Wisconsin driver killed in wreck, 3rd short track fatality in less than 2 months

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Less than a week after a track flagman was killed at a Florida short track, a Wisconsin sprint car driver was killed following a wreck on Saturday night.

According to the Milwaukee Journal, sprint car driver Scott Semmelmann, 47, of Brookfield, Wisc., died after being involved in a wreck during practice at Beaver Dam Raceway, about 75 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

Semmelmann’s car reportedly made contact with another car during a second practice session in preparation for that evening’s main event.

Semmelmann’s car went out of control, flipped several times and slammed into an outside retaining wall.

It was Semmelmann’s first race appearance of the season, officials said. Officials cancelled the rest of the evening’s racing.

While Beaver Falls (Wisc.) police did not release Semmelmann’s identity, racetrack general manager Carolyn Mueller and Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series president Steve Sinclair confirmed the death, according to The Associated Press.

A police statement said, ”This incident appears to be (a) tragic accident at this time.”

Beaver Dam Raceway is a one-third mile clay oval. Semmelmann was the first on-track fatality there since it reopened in 1993, according to the AP.

Semmelmann is the third person killed on a short track in the last 1-½ months. Kevin Ward Jr. was killed when struck by a sprint car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart Aug. 9 at a dirt track in upstate New York.

MORE: Sheriff: Driver hit by Tony Stewart in sprint car race has died

Last Sunday, track flagman and race official Buddy Jack Howell was killed when struck by an out of control race truck at Bronson (Fla.) Speedway.

MORE: Flagman struck, killed by race truck at Florida short track

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IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis