Tragedy struck the sport of drag racing once more on Saturday afternoon when a high-speed incident at a northwestern Ohio track claimed the life of a racer and sent another to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
56-year old Richard Moore of Cleveland was tragically killed while competing at the Thompson Raceway Park on Saturday afternoon when his popular stick-shift Dodge Dart went out of control near the quarter-mile finish stripe and careened into the guardrail. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene, and to both carry out the investigation and to honor their fallen comrade, the remaining racing activities for the day were cancelled.
Moore, who track officials, fellow racers, and fans regarded as one of the most well-respected and well-liked racers in the area, had been a longtime competitor at Thompson in the very car he drove to high school.
According to a report offered by a close friend of Moore’s, the Mopar aficionado had just installed a new aftermarket four-speed on the car to replace the stock-type four-speed transmission and was learning the in’s and out’s of operating the new combination that afternoon when tragedy struck. According to that report, the car made a hard left turn into the wall just beyond the finish line at the conclusion of an 8.58-second, 151 MPH lap and shot back across the race track into the opposite guardrail. Chuck Waid, who was alongside Moore on the fateful run in his dragster, crashed in an effort to avoid the out-of-control Dart and was hospitalized with undisclosed injuries.
Moore was a proud member of the Coalition of Urban Drag Racers Association and competed with a number of regional series, including the United Manual Transmission Racers (UMTR). Competitors with the Renegade Racing Association heads-up street legal series that were part of the racing program on Saturday collectively donated all of their entry fees to the family of Moore following the accident, and other funds have been set up on the Yellow Bullet forum.
These types of posts are certainly the toughest to deliver and as journalists we sign on every morning hoping we’ll never have to write another one. We didn’t have the fortune of knowing or meeting Richard Moore, but no question he went out doing what he loved and left behind a legacy to be proud of.