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NASCAR competitors react to death of sprint car driver


David Steele was killed in a crash March 25, 2017, at Desoto Speedway. Photo: Desoto Speedway

Sprint car driver David Steele was killed Saturday night in a crash at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida. He was 42.

Steele, who drove in two NASCAR Xfinity races in 2000 for car owner Felix Sabates, was competing in a Southern Sprintcar Shootout Series race at the 3/8-mile paved oval.

A report from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office stated that Steel’s “left front wheel made contact with the right rear wheel of another car in turn #1. This caused his vehicle to get airborne for a moment and spin 180 degrees before it struck the retaining wall. He was treated immediately by on-scene medics. His injuries were too severe and he was pronounced deceased at 2114 HRS (9:14 p.m. Eastern) by Manatee County EMS.’'

The track issued a statement on its Facebook page Saturday night: “Desoto Speedway owners and staff are saddened by tonight’s passing of David Steele in the Sprint car feature. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, who were all in attendance to see him try to win his 100th Florida race.’'
Steele was the U.S. Auto Club’s Silver Crown Series champion in 2004 and ’05. His 16 series victories ranks behind only Jack Hewitt (23 wins) and Brian Tyler (17) on the career list.

Steele failed to qualify for one race in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series in 1999. He competed in the Daytona Busch Series race in 2000, finishing 23rd. He placed 34th the following weekend at Rockingham in that series. He did not qualify for the following three races: Las Vegas, Atlanta and Darlington. Steele did not compete in that series again. He ran in three Indy Racing League races in 1998.

Steele was remembered by those in NASCAR.

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