T.J. Layne, the public relations director for Southern Ohio Speedway in Wheelersburg said the Friday night crash that resulted in critical injuries to one of the race car drivers is under investigation by the insurance company to determine exactly what caused the freak mishap on lap 12 of the Super Late Model feature race. Injured in that crash was Charlie Floyd, 26.
“Whatever their findings are at the insurance company, we will make any new adjustments we need to make to our safety equipment,” Angie Haught of the American Motor Racing Association (AMRA) said. “Whether it’s fire suits, gloves, helmets, fuel cells, we’ll be looking into that as soon as the find out what the findings were.”
The crash is being described as one the likes of which many area racing fans had never seen before.
“That was not a normal crash,” Layne told the Daily Times. “It was not a normal fire. I’ve been going to races for years and I’ve never seen a fire get that bad, that quick. Within probably 10 seconds the entire thing was just engulfed. Everything is being looked at, as to what caused it. What got it so bad was that there was fuel that kept leaking out of the fuel cell that just kept igniting the blaze. There could be a whole number of things that could cause it to catch fire and that’s something that may never be known. I talked to people that have been going to the races for years and they have never seen anything like it.”
Layne said the Minford Fire Department was on site with a truck and crew and an ambulance were at the scene and responded quickly to the crash.
“They were parked up off turn number one and the crash happened in turn four,” Layne said. “They were there as quick as they could get there.”
Floyd was apparently transported first to Southern Ohio Medical Center and then flown by helicopter to Cabell Huntington.
He is in critical condition with severe burns at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
“He’s still in critical condition,” Haught said. “That track (Southern Ohio Speedway) did cancel racing for this week. They will not (race) again until the (April) 29th.”
Haught said she will be in the process of following up with Floyd’s family as to his condition and any updated information.
“I know that a lot of the other tracks in the AMRA family have done fundraisers for Charlie already,” Haught said. “I think the first one was Atomic (Speedway) (Chillicothe) and they collected over $2,500 for them. Some of the other pro-runners have expressed the same interest.”
Layne called attention to the response from the other drivers.
“There has really been an outpouring from the racing community,” Layne said. “Probably half the drivers that were there Friday night donated their winnings to the family.
There is a Go Fund account on the race track’s Facebook account.
The Daily Times has also learned that Portsmouth Raceway Park will be planning some fundraising efforts for Floyd and his family on their opening night.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.