Motor Racing History:
Death of J. D. McDuffie
August 11, 1991 - John Delphus McDuffie was a NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) driver. He raced in the top division of NASCAR from 1963 to 1991. McDuffie had 106 top-tens in his Cup Series career. His death was a result of a crash at Watkins Glen International in 1991. McDuffie was involved in an accident on the fifth lap of the 1991 Budweiser At The Glen race at Watkins Glen International. McDuffie’s driver’s side outer tie rod end dropped from the front wheel spindle, which caused him to lose control of the position of the right side tire/wheel. Further, the impact caused the front wheel assembly to completely fall off the car, starting a chain reaction that resulted in all of McDuffie’s brakes failing. This left him no way of stopping the car or steering it away, and to further complicate matters there was no gravel trap in the corner that McDuffie was headed toward. As a result, McDuffie skidded across the grass and hit the outside retaining wall and tire barrier with such force that the car shot into the air, rotated in mid-air, and then came to rest upside down. As the cars got back on the track and cruised under yellow flag conditions, the media attention turned to Chip Williams, NASCAR’s PR director, who disclosed that McDuffie had lost his life in the accident.