One driver was killed and another was injured during an “on-track” accident at the Daytona International Speedway, the track said.
On Oct. 28, drivers were on the track as part of an Audi Club event, the track said.
“We are saddened by the passing of a driver after they were transported to an area medical facility following an on-track incident during (Saturday’s) Audi Club track rental session,” a representative for Daytona International Speedway told McClatchy News in an email. “Additionally, our thoughts are with the driver who was injured during the same incident. Daytona International Speedway will coordinate with both Audi Club and local authorities during their investigation into the cause of the accident.”
The club was hosting a season finale race for International GT, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported, the first races began Oct. 27 and continued through the weekend.
International GT said the accident occurred during a practice session on the speedway, according to a statement given to WESH.
McClatchy News reached out to International GT for more information on the accident and did not immediately hear back.
Racing officials did not release the cause of the accident or the drivers involved, but family and friends confirmed race car driver Mark Mathys was killed on the speedway.
Mathys drove as part of the International GT circuit under the number 77.
Beth Ann Mathys-Griner, who identified herself as Mathys’ sister, said in an Oct. 28 Facebook post her brother had a flat tire while on the track and pulled toward the wall.
Mathys-Griner said her brother stepped out of his car during the qualifying race to “assess the problem,” and was hit by two other vehicles who she said were coming around the curve and hit one another, sending a vehicle into Mathys.
“I just saw you two weeks ago and you were so excited at the birth of your first grandson,” Mathys’ daughter, Kecia Frye, wrote on Facebook. “And now it feels as if we have been robbed.”
Other drivers and members of the racing community shared fond memories of Mathys and his time in the sport.
“My first time really meeting Mark Mathys was due (to) this incident last year at Mid Ohio,” Brady Behrman wrote on Facebook accompanying a video of their race. “After the race, I went over to him in the paddock to apologize, discuss & access what happened. I offered to help fix any damage, he looked a little frustrated but brushed it off and said ‘It’s ok, be careful out there.’ Throughout the remainder of the season last year, we gave way to each other with respect.”
“RIP my old friend, trusted and giving, loved watching you go and accomplish your passion and dreams and need for speed. But more important(ly) a wonderful family,” Mirna Malinar wrote on Facebook.
“Mark, you lived for speed,” Malinar wrote. “You were always so generous to us and others.”
“He was passionate about first and foremost his friends and family. He was a true automotive enthusiast as well,” Zac Longfellow wrote on Facebook. “Cars connected us years ago, but his friendship is something I will cherish… we lost a good one today.”
Daytona International Speedway is located in Daytona Beach, about 50 miles northeast of Orlando.