- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A race track volunteer died after being hit by an airborne bumper when a hobby stock car crashed at the Iowa State Fair Speedway in Des Moines, a speedway promoter said Saturday.

The volunteer spotter was behind cement blocks in the infield near the backstretch on the north side of the track when the crash happened Friday night, The Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/1miWThA ).

Authorities have not yet named the volunteer killed, but Midwest Racing Promotions, which manages speedway races, identified the man as 45-year-old Richard Welch.

The stock car lost control on the dirt track at about 8:30 p.m. and hit part of the concrete barrier, sending debris went over the barrier, Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Ben Lampe said.

Speedway promoter Tony Moro, who witnessed the Friday crash, said Welch was a spotter who regularly volunteered at three Central Iowa dirt tracks.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one of those hobby stocks flip that violently in my life,” Moro told the Register. “And I’ve been around racing a long time.”

Welch lived with his grandmother in Winterset and rarely missed work during his 30 years serving in the parts department for Watters Autoland in Indianola, the newspaper reported.

Moro said Welch was a passionate racing fan and spent years notifying the flagman whenever he spotted trouble in Turn 3 at the speedway.

He also worked at tracks in Stuart and Indianola.

“He lived it,” Moro said. “He was the first one to the track and he was the last one to leave.”

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com


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