Mitch Durham is now well on the road to recovery after a hard crash. It occurred on April 29 in the tuner feature at the 67 Speedway of Texarkana in Texas. He was making a move for fourth spot when disaster struck coming out of turn four.
“I had a lapped car on the bottom, and another car above me on the track — there was nowhere to go,” Durham, of Simms, Texas, said. “I ramped tires with the car above me and that slammed me straight into the wall full-throttle.”
Durham landed upside-down.
“I blacked out at the moment of impact,” said Durham. “When I got my vision back, I undid my belts and window net, and slid out of the car on my belly.”
What happened next concerned the track’s safety crew and onlookers.
“I sat up and went out,” Durham said. “The next thing I remember was being strapped to a backboard, with a neck collar on, in the back of an ambulance.”
Durham said he suffered injuries to his lower spine, neck, knee, and collarbone.
“The good Lord was watching over me,” said Durham. “I had deep bruising and lots of pain. I’m still in pain, but I’m getting better day-by-day. The crash was not fun.”
Durham sat in a full-containment seat from Ultra Shield Race Products, with a five-point RaceQuip harness. He wore a Simpson helmet paired with a RaceQuip neck brace.
He deems his car, a Chevrolet Cavalier, destroyed. Durham said he’ll save the roll cage, seat, and right-rear safety hub. He’s currently shopping for a replacement car. Earlier this year, Mitch Durham won at Diamond Park Speedway in Nashville, Arkansas.
“I’m starting over from square one, so it will take me a few weeks to get back,” Durham said. “So many people have called and texted me. It meant a lot to me to know I have a great racing family looking out for me.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.