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Race Car Driver Dies After Crash

August 13, 2006

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) _ A sprint car driver died after crashing into a turn on the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, race organizers said.

The Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series is investigating the accident that killed Joe Rebman of Mansfield on Friday night, the racing league said in a release on its Web site Sunday.

Rebman, 21, was pronounced dead at MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital shortly after 11 p.m., a nursing supervisor said. Richland County Coroner Stewart Ryckman said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Rebman was competing in the 30-lap feature race around the half-mile track when his car hit a wall during the 26th lap and flipped onto its side. Emergency workers tended to him on the track, and the rest of the race was canceled.

Rebman was driving a sprint car, an open wheel vehicle that can reach speeds topping 150 mph, speedway president Chris Mize said. Mize declined to comment on the details of the crash.

Rebman raced for his father Bruce Rebman’s team, Rebman Motorsports. Last year another driver for Rebman Motorsports, Don Townsend, spun out of control, hit a wall and was killed on the same track during a practice session. Officials determined that Townsend _ who refused to install a head-stabilizing device in his car _ died from injuries to his head and chest.

Driver and former Rebman team member Tyler Dunn, who was at the track Friday night, said Rebman’s car was equipped with modern protective gear, including a safety seat and a head-stabilizing device.

The Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has foam-reinforced barriers designed to absorb the impact of a crash, the Hoosier Outlaw racing series said.

Mansfield is about 60 miles north of Columbus.

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