Ever since the start of NASCAR & racing, Texas has made its mark on the sport. From drivers winning the Daytona 500, to becoming champions, to lives taken away too soon. Sadly that's also happened at the Texas Motor Speedway, the most well known race track in the state. We've seen drivers & innocent people pass away in the track's history.

The track's first fatality during a race came during the 2000 O'Reilly 400

The year 2000 was a dark year for NASCAR; earlier that year we lost future stars such as Adam Petty & Kenny Irwin Jr. Sadly we would see another drive lost their life that year; Anthony Dean Roper, aka Tony Roper.

NFJJ via YouTube
NFJJ via YouTube

The Springfield, Missouri driver was driving the #26 Ford F-150 during the Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway. In an attempt to avoid hitting fellow racers Rick Ware & Steve Grissom, Roper's truck hit Steve's and shot head-first towards to the wall. Tony was knocked unconscious as he was pulled from the wreck.

Tony Roper #26
Getty Images

Sadly Tony suffered a severe neck injury & was airlifted to Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital. He was placed in intensive care but would tragically pass away from his injuries on October 14, 2000.

Tony's life & career is never forgotten; many people online still look back on his career & remembered the talent we lost in October 2000.

There was a suicide that occurred on April 14, 2013 during the NRA 500 NASCAR race

This one didn't happen on the track; it actually happened in the track's infield. A 42 Texas man from Saginaw named Kirk Franklin died from a self-inflicted gunshot would after an argument broke out with some fellow campers. Fort Worth police were able to confirm that alcohol was indeed a factor in Kirk's death.

An 87 year old man died while riding in a race car at the Texas Motor Speedway

This one would suppose count as an "on-track" fatality but this wasn't during a race. Don Krusemark was a well known blood donor & World War II veteran from Dallas that took part in the Texas Driving Experience, which allows fans to ride-along with a professional at speeds of 100 mph at the track. Don signed up as a passenger in a Chevy Corvette and it raced along the track.

When one of the drivers attempted to pass the Corvette with Don inside, the car crashed into the wall. Don would sadly from a life-ending injury.

Even a 14 year old girl died during a go kart race at the Texas Motor Speedway

Kierstin Eaddy from Grapevine, Texas, was taking part of a Sports Car Club of America race inside the parking lot of the Texas Motor Speedway. After crossing the finish line, Kierstin was unable to stop her kart and she would hit a low cable barrier. She was flown to the Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and would die shortly after arriving. She died on July 20, 2014.

May Don, Kirk, Kierstin & Tony all rest in peace...

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