WEST LEBANON, N.Y. (AP) — A 34-year-old drag-race driver has been airlifted to a hospital after his car’s engine exploded in the pit area of a drag strip near the Massachusetts border.
Lebanon Valley Dragway track manager Wayne DelMonte says the driver was evacuated by helicopter after the motor exploded at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday as it was being tuned up for a race.
State police say Jose Santana of East Hartford, Connecticut suffered severe injuries to his right eye and right arm along with burns on his upper extremities. It was not known why the engine on the 1985 Mazda RX7 exploded.
The incident occurred one weekend after a 20-year-old driver was hit and killed at an upstate New York track about 200 miles west by a car driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.