Prayers and condolences were pouring in Monday for the family of well-known drag racer Jason Lumpkin of Fort Worth who was killed Sunday when his CRX Honda crashed at Kansas International Dragway in Maize, Kan.
Friends said that Lumpkin could have been going about 150 mph.
Lumpkin, 34, was rushed to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis in Wichita, Kan., where he was pronounced dead, according to Kansas television stations.
A friend, Derek Dunbar of Baton Rougue, La., said Monday that Lumpkin’s CRX Honda hit a bumpy stretch near the finish line and he lost control, sliding into a guardrail and then flipping several times.
“It wasn’t driver error,” Dunbar said.
Dunbar was not at the track but said he had talked to drivers who were there. He said he had known Lumpkin for more than 15 years.
Dragway officials could not be reached to comment Monday. A Facebook post said: “The staff of Kansas International Dragway extends its deepest sympathies and prayers to Lumpkin’s family and friends.”Dozens of other posts on social media also expressed grief.
Sloan Wood posted on Facebook, “Racing community lost one of the best around today. RIP Jason Lumpkin my condolences to his family.”
The event was an Import Face-Off, and drag racers were attempting to qualify on a quarter-mile track. A witness, Logan Majors, told KWCH-TV in Wichita that Lumpkin’s crash was the second in as many races.
Majors told a KWCH reporter that the driver in the first race was not swerving until he passed the finish line and crashed. “It just looked like he was on skates,” Majors told the reporter.
Dunbar said that racer had broken ribs.
After that, Lumpkin switched lanes to avoiding racing in the lane where the first driver crashed, Dunbar said.
Majors told KWCH-TV that Lumpkin also looked like he lost traction and skated across the finish line.
“The CRX ended up flipping two or three times, and landed really hard,” Majors said.
Dunbar said that Lumpkin was an icon in the motor sport.
“He was very well known in this sport,” Dunbar said. “He was my best friend and a brother.
“This is a very dangerous sport. We know the risks involved, but this is what we do for a living.”