SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Stock-car champion Dean Roper died when a blood clot in a coronary artery caused his heart to stop during a dirt-track race Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, officials said Monday.
The death of Roper, 62, who had a history of heart trouble, came 10 months after his son, Tony, died in a NASCAR truck-series race in Texas.
Dean Roper crashed his Ford Taurus into an inside retaining wall on the front straightaway during Lap 17 of the 100-lap ARCA event at the fairgrounds.
"The autopsy found no bruises, no breaks, nothing. Absolutely no injuries at all," said Susan Boone, Sangamon County coroner. "The accident did not cause his death.