Torn From The Headlines: Aug. 25, 2004

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Editor’s Note: The following was the lead story on page 5 of the August 25, 2004 issue of National Speed Sport News.

Baldwin Dies In Modified Crash

Pages from August 25 2004THOMPSON, Conn. — Veteran NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series competitor Tom Baldwin was killed in a crash Thursday night at Thompson Speedway. He was 57.

Baldwin’s familiar No. 7ny crashed into the concrete base surrounding a light tower in the third turn of the historic five-eighths-mile oval. The crash resulted from contact with another car, which sent his car spinning toward the infield grass, which was slick from an early evening rain storm.

Baldwin’s car hit the concrete driver’s side first and briefly went airborne.

The accident happened on lap eight of the Budweiser 150 for the modified series, and the race was postponed as a result of the accident.

Baldwin was cut from the car and transported to Hubbard Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Following the accident, Connecticut state troopers arrived to investigate the accident scene and just before midnight the event was officially postponed.

It was Baldwin’s 40th season in racing. He had been a regular in the Modified Series since its inception in 1985.

He won six races in 374 career starts but hadn’t visited victory lane since 1996.

“Everyone at Thompson Speedway is saddened at the loss of Tom Baldwin. Tom was a long-time competitor in the NASCAR modified division and was a very close, personal friend,” track-owner Don Hoenig said. “Words cannot express our sorrow at this time. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. We also express our sympathy to the many fans that followed Tom’s racing career.

“For more than 30 years, he thrilled crowds with his hard-charging and exciting driving style. The entire racing community will miss him greatly.”

The Long Island native was the father of Tom Baldwin Jr., who grew up working on his father’s cars, and is now crew chief for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne.

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