Palm Beach News

Racers Mourn for Track Worker Killed in Raceway Accident

The racing world suffered a loss this past Sunday when an experienced track worker at the Palm Beach International Raceway died during a race when an unmanned, out-of-control motorcycle crashed into him.

Robert "Goofy" Hoffstetter, who had more than 30 years' experience as a corner marshal (the guys who help maintain safety on the track) around Florida when he became the victim of the fatal accident. Here's what happened, according to a statement from the PBIR:

"...a rider experienced a mechanical failure on his Yamaha R1 motorcycle: the throttle became stuck in the open position. The rider dismounted from the motorcycle before approaching Turn 9. The motorcycle continued down the track, impacting the tire wall at Turn 9 where Robert "Goofy" Hoffstetter was positioned as a corner marshal. Medics AMR staff stabilized Hoffstetter at the site, and he was then transported to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach by a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Trauma Hawk. Hoffstetter passed away due to the injuries sustained during the accident."

The tragic incident made a big impact in the racing world, with mentions in several racing publications and messageboards.

As one commenter wrote: "RIP bob, always felt a heavy weight lifted of my shoulder when i saw him waving, i knew the session is over and i made it in one piece."

A memorial is being organized by PBIR and Hofstetter's friends, their statement says.

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Ray Downs
Contact: Ray Downs