‘Veteran racer’ dies at Portland International Raceway

Kelly Johnson, 24, was racing in the Ultra-Lightweight Superbike on Sunday

Kelly Johnson was racing in the Ultra-Lightweight Superbike when she crashed Sunday, May 14, 2017. (Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 24-year-old woman was killed in a single-rider crash Sunday at Portland International Raceway, sources confirmed to KOIN 6 News.

Kelly Johnson was racing in the Ultra-Lightweight Superbike when she crashed Sunday, May 14, 2017. (Facebook)

Kelly Johnson was racing in the Ultra-Lightweight Superbike when she crashed, according to the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association, which hosted the event.

OMRRA president Chris Page said Johnson and 5 riders were coming through the last turn when she hit a wall on the outside of the track. She was likely going about 80 mph at the time, Page said, which is typical on the track.

Johnson was killed on impact, but paramedics reached her within seconds.

The 24-year-old from Sauvie Island had 8 years in amateur road racing experience. Page said she was highly skilled and was wearing protective gear at the time.

OMRRA provided this statement in response to her death:

“She was a consistent podium finisher in highly contested lightweight race classes at OMRRA since beginning her amateur road racing career in 2009. Johnson won Ultra- Lightweight Superbike at OMRRA as recently as April this year, and holds the PIR track record for that class. In 2014, Kelly was the #2 plate in OMRRA’s Clubman Season Championship while winning both Ninja 250 Cup and Ultra-Lightweight Supersport classes. Previously, she raced motocross.

Much loved in the OMRRA pits, and known for singing the national anthem over the PA while wearing her leathers, then putting on her helmet to race, she had a spritely personality with deep enthusiasm for motorcycle racing, and extraordinary skill and determination on track. Her race number was 303. She was 24 years old.”