IHRA Drivers Recovering
Funny Car driver Tim Stevens and Top Fuel driver John "Doc" Sipple are both recovering following unrelated incidents at Rockingham Dragway during the Bethesda Softworks World Finals held this past weekend.
Sipple, from Berea, Kentucky, suffered a heart attack during the first round of qualifying on Friday. He was transported to FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital.
Sipple is expected to be released from the hospital as soon as tomorrow, and will be staying with his daughter in High Point, North Carolina while he recovers.
Stevens, a Dorr, Michigan native, sustained second degree burns on his hands, smoke inhalation, and a mild concussion when his Funny Car crashed and caught fire during Saturday afternoon qualifying. He was transported to UNC Hospital where he was kept for observation until being released on Monday.
Stevens, who was paired with Terry McMillen, lost consciousness during the crash as his car crossed over into the other lane and hit the wall. "I just want to let all my friends, family, sponsors and IHRA fans know that I am OK," Stevens said in a statement released Tuesday. "Being unconscious, I had lost the ability to hit the fire bottles, parachutes, and the fuel shut off switch. I was just a body along for the ride.
"I must have my priorities in line as I am told I asked to see my wife and kids before I was loaded onto the Life Flight Helicopter. I've been told I was even asking how fast I went and if I won."
Both drivers have expressed their gratitude to family, friends, sponsors, and crew, and look forward to next year's IHRA racing season.