Demo car builder explains racing after Hawkeye Downs wreck - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Demo car builder explains racing after Hawkeye Downs wreck

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A Norway man was killed in Cedar Rapids while racing at Hawkeye Downs.

John Pickart, 68, was driving a motor home when it flipped over, killing him Saturday, during the Race 'Em or Wreck 'Em event.

"I raced a demo car once, Saturday was going to be my second time," said Chad Sexton, a demo car builder.

Sexton was at Hawkeye Downs Saturday. Although he didn't see the crash because he was in the cockpit, he says racing demo cars is on a different terrain than stock car racing.

"Stock car racing, they're racing and they like to keep their equipment nice and straight, but we're out there and all we're trying to do is destroy equipment," said Sexton. "Our largest goal is to go out, have fun and still come home and still be in one piece and be safe."

Sexton says he spends a lot of time in the cockpit building his cars with safety bars and making sure the gas tank and batteries are in tack to ensure safety.

However when it comes to racing school buses and motor homes like one Pickart was driving Saturday, Sexton says those vehicles are heavier, has a lot more center of gravity, and are more susceptible of rolling over.

"As far as life threats, we really feel that we build our cars safe enough that we don't have to worry about such things," said Sexton.

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