The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

August 5, 2013

Former Selinsgrove racer dies following dirt track crash

ALLENWOOD — SELINSROVE — Kramer Williamson, one of the most popular driver in the history of Selinsgrove Speedway and the sport of sprint car racing, passed away on Sunday afternoon from serious injuries he sustained while racing at Lincoln Speedway in a United Racing Company (URC) sanctioned event on Saturday night.

Williamson, of Palmyra, sustained the injuries in the first heat of the night.

According to the press release from Lincon Speedway, his car rolled over the back wheel of another sprint car and into the second turn catch fence. The car then fell onto all four wheels before rolling upside down. He was flown to York Hospital’s trauma center where he was worked on in surgery.

In 1978, Williamson won the Selinsgrove Speedway sprint car title. His 25 sprint car wins are tied for ninth on the track’s all-time sprint car win list with Barry Camp, of Beavertown.

Williamson, whose drove his first ‘Pink Panther’ car in 1968, is survived by his wife, Sharon; son, Kurt; daughter, Felecia; and brother, George.

“We got along good, we raced together good, we gave each other room to race, we were racers, not crashers,” said fellow Hall of Fame and former URC driver Glenn Fitzcharles. “Winning is the fun part about the sport, but meeting the people in the racing world is an incrediable experince to have.”

Fitzcharles, of, Pottstown, is URC’s all-time winningest driver with 81 wins.

“Kramer was one of the top competitors that I’ve raced against,” he said. “The race was never over until the checker flag fell for him. He’d always come over and congradulate you and I don’t recall him ever bad-mouthing anyone. From racer to racer, all racer understand the situation, they fell heartbroken.”

Williamson, a three-time URC champion, won the last of his 67 URC victories on April 30, 2011, at the Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del.

Williamson was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2008 along with Fitzcharles. The class also included Melvin “Tony” Bettenhausen, Brent Kaeding and Johnnie Parsons Sr., to namke a few.

He was inducted with the first class in URC’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

“Kramer had such a love for this sport that included his competitors and race fans,” Bob Miller, URC publicity director said. “He was an intense driver that always found a way to bring some humor into any situation. It was just who Kramer was.”

URC, which sanctions the Jack Gunn Memorial and the National Open for 358-360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway, is part of Saturday’s racing card along with the Selisngrove 358 sprint cars, late models and pro stocks this coming Saturday.

He finished 16th in Friday’s URC Rislone Nationals at Williams Grove where he won the track title in 1976 and 1978. He alson won the National Open in 1978.

Williamson neeted a pair of top-10 finishes this season but he did not qualifying for the Jack Gunn Memorial in May at Selisgrove.

“All of us at Selinsgrove Speedway are deeply saddened by Kramer Williamson’s passing,” Steve Inch, the track’s public relations drictror and announcer said. “Kramer was one of the most likeable and successful drivers in sprint car racing for more than four decades. I remember watching him race his popular Pink Panther No. 73 at Selinsgrove when I was a kid and was looking forward to seeing him back at his home track this coming Saturday night.”

Williamson won races in three different countries, incluiding Canada and Australia, where he raced and won for famed sprint car builder and car owner Bob Trostle, also a Hall of Famer.

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