Database: Death at the Track

The Charlotte Observer/
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

A Charlotte Observer study tracks deaths in U.S. racing since 1990. Since Dale Earnhardt died in February 2001, there have been no deaths at NASCAR's top levels. But there have been at least 235 deaths in U.S. racing since then.

That's up from at least 217 deaths in the decade before Earnhardt died.

The data contain deaths in all levels of U.S. racing - from premier NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA events to dirt-track races. The study begins with deaths in 1990. It excludes deaths from youth go-kart, motorcycles, monster trucks, mud racing and racing schools.

Heart attacks that happened on the track or within minutes of a driver finishing a race were included. Prior to the Charlotte Observer's investigation, "Death At The Track," published Nov. 11, 2001, racing deaths weren't tracked.

The Observer found then that racing deaths aren't as rare as the racing world believes and that patterns were evident that might save lives. This database is updated through 2010.

Click on the person's name for a summary of the accident.

Deaths can be sorted by any of the categories. To sort by year, for example, click the year column header. Click again on year to change from ascending to descending and vice versa.

Data was obtained from sources that include news reports, press releases and interviews with race team members, family members, track officials or race organizations.

For additions or corrections, please e-mail

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