Napa man dies racing at Sonoma Raceway


The Sonoma County coroner’s office has identified a man who died in a crash while racing his car at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday evening as James Kenneth Rambo, 75, of Napa.

Rambo was drag racing his customized 1976 Ford Pinto on the quarter-mile drag strip when he crashed around 6 p.m. during the Sonoma Drags and Drifts program at the raceway.

It appears Rambo braked after crossing the finish line and his Pinto pulled to the left and hit a barrier at more than 100 mph, sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum said.

An ambulance crew provided life-saving efforts but Rambo died of his injuries.

Sonoma Raceway spokeswoman Diana Brennan said Rambo was the only one on the track at the time, and usually there are two vehicles racing during the Drags and Drift event.

The program gives drivers, including teens, an opportunity to race their vehicles in a safe, controlled environment instead of on the street.

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