We’re saddened to report that two-time winner of the USAC National Sprint Car Championship perished in a plane crash this Sunday. The plane was apparently on route from Warsaw, IN to Clemson, SC to watch a college football game when his Piper PA-32 crashed near the Georgia-South Carolina boarder. On board were three others, including Charles D. Smith, his former high-school football coach, Smiths’ son Scott A. Smith, and Scott D. Bibler, also a former high-school coach.
In 1998 and 2000, Elliott took first place at the national championship, along with an additional 26 sprint-car wins. He was well known as an ambassador for the USAC and sprint car racing and will surely be missed by the racing community as a whole. We send our condolences to the friends and family of everyone on board. You can read the full press release below:
TONY ELLIOTT, 54, DIES IN PLANE CRASH
It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of Tony Elliott and three others in a plane crash in South Carolina last night. Elliott, one of USAC’s greatest ambassadors, was a two-time USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1998 and 2000) and scored 26 Sprint victories plus nine in Midgets and five in Silver Crown competition. The 2000 and 2001 Hoosier Hundred winner, his “traditional” wins also included the 1999 “Ted Horn 100” at DuQuoin, the 1998 and 2000 “Sumar “Classic” at Terre Haute, the 1998 “Hurtubise Classic” Sprint at Terre Haute and “4-Crown Nationals” Sprint races in 1987 and 1993 at Eldora Speedway. He also was the 1999 Indiana Sprint Week Champion. A sponsor and supporter of both USAC participants and events with his company, Elliott’s Custom Trailers, he was still a familiar face at many USAC racing events throughout the season, including last weekend’s “4-Crown Nationals” at the Eldora Speedway. USAC extends its sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed by all. He was 54.