Swindells' father suffers heart attach

FATHER'S HEART ATTACK HELPS SWINDELLS PUT RACING IN PERSPECTIVE By Richard Day MEMPHIS, TN (March 19) - This is one of those stories that puts racing in perspective. Sammy and Jeff Swindell's father,...

FATHER'S HEART ATTACK HELPS SWINDELLS PUT RACING IN PERSPECTIVE By Richard Day MEMPHIS, TN (March 19) - This is one of those stories that puts racing in perspective. Sammy and Jeff Swindell's father, Sam, suffered a near-fatal heart attack early Thursday morning. Only the CPR administered by his wife, Carolyn, and the grace of God, saved his life. While keeping in close contact with their mother concerning their father's condition, Sammy and Jeff entered the World of Outlaws' 22nd Annual Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway Friday. Even with the knowledge of their father's improving health, the fact that he was in the hospital obviously weighed heavily on their minds as they raced. Sammy and Jeff, each a successful racer in his own right, have rarely experienced a tougher weekend at the track in their lives. Jeff and the #7TW Gold Eagle Maxim flipped high over the fourth-corner retaining fence four laps into Friday's Preliminary Feature. He emerged from the spectacular crash with his body and attitude intact. "I'm OK," Jeff told the near-capacity crowd. "I just pulled some of the muscles in my neck. I think when I hit the ground, I snapped my neck. "I really didn't think the car was going to turn over. I changed my line a little bit, and moved up on the race track. I bicycled a little up on the flat part coming off four, and I figured I'd get it back down. I started turning to get it back down, and it didn't want to come back down. The right front dug in before I got to the concrete wall. That was lucky; I would have hit it head on. "We just got behind the ball starting out tonight. We tried some different things early, and just qualified terribly. We were lucky to make it through our heat race. We were passing cars on every lap in the feature. I was just taking my time. I knew we wouldn't get into the top four tonight. The Gold Eagle car just took flight on me. "We're coming back to win tomorrow (Saturday) night," Jeff added. "If we could have won tonight, that would have been icing on the cake. We're really here for tomorrow night, that's what counts. We're going to come back from the grandstands on the first night to the winner's circle the second." Sammy's crash into the front-straightaway retaining wall wasn't as spectacular, but just as costly. His #1 Hooters Restaurants Gambler and Andy Hillenburg's #2 STP J&J raced wheel-to-wheel through turn four. Their collision sent Sammy flipping down the front straightaway. Sammy declined to comment on the public address system, but told announcer Jack Miller to assure the fans he would be back Saturday. Jeff did not make it to victory lane Saturday night. After suffering a flat tire early, he spent the final 27 laps racing from the rear of the field. His 17th-place finish dropped him from third to ninth place in the Skoal Outlaw Series point standings. Sammy, the winningest driver in the history of Devil's Bowl Speedway, finished seventh. No matter how badly the Swindell brothers felt about their racing performances at the Devil's Bowl, they had to be glad they were heading home to see their father in good health. The Swindell family would like to thank the racing fans across the country for their calls and prayers concerning Sam Swindell. WoO*eof

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Jeff Swindell , Jack Miller