AGE: 46 (February 18, 1962 – June 21, 2008)
CAUSE OF DEATH: Injuries sustained in a car accident
COMPLEX SAYS: Scott Kalitta had over two decades of experience in Funny Car and Top Fuel racing when this violent explosion and crash took his life at the Lucas Oil NHRA Super Nationals. The two-time Top Fuel champion (1994 and 1995) was racing at 300 mph when his engine exploded, damaging the parachutes which typically slow cars at the end of races, sending Kalitta into the wall. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. As a result, Top Fuel Racing shortened the length of their tracks and developed technology to automatically shutdown engines once an engine backfire is sensed.