PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas Park speedway where a trespassing go-kart racer crashed and died Thursday says it had recently warned him about drag racing on the property after hours.
Pinellas Park Police say 29 year old Jesse Outlaw died after trespassing on to the closed drag strip sometime around 10 p.m. with another man. They were both driving modified go-karts.
While racing down the pitch black strip, investigators say Outlaw crashed into the guard rail, suffering “catastrophic injuries.” He was not wearing a helmet. The other racer did not crash and was not hurt.
While police say Outlaw has no arrest record in Pinellas County, Showtime Speedway manager Robert Yoho says the racer was caught and reprimanded as recently as two weeks ago for trespassing to race.
“He’s got the need for speed and it caught up with him this time,” Yoho said. “A fence only keeps the good people out, they’re going to get around it if they want.”
Robert Yoho runs Showtime Speedway and says racers sneaking on to the property to race without permission is a constant problem.
While interviewing Yoho Friday afternoon, 8 On Your Side even witnessed a motorcyclist come onto the property to ride. Yoho promptly asked him to leave.
“We had a guy killed out here last night,” Yoho explained to the man.
Yoho didn’t know Outlaw personally but extends his sympathies toward those who did.
The other racer who trespassed is currently not facing charges. Yoho doesn’t want to press any. He thinks the crash itself should serve as enough of a lesson for anyone else who considers illegally racing at his track.
“I think that memory is going to haunt him the rest of his life,” he said.
Pinellas Park Police are still investigating the incident. A spokesperson for the police department says investigators are still exploring options for pressing charges with the state attorney’s office.