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for those that are drag racing fans, we've lost another legend

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  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Bedford, ohio
for those that are drag racing fans, we've lost another legend
Posted by jsghstrdr10907 on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:20 AM

 i got word of this on a scroll on the bottom of our local news channel this evening. we have lost ronald "ronnie" marcum monday. RIP.

Veteran drag racer killed during "trans-brake" test

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Staff Writer

Sunday, August 9th, 2009.
Issue 32, Volume 13.

LA HABRA - A veteran drag racer from La Habra was killed today when his custom-made dragster slammed into a parked trailer at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana at more than 100 mph.

The crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. in the pit area of the race complex in Fontana, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, during the Super Category Drag Races at the speedway complex, said Officer Jeff Briggs of the California Highway Patrol.

Ronald F. ``Ronnie'' Marcum, 53, of La Habra, was in a pit area, behind the steering wheel of the mid-engine dragster and conducting a transmission- brake test, according to Briggs and the San Bernardino County coroner. The ``trans-brake'' test involves revving the vehicle's engine at high RPMs while depressing a button that prevents the transmission from engaging, Briggs said.

National Hot Rod Association rules require such tests to be conducted with a vehicle's tires off the ground, but Marcum failed to follow those procedures, Briggs said.

As the engine raced, the vehicle's transmission suddenly engaged and the dragster sped off in excess of 100 mph into a parking area, Briggs said.

The dragster crashed into the back of a trailer and caught fire, according to the coroner. Firefighters already on-scene as a precaution quickly extinguished the fire, and paramedics also stationed at the races rendered medical aid.

Marcum was pronounced dead at the crash scene at 8:58 a.m., according to the coroner.

No one else was hurt.

``He was a friendly guy, real helpful at the track,'' said Floyd Staggs, 67, of Cucamonga, who said he competes in Southern California drag events. ``Drag racing is like that. It's a small community, like family. It's people you know.''

Staggs was not at the track today. He said he was surprised and perplexed by the news.

``I heard from one of the guys at the track that Ronnie wasn't wearing a helmet and he might have got knocked out on the roll bar,'' Staggs said, after hearing the CHP account of Marcum's death. ``It's a very unfortunate accident. But it is in the rules, too.

``Ronnie was very experienced and he always followed the rules, as far as I know,'' Staggs said. ``It's a real shame. It's a blight on the sport any time there's a fatality. And it hurts when it's somebody you know.''

Marcum's racing career included competing in Southern California Pro Gas Association events, Staggs said. Marcum was the association's second champion in 1981, according to the association's Web site.

Gates at the speedway opened at 6 a.m. for today's events and racing started at 8 a.m., according to a track schedule

when all else fails to work, customize it or rat it out......... too many WIP's to post, too many kits done to post.

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