All American Speedway
Monday, July 16, 2012
The Left Coast Race Scene: Racing Accident Claims the Life of Driver Ron Pestana
by Dave Grayson
ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- It's with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the news regarding the tragic death of race driver Ron Pestana who passed away July 14th following a racing accident at the All American Speedway in Roseville-California.
According to initial reports, filed by KTXL Fox 40 News in Sacramento, the 60 year old Pestana was competing in a racing division known as the Spectator Class: a division that allows individuals to race rented stock cars. According to eye witnesses, Pestana was rounding the first turn, on lap four of the race, when his race car suddenly veered up the hill and crashed into the turn two retaining wall adjacent to the off ramp the drivers use to exit the track. The speedway's emergency officials made very quick work at arriving on the scene and administered CPR. They did everything humanly possible to save the driver but, tragically, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Those same eye witnesses also noted that it appeared that the driver was not in control of the race car when it veered up the track's embankment. Investigators on the scene also noted the lack of skid marks at the crash site indicating that the car's braking system may not been activated at the time. That led to some unconfirmed speculation that the driver could have suffered some sort of medical emergency prior to the accident. The following day the Placer County Sheriff's Department said an autopsy would be scheduled to determine the precise cause of death. Sheriff officials also towed the race car from the scene as part of their investigation.
This incident marked the All American Speedway's third fatal accident since its opening back in 1954. The management also noted that the speedway rental cars contain the same standard safety restraints used in any other type of race vehicles and these Spectator Class cars are very safe to drive.
According to the driver's "Facebook" page, Pestana was a licensed realtor for the past 25 years associated with WR Properties in Brentwood. While he seemed to really love his day time job, there were two other passions in this man's life: auto racing and music.
On the auto racing side Pestana was a veteran driver who, in 2006, won the Mini Super Truck championship at the former Altamont Motorsports Park located in Tracy-California. Pestana considered this particular track championship as being a major life long dream. That was because of strong family ties to this track. His Dad, John Pestana, built this famous speedway back in 1965.
On the music side Pestana, along with his good friend, partner and producer Bill Bentley, wrote, recorded and performed grass roots songs about Saturday night short track racing from a driver's perspective. In 2004, they formed the band Ron Pestana and the Pit Crew and began performing their high energy brand of sspeedway rock n roll at multiple venues including the All American Speedway.
The speedway plans on running its full schedule of racing this Saturday night and will begin the evening with a traditional memorial lap and moment of silence in honor of Ron Pestana.
Our sincere condolences goes out to the family, friends and fans of Ron Pestana during this truly sad time in their lives.