On September 22, 2000, I was at the Delaware International Speedway.  The last feature of the night was the 20-lap Late Model Feature.  I don't remember exactly which lap the accident occurred on, but it was a multi-car pile up and early in the event.  Chuck had no where to go, but into the back of other cars at a fairly fast past.  It was silent for a while as the Emergency Crew worked on all the immediate persons involved.  It was soon after that the event and features were closed for the night.  I was in the pits, and the word was not good.  That Chuck Sennott driving the number sixty-one was fatally injured on this night.  Another driver Dale Bounds was also injured very bad but did manage to survive and continues to race today.  This was the first tragic accident I had ever seen at a track, let alone my home track.  My heart felt sympathy for the family was indescribable at the time.  I remember coming home and writing to Pitside and informing them of the tragedy, but only what I had heard no real facts.  A year later, I was able to speak to his son Steve when he came to DIS to race.  He sported the same number as his dad.  I felt very honored to tell him in person how sorry I was for his family and the lost.  I had sent emails and other responses, but the in person expression was the best for me.  I am a very caring person, and no one wants any harm to come to any of our drivers or be hurt in anyway.  When I was around nine or ten years old my father was racing at the Georgetown Speedway, in Georgetown, Delaware.  I was in the spectator side with my older cousin, and we were on our way to the concession stand, or move or something.  All of a sudden a tire came off of a car from the track and landed on the spectator side.  A young sixteen girl year old girl was hit and killed with the tire.  My cousin kept me away from all of it at the time.  But as I grew, my father believed that people should be exposed to the truth, so that the reality of life was real and not sugar coated.  I feel that helped me to be able to tolerate almost any situation, and emergency situations.  But, in all I do not want any harm to come to any of the drivers, fans, crews that love our sport.  The crews, drivers, and fans all take this risk for the love of the sport.  I accept it as something the person knew could happen, but also loved what he did.  But it's a dangerous sport and when the race officials cancel an event, do something that we might not agree with, its probably for our own safety.  The words below came for an article written by Ernie Saxton. 

 

CHUCK SENNOTT, LATE MODEL RACER, FATALLY INJURED IN DELAWARE

     Bechtelsville, PA September 23, 2001 . . . Chuck Sennott, a veteran campaigner in late model stock car racing at NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway, was fatally injured in a multi-car late model stock car racing accident at Delaware
International Speedway on Saturday night.
     The 46 year old Gilbertsville, PA resident passed up the open competition show at Grandview Speedway to test his talents at the popular Delaware racing facility. Sennott enjoyed the opportunity, once the regular point race season
was over, to get out and travel to other speedways.  Details about the accident are sketchy other than, There was a multi car accident that Chuck got caught up in.
He just had no place to go," said a witness to the accident who preferred to remain anonymous.
     In a recent interview with Sennott, he was asked about why he enjoyed racing late models at Grandview Speedway? "I loved the interacting within the pits. And I enjoy helping other drivers tune their chassis," said the father of two who
was considered one of the top talents in late model stock car racing at the Berks County clay oval.
     "I do like to get out and be competitive at other tracks following the Grandview season with a 410 motor."      The sixth place finisher in this season's NASCAR Late
Model point chase at Grandview owned and maintained his own racing equipment, the #61.
     Sennott got his start in auto racing at Holland, NY Speedway running in Figure 8 competition. During his years spent in Upstate New York he was able to win at a number of different speedways including Stateline, Eriez, and Perry Speedway. The highlight of his career had been a win in a 100 lap race at Perry, NY Speedway back in 1993, the same year he won the track Limited Late Model championship.
     Chuck also won the Street Stock title in 1984 running the Stateline/Eriez Speedway circuit.  It did not take long for the popular racer to catch on at Grandview Speedway. He won his eighth time out in his first season of competition, 1997. During his years atGrandview Sennott won eight late model features.
     "Sennott was a very competitive racer at Grandview Speedway. He told me that Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jr. were his favorites. And in some ways you could see traits of Dale in Chuck. He had an aggressive, but respectful, driving style," said Ernie Saxton, long time announcer and public relations person at Grandview Speedway.
     Chuck Sennott is survived by his wife Kathy, a son Steve (19) who served as his crew chief, and a daughter Jenny (17) a student at Boyertown, PA High School.
     "It is quite a shock. Chuck was a very good racer. He seemed to like our track and was quick to be successful. All of us involved with Grandview Speedway will miss him and the excitement he added to the late model competition. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends," said Grandview Speedway owner Bruce Rogers.
                         
     SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT CHUCK SENNOTT:
* 46 years old (September 14, 1955)
* 5'11"
* 200 pounds
* Brown hair
* Brown eyes
* Married to Kathy
* Son, Steve (19)
  Daughter, Jenny (17)
* Employed as Sr. Account Manager with Ecolab
* Resident of Gilbertsville, PA
Credits: This article was written and posted by
Ernie Saxton (erniesaxton@csi.com) on Sept. 23, 2001.