John Shoemaker Age 65  died in Crash at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. 
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Monday, Mar 10 2008 11:27 PM

An autopsy Monday revealed that drag racer John Shoemaker, who died after a crash on Saturday at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, died of injuries suffered in that incident.

According to a news release from the Coroner Division of the Kern County Sheriff's Department, Shoemaker, 65, died "as a result of injuries sustained when he lost control of his race car and collided into safety mechanisms."

Shoemaker, a veteran drag racer in numerous classes, had just completed a qualifying run at 249 miles per hour in his front-engined Top Fuel Dragster early Saturday afternoon during the March Meet. The car, however, did not slow down and the throttle appeared to be stuck as the car continued to roar down the shut-off area.

The parachutes never deployed and Shoemaker covered approximately 3,000 feet of paved surface before barreling through a sand trap more than 300 feet in length.

Shoemaker's dragster then hit an earthen embankment, flipped over that embankment and landed upside down.

The final dirt barrier is just north of a public dirt road on the edge of an citrus orchard.

Track rescue workers attended to Shoemaker and an air ambulance was called in. Shoemaker died while en route to Kern Medical Center.

Shoemaker, of Sacramento, is survived by wife Judee and a son, Jim.

Shoemaker won the Blown Alcohol Dragster class at the March Meet in 1984 and the National Hot Rod Association Northwest Division title in 1989. His biggest win came in that same class at the 1994 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona.