NASCAR Xfinity Series team DGM Racing is mourning the loss of one of its team members.
Russell “Rusty” Crews, 59, died early Sunday after he suffered a medical episode following his attempts to break up a major fight during Saturday’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing events at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. Crews worked there as a track official.
Volusia County (Fla.) Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that authorities believe Crews suffered a heart attack.
“The death is under investigation pending the results of an autopsy,” Chitwood said to the newspaper. “We spoke to the family and learned that he had a plethora of health issues.”
DGM Racing issued a statement on Crews’ death Monday, noting that he was “a part of the DGM Racing team since the early years, working in many different capacities.”
“We are heartbroken over the loss of our our long-time dear friend Rusty Crews,” team owners Mario and Michelle Gosselin said in the statement. “He was the kindest, most selfless, big-hearted, fun-loving person we know and will truly be missed.
“So grateful to have had him as part of our family and very thankful for all of the memories and good times that we shared together. Life won’t be the same without him, but he will be in our hearts forever.”
Others within the NASCAR world have also paid tribute to Crews, including NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton.
So sorry to hear about the loss of Rusty Crews. He always did his best to treat the competitors fairly and with respect. He made everyone feel welcomed and appreciated and was a just a good guy. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.
— Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) February 7, 2021
The Asphalt World Series of Stock Car Racing continued Sunday night at New Smyrna Speedway. Before racing action resumed, the track released a statement on Crews’ death.