KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Derrick Lancaster, a racer out of Virginia, was involved in a serious accident during the first of two late model races at the Kingsport Speedway on Friday night.
Officials say Lancaster connected his car almost directly with the concrete wall alongside the race track when cars got in front of him. The race car caught fire after the impact.
Will Bellamy, a spokesperson for the Kingsport Speedway, told News Channel 11 that the track safety team reached the wreck within seven seconds.
Bellamy submitted the following photos:
According to the Lancaster race team Facebook Page, MRI results confirmed that he suffered a hairline fracture at the base of his skull. It is often also called a “hangman’s fracture.”
“Direct from the mouth of the neurosurgeon, this is the same injury that Dale Earnhardt succumbed to, the only difference is it severed Earnhardt’s spinal cord,” the post read. “He is a very lucky man.”
Lancaster is to wear a neck brace at all times for the next three months, the post stated.
“The worst words Derrick heard today was that he should never race again,” the post continued. “Those words nearly killed him.”
According to the Facebook post, Lancaster was released from Holston Valley Medical Center Monday afternoon.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Derrick and his family at this time,” Bellamy said in a statement to News Channel 11. “We wish Derrick a speedy recovery and will provide updates as we get them.”
Bellamy added that Lancaster was wearing all appropriate safety equipment, as well as a HANS device.