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Sprint car veteran dies after crash

August 6, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Sprint car driver Kramer Williamson died on Sunday from injuries suffered after crashing during a qualifying race Saturday at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown in the USA.

Williamson, 63, of Palmyra, was pronounced dead at York Hospital at about 1.15pm the York County coroner's office said. He had suffered serious injuries in a crash that occurred Saturday night during the United Racing Company 358/360 Sprint Car Challenge.

"We are so saddened by the loss of an unforgettable member of our URC Family," United Racing Company co-owner Cher Zimmerman said in a statement. "Kramer was the sweetest and funniest driver I have ever known in racing. He made racing a family affair and simply adored his wife and children. I know the national racing community will join us in remembering Kramer and sending prayers to his family at this very difficult moment."

Investigators said Williamson's pink No. 73 car was on the fourth lap of a 10-lap qualifying round when it climbed onto another car and crashed into a retaining wall on the second turn, climbing the fence before returning to the track and flipping over several times. He was extricated from the car and flown to the hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Williamson was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2008 and had been racing for more than 40 years. He shared the 1971 rookie of the year title at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg.

The last driver fatality at Lincoln was in 1975. In June, NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died from injuries sustained in a sprint car crash at Bridgeport Speedway. About two weeks before Leffler's death, Josh Burton died of injuries sustained in a crash at Bloomington Speedway in Indiana. In late May at a dirt track in Nevada, two drivers were killed in a race. In March in California, two people were killed when a car careened off a dirt track and crashed on pit road.

Sprint car races can be more dangerous for drivers and spectators because the safety measures taken by series aren't at the same level. Many facilities lack the SAFER barriers that are standard in NASCAR and IndyCar, and the cars aren't always adequately protected.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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