It’s nearly a guarantee that if you strap into a race car, at some point you’re going to crash. But one of the scariest crashes for Billy Penfold occurred on Monday afternoon when he was on the roads of Maine, not on the race track.
According to Oxford, Maine police, Penfold, most recently a racer in the Pro Stock division at Wiscasset Speedway (ME), managed to escape any serious injury, but was admitted to an area hospital.
Penfold was driving a large tractor-trailer hauling stones up a hill when the driveshaft broke on his vehicle, according to a Sun Journal story. Penfold’s truck started to slide backwards and then jack-knifed when the road leveled out. The driver’s side of the cab slammed down on the pavement and blocked both lanes of traffic.
The 53-year-old race car driver was trapped in the cab of the truck for close to two hours, but was most concerned that he was blocking traffic, according to the report.
“He’s tough as nails and one of the most colorful characters that I’ve interviewed in racing,” said former Speed51.com editor Mike Twist while describing Penfold in a Facebook post. “I think we are all thankful tonight that he wasn’t badly injured or worse in what looks to have been one hell of a wreck.”
Penfold has been around the New England racing scene for a long time. He’s made 161 NASCAR Busch North Series starts (currently knows as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), scoring eight top-five finishes. He’s also made a number of starts with the region’s popular Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Model touring series. In addition, he’s made three starts in the prestigious Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).
It is unclear at this time if Penfold, who owns the local business Oxford Auto Salvage, is still in a Maine hospital. Attempts made by Speed51.com to contact Penfold at his business were unsuccessful on Tuesday afternoon.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Christopher Crosby/Sun Journal