The drag-racing community is in mourning after well-known Fort Worth driver, Jason Lumpkin, was killed over the weekend in a crash.
Lumpkin was driving at the Kansas International Dragway near Wichita when witnesses said – during a race nearing speeds of 150 miles per hour – something caused Lumpkin to lose control of his car, which hit a guardrail and went flying into the air.
Dispatchers were requested to provide the Jaws of Life to extricate him from the car, but Lumpkin was pronounced dead at the hospital.
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On Monday, Lumpkin's friends gathered at his home in Fort Worth to grieve.
"I would say very well known. Everyone knew who he was. He'd been doing the same thing for 10 years now. People see him year after year, they know who Jason Lumpkin is," said Lumpkin's childhood friend and racing partner, Lee Nguyen.
Lumpkin's mother said her son's interest in racing began at a young age when his father introduced him to the sport and cars.
When his father died when Lumpkin was 16, friends say his passion grew stronger.
"Racing started with this dad turning wrenches. Then when his dad passed away, racing just continued to go on," said Nguyen.
Friend John Archer said for several years he admired Lumpkin from afar, until he had the chance to meet him.
Archer said Lumpkin took him under his wing and taught him the ins and outs of the drag-racing world.
"I looked up to him as if he was my older brother. I came over here every single day. This is my car right here he helped me build," Archer said, pointing to the car next to him.
"It feels like a part of me has left and is never going to be the same," he added.
Friends said Lumpkin will have a lasting impact on the racing community and they hope to find some way to commemorate his legacy.
Until then, they're finding comfort in knowing Lumpkin has joined the man who taught him what racing was all about.
"He always told me stay positive and be strong, so I'm taking this as a way for him to go spend time with his dad. Be in the race world upstairs," said Nguyen.