Before I continue, I want to say that while there was some wild action during the weekend, all drivers went home alive and in one piece. However, one driver had an especially harrowing experience and was very lucky to come out the way he did. True 10.5 racer Terry Barkley in his Chevrolet Nova experienced this crash on Saturday during First Round Qualifying.
|“It was spinning and I pedalled the car,” Terry begins, “I thought it was hooked, but my crew told me they saw haze from the tires. By the time I saw it go to the right, it was too late to react.”|
|“I just held on,” Barkley continues, “It was a really, really hard hit.” While initially feeling very sore and hardly able to move, by the time he reached his pit area Barkley was feeling better. “I hit the side of my knee on the roll cage somewhere and (I have some) soreness from the harness catching me so hard. I guess from tensing up and hitting that wall it kind of hurt as opposed to being limp and taking the impact.”|
|“Then, when I hit the wall a second time, I was pulling the fire system,” Terry demonstrated to me, reaching back behind his head and slightly twisting his body, “so I'm already twisted and when it hits that wall, I guess it shook me around really bad. After I got out of the car, I felt really hazy and couldn't see and stuff like that, so long as I'm feeling better than then, I (don't need to) go to the hospital.” Barkley did seem very calm, collected, and very disappointed. The car is a total loss with a twisted up frame, bent firewall and floorboard. They were contemplating a new car before this event, now they have no choice.|
|Before I interviewed him, Terry was talking to someone over the phone about a HANS Device. However, when I got to him, “Not thinking, I definitely will have a HANS device the next car I get in.” The reason I bring this up is because I feel we all need to remember that, even though drag racers are going only in a straight line for a quarter of a mile, or more or less, there is still the danger of a bad crash, as Terry Barkley can attest to. So, no matter what type of racing you are in, always build your car to the maximum or above your safety rules and always wear a head and neck restraining device like a HANS. It can save your life.|
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