Sprint car driver killed during practice at Wisconsin dirt track
Sprint car driver Scott Semmelmann was killed in a wreck during practice for a race Saturday night at Beaver Dam Raceway.
Beaver Dam Raceway general manager Carolyn Mueller and Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series President Steve Sinclair confirmed the death.
Beaver Dam police later confirmed that a 47-year-old driver was killed, but did not provide a name.
Semmelmann’s car made contact with another car during the second practice session, flipped three times and hit the outside concrete wall. The 47-year-old Semmelmann, from Brookfield, was racing for the first time this season.
"This incident appears to be (a) tragic accident at this time," the police statement said.
The race was canceled.
Beaver Dam Raceway is a 0.33-mile clay oval about 75 minutes northwest of Milwaukee. Mueller said it was the first on-track fatality at the track since the facility re-opened in 1993.
Last month, Kevin Ward Jr. was killed in a sprint car race at a dirt track in upstate New York when he left his car and was struck by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.
Beaver Dam Raceway released the following statement Saturday night:
Beaver Dam Raceway experienced a tragedy Saturday night during the hot laps session for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series, a Midwest touring series.
Beaver Dam Raceway General Manager Carolyn Mueller and Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series President Steve Sinclair decided to cancel the rest of the race program out of respect for the family and friends of the victim.
Fans, drivers and crew members were offered an opportunity for a refund, but had the option to donate the money to the family, which most did.
The incident was a racing accident.
Beaver Dam Raceway and the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series express their condolences to the family and plans to donate any remaining proceeds from the evening to the family.
At this time, out of respect for the driver’s family, Beaver Dam Raceway and the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series will not make any further comment.