NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. - A tough day for some Central Pennsylvania racing fans following the death of sprint car driver Greg Hodnett. He died Thursday night during a race at BAPS Motor speedway.
"It's something we don't want to see in this sport," said Todd Bender, president of York County Racing Club. "This sport reared it's ugly head at us again but I mean we will go on."
Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway Hodnett lost control of his car in the first turn of the race causing him to hit a wall. The York County Coroner says he died on impact. Bender knew Hodnett and was at the race Thursday night.
"It was somber," said Bender. "I was numb for a while and today it's settling in."
Bender remembers Hodnett as a selfless person who was much bigger than the sport of racing.
"He did things for people," said Bender. "If I needed a guest speaker, he was there. He was always there, if something was needed he would help you out."
It's not just friends of Hodnett mourning his loss, fans also spending the day remembering him. Herm Dale, a long-time fan of Hodnett spent part of Friday outside the speedway reflecting on not only Hodnett's career but the person he was.
"And what stands out to me is how nice and kind and considerate he was," said Dale. "I'm a 61-year-old male and back then I was 59 but he treated me wonderfully and gave me the time of day and that's what made me become a bigger fan."
As the hours since Hodnett's death pass by, his friends and fans say they feel like they are living a nightmare. They know the impact of Hodnett's death is felt by many.
"The track workers, the people who even witnessed the accident, it's weighing heavy on 'em," said Dale. "And that's why I'm out here today. I just needed a place to go and God bless them all. God bless Greg, God bless his soul."
According to the York County Coroner, Hodnett died of multiple blunt force trauma. The death was ruled accidental.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Hodnett's family. You can find a link here.