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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brayton Killed in Indy Practice Run

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- American Scott Brayton, who won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 Race two years in a row, was killed in a practice run at the Indianopolis Motor Speedway.

Brayton's Lola-Menard backup car cut a tire Friday while he was driving close to 230 mph through the short chute on the south end of the track. The car whipped around and violently slapped flush against the outside wall with the left side.

Brayton's helmeted head was snapped against the concrete barrier. He was removed from his wrecked machine and rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead at 17:50 GMT.

Brayton, preparing to drive in his 15th Indy 500 on May 26, became the 39th driver killed at the speedway since the track held its first race in 1909. The last fatality at the track was Jovy Marcelo of the Philippines in a 1992 practice session.

Brayton had won the pole last Saturday, after car owner John Menard withdrew his already qualified car and sent him out in a backup machine.

Brayton responded with a four-lap average of 233.718 mph, at the time an Indianapolis oval record.

He became the first driver ever to win the pole and be killed prior to the race.

"He died doing what he loved, going fast at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," speedway president Tony George said.

Racing great A.J. Foyt was close to tears as he talked about the tragedy. "It's a very, very sad moment," said Foyt, who drove 35 times in the 500 and won it four times. "I guess we've all got to go somehow, some way, but you never want or expect it to happen to a friend of yours."