Horrible accident in fontana

sean (yt)

Well-Known Member
this hit real close to home for me. we would have been racing at fontana this weekend if it werent for the baja cup.

Driver killed as brake test at speedway goes awry
From staff and wire reports
Posted: 08/08/2009 10:11:08 PM PDT

FONTANA - A veteran drag racer from La Habra was killed Saturday in a drag racing mishap at the Auto Club Speedway, officials said.

Ronald "Ronnie" Marcum, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 8:30 a.m. at the race track at 9300 Cherry Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Briggs said in a written statement.

Marcum was in the pit area, seated behind the steering wheel of his custom-made dragster, when the vehicle's transmission engaged and caused the vehicle to accelerate rapidly, at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The dragster traveled approximately 300 feet before crashing into the trailer and catching fire, officials said.

Local firefighters on scene quickly extinguished the fire and Marcum was pronounced dead shortly after.

Efforts to reach Marcum's family were unsuccessful Saturday.

"It's a real shame," said Floyd Staggs, 67, of Rancho Cucamonga, who said he competes in Southern California drag events.

Staggs was not at the track Saturday, and was surprised by the news.

"It's a blight on the sport any time there's a fatality," he said. "And it hurts when it's somebody you know."

Marcum was participating in a pre-race warmup to the Super Category Drag Races when the crash occurred. The test involved revving the engine while depressing a button that prevents the transmission from engaging.

The test must be conducted while the vehicle's tires are off the ground, said officials from National Hot Rod Association who were at the event.
"Marcum failed to follow these procedures," according to the CHP statement.

Staggs said Marcum was an experienced driver who always followed the rules.

But he said witnesses at the track told him Marcum may have not been wearing a helmet at the time of Saturday's crash.

"It's a very unfortunate accident. ... He was a friendly guy, real helpful at the track," Staggs said. "Drag racing is like that. It's a small community, like family. It's people you know."

Marcum's racing career included competing in Southern California Pro Gas Association events, Staggs said. Marcum was the association's second champion in 1981, according to the association's Web site.

CHP Sgt. Galen Burson said about 200 people were in attendance at the track at the time of crash. No other injuries were reported.


Mini Metal MOD
Sad news, my condolences to the Marcum family.