Texas has had a long history of racing; we've seen several drivers win and become champions. Sadly though we've seen many lost their lives way too soon. Some of them have died at Daytona. Since the Daytona International Speedway has opened up in 1959, a total of 41 people have died at the track; including Neil Bonnet, Don Williams Jr and Dale Earnhardt. Among those fatalities, 3 have been from Texas.

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Byrne E Taylor (Feb. 17, 1906 - June 14, 1959)

The first Texas racer who died at Daytona was Dr. Bernie Taylor (aka Byrne E Taylor) from Wills Point, Texas. Byrne died during the inaugural boat racing event of Lake Lloyd inside the Daytona Speedway. On the 3rd lap, Byrne's #F50 hydroplane spun out and threw him into the water, where he struck by an oncoming racer. He was killed on impact. Dr. Byrne was 53 years old.

Billy Wade (Feb 28, 1930 - Jan. 5, 1965)

NBR via YouTube
NBR via YouTube

Billy Wade from Newton County, near Houston, died during a private tire testing session at Daytona. Billy's tire burst going into turn one & #1 Mercury would shoot straight into the wall. His seat broke loose, causing Billy to shoot forward into the steering wheel. He would died due to internal injuries. Billy was 34 years old.

Joe "Rusty" Bradley (August 8, 1949 - March 14, 1971)

NBR via YouTube
NBR via YouTube

The last person from Texas to die at Daytona was famed motorcycle rider Joe "Rusty" Bradley from Dallas, Texas. During the AMA-American Motorcyclist Association Daytona 200, Rusty lost control of his #61 Kawasaki bike during the first lap. Rusty would hit his head on the asphalt, receiving massive head injuries. Rusty would pass away hours later at the Halifax Hospital at the age of 21 years old.

Of course as mentioned before, over 40 people have all tragically died at the Daytona International Speedway. You can see some amazing detail that NBR gave on every single person who passed away on his YouTube video called "40 Souls".

R.I.P. To Billy, Byrne, Rusty & everyone who has passed away doing what they loved.

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