Canadian auto racer Greg Moore, shown above, died in 1999. (Wikicommons)

Canadian auto racer Greg Moore’s legacy continues years after death

Moore was killed during a race on Halloween in 1999

It’s hard to believe that 18 years ago today, Canada lost a promising young auto racer from British Columbia who was in the fast lane to success.

It was the final race of the CART FedEx Championship Series season when racer Greg Moore died in a violent single-car crash during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway on Oct. 31, 1999.

Moore was born in 1975 in New Westminster, but spent most of his life living in Coquitlam and Maple Ridge, where his father owned a car dealership. Greg Moore eventually worked his way up from racing go-karts in the Lower Mainland to to winning the 1989 North American Enduro KART racing championship. When Moore entered the top-level CART racing series with Player’s Forsythe Racing in 1996, he had already established himself as a promising young race car driver in the Indy Lights series, having won the 1995 Indy Lights Championship.

In just his second season, Moore became the youngest person to ever win a CART race when he captured the Miller Lite 200 at Milwaukee in 1997 at the age of 22. By the time Moore suited up for the Marlboro 500, it was clear that he was a rising racing star.

Sadly, Moore’s career and life were cut short that afternoon. Travelling at more than 330 kilometres an hour, Moore exited the second turn of the California Speedway, lost control of his Reynard-Mercedes and slid along a grass field, eventually slamming into a concrete wall cockpit first. He was pronounced dead before the race was even over.

I remember where I was when I found out Moore had died. I was 10 years old and I had just come home from trick-or-treating with friends. Like so many other racing fans, I was devastated. I had met Moore only a few years earlier at the Vancouver Molson Indy in 1997. My father had tickets that provided us with the opportunity to meet Moore for a short period of time during the race weekend.

For someone who was becoming a big deal in the racing world, Moore showed absolutely no signs of fame getting to him. He treated us with such unforgettable kindness and generosity. He talked to my father and I about auto racing and his car and he did it all with a smile. Before my father and I left, Moore signed a hat for us and allowed us to take photos with him. From that day forward, Moore was an idol of mine.

Moore’s CART racing career only lasted three years, but in that time he managed five wins, 14 podium finishes, four pole positions and touch the lives of thousands of people around the world, including current Canadian race car driver James Hinchcliffe, who often speaks about the impact Moore had on him.

Eighteen years after his death, Moore’s legacy hasn’t been forgotten.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Wounded Warriors team member says PTSD sufferers can heal

Post-traumatic stress disorder fundraising run enters final leg from Nanaimo

Lantzville’s 1935 Seagrave fire truck returning to its California home

A piece of firefighting history from Lantzville will make its way back to Alameda, Calif.

Trailer fire extinguished in Nanaimo

Fire damage limited thanks to neighbour who spotted smoke and called 911

UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck recovered during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Clippers come back, score in double OT and win 10th straight

The Nanaimo Clippers came back to defeat the Surrey Eagles 4-3 on Friday at Frank Crane Arena

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pieces of litter start to add up

There is so much garbage being littered on the side of the road

Port Alberni to host cruise ships again in 2019

Port Alberni last hosted a cruise ship in May 2013

Four prolific offenders arrested in Port Alberni

Drugs, weapons and stolen property seized in search

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

City will ask citizens, through alternative approval, to borrow $17M for fire hall

City council votes 5-4 to take next steps to proceed with project

Most Read