Driver Jim Fitzgerald, 65, was killed when he crashed early in the Trans-Am Series race of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Grand Prix. His Nissan 300ZX Turbo was going more than 100 mph when it hit a concrete wall.
With 350 victories, he was the most successful driver in the 40-year history of the Sports Car Club of America and had raced 32 years. He and partner Paul Newman, 62, made up the oldest team in auto racing.
The race was stopped for 45 minutes while rescue crews worked on Fitzgerald. He was dead on arrival at a hospital. He was the oldest driver in the race, which ended the Trans-Am season.
"Me racing, that should be a step forward for guys my age," he had told The Tampa Tribune before the race. "You'd think people my age would get excited about it, but they don't. They tell me I'm crazy. Sometimes I think people don't accept guys in their 60s who can do something like this. But it's a ball, really. Especially now, with the new technology, 750-horsepower turbos, state of the art handling. The old days were fine, but the new days, with the new cars, are finer." . . .
In Riverside, Calif., three of Bill Elliott's crewmen were hurt, one critically, in an accident on pit row early in the Winston Western 500 NASCAR race.
Rusty Wallace won the race.