OCALA, Fla. - A makeshift memorial has been set up outside the Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, where a 15-year-old was seriously injured in a crash Saturday and later died.
The family of Niokoa Johnson told Eyewitness News she was living her dream on the race track when the crash happened.
"She was a tomboy. She loved anything adventurous," father Richard Johnson said.
Niokoa Johnson's grieving family members said her passion for racing runs in the family and she was following her sister's footsteps.
"Her sister had an orange car, she had an orange car. Number 17, she had number 17. She wanted to be like her sister," Richard Johnson said.
That's why Richard Johnson said he supported his daughter's dream to race cars. They spent months working to prepare her car for the race Saturday night.
"I was tightening her helmet up and she grabbed it and pulled it tight and said 'I got this.' They waved for her to come on and she went," Richard Johnson said.
During the second lap of her practice run, Niokoa Johnson lost control of the car and crashed into a concrete barrier.
Her father said their family is struggling to accept that Niokoa Johnson's first time on the track turned out to be her last.
"She was an outgoing person and we can't put our children in a bubble. We just have to trust God to look over them," Richard Johnson said.
A fund has been set up to help the Johnson family.