While the annual “Wild Bill Hangover Race” at Sandusky Speedway (OH) was set to be a fun start to the 2016 racing season, the mood quickly turned somber when driver Mark Fisher was injured during a severe crash.
Billie’Jo Dalton, Fisher’s girlfriend, confirmed to Speed51.com that he remains hospitalized at this time. She said that family and friends are, “Still waiting on God’s miracle.”
Racers and fans across the region have shown support for Fisher by changing their social media profile pictures to feature him and the message “Prayers for Mark Fisher”. Others have left messages of encouragement and hope.
Fisher is a regular of the “Charger” front wheel drive division at Lorain County Speedway, near Amherst, OH. He finished seventh in 2015 season points.
Halfway through the 15 lap “Whiskey Stock” feature on January 1, Fisher and two other drivers were battling for position through turns one and two. Fellow racer Dylan Watson, who was involved in the accident, recounted the wreck.
“From what I could tell the guy in front of me went in the corner a little too hard and couldn’t get slowed down and he got into the rear bumper of Fisher.” Watson continued, “Fisher got loose and washed up the track to where I was in the second grove and I had nowhere to go, I got into Fisher and the other guy and we hit into the turn two tire wall.”
Fisher’s car suffered a severe impact to the driver’s door by one of the tractor tires lining the turn two wall, causing the car to catch air. Track safety crew worked with the on-site EMT staff to quickly extricate Fisher from the car. He was transferred to a Perkins Township Fire Department ambulance and taken to an area hospital.
The “Whiskey Stock” front wheel drive division featured a field of over 20 area drivers competing for a trophy and bragging rights. With track temperatures dropping below 30 degrees and blustery snow moving in, drivers were power sliding through turns.
Watson confirmed that the track grew more slick as the race continued. The race is advertised as being run in any weather conditions. Track conditions have varied over the past few years. In 2014, several inches of snow fell the morning of the race. 2015 differed, offering sun and dry track conditions.
This was the track’s 36th running of the “Wild Bill Hangover Race”. The New Year’s Day tradition features three divisions of racing running heats and 15 or 20 lap features at the half mile asphalt track. Champagne Stock racers headline a division that has few rules, featuring everything from sideboard dirt late models to trucks and Camaro late models with sprint car wings bolted to the top. Moonshine stocks cohere to more rules, and typically feature asphalt and dirt street stocks.
-By Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @NEORacingNews
-Photo credit: Tony Staniszewski/TS Photography