Auto Club Speedway, Fontana,Ca., Struck By Tragedy
A 24-year-old Los Angeles woman was killed in a crash during a simulated Indy race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, it was reported today.
Ashley Sara Phalen’s vehicle struck the inside wall at a high rate of speed and overturned at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, the Fontana Herald News reported. Paramedics took Phalen to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, where she was pronounced dead.
Phalen was participating in the Mario Andretti Racing Experience Driving 101 class, which teaches the public the basics of open-wheel racing by allowing them to drive replica Indy cars, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office.
Race track officials did not say how fast Phalen was driving when she smashed into the inside wall, but said race cars often reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour on the two-mile course. Racing at the track was suspended Friday, but resumed Saturday.
Speedway spokesperson David Talley said it was the first death at the track that he could recall in recent years, adding that Phalen had taken a class prior to getting into the car and was in radio contact with instructors while driving.
Our condolences go out to Sara’s family and friends.