Thomas Borrell, a diesel drag racer who chronicled his builds and runs as Turba Tom on YouTube, died after a crash at the Rocky Top Diesel Shootout in Tennessee on Friday. He was 37.
Borrell's truck, a Cummins-powered Ram he had used for both drag racing and sled pulls in the past, was participating in 1/8th mile runs during the event. At the end of one such run, DragZine reports that his truck failed to slow at the end of the shutdown area and continued on into the woods behind the course at speed. Shortly after the crash, the event at Crossville Dragway came to an early end.
In a statement shared to Facebook, friend Whitley Peterson called Borrell "the prime example of what a racer should be," adding: "You [had] a great attitude and willing to help anyone for any reason! You set the standard high for everyone else and it was an honor to be your teammate this year! Unfortunately our first pass today will be our last pass together! I’m going to miss our conversations dearly and the fun we had bouncing ideas of how to make this truck faster."
Borrell had been building, racing, and sharing his trucks on his YouTube channel since 2017. He had used the medium to document both the process of building his trucks and his races, with his most recent uploads largely documenting his work and races with the Cummins-powered Ram he had run at the Rocky Top Diesel Shootout. He had uploaded a video preparing for the event just two weeks before the event.
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