Race car driver days after 200 mph crash at Great Lakes Dragaway

KENOSHA COUNTY, Wisconsin. (CBS 58) – A tragic crash at the Great Lakes Dragaway over the weekend claimed the life of one of the best-known racecar drivers there.

Chuck Weck was 66 years old.

It’s a shock and a huge loss to family, friends and the greater racing community, not just because of Chuck Weck’s skills, but more so because he was a very nice man.

Chuck Weck’s daughter says her racing band, The Chicago Wise Guys, and racing friends were her second family. The love was mutual.

“He always went out of his way to make it easy for you. He was also the kind of guy who ‘takes the shirt off my back,'” Chicago Wise Guys driver Steve Malek said.

Steve Malek was racing on Saturday. He and Weck listened to the national anthem together.

“And I’ll never forget, he told me, ‘be safe, mate.’ I said ‘thank you, Chuck, same for you’ and that will be the last time I speak to him,” Malek said.

Ten minutes later, Weck’s latest model Corvette dragster hit a concrete wall at 200 miles per hour.

“You hear everything that’s going on and you just heard the announcer announce that Chuck Weck crashed into the wall. Give us a minute, guys. And see the whole emergency medical team working on Chuck and trying to do everything they could to save him was pretty hard, I’m not going to lie, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever seen,” Malek said.

At 66, Weck had been with the Chicago Wise Guys longer than most. He was a mentor to many and when that happened they all came together.

“As much as the other runners that could squeeze in there, we were praying, talking to him, saying ‘Come on Chuck, it’s okay, mate,'” Malek said.

The family tells us they plan to scatter Weck’s ashes at the racetrack. I told them that if anything happened to him, that’s what he wanted.

Funeral arrangements are pending.