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Motorsports Rescue

Exchanging information, thoughts, ideas & concepts related to the wide world of motorsports response. From off shore hydrofoil racing to performance rally to superspeedways to circle tracks and everything in between .. let's hear it fellow gearheads!

Members: 26
Latest Activity: Jul 12, 2016

Discussion Forum

What difficulties face motorsports fire/rescue that aren't taught at the academy? 10 Replies

Started by Keith "Gus" Grant. Last reply by George H. Potter Jan 15, 2012.

Need a few questions answered about Motorsport fire-rescue 2 Replies

Started by Lou Angeli. Last reply by Lou Angeli Aug 6, 2010.

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Started by Dave Dalrymple Jun 26, 2010.

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Comment by Jeffrey S Austin on July 29, 2009 at 1:58pm
Iowa FFs Rescue Driver from Burning Race Car


Firefighters pulled a man from a burning sprint car Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway as thousands of fans watched.

The crash happened on turn three right in front of a group of firefighters. As the car exploded into flames, rescue crews rushed the track trying to get around other cars still cruising around the track.

The driver was trapped inside the car for 20 seconds as it burned around him. Just moments before he had been racing around the dirt track at 120 mph chasing 20 other cars and passing by other close calls.

"We can go the whole race season without having anything and then one night, have a bad one," said Shane Spaulding, a Knoxville Raceway firefighter.

Saturday night, in a 360-A Main race, the Y2 car wasn't far from the lead. Mike Houseman Jr. was behind the wheel as it crashed.

"I seen he wasn't going to clear it,"

Just out of shot of a TV camera, they said one car slid into another and both flipped.

"I turned around, picked up my extinguisher and had my hand on the button and get ready to go ahead and call it. And it happened," said Austin Kingrey, a Knoxville Raceway firefighter.

Houseman's sprint car was completely engulfed in flames.

"We immediately start running down the berm, then we have to stop and wait for all the cars to get by or stop," said Spaulding.

"He was on fire, of course, and I ran up to the cockpit, spraying my extinguisher," said Kingrey.

"The flames were completely engulfed in the cockpit. Well over the top of the wing," said Spaulding.

"I knelt down to help him out and the first thing he did was he handed me his steering wheel to get that out of the way and he's trying to climb out and he didn't have his belts undone, so I had to reach in and undo his belts. And by that time I had ahold of his chest and we were coming out," said Kingrey.

"We just did what we had to do," said Spaulding.

"You don't think about the... if you think about the danger, you'd hesitate more than what you need to. You just run in there, do what we've been trained to do and there are going to be people to back you up, so you have no fear," said Kingrey.

Both firefighters sustained minor burns.

The driver, Mike Houseman, was flown by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospitals' burn unit. His face and legs are burned.

He told KCCI on Monday that he's doing so well, doctors released him and he was on his way home to Des Moines on Monday afternoon.

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