CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A drag strip racer who was well-known in Hickory and Lenoir died in a crash while racing near New Orleans over the weekend.
"Everything stopped,” friend Chuck Suddreth said. “It's like the whole world stopped whenever you lose your best friend."
Jeff Hagaman won a number of races in Caldwell County dating back to the late 1980s.
A YouTube video shows the last images of Hagaman competing in the sport he loved.
His Nissan GTR could reach speeds in excess of 200 mph over the half-mile track but, in his last race, something caused him to lose control of the car at the end.
Hagaman won the Hickory Motor Speedway and the Tri-County Motor Speedway in Caldwell County.
He was described as a gifted driver.
Friends said he will also be remembered for what he did off the track.
"He never met a stranger,” Suddreth said. “He never met anybody he wouldn't help. Whoever Jeff was around, he wanted them to succeed."
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