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38 years ago today:Frasson fire Daytona

38 years ago today:Frasson fire Daytona  

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Author: Jack Kromer   Date: 2/17/2017 11:39:42 AM   

Feb 17, 1979: 38 years ago today, I thought for sure that Joe Frasson died right in front of me on the Daytona backstretch. I can still hear that hit and the 'whoosh' sound of that huge fireball igniting. What a relief it was to see him walk toward me many seconds later.

I most likely mentioned this too many times before, but this was my first race of 1979, after that horrible 1978 season, where I thought Wayne Reutimann died at Syracuse in April (he was okay). A week later I got hit at Flemington (I wasn't okay). All those USAC officials died in a plane crash the day after my crash. Toby Tobias got killed in front of me in June at Flemington. I thought Randy Wolfe died in front of my camera lens at Syracuse in September (luckily he survived to race again) and Mike Grbac got fatally injured at Reading in October and died in November. I'm glad that I was in turn one that night at Reading and didn't witness that bad one.

So, coming off of such a bad year in racing in 1978, it was a minor miracle and it really was such a relief to see Frasson walk away from that crash. Sadly though, Don Williams was also involved in that bad crash. He lived ten years in a semi-comatose state, before passing away.

Joe Frasson did have some burns on his hands and face and later recovered to race again. He passed away several months ago.


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38 years ago today:Frasson fire Daytona Jack Kromer 2/17/2017 11:39:42 AM