On August 19, 2017, professional stock car racing driver Shane Sieg passed away, only a few days short of his 35th birthday. Even more than a year after his death, this tragedy serves as a sad reminder of a promising career that was cut much too short.
Having raced in 68 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in seven years and garnered three top-10 finishes, the Tucker, Georgia native was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR in 2011 for “for violating its substance abuse policy and for actions detrimental to the sport,” according to ESPN.
The late truck series driver’s cause of death was never officially released, but shortly after Shane Sieg’s passing, Ryan Sieg Racing, the family-owned racing team that both Shane and his younger brother and Xfinity Series driver Ryan Sieg raced for (now known as RSS Racing or Ryan Shane Sieg Racing), broke the news with a short and heartbreaking statement via Twitter.
Two weeks after Shane’s death, Ryan Sieg announced that, for the 2017 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway, the paint scheme for his No. 39 Chevrolet would be based on a scheme that Shane Sieg used on a late model in 2003.
“This is the ultimate tribute for my family,” Ryan Sieg said in a press release at the time. “My brother had a love for racing and I’m honored to carry this scheme at Darlington. For my family and our friends this is a very special tribute. I just want everyone to smile when they see the car on track this weekend.”
Of course, it’s always sad when someone in the professional racing community dies, but the untimely death of Shane Sieg will go down as a particularly tragic footnote in racing history.