Racer Derrick Lancaster has been hospitalized in critical condition after his car caught fire during an accident during yesterday’s ARCA race at Talladega Speedway.
Near the end of the race, Lancaster was in the lead and in full contention for a win. Side drafting off of turn two, Lancaster was struck by fellow driver Drew Dollar, who was trying to bump draft the car below Lancaster but missed. Dollar hit Lancaster instead of the car in his own lane.
As a result, Lancaster lost control. He bounced of the car on the inside lane, then struck the outside wall. At that point, his car burst into flames and remained that way as Lancaster coasted the entire length of the back stretch. He was able to pull himself out of the car of his own accord but needed to be helped onto the stretcher. A video of the incident is available here.
His wife, nurse Elizabeth Nunley Lancaster, revealed the full extent of the 48-year-old’s injuries on Facebook yesterday at 4pm local time:
I’ll try to keep everyone updated. Right now he is on a ventilator until they access the lung damage. He will be on it for at least 48 hours.
2nd and 3rd degree burns to both arms, neck, and face. Nothing internal as far as breaks or bleeding. 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. Please continue to pray.
She offered a following update at 7am local time on Sunday:
A little update... critical but stable, no burns to the trachea or lungs ... Praise God!!!
He will be on the ventilator for 48 - 72 hours to allow the lungs to recover from the extreme heat and so they can suction the soot out. Labs are looking better every hour.
Lancaster and his wife have been through a hell of a lot during his racing career. Last year, Lancaster suffered a basilar skull fracture at a Kingsport Speedway Late Model Stock feature race in August of 2020. Racing fans will likely know that the basilar skull fracture has been responsible for countless racing injures and deaths, including Dale Earnhardt’s. In Lancaster’s case, the fracture didn’t sever his spine, and he was able to return to racing at the start of 2021 despite being told he would never race again.
Thankfully, it sounds like Lancaster will be able to recover from his burns at Talladega.