STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Family, friends, and the racing community are mourning the loss of a driver who died after crashing Friday night at 311 Motor Speedway in Stokes County, NC.
Keith Jacobs, who had raced for more than 30 years, is remembered as a kind-hearted family man who loved to spend time at the race track.
"He was just a really good guy. Do anything for anybody. We are really going to miss him," said Bill Tesh, a long-time friend of Jacobs and a fellow race car driver.
On Saturday, 311 Motor Speedway honored Jacobs by donating all of the prize money to his family, and an anonymous donor promised to match the donations up to $6,000.
Fans and drivers also held a moment of silence before Saturday's race. People wore black ribbons in Keith's memory. Friends set up a memorial of flowers and spray-painted his number and nickname on the track.
"It's all one big family here. Racers are nothing but a big family. Whether you know them or not, when something happens in the racing community, it really affects everybody," said Zackary Tate, a driver who was next to Jacobs in the pit Friday night.
One of Jacobs' close friends, Benji Hicks, said family and friends are heartbroken.
"Knowing Keith, the best way to support him... be at the race track, the show is going to go on tonight. and he is going to be riding with everybody. He is going to be watching, he is going to put his hand on all of us. We are going to do everything we can here in the 55 pit to put it in victory lane and it's going to be for him," said Hicks.
"Please pray for Keith Jacobs' family'
According to Mike Fulp, the owner of 311 Motor Speedway, it is believed that Jacobs suffered a medical emergency while racing.
Witnesses saw him slumped over behind the wheel at about 10 p.m., Fulp said.
Jacobs' car hit a wall straight on, went high up onto the wall, then crashed down, according to Fulp.
First responders were called to help with the emergency at the race track. People formed a prayer circle after the accident.
"People were on their knees praying," said Fulp. "Pray for his family. He's well-liked." Jacobs raced at 311 Speedway for more than 30 years, Fulp said.
All the drivers at Friday night's race decided to donate the full prize -- about $4,300 -- to Jacobs' family, said Fulp.
Jacobs' family shared photos of the father and grandfather with WFMY News 2.
The speedway is located on U.S. Highway 311 in Pine Hall.
Stokes County EMS confirmed a death related to a speedway crash with WFMY News 2, but did not identify the victim.