TORC: Arie Luyendyk Jr. hospitalized after wild crash at season opener (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

UPDATE (12:15 a.m. ET): More good news to report on Arie Luyendyk Jr., who was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after a breath-taking crash during the opening round of the 2014 TORC championship at Primm, Nevada.

A short time ago, Luyendyk tweeted that while he may have to have surgery on his collarbone, his neck and back are alright.

The incident occurred during the Pro 2 class race and just after the green flag had come out following a competition caution. Luyendyk had been running in fifth place when he made contact with Mike Jenkins in mid-air.

His truck then skidded briefly on two wheels before going into a barrel roll that took him off the race track. After rolling multiple times, the truck came to rest right-side up.

The crash can be seen in the video below and takes place just after the 2 hour, 48 minute mark.

Medical personnel were immediately on the scene and the race was red-flagged. Thankfully, Luyendyk was reported by TORC to be alert before he was taken to the hospital.

His father, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Sr., later tweeted that Arie Jr. had broken his collarbone but was otherwise alright:

Arie Jr. also posted a Tweet of himself in the ambulance giving a ‘thumbs up’ gesture, along with a word of thanks to the TORC medical team for their help:

Arie Jr. was a long-time competitor in the Indy Lights championship and raced in the 2006 Indianapolis 500. He also gained some notoriety outside of racing after taking part in the eighth season of reality show “The Bachelorette.”

This weekend’s TORC season-opening event will be broadcast April 25 at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

March 28 in Motorsports History: Adrian Fernandez wins Motegi’s first race

Leave a comment

While auto racing is an international sport, oval racing remains uniquely American. 

That almost always has remained the case since the inception of the sport, but in 1998, the citizens of Japan got their first taste of American oval racing.

Having opened the previous year, Twin Ring Motegi was built by Honda in an effort to bring Indy-style racing to the Land of the Rising Sun. 

Adrian Fernandez was the first driver to win at the facility, taking the checkered flag in CART’s inaugural race after shaking off flu earlier that day.

Fernandez held off a hard-charging Al Unser Jr to win by 1.086 seconds. The victory was the second of his career and his first since Toronto in 1996.

Adrian Fernandez celebrates with Al Unser Jr and Gil de Ferran after winning the inaugural race at Motegi. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

The race was also memorable for a violent crash involving Bobby Rahal.

Running third with 15 laps remaining, Rahal’s right front suspension broke in Turn 2, causing his car to hit the outside wall and flip down the backstretch.

Luckily, Rahal walked away from the accident without a scratch.

“The car was on rails through (turns) 1 and 2, and all of a sudden it just got up into the marbles, and it was gone,” Rahal said. “Thank God we’ve got such safe cars.”

The following season, Fernadez went back-to-back and won again at Motegi. The track remained on the CART schedule until 2002.

In 2003, Honda switched their alliance to the Indy Racing Leauge, and Motegi followed suit.

The track continued to host IndyCar racing until 2011 with the final race being held on the facility’s 2.98-mile road course, as the oval sustained damage in the Tōhoku earthquake earlier that year.

Also on this date:

1976: Clay Regazzoni won the United States Grand Prix – West, Formula One’s first race on the Long Beach street circuit. The Grand Prix would become an IndyCar event following the 1983 edition of the race.

1993: Ayrton Senna won his home race, the Grand Prix of Brazil, for the second and final time of his career. The victory was also the 100th in F1 for McLaren.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter