From Gary Thomas, image courtesy of Steve Cox
Tulare, CA – After being involved in one of the more vicious sprint car wrecks seen in recent memory on Saturday night Chico, California’s Jonathan Allard is okay and extremely thankful for the safety advancements seen in our sport over the last number of seasons.
The accident occurred while competing in the third heat race with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Saturday night at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. While racing for position on the opening lap Allard and another car came together off turn four, which launched Allard’s machine into the catch fence and resulted in him flipping violently down the front stretch.
After taking a trip to the hospital Allard was checked out and given a clean bill of health late-Saturday night/early-Sunday morning. “I just want everyone to know I’m doing fine and wanted to thank everyone for their concern,” he said. “It really touches me with how many calls and texts I got and just want everybody to know I really appreciate their support. I remember the first bit of impact and right away I knew I was in trouble.”
The former two-time King of California is also very thankful for a number of companies that help with safety and are utilized by him and the team including Butler Built Performance, Bell Helmets, A.R.T. Chassis and Hooker Harness. “It really says a lot about the safety innovations and the quality products these companies make when someone can walk away from a crash like that,” Allard said. “These people and companies spend a lot of time and money developing new ways to keep us safe and it definitely pays off in a situation like this.”
In addition to those companies Allard is also very appreciative of the Tulare Thunderbowl fire and safety crew for their efforts. “I also want to personally thank the Thunderbowl Raceway safety crew and everyone who helps them out,” he commented. “Tulare’s always had a first class safety crew and I’ve been in more than one wreck there and they always do a great job so I certainly wanted to thank them.”
The accident ended a frustrating weekend for Allard that had the makings a being a good one while racing with the world’s best winged sprint car drivers. Friday night saw him start on the front row of the opening heat race with Jason Meyers and easily dominate all 10-laps for the victory, but an opening lap incident in the feature where he was forced into the wall put an early end to the 35-lapper. On Saturday Allard was the fastest driver in warm-ups and backed that up by qualifying third fastest in the field behind only Lucas Wolfe and Craig Dollansky.
With the accident behind him Allard will look forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Williams Motorsports No. 0 sprinter as soon as possible. “One of the toughest parts of the weekend was that we were really good and just didn’t really get the chance to make anything of it,” the Chico driver said. “We were disappointed on Friday getting knocked out early in the feature and then had the thing pretty awesome on Saturday to be fastest in hot laps and third quick in qualifying. We’re supposed to find out tomorrow if we’ll be able to run Mini Gold Cup so hopefully that’ll happen and we can put this thing up front.”
For more news and info on two-time Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series champion Jonathan Allard visit www.allardmotorsports.com