Author Topic: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags  (Read 846 times)

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Offline No Cents

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   On Saturday Randy and I went to the AMRA event at Bowling Green Drag Way.
It was hot as hell the whole day and I felt sorry for the guys in all their full leather race suits. They had to be cooking in them.
   Anyways what I witnessed was a guy on a M8...which by the way was the only one I really noticed because it was a road glide in that twisted cherry color I'm fond of. I focused on him during his burn out and staging. He launched the bike good and about half way down the track the back end of the bike suddenly kicked sideways and when he tried to correct it, it then snapped to the extreme other side. At that moment in my heart I knew he was going down. The bike then snapped the other way and threw him off the bike. His shoulders hit the top of the outside concrete retaining wall. His head snapped over the top of the wall like a whip. It honestly scared the hell out of me when I seen his head snap like that. I knew right there and then this guy was going to need immediate medical attention...if he wasn't dead.     The crew working the tree sped down to the crash scene where he was laying. He laid in the track motionless. When the track crew got to him it seemed like they were very concerned for him.
  Now here is what bugs the hell out of me. Why wouldn't the track have an ambulance standing by on the scene during the event?
  I've gone to a lot of other kinds of racing in my life like Nascar, NHRA, Sprint car races, etc. One thing I've always noticed at those events was an ambulance standing by if needed.
   
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 09:20:47 AM by No Cents »
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Offline Hossamania

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 09:24:55 AM »
At the very least, I thought it was mandatory for medical personnel to be on-site, especially when it is a sanctioned and sponsored event.
I hope the rider is ok.
No shirt, no shoes, and I still get service. Why?
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Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 09:31:30 AM »
  I called Jim Kennedy this morning and asked him if he was still at the track and if he heard anything about the guy that went down yesterday. Jim said he was told they rushed him into surgery to repair a broken collar bone...but that was just hear say Jim said.
  I was just glad to hear he was still alive.
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Offline Breeze

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 03:55:04 AM »
Every Podunk competition event that I've been to had an ambulance on site. I think it is part of the insurance policy. Maybe they didn't have insurance?
I'm starting to believe my body is gonna outlast my mind.

Offline prodrag1320

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 04:18:00 AM »
Every Podunk competition event that I've been to had an ambulance on site. I think it is part of the insurance policy. Maybe they didn't have insurance?


for one,the AMRA or beach bend are not "Podunk" operations,and two there was a ambulance,its at the 1/8 mile mark of the track & no bikes would ever be let down the track if it wasn't there.the riders injuries were so severe they had to wait for a helicopter to air lift him to the hospital

Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 06:56:53 AM »
  I would have thought the same thing too Kirby. We were all over up and down the track and Randy nor I seen any ambulance on stand by. I thought that was kind of odd.  :nix: I know it took a good 15 minutes for an ambulance to appear on the crash scene.
  After the crash Randy and I decided to leave and come home and as we were leaving the track a second ambulance was entering the gates to the track. That was a good 20- 30 minutes later.
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Offline jbroski

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 09:04:01 AM »
for a bike like that to lose traction that far down the track either he broke something and oil down his tire or there was something on the track. was he in the good groove?

Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
   I can't say for sure but Randy and I both thought after seeing it that something broke on the rear end of the bike or he hit some oil. He was half way down the track and the bike all the sudden shot straight sideways and then it shot in the opposite direction when he was trying to correct it. I mean it was changing directions hard and fast. I knew he was basically holding on for dear life and he was along for the ride at that moment in time. When it snapped the opposite direction the last time it flung him off like a rag doll and his shoulders landed on top of the outside retaining wall. It was one of the worst crashes I've seen on the drag strip with a bike.
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Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 11:24:24 AM »
Like Kirby says... there is always an ambulance on site...always... as it belongs to the Track... and the personell are Paramedics while the Track crew is Mostly First responders.. The Ambulance does Not burst down the track thru fans, motorcycles and Racers.. Tho the Beech Bend ambulance was first on scene... actually before I could get from mid-track [on Non -racetrack side..] and I was on my Toby bike..
The ambulance entering the facility is from the local Hospital... but, as Kirby said... it was decided [by Track Emergency crew] that a helicopter to Nashville was preferred..
Tho the injuries were Not life threatening... it is Grim..
What happened???
I spent a long time trying to re-create the Accident... still very odd incident..
still sifting thru Photos, and first hand Witness observations..
When I see Kirby again I will discuss possibilities....
For now.. I feel it best to Keep Jim on your Prayer List
This is something that is extremely Infrequent... but it IS part of Racing!!!

Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 11:53:54 AM »
  thanks for the update on Jim.  :up:
He has been in my prayers ever since I seen the accident happen.
  It was definitely odd the way the bike suddenly kicked sideways.
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Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 03:55:22 PM »
  thanks for the update on Jim.  :up:
He has been in my prayers ever since I seen the accident happen.
  It was definitely odd the way the bike suddenly kicked sideways.

The "Kicked Sideways" Statement is what is so very puzzling... It takes mare than what little rain fell on that track to effect the traction thru that Glue... I checked that on purpose Instantly.. After more rain.. it was still stickier than any street bike is likely to encounter on typical roads.... tho, that may also be a problem??? IDK

That and generally... with the application of Throttle... I have never owned a Bike that did Not straighten itself..
Even without throttle... The geometry of the front end since the '80's on a Rubber mounted bike, tends to "self center"... But admittedly... I know Jack Shit about an M-8...
Thanks for the Prayers for Jim!!!

Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 04:40:56 AM »
  Marty...you can definitely rule out the rain.
I came directly out of the stands and went down next to the track the moment he went down. I stood there watching the crew head his way and it started to sprinkle just shortly after that.
  In both mine and Randy's opinion...something broke on that bike...by the way it acted.  :nix:
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Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 05:59:09 AM »
  Marty...you can definitely rule out the rain.
I came directly out of the stands and went down next to the track the moment he went down. I stood there watching the crew head his way and it started to sprinkle just shortly after that.
  In both mine and Randy's opinion...something broke on that bike...by the way it acted.  :nix:

Interesting... since they Rode it off the Track???? I'm sure curious... so I had someone go look it over [someone non-biased]
After I process this awhile...and when the Dust settles... I may discuss what I saw, and therefore what I believe... Not until any Litigation is settled... that's for sure.. All can offer is Opinion anyway.. and I certainly do Not have all of the Facts..

Offline jbroski

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 06:44:33 AM »
I'm sorry for the mans injuries, never want to see a crash. Litigation? seriously? Race at your own risk or sit in the stands

Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 06:47:54 AM »
I'm sorry for the mans injuries, never want to see a crash. Litigation? seriously? Race at your own risk or sit in the stands

But... More often than Not... There is Litigation!!!

Offline Ohio HD

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 07:43:50 AM »
I'm sorry for the mans injuries, never want to see a crash. Litigation? seriously? Race at your own risk or sit in the stands

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Offline rbabos

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2019, 12:06:23 PM »
Seems somewhat disturbing for this half way down the track. Points to something broke but time will tell.
Ron

Offline No Cents

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2019, 12:55:38 PM »
   It sure was an odd accident Ron.
Marty...any updates on how Jim is doing?
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Offline pwmorris

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2019, 03:16:04 PM »
Other situations could cause this other than a broken part, farther down the track.
Iíve seen vicious hi speed wobble caused by tank slap. Tank slap can be caused by tires worn or under inflated, mis-aligned chassis, stabilizers or rubber mounts worn or improperly installed, loose neck bearings, and fairings loose or not mounted correctly or not designed for the model bike.
The symptoms get worse and worse and if not corrected, the bike can violently sway left to right-more and more till it is unrecoverable.

Weather-
During a very windy day, I saw a super light, hi HP VW spin out at the end of the track at California Speedway just after the wind barrier. The barrier was only installed till the traps, but the wind was gusting right to left and soon as he passed them at the traps, the wind hammered the car and he immediately started to sway, then spun out and hit the wall.
Of course rain is a killer (even a mist), if you get even an inch out of the groove.

At the old LACR, I saw a bike go down at the big end from dust and gravel mist from the Gravel Company next to the track. Bike was flying, then started going side to side, them bam, slammed on its side and slid forever.

Drag racing is a dangerous and difficult sport.
Not sure if rider was a pro or newer rider, but an inexperienced rider can have all kinds of trouble, and things that a pro could ride out, or figure out in a fraction of a second to correct, a novice has no chance.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 03:22:03 PM by pwmorris »

Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2019, 05:21:31 AM »
Well said PW... I might add that even seasoned Riders can be surprised by a different Bike... ie Lots of experience on the track with a Wheelie bar .. professionally built DragBike... VS a Street bike... especially a Big Ole Bagger

I have Not received any up dates on Jim at this time..

Offline pwmorris

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2019, 11:00:35 AM »
Thoughts and prayers to the rider....

I wonder if pictures were taken at scene? Skid marks?
One other situation I didnít mention is something that happened I heard about but didnít actually see myself.
I newer rider on a bagger was going thru the traps and slammed on his brakes as perhaps he panicked as to how much time he had to stop in shutdown, or it was a knee jerk reaction. Either way, he hit the brakes hard and the rear tire (or combo of both brakes, not sure), and he locked up and started to sway side to side and then went down. Was a bagger also, and I believe some of those big fairings can act as a sail to pull you one way or the other, once out of shape at high speed.

Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2019, 05:01:12 AM »
Yes there are pics... not for public consumption ATT tho.
This was Not at the Traps... but, you make a Good Point about chopping the throttle and sitting up at the traps... Terrible Habit, as well as Dangerous.. one guy did it so bad ... at high enough speeds, I would Not license him till he broke that habit..

Offline joelp34252

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2019, 09:58:34 PM »
Have seen a few bikes go down in the traps after locking the front wheels up by applying too much brake. ET and Bracket racers afraid of breaking out getting a little too excited.

Joel 2001 FLHT

Offline Racepres

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2019, 06:02:16 AM »
Have seen a few bikes go down in the traps after locking the front wheels up by applying too much brake. ET and Bracket racers afraid of breaking out getting a little too excited.

Joel 2001 FLHT

Yeowch!!! Nuther bad habit... need to learn their equipment better... The best [winningest] Bracket racers, do Not need the Brakes.

Offline guppymech

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Re: I seen a horrific crash at Bowling Green at the all Harley drags
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2019, 10:17:17 AM »
I hope the rider Jim is recovering well.
 
My brother went down in the traps on his dragbike ('80 KZ 1000, 1500cc) when his throttle stuck wide open.  He didn't feel he could pull in the lever on the MTC lock-up clutch so he killed the engine, well the tire didn't take too well the sudden reversal of load trying to spin the 15.0:1 comp pistons at high rpm.  He went off the back/side and thankfully only suffered a concussion and minor scrapes, all at 50yr old...the hospital staff was amazed. 
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