Crewmembers remain hospitalized after frightening pit fire

(NASCAR)

(NASCAR)

Two of three crewmembers injured in a scary fire Friday night at Richmond International Raceway remained in a local hospital Saturday morning.  The fire erupted during ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond just before the halfway point.

The incident happened on lap 111 of 250 when driver Brendan Gaughan pitted. During the stop his Richard Childress Racing Chevy burst into flames starting at the rear of the car near where it was being refueled. Rear-tire changer Anthony O’Brien of Cambridge, Minn., was changing the right-rear tire when the flames enveloped him. He was able to move away from the flames.  O’Brian was still ablaze however after he jumped back over the wall. He was taken to the ground by Clifford “Doc” Turner, a crewmember for another team. Also involved was fuel can man Josh Wittman. Whittman could also be seen on fire as he moved away from the car.  Nearby fire rescue personnel quickly began extinguishing the flames on O’Brien and Whittman with fire extinguishers.

Gaughan ‘s crew chief Shane Wilson indicated that a failure with the fueling head, which seals the fuel can to the car, caused fuel to spill. Sparks from the lug nuts hitting the pavement as the rear wheel was changed, ignited the fuel. MORE>>>

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