NASCAR

NASCAR team mourns after car crash

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One member of NASCAR’s Rick Ware Racing team died and another suffered severe injuries after being involved in a weekend car crash in North Carolina.

Dean Shaut was killed and Stephen Masch was injured Friday, the night before RWR competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Darlington Raceway. The two began working for RWR this season as independent contractors.

"(Masch) is in surgery today with a spinal cord injury to his C5 vertebrae," Gary Masch, Stephen's father, said Monday. "He is aware of his surroundings and that his mom and sister are at the hospital. However, with being incubated and sedated he is unable to communicate, and we are unaware of the extent of his injuries other than what appears to be paralysis of his lower extremities."

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According to officials who spoke with The Associated Press, the crash happened about 11 p.m. ET on a sharp curve in Thomasville, N.C., when a gray Toyota Tundra pickup truck hit a utility pole and a tree before flipping several times. It came to a stop in a yard. Officials told AP the truck appeared to be speeding.

Shaut, who was driving, died at the accident scene. Masch was airlifted to a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., with spinal cord and head injuries.

“All of us at RWR are deeply saddened about the news and are suffering a great loss over this tragic accident,” team owner Rick Ware said in a statement Monday. “We can’t express our condolences enough at a time like this to each of the families and words alone right now just don’t express our thoughts enough."

Shaut was a 20-year veteran of the NASCAR community as a fabricator and mechanic working over the years for Hendrick, MB2, Evernham and others.

Masch has worked as an independent-contract mechanic for the RWR Nationwide No. 15 team driven by rookie Timmy Hill. Shaut and Masch assisted on rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt's RWR NCWTS team.

"This is absolutely devastating news about what has happened within our Rick Ware Racing teams," Earnhardt said. "I am so sorry for what these families must be going through, and I send my deepest sympathies to both the Shaut and Masch families."

Shaut's family asked that any memorial donations be made to the American Heart Association.

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