It’s been over a month since Jordan Ives experienced one of the scariest events of his young racing career, escaping a stock car that was engulfed in flames.
The incident occurred on Saturday, February 14 during practice at the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, when his car spun in turn three and the rear end of the car hit the wall and started on fire.
Ives was able to escape before the entire car was engulfed in flames. He suffered minor burns, but the car was completely gone.
Ives, who is currently a junior at Lake Norman Christian School in Davidson, North Carolina, recently chatted with Speed51.com powered by JEGS and provided an update on his future plans following the horrific crash.
The car that was burnt wasn’t his only car. He confirmed that he has a second car that they have been working on and should be ready to race soon.
“We are just getting our new car done, that is all we have so far,” Ives confirmed. “Our guys that work on the cars started working on it about a week after the wreck. We are going to start racing wherever we can when it is complete.”
They are still waiting for the delivery of a replacement chassis for the car they lost in the fire.
The remains of the car are still in the trailer at their shop.
“We have it and we went through it and took it apart,” Ives said. “I think we will keep it and make something out of it.”
The racing community reached out to Ives and his team offering help after the fire, which caught the attention of the national news.
“I’ve got a lot that I am so thankful for,” Ives exclaimed. “I got 50% off on two LaJoie seats. I also got offered body parts from Mike Newcomb at Five Star Race Car Bodies. Chris Dilbeck from PFC said he would do our new brake system. Kelli Willmore from Impact is going to do all of my safety equipment like race suit, shoes and gloves. Dick Coleman said he would do my hubs and brakes as well. Even a fire extinguisher company is going to do all of my fire system in the car.”
Ives said that he learned a few things from the wreck.
“The safety equipment is the most important thing and I would remind other drivers to make sure their equipment is up to date,” Ives said along with confirming that his equipment was up to date. “If it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.”
He also said another thing they learned is they will not use a U-shaped fuel cell ever again.
Ives said that the cause of the fire was the cell catching the rear end causing it to split in half.
Speed51.com reached out to Ricky Brooks who confirmed that was the cause of the fire after he looked it over himself.
Brooks said that there is currently discussion with other Super Late Model tech directors to look at not allowing the U-shaped fuel cells starting in 2016.
RJ Scott of the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS and Mike “Lumpy” Lemke of the ARCA Midwest Tour said they would do the same as well in their respective series.
Brooks also said that on his side, he has only seen about four cars in the last 10 years use that particular fuel cell. Lemke said it is used more in the Midwest.
There is also discussion about protecting the fuel cell even more with stronger plates around the cell.
A fire of this caliber is something that is rarely seen at short tracks. Most tracks, including New Smyrna Speedway, have the proper equipment in place to handle different situations their safety crews face. At the time, the track had a small fire truck that was used to control the fire in order to make sure Ives and others in the area were safe.
Kim Brown, General Manager of New Smyrna Speedway, told Speed51.com that the track is in the process of acquiring a second fire truck with a different foam system to coincide with their primary truck moving forward.
While the accident was something that no one wanted to witness, the silver lining is that many things were learned from it, which could help prevent other racers from experiencing a horrific accident like this in the future.
– Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Director of Business/Midwest Editor. Twitter: @KevinRamsell
Photo Credit: Speed51.com