Don Williams (racing driver)

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Don Williams
BornGordon Lee Williams, Jr.
(1947-05-14)May 14, 1947
Madison, Florida, U.S.
DiedMay 21, 1989(1989-05-21) (aged 42)
Perry, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathHead injuries from racing accident

Gordon Lee "Don" Williams, Jr. (May 14, 1947 - May 21, 1989) was an American stock car driver born in Madison, Florida. He competed in the Sportsman 300 race at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 1979, a Late Model Sportsman Division (now Xfinity Series) race sanctioned by NASCAR. Williams was injured in a fiery multiple-car crash,[1] and lived in a semicomatose state for ten years before his death.[2][3]


Don Williams was competing in the Late Model Sportsman race, the Permatex 300, at Daytona on February 17, 1979. The crash began when a car driven by Freddie Smith went into a spin and was struck by a car driven by Joe Frasson, which then burst into flames as he hit the wall. Frasson was then struck at full speed by Delma Cowart. Williams was behind Cowart and tried to avoid the pileup. His #68 Chevrolet Chevelle slammed into the wall and spun onto the infield amid a shower of flying debris. Williams suffered head and chest injuries as well as a fractured right arm and an aneurysm in the right eye.[4]

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  1. ^ "Waltrip takes first in rain-shortened race". Rome News-Tribune. United Press International. February 18, 1979.
  2. ^ "Ex-Daytona driver loses 10-year race for his life". Orlando Sentinel. May 24, 1989. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "Don Williams at".
  4. ^ The Valdosta Daily Times. April 16, 1979. Hagood, Mike. "Madison driver remains in the Daytona hospital."

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