NASCAR Mexico driver killed in crash

MEXICO CITY -- Driver Carlos Pardo has been killed in a crash during the final laps of a NASCAR Mexico race, organizers said.

Pardo was leading the race in the 97th lap when his car was nudged by a competitor from behind and slid sideways into a wall at the entrance to the pit lane at about 120 mph on Sunday. The car disintegrated as a result of the impact.

Pardo was removed from the wreckage and sent by helicopter to a hospital. The NASCAR Mexico Web site reported that he died 45 minutes later.

Pardo was later declared winner of the race in Pueblo, east of Mexico City.

He won the series championship in 2004 and had 10 career victories in 74 races.