Ryan McCray, veteran tire carrier for Carl Edwards, recovering from Pocono mishap

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It’s no secret that pit crews practice their tasks for countless hours each season.

But just like in the NFL, when a center snaps a football to the quarterback, mistakes happen sometimes.

Such was the case for the No. 99 Sprint Cup team of Carl Edwards in Sunday’s GoBowling 400 at Pocono Raceway

According to Motorsport.com, veteran tire carrier Ryan McCray, was injured during one of Sunday’s pit stops.

In the exchange between carrying a fresh tire over the wall and then trying to put it on Edwards’ car, McCray, a 16-year tire carrier veteran, accidentally had the fingers on his left hand squeezed between the wheel and brake caliper.

Mike Lingerfelt, the tire changer for the No. 99 who works with McCray when it comes to changing tires, tweeted his regrets about the Lap 31 incident:

“I tightened his fingers up between the wheel and brake caliper on the LF. I feel really bad about it. But @RyanMcCray99 is tough!”

McCray, in turn, tweeted from the Pocono Raceway infield medical center that he was doing okay. He was treated and released after receiving treatment.

“Gotta thank everyone 4 picking up my slack today while I was watching the race in a comfy bed in the care center especially @MattyIceRacer”

“MattyIceRacer” is Matt Rawling, who serves as tire carrier for the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series team for Ryan Reed, was pressed into service to replace McCray and did a great job.

Here’s another tweet from McCray on what his injury looked like:

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NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.