Christi Lewien - motorsport.com FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 17, 1999) Twelve people were injured, ten of whom were hospitalized, at the final practice for the Mall.com 500 when rookie Niclas Jonsson lost control of his car on pit road. The list of...
Christi Lewien - motorsport.com
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 17, 1999) Twelve people were injured, ten of whom were hospitalized, at the final practice for the Mall.com 500 when rookie Niclas Jonsson lost control of his car on pit road. The list of those injured, included nine members of Tyce Carlson's pit crew. None of the injuries were reported to be life threatening, although three of the injured were airlifted from the scene.
Niclas Jonsson received injuries during the incident, and was one of those hospitalized. Carlson wasn't injured, but his father, Richard Carlson, who has a heart problem, was hospitalized as a precaution.
In addition to Jonsson and the elder Carlson, the other eight people who were hospitalized included Speedway Motorsports Inc. employee Brian Figg and seven members of Carlson's crew.
The conditions of Figg and the crew were not immediately available. The injured crew members were: Tracy Hash, Tom Bose, Jeff Howerton, Mike Alessi, Tom Beaudry, Greg Height and Bill Dyer.
Two members of Carlson's crew, Jason Beck and Derek Branch, were treated and released at the infield care center.
The incident occurred in the final minutes of "happy hour" practice, as Jonsson was heading back onto the track following a pit stop. His car jerked left, collided with the retaining wall and struck Carlson's parked car.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. Jonsson was too shaken up to discuss what happened. "I am willing to bet money he pushed the wrong button and deactivated it [the rev limiter]," said driver Eddie Cheever, who was three pits away.
Carlson's crew was working on an electrical problem, and did not hear nor see Jonsson's car approaching. The Swede had been building up speed for about 50 yards.
"There was no screeching at all -- just bam!" witness Jeff Ross said. "They had just pulled the cover off the car and were looking at the motor. I was looking right at the car and saw the car go and the people go with it." "One guy went flying in front, one guy ended up on top of the two cars and another guy came hopping over the wall where I was."
Jonsson will miss Sunday's season-ending race, which would have been only his second on the circuit. Carlson, who qualified ninth, has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will compete.
Team owners, Blueprint-Immke Racing, want to attempt the race and other teams have offered whatever assistance, including crew, that may be required.