Swindell Defies Injuries, Performs Well At Nationals MEADVILLE, PA - August 14, 2001 - Sammy Swindell was a bit uncertain of his ability to pilot the Channellock ...
Swindell Defies Injuries, Performs Well At Nationals
MEADVILLE, PA - August 14, 2001 - Sammy Swindell was a bit uncertain of his ability to pilot the Channellock #1 Stealth at the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals despite having announced plans to do so going into the event. Then he claimed the fastest lap in his hot-lap session and won the third O'Reilly Heat Race during the Second Preliminary Feature on August 9th.
An outside pole starting position was a real motivator for the injured World of Outlaws veteran. So Swindell, with his temporary casts and injury-modified Channellock sprinter, entered the A -Feature race that night, led six laps and managed a fifth-place finish despite odds that were stacked heavily against him. A 21st-place finish in Saturday's Main Event, largely due to mechanical problems and a caution-plagued race, didn't dampen Swindell's spirits. He had proven something to himself and his fans.
Swindell, a three-time World of Outlaws series champion, sustained broken fingers, a broken kneecap and numerous contusions in a freak accident with a push truck at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA on Tuesday, July 24th.
"I keep getting better and better. I'm moving around and doing a lot of things," commented Swindell about his injuries. "Things felt pretty good for me driving over the weekend. We just had some problems that didn't have anything to do with the injury," he continued. He was referring to such things as missed tire compound choices and a nagging problem with the drive train in the Channellock car.
Swindell plans to drive the Channellock car again at his next scheduled event - Gray's Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA on August 17th & 18th. Sammy's younger brother Jeff, himself a 20-year veteran of World of Outlaws sprint car competition, filled Sammy's shoes as driver of the CHANNELLOCK BLUE® #1 on August 3rd and 4th, and remains ready to step in if and when Sammy again decides he needs to take a break. "I feel pretty good," said Sammy. "The car felt comfortable to me with the modifications we made. As a matter of fact, we might just switch the other cars' steering like we did for the Nationals. It really felt good and didn't feel like it wanted to over-steer on me."
Sammy's injuries are expected to take about a month to fully heal.