsome, Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday, January 29, 2017 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Both services will be held at J.C. Green & Sons Funeral Home, 10301 N. NC Highway 109, Winston-Salem. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, North Carolina 27317 and/or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675. Online condolences may be sent to the Childress family at www.jcgreenandsons.com.(1-26-2017)
Sad News - Bill Moss: William (Bill) W. Moss, whose engineering and construction company (Moss-Thornton Company) was instrumental in assisting William H.G. France in the creation of Talladega Superspeedway in 1969, passed away this past Saturday. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 at Canterbury Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL for the 81-year-old. While racing cars as an amateur in the late 1950s, Moss, who received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Alabama, met France, the founder of NASCAR. A few years later in 1963, Moss, joined the family engineering business - known for building interstate highway projects, as well as industrial, railway and navigation endeavors. France had a vision to create the largest, steepest and fastest superspeedway in the world, just 40 miles outside of Birmingham and 90 miles from Atlanta (GA). He enlisted the help of Moss to help design and build a smooth, 2.66-mile, 33-degree banked venue that would see 200-plus mph speeds. Using cranes to aid in keeping the equipment (graders, pavers, bulldozers, etc.) on the mammoth steeped banks, Alabama International Motor Speedway was created in just over a year (groundbreaking May 23, 1968). As a symbol of his contribution to Talladega Superspeedway, the Moss-Thornton Grandstand and Moss-Thornton Tower overlook Talladega's famous start-finish line which sits near the entrance of turn one, distinguishing the track unlike others.(Talladega Superspeedway)(1-17-2017)

Sad News - Brian Scott: Brian Shawn Scott, 63, of Mooresville, NC passed away on January 9, 2017 in Charlotte, NC following a brief illness. He was born on October 7, 1953 in South Bend, IN. He worked for several years as a vice president of Keystone Cable Corporation before starting Scott Performance Wire (in 1990, supplying many NASCAR teams), which he owned and operated until his death. Full obituary, guest book and service info at Carter Funeral Home)(1-14-2017)