Saldana at home recovering from injuries Colorado Springs, CO -- June 21, 2005 -- Joey Saldana went into his World of Outlaws Sprint Series heat race Friday at Eagle Raceway as the fourth fastest qualifier of the night, looking to transfer to...
Saldana at home recovering from injuries
Colorado Springs, CO -- June 21, 2005 -- Joey Saldana went into his World of Outlaws Sprint Series heat race Friday at Eagle Raceway as the fourth fastest qualifier of the night, looking to transfer to the Dash and the feature.
The green flag dropped and he raced into Turn 1 on the inside of Daryn Pittman. All of a sudden outside pole-sitter Jason Solwold's machine went high, brushed the wall in Turn 2 and came back down the track. Neither Saldana nor Pittman had anywhere to go. The three collided in the middle of the turn. Pittman was able to drive away after some minor repairs. Saldana and Solwold climbed from their cars, adrenaline obviously still flowing in both, and made it back to their transporters. It appeared to be just another racing incident, common on dirt tracks across the country.
As the adrenaline wore off, Saldana and his crew realized he needed more attention. He was transported to a hospital in nearby Lincoln, Neb., where he was administered several tests and released after the results were normal and showed no broken bones.
On Saturday, Saldana, the 1996 Rookie of the Year, was still groggy, and rightly so. It appears that part of one of the cars involved in the crash penetrated the cockpit of Saldana's machine, making contact with his helmet. Bruises to the right side of his body, including his head, became apparent. A concussion resulted in spells of dizziness that have lasted into the beginning of this week.
But Saldana was lucky, says car owner Larry Woodward. Had the impact been six inches closer, he believes Saldana would be in far worse condition. Joey's wife, Shannon, said Monday night that he was faring much better, and was able to move up to Tuesday an appointment to see a specialist.
"The car only had qualifying on it," said Woodward, who owns the No. 2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim. "Whoever welded that frame is a keeper."
Woodward's main concern is clearly Saldana's health, and therefore he won't field the car until Joey will be at the wheel.
"I want Joey back in the car when his health is 100 percent," Woodward said. "He drives with 120-percent effort and will be back as strong as ever. The Saldana family and the crew look forward to that day."
At the earliest, the team is gearing up for Saldana's return to the circuit at the July 1-2 Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D.
In the meantime, Saldana is resting at home in Indiana. While Joey and Shannon have been inundated with calls from well-wishers, they want to express their appreciation to everybody for their thoughts and prayers.