YORK HAVEN, Pa. — Popular sprint car driver Greg Hodnett has died from injuries suffered in a crash during Thursday night’s 410 sprint car feature at BAPS Motor Speedway. Hodnett was 49 years old.
Hodnett, driving Mike Heffner’s familiar No. 27, started ninth but had worked his way into the top five during the 30-lap feature when an apparent mechanical failure on lap 28 sent him into the turn-one wall at the four-tenths-mile dirt oval near the entrance to the pit area.
The car flipped before coming to rest, according to CBS 21.
Danny Dietrich was declared the winner of the event, while the remainder of the racing program was canceled.
A second-generation driver from Memphis, Tenn., Hodnett spent the majority of his career racing in Central Pennsylvania and became an adopted member of the famed Pennsylvania Posse.
Before settling in Pennsylvania in recent years, Hodnett was a frequent traveler with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, winning 22 features during his career with the world’s best-known sprint car circuit. Hodnett was the World of Outlaws rookie of the year in 1993.
He also won 22 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions features.
Hodnett scored 73 feature wins and was a five-time track champion at Pennsylvania’s legendary Williams Grove Speedway.
Earlier this summer, Hodnett left his mark on the 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals, winning the opening night preliminary feature before starting 14th and finishing 15th in the weekend’s 50-lap championship main.
In addition to Heffner, Hodnett drove for some of the sport’s most recognizable teams, including the No. 12 Apple Motorsports team, Selma Shell Racing. Millennium Motorsports, Hamilton Motorsports and Two Winners Racing.
“To me, Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter.
Hodnett’s website was updated with the following statement on Thursday night:
“Please keep Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers. Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed.”