FAIR HAVEN, Vt. (NEWS10) – The stock car-racing community is mourning the loss of one of its own.
Longtime competitor Leon Gonyo died Saturday after winning the final race of NASCAR’s Whelen All-American series in Fair Haven, Vermont.
The 67-year-old took his fifth victory lap of the season at Devil’s Bowl Speedway Saturday night when he suffered a stroke and crashed into the speedway wall.
“He died doing what he loved to do. For him to be able to carry the checkered flag, win the race, and then pass on doing what he loved, that’s a storybook ending to a life right there,” said Mike Bruno, a long-time friend.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway official Dick Therrien was hurt when Gonyo’s car struck a ladder he was standing on.
He is recovering after being released from a hospital.