Racing veteran David Steele died after his car slammed into a retaining wall at a Florida racetrack over the weekend.
Steele, 42, was competing in the sprint car race Southern Car Spring Shootout Series at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton on Saturday evening when his front tire clipped the wheel of the car in front of him, sending him spinning into the wall.
He was pronounced dead at the scene .
"Tonight I am stunned to hear that Dave Steele has been killed in a sprint car," pro-driver Andy Cobb wrote on Facebook of the Indianapolis native who resided in Tampa. "Dave has been one of my closest racing friends for a long time. I can't believe this."
Alex Bowman, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, tweeted: "Man, I love open wheel racing, but something has to change. RIP Dave Steele. One of the best pavement sprint car and midget guys ever."
The speedway noted Steele's impressive career accolades in a Facebook post.
"He recently won his 100th feature in the state of Florida — the first to ever accomplish that feat — when he took the checkered flag in the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series feature at 4-17 Southern Speedway," read the message.
The racer was also "the USAC Silver Crown champion in 2004 and 2005, won the prestigious Little 500 in 1996 and 2009 and was the winner of the 2001 and 2003 Turkey Night Grand Prix events at Irwindale Speedway in California."
Steele leaves behind a wife, Lynn, and three kids.
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