HARRISBURG -- A local sprint car legend has passed away.
Hall of Famer Larry "Smokey" Snellbaker has died at age of 73. The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame confirmed Snellbaker's passing on its website. Snellbaker was inducted into the hall, located in Knoxville, Iowa, in 2002.
Snellbaker, of Dover, competed against every imaginable sprint car series in the United States; but was best known locally for his efforts at tracks like Silver Spring and Williams Grove Speedways, respectively.
The cause of death is not yet known, but a friend of his told CBS 21 News Sports Director Jason Bristol that Snellbaker had been having some health problems of late, specifically with his heart.
"I'm saddened to hear of the passing of a real legend," said Williams Grove Speedway general manager Justin Loh. "He's one of the drivers who truly drove for the love of the sport."
Snellbaker had continued to race in the super sportsman divison until recently. He was a fan favorite because of the way he treated the fans.
"I've always enjoyed being around the fans," Snellbaker said back in 2002, according to the hall of fame's website. "This sport is really good, and it has been good to me. I think one of the reasons why is because of the fans. They don't know how important it is when they come up after the races and want to talk about the night or the past."
Local racing promoter Alan Kreitzer also believes Snellbaker was one of the all-time greats. "He was extremely popular with the fans," Kreitzer said. "He won in every type of car he competed in."