A 68-year old man and teenage boy were killed when 17-year old racecar driver Chase Johnson lost control of his car during warm-up laps at Marysville Raceway Park yesterday. The track, located about 40 miles north of Sacramento, CA was about to host the opening day for the California Spring Car Civil War Series when the tragic accident occurred.
According to witnesses, Johnson was going 90 mph when it failed to make a turn during the "hot laps," and careened through a gap between the track and pit row.
“There must have been a mechanical problem. The car didn’t slow down,” stated track announcer Steven Blakesley, who added that it “hit a golf-style cart before running out of view behind the stands.”
The Yuba County Sheriff’s office and California Highway Patrol are both investigating the accident.
Chase, a senior at Petaluma High School is a fourth generation racecar driver, who has already had two years of experience behind the wheel. He, reportedly, had seen the series at Maryville as a stepping-stone to high levels of NASCAR competition.
Blakesley also commented that others on the course, where small high-powered cars race on short dirt ovals, were older drivers whose careers had “peaked earlier.”
The crash comes less than a month after Kyle Larson’s car went airborne at the Daytona international Speedway injuring more than 30 people in the stands during the last lap of the Nationwide Race on February 23 (see http://www.examiner.com/article/horrific-crash-won-t-slow-down-today-s-r...).