RACING DEATH: Some Drivers Blame Promoter

Over the past few days, several drivers and pit crew workers have told Channel 13 the track at the Iowa State Fair was “dangerously slick” when a volunteer worker was killed last week.

One pit crew worker, who asked us to shield his identity because he was afraid he would be black listed from the sport, said the track was so slick drivers couldn’t get any traction. “Nothing but spinning,” he said. “We have drivers that have been racing their whole lives spinning out in the first turn. That’s a sign the track was just terrible.”

Richard Welch was killed when an out of control race car slammed into a barrier. It’s bumper flew off and hit Welch. Some drivers we spoke with say the race should have been stopped before that happened because the track was just too slippery.

Race promoter Tony Moro of Midwest Racing Promotions disagrees.

“It’s just, it’s gotten out of control,” Moro said. “It’s too bad that people can’t understand that the track surface itself had no determination in this. I mean I’ve seen much slicker tracks. I’ve seen much tackier tracks. But we built a race track that night that was plenty safe to race on.”

Moro said he has spent considerable time and money making this track as safe as possible. It’s so safe, he says, even his son drives on it, “My son races here every week.”

Moro added, “And if I thought this track wasn’t safe I would set him down before I did anybody. And he didn’t have a problem with it. Matter of fact he won that night.”

Parts of the track were watered down before the race and race cars did several laps to mat the dirt track down.

Some drivers we spoke with believe the track should have been matted down more, but they were pressured to get on with the race by promoters.

And the pit crew worker we spoke with says, because of that pressure, Moro is directly responsible for Welch’s death. “I feel he is for not letting the track work in, rushing everything, making it rush, rush, rush, rush to get the races in before curfew.”

“Well I hate that he thinks that,” Moro replied. “But if it were my fault I’d step up and be counted because I certainly don’t see it that way. I certainly do not.”

Moro said there was no pressure to go ahead with the race because they were running ahead of schedule. He added the track had not been watered down in the area where the crash happened and Moro no drivers indicated to him or the flag man that the track was too dangerous.

Drivers we spoke with said they did give the thumbs down symbol, meaning they were not ready to race.

The Iowa State Patrol continues it’s investigation into the accident.

10 comments

  • Mark

    Horrible accidents happen on dry tracks all the time and occasionally someone gets killed including spectators and track personel. This was a freak accident. Who could have predicted a bumper would fly off and hit someone, wet track or dry. If the drivers felt the track was not safe, they should have not raced. After all, one of the drivers lost control of his car not the promoter! It was an accident but if you have to place blame, the go after the drivers and their personal promoters and pit crews.

    • William Denison

      “occasionally someone gets killed including spectators and track personel”…I guessing your saying its no big deal. Wow! You and your kind are thoughtless monkeys and sheep. Anything to keep driving in circles like a dog chasing its own tail.

  • Jess

    If the drivers truly felt it was not safe, give the thumbs down. If you did that, and they didn’t stop the race, get your car off the track. there is no one holding a gun to your head forcing you to run a race you feel is not safe.
    yes, you would lose some money. People have said that it was Tony Moro’s greed that caused this death. Drivers that ran what they felt to be an unsafe race because they didn’t want to lose money are no better.

  • matt

    You really should talk to more than a few drivers that have actual facts the majority of our racing community is very upset with the reporting of this issue it was not the track or promoters fault this happened. We were not rushed if so why did we have intermission and time for the children to be taken through the pits to see the drivers before the features??? And took their time watering the top of the corners and packing it down where none of the cars were even running prior to the features… furthermore the accident did not happen in the corner it takes skill to drive on a dry track we do it all the time. Quit blowing up an issue you have no actual facts or real information from actual drivers that are there every week and making the guy that is trying to fix the place look bad is bad for everyone involved.come to the track Friday and try to interview some actual racers and you will get a real story. Rip. Bones.

  • mark darlington

    last time a driver was killed at the track it was to dusty for the driver to see a car had spun and stopped on track and couldnt avoid him in time. i dont see anyone standing up to take over the track promoter job

  • Troy V

    Hate to break this to the un-informed. Racetracks have a better safety record than the highway you drive on daily….

  • Wife of a Racer

    I am tired of everyone blaming the promoter, has anyone thought to look at the car to make sure it was built and welded to standards. No one wants to point their finger at the driver, maybe he was the issue not the track. If you don’t race or have never raced or been apart of the racing family then you have no room to talk. I have seen bad accidents that people have walked away from and little accidents that someone is taken to the hospital. So no one knows what will happen. RIP Bones

  • daniel routh

    I think everyone needs back up and look at all the good Tony has done for this race track.if it would have been last year a lot more people would have gotten hurt last Friday because the inside walls were not in place.i stand behind Tony and the choices he’s made .he’s done more then mic ever thought about.and yes I was standing in turn 3 when the wreck happened.i saw the whole thing unfold.rip bones.you we be truly missed. Routh Boyz racing 33x.

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