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Roxburgh man David Divers, known as Alec, died after a grader rolled on a rural property near Millers Flat on Wednesday night.
Southern Dragways former president Rhys Jones said Mr Divers’ death had shocked the drag racing community.
Mr Divers (69) had been a member of the club for close to 20 years and had done about 1000 races in his life.
The community was stunned by his death, he said.
Mr Divers was a caring, friendly man who was always happy to help out. He would regularly show up early and stay late to help with events.
"He was one of those guys who could put anybody at ease."
As a driver he liked to keep the power of his car hidden to surprise spectators, Mr Jones said.
Despite travelling across the country to race he never used a trailer for his racing car, instead opting to drive.
"He was a true New Zealand drag racing legend."
Police said inquiries into the accident are continuing.