A Supermodified driver at California’s Madera Speedway died Saturday night. Donnie Large of Clovis, California was leading the 360 Supermodified feature when his car crashed in turns one and two on the 21stlap of the race.


Large was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours after the crash took place.


According to KMPH FOX26, Large’s brother, Terry, said the family believes the 52-year-old Large had a heart attack while behind the wheel of the car, however, the cause of death still has yet to be determined.


Large is believed to be the all-time winningest driver at the California 1/3-mile oval.


Witnesses told ABC30 Action News that Large’s car began to slow and then made contact with the turn one wall before he was hit by another car in turn two. Large’s son, Donnie Jr. inherited the lead as a result of the crash and was the eventual winner.


“When I lost my dad, I won the race,” Large Jr. told ABC30 Action News. “You can have that back. I don’t want it.”


Madera Speedway president, Kenny Shepherd, released the following statement on the speedway’s Facebook page on Sunday afternoon.


“Saturday evening Donnie Large Sr. was leading the 360 Super Modified race at Madera Speedway when on lap 21 while coming down the front straightaway it appeared as though his car broke and lost power. Donnie coasted around turns one and two as the car slowed down and then gently kissed the turn two wall and left to slowly come down the track until it stopped against the inside retaining wall after making contact with third-place driver Lance Jackson.


“Later that evening we found out we lost Donnie. Reports indicate he was unconscious while entering turn one and likely suffered a medical emergency while in the race car leading the race.”


The entire statement from the race track can be read below.


Madera, Ca. (8-12-18) – Saturday evening Donnie Large Sr. was leading the 360 Super Modified race at the Madera Speedway…

Posted by Madera Speedway on Sunday, August 12, 2018


-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo credit: Fresno Bee

California Racer Dies After Crashing While Leading Race