“Racing Experience” Questions


July 14, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

If you are a NASCAR or Formula 1 racing fan, or if you just love fast cars, you may have heard about “racing experiences.” They allow you to get behind the wheel of a real race car and try it out after some classroom time and safety instruction. They go by names such as the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience or the Mario Andretti Racing Experience. It’s one of a number of “fantasy experiences” that have sprung up in the last few years, and you can sometimes get a deal online to try them. It’s common to drive more than 100 mph; in fact, it’s expected that you will.

To a number of us, this really sounds like fun. Certainly 30-year-old Stephen Cox from Decatur, Indiana, who participated in the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (RWRE) at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY, was eager to get into his car. But something went wrong, and Cox was killed.

No Answers Yet

A lot of answers are still missing, and it’s not known definitively why the man had the fatal accident. It is the only fatality that the RWRE has ever had. However, the man’s family filed a lawsuit in June, 2015, alleging that the steering wheel of the racecar broke off in his hands while he circled the track at over 100 mph, leaving him unable to control the car. He crashed into a concrete wall and died of his injuries a week later.

The steering wheels are designed to be removed, because drivers need to climb in and out of the confined cockpits. The wheels must then be placed back on the shaft and locked in place. Allegations are that the wheel was put on upside down and was not locked on.

At least two previous participants in the RWRE allege that their steering wheels fell off in their hands, though at other racetracks. One man crashed into a wall and walked away uninjured. The second man, a Spanish tourist, crashed into a wall and broke both legs. It was ruled that the company was not liable, and he is pursuing an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court.

Fatal accidents have also occurred at other tracks with other companies. During April of 2015, at the Exotic Driving Experience based at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, FL, a 36-year-old passenger died when the Lamborghini he was riding in slammed into a guardrail. The 24-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle. He was hospitalized with minor injuries.

When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

Did a loved one suffer an injury or death while enjoying a fantasy experience or similar entertainment? If you think you might have a case, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing Indiana personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If there was injury or death as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us for immediate help. At Stephenson Rife, we believe justice matters.

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