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Driver shaken but not hurt in Friday crash at Lee USA Speedway

By John Quinn
Union Leader Correspondent

July 20. 2013 11:32AM

LEE – The driver of a super modified race car was sent to the hospital as a precaution after he crashed into the walls Friday night.

The incident occurred during a race  about 10:45 p.m. near the end of a usual night of racing at the track along Route 125, according to John "Red" MacDonald, owner of Lee USA Speedway

"It just happened - two fellows bumped wheels and one (car) hit the wall," MacDonald said, adding it took about 20 minutes to clear the track before racing finished up for the night.

MacDonald said the crowd cheered the driver – whose identity was not available - on once the announcer reported he was alert and being taken off the track.

"He was shaken up, but he wasn’t hurt," MacDonald said, adding it's policy for all drivers are evaluated after any incident where their race car is towed off the track.

Sgt. Thomas Dronsfield, who was at the race Friday, said the on-hand rescue personnel responded immediately.

"Initially, it was made to sound worse than it was," Dronsfield said, adding the driver was "unconscious for a few seconds" before wondering what happened to his car.

"He got his bell rung real good," Dronsfield said, adding the driver was eventually able to stand up in the cockpit, was talking to emergency personnel and was able to assist them.

MacDonald said the speedway always has safety crews, ambulance personnel and firefighters on-hand during racing, which occur Fridays.

He said the crews – both on and off the track – are extremely professional and proficient. He added they take safety very seriously.

"The Lee Fire Department has been there for 28 years," MacDonald said.

Additionally, MacDonald said track officials conduct thorough inspections before all races. He added all vehicles need on-board fire extinguishers and all safety belts, helmets and fire-resistant suits need to be up to date.

MacDonald, who believed the driver was at home, said the racer will have time to recover while the racecar is repaired. He added he plans to call the driver to check in on him Saturday afternoon.

"I’m sure he’ll return soon," MacDonald said. "He was more concerned about his car."

While there was a fatal crash at the speedway in the past, Dronsfield said the majority of incidents are minor.

"Occasionally, you get one (a serious crash), but they're few and far between," Dronsfield said

Dronsfield said crews from Holy Cross Ambulance were on-hand at the track, but members of McGregor Ambulance transported the driver to the hospital – probably Wentworth Douglass in Dover.

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