Derrick Lancaster, a 48-year-old NASCAR driver, was transported to a local hospital near Talladega Superspeedway after he was involved in a flaming wreck during Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series race.
Lancaster hit the outside wall hard in the final laps of the race after apparent contact with driver Drew Dollar. Dollar was driving on the inside of Lancaster’s No. 29 Toyota on the backstretch when Lancaster went sailing into the wall. Lancaster’s car was engulfed in flames and he exited minutes later.
The race broadcast on FOX showed the driver laying on the ground next to his car after he was able to exit his vehicle, and later showed him walking with support from NASCAR’s American Medical Response Safety team surrounding him.
After the red-flag for the crash was lifted, NASCAR announced that Lancaster been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, indicating a more serious injury. Motorsport.com located a social media post issued by Lancaster’s wife, Elizabeth, that said the driver was transported to the University of Alabama Birmingham Burn Unit.
She posted a second update on Facebook later that said Lancaster will be on a ventilator for at least 48 hours until doctors are able to assess the lung damage. She wrote that her husband suffered second- and third-degree burns on both arms, his neck and face.
“Nothing internal as far as breaks or bleeding,” Elizabeth wrote. “They will debread his arms and take him to trauma unit where I’ll be able to lay eyes on him and touch him.
“He will not know I’m there but that’s ok,” she wrote. “Please continue to pray.”
Lancaster drives for a self-owned team in the ARCA Series competing in the superspeedway events. He was involved in a serious crash last year at Kingsport Speedway in Kingsport, Tenn., and was told he would never race again after suffering a hairline basilar skull fracture — the same injury that killed Dale Earnhardt 20 years ago. Lancaster recovered to race to a sixth-place finish earlier this year in the ARCA race at Daytona.
Saturday’s Talladega ARCA race concluded with a single-lap shootout. Corey Heim took the checkered flag in the General Tire 200. Dave Mader finished second and Nick Sanchez finished third.