Veteran NASCAR Modified driver Charlie Jarzombek was killed Sunday when his Chevrolet slammed into a retaining wall during the running of the Miller 500 triple-header race at Martinsville, Va.
On the sixth lap of the 200-lap event, Jarzombek was driving between the first and second turns at Martinsville Speedway when his car hit the concrete wall on the outside of the .526-mile track and spun to a halt, track spokesman Dick Thompson said.
Jarzombek, 44, of Baiting Hollow, N.Y., sustained massive neck injuries in the crash, Thompson said. Track rescue personnel cut off the top of Jarzombek's car, lifted him from it and transported him to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Thompson said.
It was not immediately clear what caused Jarzombek to hit the wall, Thompson said. NASCAR officials are investigating the crash, Thompson said.
His death was the first under competitive conditions at Martinsville and the second in the speedway's 40-year history.
Reggie Ruggiero, Brad Teague and Curtis Markham were winners in the triple-header.
Ruggiero, of Forestville, Conn., in a Pontiac, won the 200-lap Modified race by a second over Mike Stefanik.
Teague, of Johnson City, Tenn., in a Chevrolet, beat Dale Jarrett by less than a second in the 200-lap Grand National event.
Markham, of Richmond, Va., held off Roger Sawyer in the 100-lap Late Model Stock race.
Don Prudhomme won his first National Hot Race Assn. title in more than four years when he defeated Johnny West in the Funny Car final of the Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla.
Joe Amato ended a 25-month winless streak of his own, upsetting Darrell Gwynn in the Top Fuel division at Gainesville Raceway.
Butch Leal defeated Bob Glidden in the Pro Stock competition.
Prudhomme, 46, recorded his 35th NHRA career win with a quarter-mile time of 5.725 seconds at 260.34 m.p.h. in a Pontiac Trans Am. West had mechanical problems with his Dodge Daytona, which broke during the run.