Friday, July 13, 2012

1964 - Race Driver Sonny Helms Dies in Crash

Sonny Helms in the Ralph Malamud Offy in 1961 - Bob Bergeron Photo

Bloomfield, Iowa (July 13, 1964) – Veteran race driver Sonny Helms of Avon Lake was killed Sunday night when his car crashed during the first heat race on the weekly program at the Davis County Fairgrounds.

Helms, 37, suffered a fractured skull and was pronounced dead on arrival at Davis County Hospital.

The wreck occurred when Helms’ super-modified racer ran over the wheel of another car and flipped over, then jumped a fence and crashed.

Helms started his racing career in Knoxville and also competed in events at the old Pioneer Raceway in Des Moines. He drove sprint cars on the International Motor Contest Association circuit for two years.

Last year he joined the United States Auto Club and drove in a few of that group’s races. He was fifteenth in the 1963 IMCA sprint car standings, winning $4,160 and scoring 660 points. He was twenty-fourth in 1962.

1 comment:

  1. When I was about 8 years old my parents took me to Pioneer Raceway and Sonny Helms (almost instantly) became my idol and even a hero of sorts. God bless his soul.