Veteran race car driver David Steele died on Saturday during a race in Florida

By Char Adams
March 27, 2017 11:48 AM
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Credit: Will Powers/AP

The racing industry is mourning the loss of famed race car driver David Steele, who died on Saturday when his vehicle ran off the track and slammed into a wall during a race in Florida.

Steele was driving a sprint car when the left front wheel struck the wheel of another vehicle, sending Steele’s car flying and spinning into the air before it hit the retaining wall, the Associated Press reports.

Emergency officials attempted to treat the man, but Steele was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Steele, 42, was one of the best drivers to have ever strapped into a sprint car,” Desoto Speedway officials wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. Steele had recently won his 100th event in the state, making him the first ever driver to do so, officials wrote in the post.

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson spoke highly of Steele, calling him “one of the greatest-ever USAC racers,” USA Today reports.

NASCAR team owner and former racer Tony Stewart sent his condolences through his company’s Twitter account, with officials writing, “Our former teammate, he was one of the best open-wheel drivers of this era. Godspeed.”

Meanwhile, driver Kasey Kahne tweeted that Steele is “one of the best and such a good guy to hang out and have a beer with.”

Driver Michael James Lewis honored Steele in a heartfelt Twitter tribute.

“RIP TO THE GREATEST DRIVER I HAVE EVER KNOWN. DAVE STEELE, YOU ARE FOREVER THE GREATEST IN MY BOOK I love you,” he wrote.