Racing driver dies just after after winning a race at Myrtle Beach Speedway

Two race drivers were lost over the weekend; South Carolina and Tennessee race tracks struck with tragic loss

Former NASCAR competitor goes out on top

The racing community was struck by two deaths over the weekend. Each of them happened on Saturday, August 4, 2018. 650-miles apart, two race tracks saw the loss of a racing driver.

Bob Walker suffered a medical emergency while loading his trailer after a race. Walker lost his life shortly after taking the win at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina.

Melissa Cothran lost her life in on-track dirt track accident. Cothran died from injuried after striking the wall at the Thunderhill Raceway in Tennessee.

Bob Walker wins at Myrtle Beach
Bob Walker wins at Myrtle Beach

Bob Walker

Bob Walker won the 15 lap Vintage main event on Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The track is a half mile asphalt track.

Walker wasn’t involved in any on-track accident. He passed away while loading his 1936 Ford.

“It is with great sadness to say we lost a great man and a true racer last night, Bob Walker, after he won his final race,” Myrtle Beach Speedway said in a statement.

“Bob was loading his car when he had a medical emergency that took his life. At this time, we ask for everyone to please say a prayer for Bob and his family. Bob will truly be missed.”

Bob Walker formerly ran in the NASCAR Winston West Series between 1989-1992. He collected 19 starts in the series over that 4 year run. Of those, he managed 8 top 10’s and 3 top-5’s in the series known today as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Walker also made a few starts in the NASCAR SuperTruck Series by Craftsman. His best finish came at Saugus Speedway, a 1/3-mile track in his home state of California. Walker finished 18th at Saugus in a truck owned by Raul Flores.

Those truck races were run in 1995. It was the debut season for what is known today as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, soon to be NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Walker also attempted to qualify for three NASCAR Winston Cup Series event in a car he fielded himself. Two of those attempts came at Phoenix Raceway and the other one came at Sonoma Raceway. He missed the starting grid for all three events in what is now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Walker later moved to Myrtle Beach, SC. He went own to operate Walker’s Hot Rod Shop where he produced custom built automobiles.

Melissa Cothran
Melissa Cothran

Melissa Cothran

LCEMS responded to an incident at Thunder Hill Raceway in Summertown, Tennessee. The track is a 1/3-mile high banked oval.

Fans reported that Melissa Cothran struck a wall. She was transported but later succumbed to injuries sustained from the impact.

“We are deeply saddened by the events that happened at the track last night, Thunder Hill Raceway stated via facebook.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and everyone one that was at the track last night. We hope that everyone will pray and give the family the space they need to deal with this tragic situation.”


Myrtle Beach Speedway | Thunderhill Raceway