TULARE, Calif. – official release — Collin Markle photo —
Dominic Scelzi will be sidelined for at least the next month and a half after he sustained several compression fractures in his back last Saturday during a crash at the Peter Murphy Classic.
Scelzi, who entered the King of the West Sprint Car Series event at Thunderbowl Raceway as the championship points leader, was injured during the opening laps of the feature when his car got into the cushion, pirouetted and landed hard on the rear end.
“I have five or six compression fractures in my upper and lower back as well as one in the base of my neck,” he said. “I’ll be out for at least six-to-eight weeks. No surgery, basically just bed rest. I’m supposed to be off my feet for most of the day. When I do get up I can’t lift anything or do anything strenuous at all. It’s pretty strict lockdown.”
Scelzi had kicked off the marquee event by qualifying 13th quickest. He led most of his heat race before a mechanical problem sent him into the pits on lap seven. That relegated him to the B Main, which he won to garner the 14th starting position in the main event.
“I was trying to stay out of trouble to start the feature,” he said. “I got into the cushion a little hard. That was one of the easiest crashes. It only bent the bottom rails up. I just landed in a bad way.”
Scelzi was running just outside the top 10 when the accident occurred.
“I felt immediate pain in three spots of my back,” he said. “It was really difficult for me to move my arms and legs. They wanted to take extreme caution. Fortunately nothing was broken.”
The safety crew elected to cut the frame to get Scelzi out of his sprint car. He was then taken to a hospital and has been visiting doctor’s offices all week since the crash.
“I want to give a shout out to the safety team and a huge thanks to Cary Tanner for getting me in to see a doctor on such short notice,” he said. “My goal if I’m cleared is to come back for Gold Cup (Sept. 11-12 at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif.). As soon as I’m available to get back and I’m cleared I’m going to hit every race in California as possible.”
Not only will the injury test Scelzi’s patience during the next several weeks, it eliminates his opportunity at winning his first career King of the West Sprint Car Series championship.
“We had a really good shot at the championship,” he said. “It’s really disappointing and it hurts a lot. We had our sights on winning the championship and due to one mishap we’re taken out of it. But it could always be worse.”
CREDIT: Inside Line Promotions