Racers hurt in crashes: Efforts underway to help drivers through fundraisers

Two drivers were injured in separate crashes at Waynesfield Raceway Park on Friday.

Dustin Ingle, of Lima, who drives the family-owned non-wing sprint car sponsored by Hefner’s Dairy Barn, Smuggler’s Cove Campground and DPI Racing Engines, was injured during heat race action when his car made contact with another car which caused Ingle to flip upside down, Waynesfield Raceway Park announcer Gerry Keysor said.

“While upside down, another racer hit Ingle’s car in the roll cage that protects the driver,” Keysor said. 

Ingle was taken by Care Flight to Miami Valley Hospital, in Dayton, due to injuries he received, but is expected to make a full recovery, Keysor said.

Complete details of Ingle’s injuries were not available, however a spokesperson for Miami Valley said Tuesday he was listed in fair condition. 

Chad Wilson, of Toledo, who drives the family owned non-wing sprint car, was injured during hot laps — practice session at the beginning of the night — when his car went over the embankment of turn No. 2.

“The car did not flip, but did get airborne and slam back to the ground extremely hard when it landed,” Keysor said. “Wilson was slow to get out of the car and initially went back to the pit area, but the pain grew worse and he elected to go to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with compression fractures of both the T4 and T5 vertebrae.” 

Wilson is very sore but on the mend and also expected to make a full recovery, Keysor said.

A spokesperson for St. Rita’s Medical Center, in Lima, on Tuesday, said Wilson had been discharged.

“There were several crashes throughout the evening as there often are at a short track race,” Keysor said of Friday’s inaugural Harvest of Sprints race at the racetrack, located at 15811 Waynesfield Road. 

The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office listed the time of call for the second crash as 7:37 p.m. Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Jerry Sawmiller said it was just prior to that when Wilson crashed and transported by Waynesfield EMS to St. Rita’s. 

Racetrack insurance does cover some of the costs incurred by injured drivers, however, lost wages and costs of travel for the families to and from the hospital are not covered, Keysor said.

He said organizations such as Dayton Auto Race Fans (darfnews.com), Midwest Auto Racing Charities (midwestautoracingcharities.com) and Hoserville, Ohio, (HoserVille.ohio on Facebook) have indicated that they will be helping the drivers and their families with money from their injured racers funds. 

Jodi Burden, lead singer for Nashville recording artist Polly Mae; Tim Nickles, owner of Tim’s Landscaping and Tim’s Dirt Track Simulators; and Keysor, are in the process of organizing a benefit to help both injured drivers with details still being discussed.