Arkansas driver dies after heart attack
Leon Cloninger of Plumerville, Ark., died this afternoon in the aftermath of an apparent heart attack suffered during Saturday's Southern Outlaw Late Model Series feature at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark.
The 55-year-old's death was reported by the series and his nephew, Jeff Cloninger.
During Saturday's SOLMS competition, Cloninger was unconscious when he was removed from his race car and taken by ambulance to Baptist Health hospital in Little Rock, according to reports from friends and family on Facebook.
Attempts to treat Cloninger were unsuccessful and when it was discovered there was a lack of brain activity, according to Jeff Cloninger, he was removed from life support. The series reported his death "with heavy heart and tears flowing" late in the afternoon.
Cloninger, the driver of the No. 8c Late Model, had competed in five previous SOLMS events with a best finish of sixth on Sept. 7, 2019, at I-30.
The series ended Saturday's race four laps shy of the finish after the emergency for Cloninger with Drake Findley of Bryant, Ark., winning his first career Late Model feature.
Editor's note: Updates with details.