Track Official Dies Following Pit Area Brawl At New Smyrna Speedway

Multiple sources have confirmed that a track official at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway passed away early Sunday morning following Saturday night events at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.

Reporter Matt Weaver of Autoweek and Short Track Scene posted on Twitter that an official track source confirmed to him that track official Rusty Crews died overnight

Multiple other sources in New Smyrna have confirmed to RaceDayCT that Crews was the track official who passed away. 

The circumstances involving Crews’ death are unclear, but multiple sources have confirmed he had been involved in attempting to break up a large brawl taking place in the pits after midnight early Sunday morning at New Smyrna Speedway. 

An official from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said: “It’s still an ongoing investigation. It’s unsure if the death was related to the incident or if there were any underlying medical conditions that could have contributed to the death.”

Sources have confirmed the brawl involved members of two Sportsman division teams for drivers Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, N.H. and Matthew Green of Orlando, Fla. The brawl took place in the turn three pit area outside of the track.

According to an Emergency Services synopsis from the City of New Smyrna Beach daily patrol log: “Officers responded to assist deputies with a large fight” at 12:24 am Sunday at New Smyrna Speedway.

One eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous told RaceDayCT the brawl involved as many as 40 people and went on for more than 20 minutes.

The eyewitness said Crews arrived on the scene of the fight driving a “front loader”, which others have described as a Bobcat. The eyewitness said Crews then attempted to break up the fight but he was assaulted by those involved in the brawl and at one point was on the ground being punched. The eyewitness said at some point Crews was able to retreat from the brawling crowd and then fell unconscious on the front loader vehicle.

The eyewitness said of the fight: “It was the worst thing I have ever seen happen at a race track.”

Attempts to reach track management were unsuccessful Sunday.

The New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing kicked off Friday for nine consecutive nights of racing at the track. The Sportsman division had features scheduled only for Friday and Saturday.  The track is moving forward with racing as scheduled today.

Kruczek and Green had issues on track together in a 35-lap feature Friday night won by Green and in the 50-lap Saturday night feature, which was won by Kruczek. Reportedly Kruczek was disqualified from his victory Saturday night and Green was disqualified from his second place finish because of post race unsportsmanlike conduct.

The pair made contact battling for the lead on a restart with eight laps remaining in the Friday night event. 

On a restart with six laps remaining in Saturday night’s feature there was contact again with Kruczek taking the lead from Green. 

Tensions flared in victory lane between both teams after both night’s features. 

Following the win Saturday night Kruczek said: “He ran me like a kid [Friday] and he parked me in the wall so I wasn’t going to give him anything tonight. I don’t race people like that. If he wants to race like that that’s how we’re going to race.” 

After the race Saturday Green said: “I didn’t get raced. I got door slammed before the start even [went], he got three car lengths on me and I had to pull back up to him before we got to the start box. The officials let it go. … This is a Sportsman race not a demolition derby and that’s what happened.”



Comments

  1. This is so sad.

    This has got to stop.

    Officials should not get involved. Take pictures, take names. Then suspend or cancel the offending individuals.

  2. Hate to see Bobby Webber’s team involved. They were so excited to be down there. Certainly hate to hear of someone passing. Not good at all.

  3. What a senseless loss… RIP Mr. Crews.

  4. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Jesus. 40 people and after midnight? What the heck were they still doing after midnight? Wasn’t their race over hours earlier?

  5. sportsman cars. REALLY!!! A life was lost over a senseless division. All involved should be banned from racing.Thank God these people weren’t in a higher division where money is more serious. What an embarrasment!! R.I.P. MR. CREWS

  6. The Atomic Punk says

    Embarrassing

  7. This is crazy, how does having a brawl over a freaking trophy make sense at all? Hate to see a New Hampshire team involved with this and to have it be Bobby Webber’s team involved kinda makes it worse considering he’s so high profile in New Hampshire racing. To bad cooler heads didn’t prevail and it ended with someone losing their life.

  8. Scott De Jong says

    Whoever is responsible, I hope they get the book thrown at them. Also, Both of these Ass-Munches should be disqualified from EVER entering a racing event again. Not as a driver or a spectator!

  9. Lillian Taylor says

    Prayers to the family. So unnecessary

  10. I don’t know if I’d call him “high profile” seems pretty low class to me.

  11. Condolences to the family of Rusty Crews.

  12. Ken Latham says

    Totally absurd. “adults “ behaving like children. There is no place for fighting. If the drivers have issues with each other lrt THEM handle it. I agree. ALL involved should be first taken care of by the law. However banning them from ALL racing is near impossible to enforce though if they could they should

  13. Totally disgusting. Hope all involved never get the privilege to race again. Condolences to the Crews family on this senseless loss.

  14. 40 people is more than two teams. Just saying. That’s more like a whole division. Pinning it on two guys before the facts are out is probably wrong. Were the drivers even involved? The owners? They were all smiles in VL. Let’s let the facts bare out what happened.

    Ban an owner who owns his own track??? Kruczek will be at Stafford in April by the way if you want to chat with him.

  15. wmass01013 says

    if u watch the video on You Tube it did not look like a blatant take out move , there was contact but not worth the trouble but the 44 was pissed in Victory lane and the winning 19 crew was doing tonssssssssssssss of taunting afterwards and then words kept going in tech line after the race, i can see 40 people with crews friends and girlfriends involved, all very senseless after a OPENING season of racing

  16. I noticed from victory lane video, TONS of unsportsmanlike conduct. Bush League actually

  17. Bill Realist says

    Ask Joey pole what kind of high profile racer he is. Banished from act until Tom Curley was gone

  18. truthhurts says

    Ah, the unnamed source. 12, 36, 40 involved, the number does not matter. I was told he was kicked in the head. Do I believe it? why should I? I live down here, surprised no one got shot. Volusia County Sherriff’s job now. Stick to the facts when reporting Shaun.. The first pit brawl I ever witnessed was at Tinty’s as a kid,. Racing just keeps kicking itself in the balls. Sad.

  19. What a cluster.

    Racing does attract a certain class that seems to think they are special, and privileged, and they behave like total Deplorables.

    Well, it was a southern team vs a northern team. The local sheriff is in control. Anybody wanna guess who the sheriff exonerates and who he goes after? Is the sheriff Roscoe Purvis Coltrane?

    Then last night, after one of the races, two drivers got face-to-face, without masks. I’m always amazed that so many drivers, the ones that don’t win, think that all other cars are supposed to get out of the way and let them pass.

  20. I kinda agree Ricky, whether he’s low class or not doesn’t change the fact that he’s high profile in New Hampshire racing. He owns Star Speedway, that’s pretty high profile.

  21. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Two drivers got face to face, without masks. Ohhhh scary. Every news headline now is unmasked this and unmasked that. Shoppers shop in Florida.. unmasked. Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Kraft, at a super bowl party..unmasked. Tom Brady gives his post win interview and has the gall to tell Jim Nance come closer.. unmasked.

  22. 🌈🦄2020, you are an idiot.

    South Africa has stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine against the South African coronavirus variant because the efficacy is very low.

    The South African variant is reported to be much more transmissible and highly contagious 😷. That is, more contagious than the early variants are, and they are already extremely contagious. 😷 After all, those early variants are the ones that started this pandemic 😷.

    The South African variant is here in the USA and expected to spread over the next few months. Let’s hope the other vaccine options have better efficacy rates against this variant or we go back to the drawing board.

  23. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Today’s headline. “Tampa Bay fans celebrate Superbowl win,, wait for it,,, UNMASKED. 😳🤯. Oh and #SuperSpreaderBowl is trending on Twitter. And you have to love watching the New Smyrna victory lane interviews. Someone gives a mask to the driver while they themselves are unmasked and everyone else in the background are… unmasked. Optics for the TV.

  24. 🌈🦄2020, many cities have fleets of refrigerator trucks to store all the bodies because the morgues and funeral homes can’t handle the numbers of people dying from COVID. Survivors have to wait months to bury their loved ones because of the numbers of bodies and backlog.

    Is that all optics?

    🌈🦄2020, you are an idiot.

    Just because people are not wearing a mask does not mean it is safe. It means they are idiots, or have been living in a bubble, like many athletes, such as the NFL, NHL, MLB, etc.

  25. I saw that 2020 and thought the exact same thing. It’s really all so scattershot why they bother pretending to be cautious I have no idea. I love the coaches wearing masks during a game and pulling them down when they are yelling at someone.

  26. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Poor Dafella must be so torn watching the races from New Smyrna. All these idiots traveling from all over the country to race or spectate. Soo many idiots. Matter of fact there haven’t been so many idiots in the tour type mods in many years. 🤯😱

  27. Usually the on duty boys in blue make they’re presence known right away when a on track incident spills into the pits. Or the race official squashes it before police do. How the Hell did it it escalate to this?!! Sad situation for sure!

  28. I have never seen Tom Brady wear a mask. Ever!! I have also never seen him called out for it, ever!! There isn’t much mask wearing going on in FLA. Don’t go there if you don’t like it I suppose.

    They partied like rock stars in Tuscaloosa after the national championship last month. Thousands of unmasked young people. What happened??? Nothing happened. The mask thing will be over in a few months.

  29. 🌈🦄2020, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, hate me because I’m beautiful and smarter than you.

  30. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Just like Trump, you Dafella is more smarter, more beautiful. You are just the best. I don’t hate you because you are beautiful. I’m just jealous. I wish I was a beautiful smart man like yourself. Oops sorry. My apologies for assuming your gender. Honest mistake.

  31. JD you just haven’t seen Brady wearing a mask. He s got a red MAGA mask hanging in his locker though.

  32. Dafella learned a new word variant and set a record for the number of times used in a post, 6. Precious so precious.

  33. Outbreaks are traced back to these events. And people like Tom Brady are living in bubbles, insulated from the outside world to protect him from infection.

  34. Normand Cote says

    I’m surprised and discouraged that Bobby Webber’s team was part of this very tragic event….I always considered them to be a class act….Now i’m not so sure? ….I hate it that this incident took a life of anyone, never mind a track official….It’s just so sad and so tragic….And one has to think it’s a product of the times…the last 4 years have divided us all…Hopefully, the next four years will be better? Racing is not so important in the order of things that people’s lives be put in danger…..As far as the other team, I don’t know much about them….But it takes two to tango…in my opinion, they both should be banned from competition down there for their involvement in this terrible black mark on short track racing…JMO…I’m very sorry for the officials family and friends….he died needlessly….that never should have happened…and all those responsible need to search their souls and find their peace…

  35. I’d be curious what the track personnel were instructed about how to handle dust ups at the track.
    Just wondering. If you are aware of your age, physical condition and you shovel snow anyway at what point does the decision to shovel snow and not the snow become the reason why you’re laying in the hospital?
    A person has to know their limitations even in a blizzard.

  36. By now, after all these decades, tracks should know to have law enforcement on site, especially at the conclusion of each race and the event.

  37. Scott Garrity says

    There’s never any law enforcement on site at New Smyrna. Not even security. Here we are 4 days later and there has been zero announcement as to what the penalties are for the parties involved. It’s like it never even happened. What a disrespect to Rusty. He was a good man and didn’t deserve to die as a result of the two teams violent stupidity.

  38. 🌈🦄2020 says

    That’s a unbelievable revelation, no security or police at New Smyrna. I don’t know what it’s like during the regular season but for speedweeks, we’ve all seen what is a common occurrence. Fights are the norm. Waterford, Thompson, Stafford, Seekonk, and the list goes on. All have security and or a police presence. I don’t know what kind of insurance the track has but I can’t believe the policy doesn’t require some kind of security. A track official should never be getting into the middle of a brawl. That’s the job for security or police. Unreal.

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