RIVERHEAD, NY : Veteran INEX Legend Race Car driver Silas Hiscock Sr. of Bridgehampton succumbed to injuries he suffered during practice day at Riverhead Raceway Saturday afternoon. Hiscock, 78 impacted the fourth turn wall heavily during one of the Legend Race Car test sessions. It is the first in-car fatality since 1994 when NASCAR Modified driver Bill Quilligan, 45 perished while racing off the second turn in a non-contact incident after suffering what was determined to be heart failure.
Silas Hiscock Sr. was racing his car through the third and fourth turn at the time of the crash with the exact circumstances that led up to the impact still not fully known. With the crash just feet away from the turn four entrance gate to the track and in close proximity to the ambulance EMT and other safety personnel were on scene immediately. Once removed from the car Hiscock was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center just east of the raceway wear he was treated and evaluated. Once stabilized it was determined by the attending doctors Hiscock was transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center where he passed away Sunday night into Monday morning.
To call Silas Hiscock Sr. an old school racer would be accurate with Silas enjoying essentially two different racing careers. Back in the day Silas ran both Sportsman and Modifieds at Riverhead Raceway in the 50’s & 60’s where he earned his lone Modified win on July 8th, 1961. After stepping away from the game for awhile Silas heard about a new class coming to Riverhead Raceway that he thought would be able to return him to the game he loved, the INEX Legend Race Cars. The class wihich featured body styles of the coupes and sedans from his racing heyday were right up his racing alley and Silas went back racing. What made returning to racing more attractive to Silas this time around was the fact his sons Silas Jr. and Will joined him on the track often racing side by side.
In 2018 Silas, who owned and operated Hampton Gas Tank Services in Bridgehampton made nine starts in his #07 and placed 24th in the final point standings. The class ran 15 races in ’18. Will Hiscock was making a return to Legend racing and was also practicing his car Saturday but was not on the track at the time of the crash.
Hiscock’s passing is the fourth overall at the track in the past 25 years. In 1999 Walt Edsall, the NASCAR Chief Steward at the track was stuck by a wheel that came off a NASCAR Modified during a heat race, Walt died a few weeks later at the hospital. In 2002 popular Blunderbust/Charger driver and track sponsor Larry “King” Costa was fatally injured after falling from a golf cart at the track, Costa died at the hospital hours later.
Track owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz send their thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Silas Hiscock Sr. on this very tragic loss.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Riverhead Raceway press release prepared by Bob Finan