Monday, April 2, 2001
Updated: April 3, 10:29 PM ET
Papini dies in short-track race
ROCKFORD, Ill. -- Short track driver Al Papini died from a
heart attack before hitting the wall at Rockford Speedway,
according to a preliminary autopsy report Tuesday.
Papini's 2001 Dodge Avenger went out of control toward the end
of Sunday's late-model feature race and struck the wall head-on at
about 70 mph.
Papini was running third in the 40-lap late model feature when
he ran head-on into the wall with seven laps remaining.
"He was dead before he hit the wall," Winnebago County coroner
Sue Fiduccia said.
She said Papini, 41, of nearby Machesney Park, didn't have a
history of heart problems.
Papini was airlifted from the track and later pronounced
dead at Rockford Memorial Hospital.
The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Bridget
Catholic Church in Loves Park. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial
Gardens in Machesney Park after his hearse takes a final lap on the
track at Rockford Speedway.