Newburgh Free Academy Memorial
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John P. "Johnny" Owen - Class of 1962

Delete this post Submitted by Charlie Hager 1962 <> on 21/May/2019

       John P. "Johnny" Owen - John died in 1986 at about the age of 43. He was killed in a stock car racing accident in Middletown NY. He had a bar in Newburgh and was well liked by all. John was married to Carol Johnston (NFA 1961) John had two daughters Jody and Christine.

Newburgh Racer dies at OC Speedway

A veteran Newburgh driver was killed and a teenage racer from Thompson Ridge was seriously injured in separate crashes 30 minutes apart Thursday evening at the Orange County Fair Speedway. The accidents, in which a third driver sustained minor injuries, came just 11 days after the death at the speedway of 19-year-old Middletown driver Andrew Marshall. About 5,000 people attended the special show held for the Big Rig Trucks and the 320 Modifieds, according to track general manager Robin Mamus. The first accident occurred at about 6 p.m. during warm-ups of Modified 320 stock cars, when driver Johnny Owen, 43, of Newburgh crashed into the fence at the track’s first turn, “It seems the throttle never let up or got stuck,” many spectators at the scene said. The right front tire of Owen’s vehicle #12 struck the retaining wall on the first turn, the stock car became airborne and tumbled end over end for about 110 feet before coming to rest on the speedway on fire. Track officials raced to the scene and pulled a motionless Owen from the car after tearing off its roof. Owen was taken to Horton Memorial Hospital in Middletown, where he was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m. of severe head and chest injuries. The car was impounded. Johnny Owen owned a bar, Champion’s Tavern in the city of Newburgh, and Johnny “O”S on rt. 52 in the Town of Newburgh . Friends have said, “Next to his family, those were his favorite things: his bar and racing was his life, that’s what he likes to do.” On May 10, Owen broke a 12 year drought with a narrow victory ia a 20 lap feature. His other victory came at the track, Aug, 24, 1974.



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