New Smyrna Speedway official Rusty Crews passed away early Sunday morning following the conclusion of night two of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at the Florida facility.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Crews passed away at AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach after a medical emergency following an altercation at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Volusia sheriff’s detectives are continuing a death investigation after 59-year-old Russell Crews was pronounced dead shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday at AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach,” reads the statement.
“Earlier, around 12:30 a.m., deputies had responded to New Smyrna Speedway (3939 S.R. 44, New Smyrna Beach) in reference to a large altercation between two race teams, involving a dozen or more people. Witnesses reported that Crews went in to disperse the crowd and also become involved in an altercation.
“Afterweard, with the crowd dispersed and parties separated, witnesses said Crews sat down and began having a medical episode. A witness started performing CPR on Crews before an EMS arrived, took over CPR and transported Crews to the hospital.”
While the investigation into Crews’ death is active, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office statement also notes, “…there is no evidence of a direct link between Crews’ death and any specific actions of anyone involved in the altercation.”
During Saturday’s racing program, four drivers across two divisions were disqualified in post-race technical inspection. Two of those drivers in the Sportsman division were disqualified for, “a combination of unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse of officials and conduct detrimental to the sport” as a result of a physical altercation in the technical inspection area. According to multiple sources, another altercation occurred in the pit area at the conclusion of Saturday night’s racing and Crews attempted to break up that altercation.
Sunday’s racing program at New Smyrna Speedway is continuing as planned. Sunday’s racing includes Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Florida Modifieds and 602 Modifieds.
Speed51 offers its heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Rusty Crews’ friends and family, as well as everyone involved with New Smyrna Speedway and the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
-Speed51 Staff Report
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo