The NHRA drag racing community is mourning the death of Randy Alexander, who was killed Saturday during a crash at the Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia.
According to a report by AutoWeek, Alexander, a veteran sportsman racer from Harvest, Alabama, had just crossed the finish line at 160 mph in the first round of eliminations in the sportsman class, when his 1963 Corvette abruptly veered left from the right lane and into the left lane in front of fellow competitor Bob Mandell III’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
Mandell tried to avoid Alexander’s car but was unable to do so and struck it broadside on the driver’s side at an estimated 200 mph, according to other media reports.
Alexander’s car flipped and landed on a retaining wall nearly 150 feet down the track from the finish line.
The race was stopped for an hour as NHRA rescue workers had to extricate Alexander from his race car. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died.
Mandell, of Culleoka, Tennessee, was not injured in the incident.
The NHRA issued this statement about the incident:
“It is with heavy hearts that we report Randy Alexander of Harvest, Alabama, passed away at a local hospital after sustaining injuries in an on-track incident at the NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.
“NHRA and the entire racing community extend their deepest condolences and their prayers to the participant’s family and friends. We also ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”