Pinecrest Speedway 1973 With Danny Shirtliff #392020Pinecrest Speedway 1973 With Danny Shirtliff #39

There are a few types of accidents that are not good. Fire is the worst, a roll over can be just as scary, a blown engine taking you for the slide of death, and a stuck throttle. The roll over happens sometimes very slow, other times can be a few rolls (my worst 1973 had 4 flips at Speedway Park). I only had one fire and it was minor, caused by a blown inline six engine. I would never want to be in or see anyone inside a car on fire….never.
The stuck throttle? That’s another very serious deal all together. It’s usually unexpected, and a driver won’t know it until he lets off the gas deep into a turn. The results are usually physical injuries, possible concussion, broken wrist,a ton of damage, very costly Both roll overs and fires can be expensive but not as much as a head on into the cement at high speed.
Jamming on the brakes won’t overpower a stuck throttle, slow it down a little but not much. You don’t have time to shut off the ignition either, the distance from brake application and the wall isn’t very much, maybe 4 car lengths max. You react mostly by just holding on. Seeing the wall come at you that fast, especially if the car is travelling 100 mph takes your breath away. Even at 60 to 70 mph can be very bad is scary and can brake some bones, not to mention twisting a chassis and busting many front end parts.
I’ve had 7 different roll overs, 1 fire and 2 stuck throttles. I don’t like any of them but the stuck throttle tells you the next time you’re in the car “do you really want to go in that deep again”?
This picture was my first stuck throttle at Pinecrest. The car hit so hard it lifted the back off the ground 3 feet and drove the seat belt buckle (a round one back then) deep into my stomach. I got out of the car but was really sore almost sick to my stomach.
My good friend Danny Shirtliff #39 drove under me. I think he said “I’m glad that wasn’t me”.
Quite a good shot by the photographer and you can see Danny looking at me during this nightmare.
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