If anything, Muldoon possesses a terrific case of tunnel vision. He races on even though he’s well aware that his old friend, Tony White, died of a heart attack during a heat wave last summer at Oswego Speedway. White, the track’s limited supermodified rookie of the year in 2002, was 37 when he lost consciousness during a Saturday night feature only hours after the temperature soared to 90 degrees.
“We had just sat down, and that’s when it happened,” said White’s older brother, Wayne, who went to school with Muldoon. “I thought something was seriously wrong. He just barely tapped the wall, and the car veered up to the outside and just kept going until it stopped on its own.”
Ironically, Tony White was in just about the best shape of his life after taking some time off from racing.
“He was a heavier guy and he smoked, we all do, but he had just lost probably around 65 pounds,” Wayne White said. “He had worked real hard because he wanted to go racing again and be in good shape to go. A year before, he thought he was having some problems. He had gone to the doctors and they gave him a clean bill of health. Everything checked out real good. He was in great spirits, excited about the new car.”
Instead, a 110-car funeral procession marked the end of his life, and the Tony White Memorial is now an annual event at the speedway.
And Tony White is not alone. The Joe Winne Memorial race is run each summer at Accord Speedway in the Hudson Valley region of New York state. The race is in memory of Joe Winne Sr., a tough-as-nails, small-block modified competitor for two decades who died of a heart attack at age 45 during a practice session in 2000.