SEBRING, Fla. -- For the first time since Nov. 15, the roar of engines filled the stands at Sebring International Raceway. Silenced for three weeks after drag racer Katarina “Kat” Moller died during an exhibition.
Fans told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska it was difficult to return to the racetrack where they watched Moller lose her life.
“Broke our hearts, broke our hearts,” Debbie Brymer said.
Brymer and her husband John snapped a photo of a smiling Moller in front of her jet car, which is a car propelled by a jet engine, and then told her they were big fans.
“I was telling her what an inspiration she was to other young ladies, with her degree, and all she has accomplished we’re proud of her,” John Brymer said. “She smiled and said ‘thank you.’"
Moller was a regular and very popular racer at local short tracks and a driver for Larsen Motorsports in the jet dragster. She was in her fifth season with Larsen.
Moller was making her first run in the car at Sebring’s regular drag racing event.
According to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, during the first of two scheduled exhibition runs, Moller’s dragster was observed drifting from the left lane towards the center line. As it crossed the center line during the run, the dragster struck a timing device located between lanes at the drag racing finish line. The preliminary investigation has determined that a piece of debris impacted Moller’s helmet, which is what caused her death.
Officials at Sebring International Raceway dedicated the final event of the 2018 drag racing season to Moller. They are donating 100 percent of all gate receipts to Moller’s family.
“It’s a family that’s still hurting... always will it’s the least we can do to do something for the family,” John Story, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications said. “Kat was a really popular gal everybody loved her she was a beautiful young girl.”
Regular fans said the crowd is one of the largest they’ve ever seen.
“Well, tonight when you look, it’s a tribute to her,” John Brymer said. “This is a capacity crowd, as far as we’ve ever seen here, great crowd.”