Gary Lyle: Worst Wreck of his 37-Year Career

Gary Lyle: Worst Wreck of his 37-Year Career

In 37 years of racing, Gary Lyle called this is “first bad wreck” of his career. It occurred Friday night during the make-up late model feature from July 28 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania.

“I hit the cushion with the right rear, and it took me over,” Lyle, of Leechburg, Pennsylvania said. “I never expected to go over two and a half times. I thought I would just jump the cushion.

Lyle felt the biggest impact occur when the car finished its roll.

“On the first roll, I felt nothing,” said Lyle. “I was looking at the air cleaner, and I saw sky and track. When it happened again, I closed my eyes. Then, there was a final big thump.”

When the car settled, Lyle looked to escape from the wreckage.

“The hard part was when the car came down on its roof,” Lyle said. “The car dug into the track, and I did not have enough room to get out. The safety crew lifted my car and was able to get out on my own.”

Lyle emerged from the car without serious injury.

“Believe it or not, only a few black-and-blue marks have appeared,” said Lyle. “My left eye turned red.”

He sat in a Kirkey full-containment seat, with a Simpson five-point harness. Lyle wore a Bell helmet paired with a HANS device. While thankfully Gary Lyle was not hurt, his Rocket XR1 chassis needed attention, despite minimal visible damage. He sent it back to Rocket Chassis for them to go through it.

“The chassis did a fantastic job,” Lyle said. “The right front was busted pretty bad and the lower control arm was broken on the left front.”

With the car at Rocket Chassis, the 1998 Lernerville Speedway late model champion will sit idle.

“I don’t know how long my car will be out — it depends upon Rocket,” said Lyle. “I do all the work on my own car, I drive it, and I have a great crew to support me.

“I don’t have a spare car or chassis. I have one of everything — that’s all I have.”