), was a stock car racer from Montoursville, Pennsylvania
. He began racing at the age of 12 in go-karts, winning the coveted World Karting Association East Regional championship in 1992. In 1995, he moved south to Mooresville, North Carolina
and was named Rookie of the Year in the ARCA
series the following year. Over his ARCA career, he won three times. In 1997, he began running NASCAR
in the Busch Series
and the Craftsman Truck Series
. He only tasted modest success but was signed on to run for Team SABCO
in the Busch Series in 2000, posting two top-ten finishes and finishing 25th in points. After that year, he decided to return to the ARCA series for more experience.
On October 4, 2001, during the EasyCare 100 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Alexander was battling Kerry Earnhardt for the lead when their cars touched, sending Earnhardt flipping upside-down through the infield while Alexander crashed into the outside retaining wall nearly head-on. Earnhardt made it out unscathed, but Alexander was taken to the hospital unconscious and showing no pulse. Within 25 minutes, he was pronounced dead. His death, the sixth stock car racing fatality in two years, convinced NASCAR to mandate the HANS device for all drivers.
Alexander was born on March 26
in Montoursville, Pennsylvania
. He began his stock car career at age 12 in the World Karting Association
and was the champion of the East series in 1992. From that point, Alexander moved onto the Micro-Sprint
racing series at tracks in different states including Pennsylvania
, and New York
, posting a total of 48 wins in the series. In 1995, Alexander moved from Montoursville to Mooresville, North Carolina
to pursue a racing career. During this time, Alexander's career began to flourish. In 1997, he competed in fifteen ARCA Re-Max Series and then expanded his racing career into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
, where he was in two races, the Watkins Glen
road course and Bristol
oval. Alexander entered the Busch Series in the same year, posting a top-10 finish at North Carolina Speedway
in only his second start in the series. His best career finish, however, did not come until 2000's Atlanta Motor Speedway
race, racing for Team Sabco.
ARCA racing career
Alexander began driving in the ARCA Re-Max Series in 1995 and won Rookie of the Year
honors the year after. During the rookie year, Alexander pulled off a second-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway
and two second-place finishes in 1997. Alexander won his first ARCA race in 1998 at Toledo Speedway
and winning a second race the same year at Pocono Raceway
. He led in 18 ARCA races for a grand total of 490 laps led. Alexander's final win came in 2001 at Michigan International Speedway
in July 2001. Alexander had earned a total four career pole awards at Michigan, Watkins Glen, Toledo and Winchester raceways.
On October 4
, Alexander participated in the EasyCare 100
at Lowe's Motor Speedway
. He had been dogfighting for the lead position with Kerry Earnhardt
for most of the race. At Lap 63 of 67, Earnhardt had to dodge a lap car by hitting his brakes, which caused Alexander's #75 to catch up to Earnhardt's #2. Alexander began to inch into the lead when Earnhardt's car broke traction at the rear and made contact with Alexander's, sending both cars head-on into the wall. Earnhardt flipped over onto his roof and slid into the grass, while Alexander went head-on into the outside retaining wall. After the wreck, Earnhardt got away unharmed, while Alexander was knocked unconscious. The ARCA race officials quickly threw out the red flag to send rescue workers onto the track to check on Alexander. Earnhardt had already gotten out of his car and wanted to go check on Alexander, a good friend of his. Officials would not allow Earnhardt to see him and was taken to the infield care center. As soon as he left, he went for Blaise's car, but by the time he got there, the ambulance was already leaving. Alexander was pronounced dead at the infield care center at 10:20 PM, at age 25. This was the second loss for Kerry Earnhardt in 2001. He had lost his father, Dale Earnhardt
, in February's Daytona 500
. Alexander was interred at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, his hometown.
Alexander's death, caused by a basilar skull fracture
sustained in the impact, was the sixth in two years. Other high-profile drivers killed in this period included Adam Petty
, Kenny Irwin Jr.
and Tony Roper
as well as the elder Earnhardt, and finally motivated NASCAR to require the use of head and neck restraint devices
to keep drivers safe from these types of injuries, caused by rapid deceleration in wrecks. The use of such devices had been optional up until Alexander's death.
In response to these deaths, NASCAR also stepped up testing of soft wall technology, eventually leading to the installation of the SAFER barrier on all NASCAR oval tracks.