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While leading the race, Dave Watson was running dry of fuel and proceeded to make a pit stop. As he approached his pit stall, the rear wheels locked, sending his car out of control. 18 year old Dennis Wade, working the jack for Watson's car, ran out early to service Watson. According to witnesses, Wade "froze" when he saw the spinning Monte Carlo, and he was struck by the car and sent 100 feet into the air. Wade was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A splotch of blood on the side of Watson's car marked the initial spot of collision.
Watson retired from the race immediately. He never raced in the Winston Cup series again, though he continued racing elsewhere.
NASCAR Cup Series
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Dennis Wade (crewman)
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