Injury Will Sideline Wheelman for a Few Weeks
Port Royal, PA – March 23, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Michael Goss
As Sunday afternoon’s event unfolded at Port Royal Speedway, Zach Newlin was writing a pretty good story. He was having a solid outing. As the sun began to set, the only remaining question was how the final chapter would read.
Spoiler alert: It wasn’t a happy ending. Newlin will be out of action for a few weeks while he heals.
March 20: Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
(25 cars, Qualifying 3rd in group 1, Heat 4th, A-main 24th)
Newlin started 10th in Sunday’s A-main in the Grove Financial & Associates /
Dillman Hauling / Del Grosso Foods / Ron’s RV Sales / Kirby Kitner Excavating / FIT Transportation / Christine Booher, Realtor / Gio’s BBQ / T&M Homebuilders / Robert Lee Jr. Trucking / R&B Auto Proz / Strange Oval / Walker Performance Filtration / RAM Acoustics / Newlin Bar Service, Pryde Motorsports No.29.
As the field entered turn one on the start of the event, a car near the front of the field spun up the banking, across the track in front of the charging field. Momentum carried the car all the way to the cushion, directly in the path of Newlin who was flying around the top of turn one.
Zach had no time to take evasive action and made hard impact with the stationary car, sending the Pryde Motorsports No.29 of Newlin flipping hard across the track toward turn two. The initial high-speed impact was certainly significant, but the secondary impact was even harder. Despite efforts to steer clear, another
passing car struck Newlin’s car while it was upside down. Newlin’s car came to rest upside down in turn two, putting the Millerstown, PA native in a precarious position.
“When everything stopped, I knew I was completely upside down. I was awake and aware throughout the crash and afterwards. I started talking to the rescue personnel right away because I wanted to get out quickly. I’m sure I freaked out a little bit and got in a hurry because of a past experience“, Newlin shared.
Newlin was able to extricate himself from the destroyed race car. He was immediately escorted to an ambulance for evaluation.
“I guess a lot of the fans thought I was limping as I moved away from the car, but it wasn’t my leg, it was my unsteady balance that caused it. I had to lean on the EMT’s to walk to the ambulance, then I sat and collected myself for a few minutes while they checked me over“, Newlin explained. Eventually Zach was permitted to return to his pit area to pack up and head home.
The following morning, Newlin was experiencing some mild symptoms that were not present the night before. Tests cleared Zach of a concussion but found the crash had caused him to develop vertigo. As a result of the diagnosis, Newlin will need to sit out a few weeks to heal.
“This week they are having me start some therapy to help speed up the recovery. My shoulders and arm are bruised, but everything did its job. The car held up good, the safety belts did their job, and my Hybrid (head and neck) restraint did what it was supposed to“, Newlin said.
Zach’s goal is to be ready to strap back in on Friday, April 8th aboard the Mansberger Motorsports No.21m at Williams Grove Speedway. Time will tell.
One aspect of a hard crash that many fans don’t often think about is the toll it takes on the driver’s safety equipment. While he heals, Newlin also must go over all of his. His five-point harness safety belt system will need to be replaced because belts become stretched during an impact such as Zach’s. He will also have his helmet and Hybrid head and neck restraint system (a variation of a HANS device) evaluated to ensure neither has been not compromised.
If you are not familiar with head and neck restraints, the purpose of a HANS or Hybrid device is to keep the head from whipping in a crash, preventing excessive rotational movement as a secondary protection, without otherwise restricting movement of the neck. In other words, it restricts head movements during a crash that would exceed normal range and cause severe injury. A person’s body is decelerated by the seat belt, with the head maintaining velocity until it is decelerated by the neck. A head and neck restraint device maintains the relative position of the head to the body, in addition to transferring energy to the much stronger chest, torso, shoulder, seat belts and seat as the head is decelerated.
While Newlin heals, Pryde Motorsports will button up their backup car and work to replace the lost equipment, so they are ready to return to the track when their driver is.
Follow Zach’s social media outlets listed below to get the latest updates from both the Pryde Motorsports No.29 410 sprint car and the Mansberger Motorsports No.21m 358 sprint car.
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