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NASCAR official killed in accident near Charlotte
By Sporting News Wire Service
April 10, 2008
03:38 PM EDT
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Brienne Davis, a 28-year-old NASCAR official, died Tuesday night as a result of an automobile accident on Interstate 77 in Huntersville, N.C., north of Charlotte.

Heading northbound, Davis drove onto the shoulder in a pickup truck and collided with another vehicle, according to reports from the scene. Her truck flipped after the impact and split into two. Davis was airlifted to a local hospital where she later died.

Davis paved the way for females within NASCAR with her knowledge and no-holds-barred attitude. Originally from Louisiana, she entered the sport in 2002 after attending an automotive program in Houston. Once she relocated to the Charlotte area, she began working as an engine builder for Dale Earnhardt Inc. She joined NASCAR in 2004 as an official in the Sprint Cup Series inspecting carburetors.

"She had a lot of expertise," NASCAR spokesperson Ramsey Poston said Wednesday. "She was an important part of the team. As a female, even more so. It is rare to have female inspectors, though we hope to have more. Her presence as a person and a friend to all of the officials in the garage is going to be missed."

John Darby, who oversees Cup officials as director of the series, could not be reached Wednesday. Darby, along with most NASCAR officials, was en route to Phoenix, Ariz., for this weekend's Sprint Cup and Nationwide series races at Phoenix International Raceway, where Davis was scheduled to work.

"She was someone who did her job very well," Poston said from NASCAR's office in Daytona Beach, Fla. "She was also someone who was quick with a smile. She loved Johnny Cash and Elvis. A lot of times if people saw her in the garage, she would be wearing an Elvis belt. That all will be missed."

Davis spent nearly three seasons working in the engine department at DEI. She worked alongside Richie Gilmore, now the vice president of motorsports for the company. Davis joined DEI during NASCAR's early efforts into diversity, and Gilmore said she distinguished herself in the male-dominated field.

"She demanded respect," Gilmore said. "The guys knew if they crossed her, she would whip them. She commanded that with her work ethic. She didn't want any special treatment. She carried her workload. She ran our teardown department and helped set up a lot of the organization that we still have today.

"The big thing with her, when she came [to DEI] she brought a lot of energy. She was such a team player, a great person to work with. It's such a huge loss at such a young age. Everybody here is saddened today, and we miss her."

The End