A mudsling race turned tragic on a Franklin county track over the weekend. A jeep driven by a Burgaw man stormed through a chain link fence, into a crowd of spectators, killing a woman, injuring her daughter and nineteen others. The owner of that track is under fire for running an unsafe, unlicensed operation.
The accident is resulting in changes at a Duplin County track. North East Mud Sling is adding extra cable to shield spectators from the pit, some areas are also off limits to spectators. On race day, fans line up along cable fences parallel to the pits. What's proved dangerous and even deadly over is when fans lined up behind the finish line.
The owners of North East Mud Sling say they take safety seriously, but there are no standards for the sport and none are in the works. Fans like it because it's basic; man, machine, mud. But not, it is clear now, risk-free.