Junie Donlavey, car owner of the No. 90 Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus, was involved in a car accident last night at approximately 7 p.m. pacific time, along with team manager Jason Hedlesky. The duo had arrived just landed at Riverside airport with ...
Junie Donlavey, car owner of the No. 90 Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus, was involved in a car accident last night at approximately 7 p.m. pacific time, along with team manager Jason Hedlesky. The duo had arrived just landed at Riverside airport with driver Rick Mast and were headed to their team hotel in Pomona when the accident happened. Mast was driving a separate car and was not involved in the accident. Donlavey, who was driving, said he sustained a couple of cracked ribs on his left side and has a cracked right knee cap. Hedlesky did not receive any major injuries. Both men were taken to Kaiser Hospital in Fontana, where they were treated and released.
All three men were in good spirits and spoke about the incident earlier this afternoon at California Speedway.
JUNIE DONLAVEY, Car Owner --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus
We were coming down a boulevard and were just driving along when, all of a sudden, this car comes out of a side street running 60 or 70 miles an hour and he nailed us. If we would have been a fraction quicker, he would have gotten us right in the (driver's) door, but, as it was, he caught us right in front of the door and that gave the car a chance to move a little bit and relieve some of the force, but it was unbelievable. I've never been in a wreck like that. In 1939 I laid my A-Model Ford over on its side hanging corners but, other than that, that's the only wreck I've ever been in."
DO YOU HAVE ANY CRUTCHES OR ANYTHING FOR YOUR LEG? "The gave me a splint, but when I put it on it hurts my ribs because of the position I have to get in, so I'm just trying to keep my leg straight and be careful. But I'll tell you, the very first thing I thought about was Jack Roush. At the moment, I didn't know if I was dead or alive either, but that's the first thing I thought of (laughing). And then Rick made a comment about the owners trying to catch up with the drivers as far as wrecks go, but after I took a second to collect myself I didn't feel like I was hurt. The knee is torn up and I could feel it in my ribs, but I was moving around and felt I could handle that."
JASON HEDLESKY, Team Manager --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus
"I was riding with Junie and we got hit so hard that I was afraid to look over because I thought he was going to be hurt real bad. I saw the car coming and it was flying. We both had our seat belts on and the air bags went off, so everything worked perfectly. It was a really hard hit, though. The front end of the other guy's car was pushed all the way back to the firewall."
WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THE ACCIDENT? "I went over and made sure the other guy was alright and I called 911. The only problem with that was I didn't know where we were (laughing). I told the operator that we weren't from California. I told her we went underneath Route 60 a couple of miles back, but I told her I didn't have any idea specifically where we were. I tried to ask some people as they went by. I signaled for one guy to roll down his window, but he just took off. Then a tractor-trailer pulled over, stopped and then left. Finally some guy was walking and he told us where we were. It took me five minutes to get it out of anybody as to where we were. The operator from 911 probably thought I was really crazy, but I didn't know where we were."
RICK MAST --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus
"They were following me to (Interstate) 10. We went though a light and then an intersection. I went through the intersection and when I looked in the mirror I didn't see them behind me. I thought they had gotten through the light, but when I looked back I saw cars back there sitting at the stop light. I figured they got stuck at the light, so I slowed way down before finally pulling over. When that group of cars sitting at the light went by me and Junie and Jason weren't there I said, 'They must have found a short-cut or something to the motel and they're gonna try to beat me there.' So I just kept going and got on the interstate until Jason called me and said they had been in a wreck. I turned around and went back and they had wrecked right at that intersection. When I went around and looked at that car I absolutely couldn't believe it. I mean, those cars were absolutely torn all to pieces. I said to myself, 'How in the world did they all survive this?' But they did. The bottom line to all of this is that all three of those guys are very, very fortunate. I looked at the impact of the cars and the way there were torn up and the way they hit -- they were very fortunate. When Junie was telling me about his reaction, it was just like a driver when they get in an accident. It's like, 'I'm still here.' You start moving your fingers and your arms and legs and it's like, 'I'm OK.' That's exactly what Junie said he did."