FORT WORTH, June 9 - Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J., was just biding his time Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway during the Casino Magic 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series race when he suffered mechanical difficulties with Tri Star...
FORT WORTH, June 9 - Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J., was just biding his time Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway during the Casino Magic 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series race when he suffered mechanical difficulties with Tri Star Motorsports' #6 which caused him to lose power and crash in turn two on lap 73.
Schroeder escaped with only a bruised ankle and did not require medical treatment. One of the other drivers involved, Sarah Fisher, was able to rejoin the fray later. The third driver involved in the accident, Davey Hamilton, suffered two severely broken lower legs. Hamilton, who was behind the wheel of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports #99, was airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas for treatment.
Schroeder, who qualified 15th in his first race with Tri-Star Motorsports this year, said the problem developed with no warning.
He had dropped back a few positions initially to let the field sort itself out, but he was back to 15th by lap 57 and he was in that position when the accident occurred on lap 73, bringing out the second of six caution flags in the 200-lapper.
"It felt like I lost an engine," Schroeder said after being examined and released from the infield medical care center. "It could have been the gearbox, but if felt more like the engine. I just decreased my speed, oiled up the rear tires and crashed in turn two. Something definitely broke in the back, though. There was no indication of any problem; the Tri Star car was actually running well. We were just biding our time, waiting to see how things developed. I feel bad for the Tri Star guys because they always work hard, and I really hope Davey is O.K."
Later statements from a team member indicated that the engine may have seized but may not have blown, because there was no oil in the car's belly pan after the crash. Regardless of the actual cause, the car was extensively damaged in the accident.
Schroeder ended up 23rd in the final rundown after starting 15th. He is now 21st in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series point standings.
The series' next race is next Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo., but it's unknown at this point whether Schroeder will be competing in it or not. The Tri Star Motorsports arrangement was a one-race deal. The team Schroeder has been running with primarily this year, PDM Racing, is not planning to compete at Pikes Peak unless additional sponsorship funds can be secured.
Scott Sharp went on to win the race in the Delphi Automotive Systems #8.