A second death in less than a year has hit the INEX Legends race league after driver Joan Feller died Wednesday from injuries suffered in last Friday’s head on collision at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Feller ran straight into a stalled car on the track during the last lap of a race on Friday. Feller was unresponsive when she was pulled from her dwarf car and later died from spinal injuries received in the accident. The racer was on life support the entire time.
As the last lap ran down, a car driven by racer Sammy Smith stalled on the track. But Feller, directly behind Smith, was unable to avoid the collision. Feller hit head on against Smith’s right-front.
The 53-year-old racer was a mother and special education teacher who had been involved in the sport since 2000. This was her first season of driving.
The Feller family has released a statement about the passing of their mother.
We would like to thank the entire community of Marion, Cedar Rapids, the racing community, the Benton Community High School classmates of Joan, the Legends Racing Community, family and friends in Iowa and across the country for the overwhelming support and love they have shown the England-Feller family during this difficult time,” Feller’s family said in a prepared statement. “It is touching to our hearts that Joan was loved by so many people and impacted so many lives and we thank each and every one of you for sharing with us how much she meant to you. We appreciate continued prayers and support during this time.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family defray costs of the accident, medical costs, and other expenses with nearly $6,000 already raised.
One of Feller’s favorite fellow drivers was INEX star Joey Gase of Cedar Rapids. Gase was stunned by Feller’s death.
“I’m so very sad to hear (about her accident), but I’m glad her wishes are being met by being a donor,” Gase said. “I just can’t believe this has happened.”
Hawkeye Downs also released a statement about Feller’s passing.
Hawkeye Downs extends its deepest sympathies to the Feller family, friends, fellow racers, and fans,” the statement said. “The loss of Joan has hit the entire Hawkeye Downs Racing community including fellow racers, fans, and Hawkeye Downs Staff very hard and her memory certainly will be carried through the remainder of the 2015 season and beyond.
INEX Legends racing was founded in 1992 when racers wanted to find a cheaper alternative to stock car and other racing options. INEX cars—INEX stands for “inexpensive”—are 5/8ths the size of the classic 1930s and 1940s cars that INEX body-styles are patterned after. They are powered by more inexpensive engines, such as a Yamaha motorcycle engine.
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