HomeMore Sports


NASCARArticlesBasicsDriversEquipmentQuestionsAre All NASCAR Engines The Same?Are NASCAR Cars Street Legal?Can a Driverless Car Win A NASCAR Event?DO NASCAR Cars Have Speedometers?Do Drivers In NASCAR Wear Diapers?Do NASCAR Cars Have Airbags?Do NASCAR Cars Need To Be The Same Shape?Do NASCAR Cars Use Special Tires?Do NASCAR Drivers Count As Professional Athletes?Do NASCAR Drivers Listen To Music During A Race?Do NASCAR Drivers Make More Money Than Formula 1 Drivers?Do NASCAR Drivers Use Their Brakes?Do One Wheel Nut Tires Make For Faster Pit Stops?Has A NASCAR Driver Led Every Lap Before?How Are NASCAR And F1 Cars Different?How Do Drivers Get A NASCAR Racing License?How Do Toyota, Ford, And Chevrolet Engines Differ In NASCAR?How Long Does It Take To Do One Lap Around A Track In NASCAR?How Long Is The NASCAR Season?How Many People Have Died During NASCAR Races?How Many Tires Does A NASCAR Car Use During The Daytona 500?How Much Does It Cost To Field A One-Car NASCAR Team?How Much Does It Cost To Own A NASCAR Team?How Much Is A NASCAR Engine?How Much Skill Does It Take To Drive NASCAR?How Would A NASCAR Car Perform On The Nurburgring?In NASCAR Are The Cars Modified?Is Every Car In NASCAR The Same?Is NASCAR Better Than Formula 1?Is NASCAR Considered A Sport?What Are Grid Girls In NASCAR?What Are Songs That Mention NASCAR In Them?What Are The Annual Ticket Sales For NASCAR?What Are The Kinds of Auto Racing?What Are The Technology Differences Between Rally Cars and NASCAR Cars?What Are The Types Of Cars In NASCAR?What Is A NASCAR Stock Car?What Is Race Car Telemetry In NASCAR?What Is Tandem Drafting In NASCAR?What Is The Current Font Used For The NASCAR Logo?What Is The Hardest Type of Auto Racing For Drivers?What Is The Role Of The Pace Car In NASCAR?What Is The Top Speed Of Cars In NASCAR?What Licenses Do NASCAR Drivers Have?What Saved Ryan Newman When He Crashed?What Was The Longest Race In The History of NASCAR?Which Car Manufacturers Make Engines for NASCAR?Which Makes Faster Pit Stops, F1 Cars Or NASCAR Cars?Who Is The Oldest NASCAR Driver?Why Are NASCAR Cars Able To Refuel While Running?Why Are Stickers Used As Headlights On NASCAR Cars?Why Do F1 Cars Go Faster Around Corners Than NASCAR Cars?Why Do NASCAR Cars Have Open Windows?Why Do NASCAR Cars Not Have Fuel Gauges?Why Do NASCAR Cars Only Turn In One Direction?Why Do NASCAR Drivers Swerve Before The Race?Why Do NASCAR Racers Drive Counter-Clockwise?Why Do NASCAR Races Not Happen In The Rain?Why Does NASCAR Only Allow Four-Speed Transmissions?Why Is The Steering Wheel Removable In NASCAR Cars?Why is Danica Patrick Popular In NASCAR?RulesStatistics
  1. Home
  3. How Many People Have Died During NASCAR Races?

How Many People Have Died During NASCAR Races?

How Many People Have Died During NASCAR Races

NASCAR is one of the most exciting sports in the United States. It brings excitement and thrills to fans of all ages, as cars go at extremely fast speeds and test the limits of what can be done in a car. A NASCAR vehicle can reach 200 miles an hour, and accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as quickly as three seconds. It is truly remarkable how fast these cars go and the risk they put themselves through.

Unfortunately, with these limits being tested comes a lot of tragic moments that the sport has brought us. NASCAR is currently on their longest streak without there being a fatality, however, the sport has still seen 28 deaths in its long history.

Joe Weatherly

Weatherly was known as one of the greatest showmen in the sport during the time when he was racing, which makes his death all the more tragic. The backstory of his death starts when he was racing and his engine blew and his car was up in flames as he crossed the finish line. This spooked the normally very confident driver, and he later refused to use a window net or shoulder harness as he was scared of being stuck in a burning car. This proved to cost him his life, as in another race, he struck a wall and passed instantly.

Adam Petty

Petty was a fourth generation NASCAR driver. He was the son of Kyle Petty, grandson of Richard Petty, and the great-grandson of Lee Petty, who was one of the very first NASCAR drivers. Petty's passing came in 2000 during practice rounds at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2000. He was 19 years old when the tragedy occured.

Kenny Irwin Jr.

Kenny Irwin Jr. had a very bright future ahead of him. The racer was racing in a junior league by the time he was in second grade, and began racing on his father's time in the IMSA American Challenge Stock Car Series when he was only a teenager. Irwin Jr. had all the hype in the world surrounding him, as people were comparing him to superstar Jeff Gordon. Unfortunately, he was never given the opportunity to live up to his hype, as he tragically passed away during a practice session at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt

The passing of Dale Earnhardt hit the NASCAR community extremely hard. It stunned not only the NASCAR world, but the entire sports community as a whole. Earnhardt was a NASCAR driver who is the only racer to win a Rookie of the Year and then win a championship the following year. Earnhardt's passing came at the Daytona 500, which is considered to be the Superbowl of stock car racing. The tragedy happened on the last lap as he was battling against his own son for the top spot. Racer Ken Schrader tapped the rear of Earnhardt's car which caused it to make a hard turn into the wall. Schrader was able to escape his vehicle in time, but Earnhard tragically passed away on impact of hitting the wall.

Aftermath of Dale Earnhardt Tragedy

The legacy of Dale Earnhardt has not and will not be forgotten. The achievements he had while alive were incredible. As difficult as his death was for the sports world, it has made the sport of NASCAR far safer and a much better experience. In 2001, NASCAR mandated the use of head-and-neck restraining devices. They also began requiring the use of SAFER barriers at the top of race tracks. These walls were made of foam and they slightly move upon impact, dissipate energy, and reduce the force exerted on the driver.

NASCAR alsdo developed the Car of Tomorrow, which was a result of extensive research that was conducted after Earnhardt's death. This car was established with numerous safety improvements that drastically helped in making stock car racing safer for everyone involved. The changes that were made since the tragedy have proved to be extremely successful, as there has not been one fatality since the tragedy. Ryan Newman had a terrifying collision that appeared to be almost identical to the one Earnhardt had in 2020. However, with the new changes that were in place, Newman walked out of the hospital less than 48 hours after the tragedy.