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Estes engine employee killed in highway wreck

November 2, 2007, 3:02 pm
By Chris Tilley
DirtonDirt.com correspondent

Chris Estes, a machinist with Estes Racing Engines of Nicholasville, Ky., was one of two men killed in an I-75 accident Thursday en route to the World of Outlaws Late Model Series event at the Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

Estes, 25, and Bradford Pena, a 40-year-old crew member for driver Larry Gray Jr. of Lexington, Ky., died after their pickup truck hit an embankment and flipped several times near Jellico, Tenn. Stephen Estes Jr., known as Chip, was injured in the accident but was expected to be released from a Knoxville hospital on Friday.

The three men were traveling to join driver Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., en route to the WoO event. Estes Racing Engines is a long-time supporter of Mike Marlar, helping him to the 2003 championship on the O'Reilly Auto Parts Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series.

“The tragic loss of Chris and Bradford are felt throughout the entire Battle of the Bluegrass Series,” said Tom McConnell, Battle of the Bluegrass series director. “Our deepest and most sincere thoughts and prayers go to the entire Estes and Pena families."

Chris Estes was a machinist with Estes Racing Engines, the 2003 Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series Engine Builder of the Year. Condolences to the Estes family can be sent to Estes Racing Engines at 132 South Hendren Way, Nicholasville, KY 40356.

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