CONCORD, N.C. -- Blaise Alexander, the 25-year-old ARCA driver who also competed on NASCAR's Busch Series, was killed Thursday night in a wreck at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Alexander crashed head on into the turn four wall after talking the...
CONCORD, N.C. -- Blaise Alexander, the 25-year-old ARCA driver who also competed on NASCAR's Busch Series, was killed Thursday night in a wreck at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Alexander crashed head on into the turn four wall after talking the lead from Kerry Earnhardt. Alexander's rear bumper caught on Earhardt's front, and he cut down a tire.
His car then hit Earnhardt's again, flipping it and sending Earnhardt's Chevrolet hurtling down the track on its roof with flames shooting out from under the hood.
Alexander's car came to a rest on the infield grass. The 1996 ARCA rookie of the year had to be cut out of the car, was placed on a stretcher and rushed to the infield care center. He was pronounced dead from severe head injuries at 10:20 p.m. ET.
"It is with great sadness that we must report that Blaise Alexander died as a result of his injuries in tonight's accident," track spokesman Jerry Gappens said.
"It was a severe head injury. Our emergency technicians went to the car and found him unconscious, unresponsive and with no vital signs. They worked on him for 25 minutes and got no response."
Ty Norris, executive vice president for motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Kerry Earnhardt's spotter Thursday, said slower cars played a role.
"Kerry went into the corner with a five car-length lead and they ran up on all of that lapped traffic," Norris said. "He came off the corner and he was right there next to Blaise. There was nothing anybody could do, it was just the circumstance of having four cars vying for the same space coming off Turn 4. Blaise didn't have a choice and Kerry didn't have a choice."
ARCA President Ron Drager said Alexander had been wearing the required "horse collar," a foam device designed to restrict the movement of the driver's head in an accident. The collar was manufactured by Simpson Performance Products, and there was no apparent failure of the collar.
Alexander wasn't wearing any other head-and-neck restraint system.
Drager characterized the cause of the accident as a "violent deceleration" by Alexander's car.
Earnhardt was not injured in the crash.