The late stages of Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway featured a scary multi-car crash that saw Ron Yuhas’ car flip over at the exit of turn two. Two of the drivers involved, Danny Watts and Timmy Solomito, are still feeling sore from the crash now a couple of days removed from the incident.
“It was a pretty hard hit,” said Watts, from Riverhead, New York. “My back is a little stiff. Other than that I’m in a lot better shape than I was yesterday.”
Watts is downplaying things a little bit as he did say that he actually suffered a minor concussion from the incident. He was brought to an area hospital after the crash where he was released later Saturday night.
“They said I wasn’t making any sense when I was in the car,” said Watts. “I was pretty dazed. Just really foggy.”
The incident began when a stack-up coming out of turn two resulted in the No. 58 of Eric Goodale getting spun from behind. The field jammed up behind him. Watts got turned from behind and slammed the outside wall.
“I remember I had Preece down below me,” said Watts, “The next thing I know I was in the wall. I got hit and I was in the wall. It happened that fast.”
Solomito went high to avoid the crash, but Yuhas was already outside of him. They both hit the outside wall hard resulting in Yuhas’ car getting airborne. His white No. 64 did a pirouette on its nose before it came pounding back down on its roof.
Yuhas is still in an area hospital recovering from the incident. According to family members, Yuhas remains in the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I actually didn’t even know Ronnie flipped over until I got out of the car and I walked over and went to go check on him,” said Solomito. “They wouldn’t let me too close but I’m happy to hear that he’s going to be alright and he’s on the mend. I’m just sending all the thoughts and prayers that I can and hoping that he feels better soon.”
Solomito said his neck and back are sore, but he’ll be in the race car for the Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) this weekend.
“The car’s worse than I am so that’s always a good thing as far as that’s concerned,” said the rookie driver from Islip, New York. “It could have been a lot worse for me. Ronnie’s car could have landed on top of mine. I’m thankful that didn’t happen. But we’ll get it fixed and we’ll be back out there.”
Solomito, who races for 1994 NWMT champion Wayne Anderson, has the option of racing his backup car at Stafford that is normally used on the bullrings only, his family-owned car, or trying to repair the car from Loudon.
“We are trying to get the one that we actually ran at New Hampshire back together,” he said. “(Northeast Race Cars) put a front clip on it for us so I’ve really got to thank his guys for busting their butts getting it done today. It’s actually on its way home right now. We’re going to try to get a coat of paint on it tonight and see if I can start trying to put some parts and pieces back on it and go from there.”
Watts had only attempted one race this season prior to Loudon (Riverhead, rained out), but he said he was planning on running Stafford until this happened.
“Stafford I’m not going to make because I won’t be cleared by then from NASCAR as far as my concussion,” said Watts. “I have to see one of their doctors to get cleared. Once that is done I’ll be at Thompson.”
Watts said he has yet to see the extent of the damage to his race car because his team had loaded it into the trailer before he had the chance to take a look. He said he knows that it’s bad, and that he plans on going to work to get it fixed as soon as possible.
“I haven’t been in one like that in a whole bunch of years,” said Watts. “You don’t realize how fast you’re going until it all comes to a screeching halt.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, CT, and NJ) -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Matthew Dillner/Speed51.com.