Beloved Nashville Audio Engineer Dies in NASCAR Chicago Incident

Duane Tabinski (photo c/o family)

An audio engineer who died by electrocution while helping to set up NASCAR’s street race in Chicago has been identified as Duane Tabinski, a Nashville-based audio specialist and Hermitage native who owned the audio company “Duane.” Tabinski died on Friday, June 30th due to electrocution while setting up from “pre-race celebrations.” He was 53 years old.

During the set up process, Tabinski contacted electrical wires, and was found passed out and slumped over. Because he was in a restricted area, paramedics had to wait until power was cut to the area before they could attempt to render aid. Tabinski was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the death was caused by electrocution.

This weekend’s NASCAR’s festivities were supposed to be joyous and historic. The death of Duane Tabinski has overshadowed that to some extent. The Chicago event happening on July 1st and 2nd is NASCAR’s first-of-its-kind street racing event in its 75 years history. Music is also set to be a big part of the event, with performers including Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, and The Chainsmokers, and Charley Crockett getting a big opportunity on a national stage.

Charley Crockett is opening for Miranda Lambert on Sunday (7-2) before Miranda Lambert plays a full set. It is unclear if Duane Tabinski was working specifically on the music portion of the presentation when he died. The death occurred at about 11:30 am on Friday near the start/finish line of the race.

Duane Tabinski’s production company boasted doing work for acts such as Toby Keith, Old Crow Live, ZZ Top, Boston, Bob Dylan, and Katy Perry. “We are overwhelmingly devastated by the loss of Duane,” his wife of eight years, Kristin Tabinski, told the Chicago Sun-Times, while saying the family is continuing to search for answers. “He was so excited to help fans ‘feel’ the action and his crew is going to ensure that the show will go on this weekend.”

Duane Tabinski had worked previously as a a drummer and a DJ, as well as a truck driver, and also ran a restaurant. In 2006, he committed to running sound for events full time. “His ability to mix audio was exceptional and his talent made so many shows, festivals and events so enjoyable for everyone. He had the best ear in the business,” his wife says.

Duane Tabinski is survived by five children, and seven grandchildren.

© 2024 Saving Country Music