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July 30, 2014

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Coroner ID’s woman killed in wreck that snarled traffic near speedway

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Steve Marcus

Traffic backs up as people try to leave Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the Kobalt Tools 400 on Sunday, March 11, 2013.

Updated Monday, March 11, 2013 | 10:53 a.m.

Fatal crash on Interstate 15

A woman killed Sunday in a collision on Interstate 15 moments after a NASCAR race ended at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was identified by the Clark County Coroner’s Office as Rebecca Steeprow, 31, of Las Vegas.

The collision between a car and tractor-trailer occurred about 3 p.m. on southbound I-15 near Cheyenne Road, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott said. Steeprow, who was driving the car, was taken to University Medical Center, where she later died, officials said.

The accident shut down southbound I-15 and caused several hours of delays for fans trying to leave the racetrack.

Metro Police officials urged NASCAR fans at the race to remain in the parking lots and await instruction from officers or security.

The interstate was reopened, but the speedway parking lots were only 80 percent empty as of about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Metro Police spokesman Bill Cassell said.

The accident stretched Nevada Highway Patrol resources thin, requiring the assistance of North Las Vegas Police, Trooper Loy Hixson said.

Seven troopers tended to the site of the crash, while four more redirected traffic onto the Las Vegas Beltway. Two North Las Vegas Police officers directed traffic on Craig Road, Hixson said.

The accident outside the speedway happened after Matt Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 on his 41st birthday in just his third start for his new team, Joe Gibbs Racing. He barely held off Kasey Kahne for his 25th career victory.

“I was real nervous all day,” Kenseth said. “(Kahne) had the best car. I told (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) with about 12 to go that I was sorry we were going to lose. We were just too tight. ... We didn’t have the fastest car there, but we had it where we needed it to be.”

Kenseth took charge by taking only fuel on the final pit stop during caution while almost everybody else replaced two tires. He took the lead and held onto it, using his veteran savvy — and a few screamed instructions at his new spotter — to keep Kahne’s impressive Chevrolet behind him to the finish

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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