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Accident at March Meet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hot rod wille, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. farm boy
    Joined: Oct 25, 2006
    Posts: 178

    farm boy
    from reedley

    my daughter and I were at half track and very first top fuel pass of the day. His chute did not deploy, saw the dust and heard the engine go . She said, that sounds so eery. This is the first we'd heard.
    our condolences to the family and team.

    The cancer car lives
    Give to cancer research
  2. JHhj0978
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 158

    from Youngstown

    Hopefully he was passed out and didnt feel anything...but even at that it would be a better way to go that sickness

    Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends
  3. lostn51
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,667


    i really hate to hear that, and just think of his poor wife that watched it happen before her eyes. my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and team.
  4. Ol Deuce
    Joined: May 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,188

    Ol Deuce
    from Mt. U.S.A.

    SO sad RIP John!!
  5. oso64
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 510


    was at the track watching from the 1000' mark.god speed John!!!!it is never tragic to die while doing what you LOVE. -Jimmy-............
  6. chopt49
    Joined: Jul 5, 2006
    Posts: 945



    RIP John... I will miss you....
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,867


    Very sad to hear this. My condolences to the family and friends.
  8. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,975

    from Finland

  9. Hooligansince65
    Joined: Feb 14, 2007
    Posts: 324

    from Chicago

    So sorry that's awful news. Like others have said,I would rather go like that than suffer with an illness. RIP
  10. Hate to hear about a racer loosing his life. But that's better than laying in a Hospital bed going a little at a time! Goodspeed,John.....FULLSPEED!!!!!!
  11. Choptop
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,303


    As was told to me when ChopPop passed...

    in a time when so many spend their final days rotting away ignored and unwanted in a nursing home John Shoemaker crossed the line with his plugs running clean and got the win light. I hope I am as lucky when my time comes.
  12. Flatdog
    Joined: Jan 31, 2003
    Posts: 1,285

    Member Emeritus

    What he said.RIP
  13. Yo Baby
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 2,812

    Yo Baby

    I can only hope to be so lucky. Via con Dios.
  14. forsakenfew
    Joined: May 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,063

    from seattle

    I had the honor of meeting John a few years ago at Hotrod a rama in Tacoma. He and his wife Judy were some of the nicest folks you could ever hope to meet. Last year, I even became an unofficial part of his "crew" when he so kindly let me help push the American Eagle into a shop space to get it ready for the cackle fest later that night. He let me stand around, watch as he worked, and ask any stupid question I could think of, which he always answered.

    He was a good man, and will be missed by many. R.I.P John.
  15. JamesG
    Joined: Nov 5, 2003
    Posts: 5,249


    This sums it all up.
  16. axle
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,892

    from Drag City

    We talked to Steve last night at Squeak's shop and he is extremely saddened. Rightly so. I understand Mr. Shoemaker might of had a Heart attack , fuel shut off was still in the "On" position and like you stated the Chute never opened. Bizarre to say the least. Prayers to the family.
  17. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,700


  18. This is from the nitrogeezers link attitudor posted:​

    John's rear engine, flat-head powered B-Fuel Coupe that he won the Fuel & Gas Championships with at Bakersfield in 1964. The motor and rear end were mounted on a separate sub-frame from the car and could be separated very fast. You could pick up the body and roll it away from the sub-frame.​
  19. Bigdaddy
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 2,205


    WOW, gives me chills..... RIP, Sir. What a way to go though!
  20. He's sitting in the winners circle upstairs staring back down at the guy he beat saying "Top that."

  21. Bucksnort
    Joined: Dec 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,302


    Exactly my thoughts
    Way to go,John,kicking their ass till the end.
  22. srosa707
    Joined: Jun 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,573

    from Sacramento

    We left the track early but we did see the unforutnate accident. On the news they said that he most likely had a heart attack. Condolences and prayers to the family and freinds.
  23. casper
    Joined: Apr 27, 2005
    Posts: 974


    I was in the stands with my wife and two daughters, we saw the whole run and I knew it was not good when the helicopter showed up. God bless John's wife and family. As for John.... The Bible say's, to be absent from your body is to be in the presence of the Lord!. I am sending prayers up. I would also like to thank all the drivers who risk their saftey to put on a great show for the crowd. We really enjoyed the races, but this news takes the wind out of me.
  24. Justin B
    Joined: Oct 11, 2003
    Posts: 2,198

    Justin B

    dammit it's been a bad year so far, R.I.P.

    hope he's up ther hot lappin' it with his buddies
  25. jasone
    Joined: Jun 2, 2006
    Posts: 431


    RIP John....Godspeed in the afterlife.
  26. Brandy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 5,286

    from Texas

    Newspaper today said heart attack. Makes sense.....too many different things DIDN"T happen to be a mechanical failure and he was already slumped over before he crashed.
  27. mthemi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 10

    from montana

    I met John many years ago, saw him last at a car show in Washington, he always remembered. What a great guy he was, those of you who did not meet him missed a great guy. Guess we are all getting older , just crappy to have to see good guys pass. Godspeed John, Godspeed
  28. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,431


    Tinman raised this do you "slump over" with a full harness, neck yoke and a HANS?

    Sad day, but the question is out there.

    RIP JS
  29. Brandy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 5,286

    from Texas

    I dunno. Good question, I missed it personally.........had to fill in at work. But a limp body is a limp body, no matter the restraints.

    Why does that picture of his coupe look familiar?
  30. RatBone
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 660


    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Mar. 9, 2008) – Fifty years of racing are officially in the books for the fabled March Meet. The 3-day nostalgia drag racing event, which drew record crowds to Auto Club Famoso Raceway, featured intense competition with “Sheriff” Jack Harris winning Top Fuel and Bucky Austin taking Funny Car.
    &#8220;This was a March Meet that will still be talked about in 50 more years,&#8221; said Blake Bowser, vice president and general manager of the Kern County Racing Association, operators of Auto Club Famoso and producers of the event. &#8220;The crowds, the racing&#8230;everything was fantastic for our 50<SUP>th</SUP> anniversary. As always, the March Meet made Bakersfield shine.&#8221;
    Racing always shines brightest at the Meet and 500 nostalgia racers made the trip to compete in the momentous event. At Sunday&#8217;s finals Harris, of Kaysville, Utah, rocked the crowd as he piloted his dragster to a 5.568 at 263 mph for the fastest run ever in a front-engine Top Fuel car. He followed it up by beating Brad Thompson, of Vasalia, Calif., in the Top Fuel final. Harris claimed his third March Meet title with a 6.064 run at 239.36 mph.
    Austin took the Funny Car title by beating last year&#8217;s winner, Stephan Romanazzi of Vasalia, Calif. Austin, from Fife, Wash., won with a time of 5.836 at 243.63 mph.
    Along with celebrating a half-century of racing, the 2008 March Meet was the inaugural race of the Hot Rod Heritage Series, the NHRA&#8217;s new seven-race nostalgia racing series. The Grand Marshals were drag racing legends Don &#8220;the Snake&#8221; Prudhomme and Tom &#8220;the Mongoose&#8221; McEwen.
    Plenty of excitement could be found in the hot rod-packed Grove, vendor row and swap meet. Fireworks and a WWII fighter-plane fly-by sent cheers through the stands as well as in the sold-out camping area. Throw in picture-perfect weather and it was no surprise the March Meet drew an estimated 35,000-plus fans to Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
    Tragically, the March Meet was saddened by the death of Sacramento veteran Top Fuel driver John Shoemaker. The 65-year old racer crashed during Saturday&#8217;s competition and was airlifted to the Kern Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Judee and son Jim.
    &#8220;Our hearts go out to John&#8217;s family and racing community,&#8221; said Bowser. &#8220;It&#8217;s a terrible loss.&#8221;
    Shoemaker, and the 50<SUP>th</SUP> March Meet, will live on in the memories of all who attended.
    The Kern County Racing Association (KCRA) operates historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway (just north of Bakersfield, Calif.) and promotes a full schedule of races year round, including the world famous March Meet. For more details, visit
    # # #

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