Can't Catch A Break
by Larry Foyt, foytracing.com
1 October 2003
This weekend at Talladega was so full of ups, downs, twists and turns that I donít know where to begin so Iíll just start from the top.
NASCAR made several rule changes for the restrictor plate tracks just a few weeks ago. They made the holes in the restrictor plates bigger, giving the engine more horsepower, and changed the rear spoiler, affecting the downforce of the car. Being a smaller team, we didnít get the chance to test the changes before we arrived at the track on Friday, but it didnít make a difference because we still qualified for the race on speed!
The car was very strong during practice on Saturday and we were sure that if we could avoid the multi-car accidents that are so common in restrictor plate racing then we would come away with a strong finish.
But those hopes were quickly squashed on lap nine of the race on Sunday. I was running behind Jeremy Mayfield coming off of turn four when he blew a left rear tire and started spinning down the track - away from me. My spotter told me to hold my line but, unfortunately, Jeremy drifted back up the race track Ė straight into me. I hit the wall pretty hard and it knocked the breath out of me.
After visiting the infield care center, the physicians felt I needed to go to the hospital. X-Rays on my left wrist and left ankle were negative and I was released.
On Tuesday in Charlotte I visited a specialist and he found a crack in my left wrist. They gave me a brace to use and while it will probably be uncomfortable, Iím sure Iíll forget about the pain once the race starts.
When youíre involved in an accident like that you just have to put it behind you and focus on the next race. There wasnít anything anyone could have done to avoid it; we were just a victim of circumstance. One positive note that I took away from the accident is that all my safety equipment worked exactly like it was supposed to. NASCAR has worked very hard over the years to improve safety and I believe itís really paid off. My hat goes off to them.
Iím really looking forward to going to Kansas City and visiting everyone at Harrahís this weekend. Itís a great facility, located in a great city and the race fans are awesome!