Drag Race Driver Injured In Accident

A drag race driver was seriously injured Saturday at Blaney Drag Strip in what National Hot Road Association officials termed a freak accident.

J. C. Phillips, owner of a speed shop in Norcross, Ga., and a veteran of several years of drag racing, was listed in serious condition Sunday at Richland Memorial Hospital after undergoing surgery for back injuries.

A Blaney spokesman said Phillips was competing in the pro-stock class, which is composed of cars with stock bodies but modified engines, when the incident occurred.

According to the spokesman, Philips had been clocked at 139 m.p.h through the quarter-mile course when his drive shaft sheared off at the finished line, severing his brake line as it went.

With no mean of stopping his vehicle, Phillips moved through the track’s three-quarter mile paved deceleration lane, through a 600-foot sand trap and over a five-foot mound of earth before his vehicle came to rest.

The track spokesman said no vehicle had ever run through the sand before, but that weeks of rain had packed the sand, thus destroying its ability to slow such vehicles.

Phillips was rushed to the hospital immediately following the incident by the ambulance which is always kept at the strip during races.

The track spokesman said Phillips’ was the first serious injury at Blaney in the thirteen years it has been in operation.

August 12, 1974  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 27

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