NASCAR teams know the next time a driver gets inside the car, it might be their last time. Traveling at such high speeds, death is, unfortunately, a part of the sport. On Tuesday, the NASCAR community was shocked with news that one of the team haulers traveling to this weekend’s races in Phoenix was involved in a fatal accident in Texas, killing the driver.
David Gilliland Racing suffers tragic loss in fatal hauler accident
While the NASCAR Cup Series teams are concluding their West Coast Swing this weekend in Phoenix, the ARCA Menards Series teams are heading out west to the desert for the second race of the season.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the hauler of David Gilliland Racing was transporting the No. 17 ARCA team of Taylor Gray through east Texas near Longview when it contacted another car from behind and crashed around 4 AM. The driver of the hauler, Steven Stotts, was killed.
Two other passengers in the trailer were taken to a nearby hospital and are listed in stable condition. The driver of the other vehicle was also transported to the hospital and is listed in stable condition.
Video and photos show a truck on its side, in what appeared to be a fiery crash with charred wreckage and debris scattered down the highway, with the other vehicle also on its side.
DGR team makes initial statement
The DGR team confirmed the news on Twitter and provided information for the weekend’s ARCA race.
“David Gilliland Racing has learned that our No. 17 ARCA team transporter was involved in an accident early this morning near Longview, Texas. The transporter was en route to Arizona for Friday evening’s ARCA Menards Series event at Phoenix Raceway.
“DGR and driver Taylor Gray’s participation in Friday’s event will be determined at a later time.”
Team provides updated statement, confirming death
The team, which Hailie Deegan drives for in the NASCAR Truck Series, later confirmed in a statement on Twitter the death of Stotts and mentioned the others involved.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of Steven Stotts, co-driver of our No. 17 ARCA team transporter, that was involved in an accident early this morning near Longview, Texas. Our deepest sympathies go out to Steven’s family and friends.
“John Zaverl and Michael Mizzelle, who were passengers in the transporter, have been treated and released from a local hospital. Our continued thoughts are with the driver of the second vehicle involved in the accident.”