News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 29, 2013

TRACKSIDE: Burton’s death shows tragic side of racing

----- — The damp and dreary weather conditions that hovered over central Indiana this past weekend may have been all too fitting for the solemn mood at Lincoln Park Speedway Saturday night.

The on-again, off-again rain showers that eventually led to the postponement of the scheduled Midwest Sprint Car Series program brought an early end to a day that had been all to somber for the sprint car contingent that had gathered for a night of racing.

The tragic chain of events that had unfolded the previous night at Bloomington Speedway had cast a pall over what should have been an enjoyable night of racing at LPS.

Word had circulated the Putnam County racing facility that earlier in the day that young Josh Burton had succumbed to injuries from an accident the night before at Bloomington.

The popular 22-year-old driver — who was the 2012 Rookie of the Year at Lincoln Park and Bloomington Speedways — was caught up in a violent incident near the end of the sprint semi-feature and was involved in a series of flips. The Bloomington native was taken to the IU Health Bloomington Hospital where he died early Saturday morning.

Several of his fellow drivers took time at Putnamville Saturday evening to reflect on the young driver and tragic chain of events as they waited for the intermient rain showers that — much like their suffering — would simply not go away.

Whether it was the words of veteran drivers Jon Stanbrough and Kent Christian, or those of young Chase Stockon, the feelings and since of loss pretty much spelled out the emotions of the racers and fans in attendance.

The ugly side of open wheel racing that had once again reared its ugly head leaving those inside and outside of the sport stunned.

 The normally reserved Stanbrough couldn’t hold back his emotions when expressing his feelings about Josh’s passing and the dangers that go with his profession.

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