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July 26, 1998 – Accident at Michigan International Speedway

On lap 175 of 250 at the CART series U.S. 500 on this day in 1998 Adrian Fernandez hit the wall at Michigan International Speedway, causing a tire and suspension parts to break loose and fly into the crowd, resulting in the deaths of three fans. Two fans were killed instantly and another passed away moments after being severely injured. There were six other people who suffered minor injuries. The car driven by Fernandez hit the wall going upwards of 200 mph. The race was placed under caution but was not stopped, much to the dismay of many reporters covering the event. In an effort to prevent further tragedies the fencing was extended to 17 feet high around any grandstand areas. In a strange and also sad note, the race was won by Canadian Greg Moore, who would die in an accident in October of 1999 during the Marlboro 500. The CART circuit changed its name to Champ Car in 2004 but just four years later the Champ Car World Series declared bankruptcy and merged with the Indy Racing League.

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