Phoenix drag racing driver, Mark Niver, was killed Sunday after crashing his dragster during a National Hot Rod Association event race at Pacific Raceways.

Niver was competing in the Top Alcohol dragster class in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series, the top feeder circuit for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series.

He had just crossed the finished line when his vehicle's parachutes ripped off preventing him from stopping. Niver crashed into a fenced barrier in a shutdown area.

All race activities were stopped for a short time.

The crash is being investigated by the National Hot Rod Association.

ESPN VIDEO OF CRASH: Be Cautious Watching Video, Shows Whole Crash

Niver's death is the second in a month at an NHRA event. Neal Parker, a 58-year-old from Millville, N.J., died of head injuries after crashing during a qualifying round at the NHRA SuperNationals in June.

On the official NHRA website, it states, " NHRA and Pacific Raceways officials extend their deepest sympathies to the entire Niver family."

Below is a short bio from the National Hot Rod Association:

Niver was a racer's racer. For most of his career, he not only drove but also built his dragsters and machined his engines and components. His talent on the racetrack and in the machine shop was superseded only by his kindness and willingness to help other racers. Niver raced dragsters of all varieties dating back to the Pro Comp era in the 1970s. He raced blown alcohol and injected nitro engines, and he even dabbled in Top Fuel.

When Niver won the 2003 Division 7 event in Tucson, Ariz., he broke a drought that lasted since his victory at the 1983 divisional event at Orange County Int'l Raceway, which closed that year. Niver won two more Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events, the most recent of which was the Tucson event in 2006.

Niver waited until 2008 to earn the crowning achievement of his long career. He won the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka by defeating final-round opponent Chris Demke, who, coincidentally, singled in the final after Niver's incident. (Demke's team presented Niver's family the Wally.) Niver won again in 2008 when he scored his second national event victory in Seattle.


Picture from: NHRA.com