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Apr 6, 2002

California Speedway And AMA Hold Press Conference On Lundgren Death

<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Officials from both California Speedway and AMA Pro Racing held a press conference at 11:30 a.m. local time at the Fontana, California facility to go over the events surrounding the death of racer Ricky Lungren. <BR><BR>A panel consisting of California Speedway President Bill Miller and Medical Director Dr. Jeff Grange and AMA Pro Racing's Gary Mathers and Ron Barrick said that the incident started when racer Jeff Tigert lost control of his motorcycle as he exited turn eight and headed toward turn nine in Friday's even-numbered Superstock qualifying session. According to Barrick's relay of reports from track safety workers, Tigert's bike slid for about 60 feet before leaving the asphalt, began tumbling in the grass run-off area, covered another 100 feet from the edge of the asphalt before jumping over a barrier erected to prevent crashed motorcycles from leaving turn nine and re-entering the track at turn four. Tigert's motorcycle came across turn four where it hit Lundgren, who was accelerating through turn four.<BR><BR>According to Dr. Grange, he was called to the accident scene due to the serious nature of the crash. Dr. Grange said that medical personnel administered IV fluids, opened an airway for Lundgren and started respirating him; he was loaded into a medivac helicopter with a pulse. Lundgren then lost his pulse en route to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Attempts to resuscitate Lundgren were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. local time Friday, April 5.<BR><BR>Lundgren was survived by his wife Kelly and twin, two-year-old sons.<BR><BR>The barrier that Tigert's bike jumped over consisted of a series of haybale-protected plastic traffic walls designed to be filled with water, but which were installed empty. The height of the temporary wall was approximately three feet. In response to Friday's fatal accident, California Speedway and the AMA increased the height of the wall to approximately nine feet with a three-high stack of the plastic barriers. The three-high stack is 40 feet long followed by another 60-foot-long section of two-high plastic walls. In addition, the stacked barriers are now fronted by three sections of Alpina Air Module and feature 60 to 100 feet of haybales on each side, most of which are stacked two-high.<BR><BR>Lundgren's death is the second fatality at California Speedway since it was opened in 1997. CART racer Greg Moore died in an auto racing accident in 1999.