VOLUNTEER KILLED: Track Was ‘Dangerously Slick’

The promoter of the Iowa State Fairgrounds Racetrack say the death of a volunteer Friday was just a freak accident.

But drivers told Channel 13 the track was dangerously slippery, and one driver says this is the most dangerous track he has been on in his 40-year career.

“Slick. Real slick. Shouldn’t have been raced on. There was no traction,” the driver said. “My back end was sliding around real bad. I saw people ahead of me signaling the flag men, putting their hands in the air and I had thumbs down”

The driver asked not to be identified because he was afraid of being black listed by other promoters, but says he and other drivers indicated the track was too slippery to race on but the race continued anyhow.

Half way through the first lap, a car lost control, slamming into a barrier. The bumper flew off the car and hit 45-year-old Richard Welch, killing him.

Drivers we spoke with say they were pressured by the promoter to race even though they didn’t feel it was safe.

“They’ve got a time schedule. They got a curfew there and they gotta get the race in. We didn’t have a drivers meeting or anything that day because there was a big rush to get things going to meet the curfew. So they were hurrying it up. They were more worried about getting the race in than the safety part of it.”

We could not reach the race promoter for a comment. The Iowa State patrol, meanwhile, continues it’s investigation into the accident.