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60-Year-Old Man Dies In Richard Petty Driving Experience Crash
local6 ^ | February 4, 2008

Posted on 02/04/2008 10:43:18 AM PST by stainlessbanner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A 60-year-old tourist died after he crashed while driving a Richard Petty Driving Experience NASCAR vehicle at the Daytona International Speedway.

Track officials said Robert Boswell was driving around the speedway Sunday night when he somehow lost control of the race car and crashed into a wall.

Boswell was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he was declared dead at about 7 p.m., officials said.

Cars can reach speeds of 120 mph in the simulated stock car racing attraction at the Daytona Beach International Speedway.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine if any health condition contributed to the crash.

Boswell was an avid race fan, officials said.

The Richard Petty driving experience was closed to the public Monday because of the crash.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: daytona; experience; nascar; petty
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1 posted on 02/04/2008 10:43:23 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner

Well, at least he died happy.


2 posted on 02/04/2008 10:46:46 AM PST by Obadiah
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To: Obadiah

Yeah and he probably had to sign a release.


3 posted on 02/04/2008 10:47:34 AM PST by CindyDawg (Go the distance Huckabee.)
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To: stainlessbanner

It’s a shame, but this guy wanted to do something with an element of danger. No doubt his family will sue. Chances are the price of the driving experience will be raised, if it isn’t closed altogether.

Since when did freedom come to mean freedom from harm?


4 posted on 02/04/2008 10:49:18 AM PST by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: stainlessbanner
Not to be cold, condolences to the man's family.

But I've signed a waiver at Texas Motor Speedway just to ride along, not drive.

It said, my fault, their fault, nobody's fault, I would pay for any damages !

5 posted on 02/04/2008 10:49:57 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: stainlessbanner

If I have to go, this is one of the ways I’d want to go. Prayers for the man and his family.


6 posted on 02/04/2008 10:51:33 AM PST by MarineBrat (My wife and I took an AIDS vaccination that the Church offers.)
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Next up, lawsuit, followed by the end of this type of entertainment.


7 posted on 02/04/2008 10:52:40 AM PST by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: TexasCajun

Same here.

I used to race limited late models on the local dirt tracks. Had to sign a waiver at every track.

That’s why we used to say it’s $500 worth of car and $10,000 worth of safety equipment.


8 posted on 02/04/2008 10:53:54 AM PST by 2111USMC
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To: stainlessbanner
Updated at 1:10 p.m.

By MARK DeCOTIS
FLORIDA TODAY

An Apopka man celebrating his 60th birthday by driving a stock car in the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Daytona International Speedway was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon after his car hit the inside wall on the track’s backstretch.
The man has been identified as Robert Boswell. The speedway said the accident happened about 5 p.m. and Boswell was taken to Halifax Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The death was the first in the Driving Experience’s presence at the speedway that began in 1998, speedway media relations director David Talley said.
There are no SAFER barriers on the backstretch wall at the speedway. The steel and foam barriers, designed to lessen the impact of crashes, are installed in the turns and the frontstretch trioval at the 2.5-mile speedway.
Boswell was driving a Chevy Monte Carlo-bodied stock car behind an instructor in another car on the fourth lap of an eight-lap driving program called Daytona High-Banks 8, said Chris McKee, the RPDE director of media relations. He estimated Boswell was traveling at an estimated 70 mph when the instructor noticed Boswell’s car driving in a “herky-jerky” motion,
“The first three laps everything seemed to be fairly normal,” said McKee, adding Boswell’s third lap was timed at a top speed of 125 mph.
“On lap four, he got down to turn one and started driving sort of some jerky motions at the wheel. The instructor in front of him noticed he was having a problem, looked and it appears as though the participant had kind of slumped over the wheel and lost control of the car and slowed down off turn two” before hitting the inside wall.
McKee said Boswell was wearing a helmet, head and neck restraint and the standard five-point safety harness. The speedway impounded the car, Daytona Beach Police said. McKee said the Driving Experience will break the car apart to investigate for any possible malfunctions.
McKee said while it appears Boswell suffered a heart attack it was speculation at this point. There have been two other deaths in the 16-year history of the program founded by seven-time NASCAR champion and seven-time Daytona 500 winner Richard Petty and both were linked to heart attacks, McKee said.
The program was suspended for the day immediately following Boswell’s crash. It is scheduled to return to Daytona on Feb. 11 and 12. The program, which features both driving and ride-along programs, has a presence at 25 tracks nationwide including Homestead-Miami and the speedway at Walt Disney World.
McKee said participants sign a liability waiver before driving as well filling out a medical form that asks questions including if they have high blood pressure, are pregnant.
Daytona Beach Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt would not comment on the circumstances of the accident saying they were awaiting results of an autopsy scheduled for Monday afternoon.

9 posted on 02/04/2008 10:53:56 AM PST by A. Morgan (VOTE McCain HE'LL CLOSE GITMO N' BRING THOSE TERRORIST TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!)
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To: stainlessbanner

Scary, since my old man (who is 60) wants to go out, if given the choice, on a race track — preferably at the end of a 1/4-mile run.


10 posted on 02/04/2008 10:57:25 AM PST by Disturbin (Liberals: buying votes with your money)
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To: Obadiah
Well, at least he died happy

or soiling his pants.

11 posted on 02/04/2008 10:59:33 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Dixie Yooper

Or as Bill Cosby put it, “First you say it, then you do it.”


12 posted on 02/04/2008 11:01:23 AM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: stainlessbanner
it appears as though the participant had kind of slumped over the wheel and lost control of the car

Sounds as if he was dead or unconscious before the crash.

14 posted on 02/04/2008 11:07:06 AM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: jiggyboy
He meant to sign up for “The Dale Ernhardt Driving Experience”.

He signed up for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and got the Dale Ernhardt Driving experience intead.

15 posted on 02/04/2008 11:07:09 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: A. Morgan
Judging from that report it definately sounds like a heart attack. Guess we will have to wait for the official coroner's determination, but unless thier was some catastrophic failure of the safety equipment there is really no reason for anyone to die in a 70 mph crash in a NASCAR vehicle.

The erratic movements, and report the driver looked like he was slumped over the wheel tends to lead toward heart attack. Another possibility is that his body couldn't handle the G-forces of the speed and 38 degree banking and he passed out.

16 posted on 02/04/2008 11:07:33 AM PST by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to protect it.)
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To: jiggyboy
That's cold, man, in a morbidly humorous way.

Maybe he meant to take the, "KYLE Petty Driving CAREER Experience"? Non?

17 posted on 02/04/2008 11:07:51 AM PST by rvoitier (Remember, she's just Mrs. Bill Clinton)
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To: tubebender

Ping


18 posted on 02/04/2008 11:09:44 AM PST by LasVegasMac (Islam: Bringing the world death and destruction for 1400 years!)
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To: stainlessbanner
A lot of my co-workers went to the Richard Petty place in Charlotte. They loved it. But I have to question the 120 MPH they go.

Whats the big deal there? If I am going to be pretty big bucks to drive a NASCAR car, I want the thing to be real. Not a wimped down version. I'll pass until they replace the kiddy cars with the real deal.

Oh, and our Gov., Mike Easley, has crashed 2 cars at Lowes Motor Speedway and a 3rd on city streets!

19 posted on 02/04/2008 11:11:20 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Dixie Yooper; jiggyboy
He meant to sign up for “The Dale Ernhardt Driving Experience”.

He signed up for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and got the Dale Ernhardt Driving experience intead.

Sick sense of humor ... and uncalled for.

20 posted on 02/04/2008 11:15:18 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

Well, at least I know where the comment that went through my mind would have ended up if I had hit the post button.

21 posted on 02/04/2008 11:15:19 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Rattenschadenfreude: joy at a Democrat's pain, especially Hillary's pain caused by Obama.)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Sounds as if he was dead or unconscious before the crash.

Probably had a heart attack at all the excitement.

22 posted on 02/04/2008 11:16:53 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: Phantom Lord

I agree. 120 in a NASCAR doesn’t seem that different from doing 90 in my truck on a normal day between DC and Baltimore on I-95. If I am paying money I want to go fast; 180 or more fast if possible depending on the track.


23 posted on 02/04/2008 11:19:43 AM PST by CollegeRepublican
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To: stainlessbanner

With all due respect to the dead man, its asinine to allow novices onto a racetrack. Just as it would be to climb aboard a space shuttle or dive into a shark cage.

Certain activities require a level of expertise, and paying simple admission isn’t a qualifier.


24 posted on 02/04/2008 11:19:47 AM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: KarlInOhio

I was ready to post the same thing. I guess some people still worship St. Dale and insist his name shall not be mocked.


25 posted on 02/04/2008 11:21:57 AM PST by Tall_Texan (No Third Term For Bill Clinton!)
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To: Obadiah

With no statistics at hand, I’ll postulate that the death/injury rate per mile for the PDE is better than for the general public on suburban roads.

Just as the death/injury rate for a US soldier working in Iraq is lower than if he/she was in many US urban areas.


26 posted on 02/04/2008 11:24:22 AM PST by nascarnation
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To: al_c
I did the DE at Charlotte last fall. I hit 140 and to tell you the truth I think if the let me, I would have gone much faster.

It was much more physical than I thought it was going to be. The Cars are really striped down and you vibrate with the RPM, teeth and all. I did start to doubt my confidence after the car was started and the belts were tight, (real tight!) But I hit the gas and tailgated the spotter in front of me for 8 laps.

I'd do it again.

27 posted on 02/04/2008 11:26:41 AM PST by Afronaut (RIght now Ron Paul has my vote. He has become the only choice.)
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To: CollegeRepublican

I hear there are a couple drag racing experience places with full blown, top fuel dragsters that will do in excess of 300 MPH. I would much rather do that.


28 posted on 02/04/2008 11:29:46 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: stainlessbanner

Maybe they could rename it the

Dale Ernhardt Experience


29 posted on 02/04/2008 11:31:14 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: There is no god named Allah, and Muhammed is a false prophet)
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To: Kozak

Cold but funny.


30 posted on 02/04/2008 11:32:32 AM PST by bmwcyle (What is the American voter thinking?)
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To: Disturbin
On lap four, he got down to turn one and started driving sort of some jerky motions at the wheel. The instructor in front of him noticed he was having a problem, looked and it appears as though the participant had kind of slumped over the wheel and lost control of the car and slowed down off turn two” before hitting the inside wall.

Sounds like a heart attack behind the wheel to me...

31 posted on 02/04/2008 11:34:22 AM PST by 5thGenTexan
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To: Right Wing Assault

I just did this last summer (IT WAS FRICKIN’ AWESOME!).

But, that being said - you can’t “slump over the wheel” with all the straps and safety equip.


32 posted on 02/04/2008 11:34:32 AM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: al_c

The heat inside is about 30-40 degrees higher than ambient. Maybe a stroke or something.


33 posted on 02/04/2008 11:35:30 AM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Obadiah

>>Well, at least he died happy.<<

That’s what I was thinking.

Meanwhile, I’ve had my Chrysler 300m at over 130 in Montana. It is amazing how tight those “gradual” turns feel at that speed.


34 posted on 02/04/2008 11:37:20 AM PST by RobRoy
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To: Senator Goldwater

i agree - i did the ride-along at lowes (165 mph!!)
highly recommmended and i love nascar - but that’s why i didn’t drive it to start. there’s a reason they make all that $$
man, whatta rush, though!

everybody should try it!


35 posted on 02/04/2008 11:38:47 AM PST by wayne_b24 (every day in the Light is a good day ... John 8:12 & 14:6; Psalm 119:105; Joshua 24:15)
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To: Senator Goldwater

>>With all due respect to the dead man, its asinine to allow novices onto a racetrack.<<

If the top speed is 120, it is hardly a “racetrack”. Also, if he was alone, he wasn’t racing. It is probably the safest place in the country to do those kind of speeds.


36 posted on 02/04/2008 11:41:26 AM PST by RobRoy
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To: RobRoy

I drove a GMC Syclone 125 mph for two laps around Rockingham once....then they saw me and I took off.

Honestly, it felt like the truck was glued to the track and everything was slow motion, since the track is much wider than a lane on the freeway.


37 posted on 02/04/2008 11:43:37 AM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Senator Goldwater
Boy, glad you're not a race promoter. No novices allowed. You all have to have experience.

How, exactly, do you get track experience without being a novice at one point?

You have to start somewhere.

38 posted on 02/04/2008 11:43:59 AM PST by IYAS9YAS
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To: Afronaut

My boss a few years ago did the one at Charlotte, like you did. He said it was the greatest thrill of his life. He had the pictures of him in the driving suit standing next to the car, and him with his helmet on strapped in.

That poor guy had to have had a heart attack or something before the car hit the wall. 70 mph in a stock car, that’s barely a love tap with all the safety equipment they have.

}:-)4


39 posted on 02/04/2008 11:50:39 AM PST by Moose4 (Wasting away again in Michaelnifongville.)
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To: stainlessbanner

RIP.


40 posted on 02/04/2008 12:00:15 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: RobRoy
If the top speed is 120, it is hardly a “racetrack”.

There are plenty of racetracks where you can't drive at 120 mph in any car. In this instance, though, it is the car that is the limitation. They are probably de-tuned to an acceptable performance level for student race drivers.

Nascar cars are not particularly quick anyway, they have nothing like the performance of Formula 1 or even Indy Cars. For instance, the Nascar lap record at Phoenix's PIR is 26.499 secs (135.84 MPH) Whereas the Indy Cars routinely lap at 20 seconds or below which means they are averaging 180 MPH or more.

I know of an AC Cobra that holds (or held) the production car lap record at Daytona at an average speed of 198 MPH. So, the thrack is not the limitation in this instance, Daytona is a Super Speedway.

41 posted on 02/04/2008 12:18:51 PM PST by Wil H
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To: Obadiah

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my Grandpa did... Not yelling and screaming like the four other people he had in his car...


42 posted on 02/04/2008 12:29:19 PM PST by gridlock (Proud Romney Supporter since January 20, 2008)
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To: Wil H

>>There are plenty of racetracks where you can’t drive at 120 mph in any car. In this instance, though, it is the car that is the limitation. They are probably de-tuned to an acceptable performance level for student race drivers. <<

Yeah, I worded mine poorly. What I actually was trying to get across was that if he was driving on a track that was meant to be an asphalt race track, 120 isn’t very fast.

Does anybody know how fast the pace car goes around a Nascar track?


43 posted on 02/04/2008 12:30:53 PM PST by RobRoy
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To: RobRoy

When I did the ride with a driver, we got to 147 as I was screaming, “faster! faster!”

They’re around 200 mph and more in a race. I don’t know the averages.


44 posted on 02/04/2008 12:36:59 PM PST by Lady Jag (Always look on the bright side of life)
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To: RobRoy
Meanwhile, I’ve had my Chrysler 300m at over 130 in Montana. It is amazing how tight those “gradual” turns feel at that speed.

I remember once I was taking my Mazda 323 from Flint, Michigan to Detroit Metro Airport. I was in a real hurry, so I had the thing floored. The speedo needle was pegged at 95, but I was well past that.

I got to a fork where the Interstate divides in a very gradual turn. I nearly wound up molded into a bridge abutment, the thing came up so fast. I had driven that road a hundred times before, and things are just different when you double the speed.

45 posted on 02/04/2008 12:37:21 PM PST by gridlock (Proud Romney Supporter since January 20, 2008)
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To: stainlessbanner

I’m sure he signed a release form.


46 posted on 02/04/2008 12:37:45 PM PST by toddlintown (Building More Highways For Children---Huckleberry Talking Point)
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To: CollegeRepublican

120 really isnt that fast in those cars. Heck I brought my wife’s Lexus SUV up to 100 on the way to the FL panhandle once (while she was napping ;) ) and it still had a little more.

Hadn’t done over 100 since I was in college, and the last time I did was in a BMW 2002 and the wheels about came off. Cars now are built so much better in many ways now.


47 posted on 02/04/2008 12:44:05 PM PST by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: gridlock

Yeah, my speedo only goes to 120, and I was way past that. But I know my car has a governor at 140.

And yeah, I’ve taken the Montanabahn in my Chrysler, an oldsmobile rental and a Dodge intrepid rental. My 300 has the “performance” suspension package. It is why the governor is at 140.

The package doesn’t make it a BMW, but with the Dodge and the Oldsmobile, you could feel the difference in the front and rear suspension geometry at the slightest bump while cornering over 100. The Chrysler was VERY tight. It was a LOT of fun.


48 posted on 02/04/2008 12:46:30 PM PST by RobRoy
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To: stainlessbanner
Better that than in some nursing home. Let’s go racin boys!
49 posted on 02/04/2008 12:49:08 PM PST by McGruff (McCain: "We don't want them to lay in the weeds until we leave." It means a timetable)
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To: RobRoy

Super Speedways like Daytona and Charlotte are run at speeds around 200MPH, other tracks are slower. One mile ovals are around 130 MPH and smaller tracks are slower still.

The pace car is usually running at around half to two thirds race pace.

The speed at which he was going is only half the story, the angle he hit at is also a significant factor. I have hit walls at over 100 MPH and walked away. A glancing blow at high speed is far less dangerous than head on at 30MPH


50 posted on 02/04/2008 12:49:42 PM PST by Wil H
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