Thursday, June 1, 2017

Indy 500 Safety Crew Member Almost Killed in Race 25 Years Ago-- Part 1

From the May 27, 2017,Indianapolis (Ind.) Star "Driver meets safety crew member he nearly killed during race 25 years ago" by Clifton Brown.

Buddy Lazier also cpmpeted in this year's 500.

"Steve Wissen was nearly killed by Buddy Lazier's race car 25 years ago.  The two men had never met until Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"In 1992, Lazier's race car streaked toward Wissen while he was doing his job on the track as chief of the IMS safety crew, cleaning up debris from Tom Sneva's wreck in Turn 4.  Lazier left the pits and re-entered the track after the accident, accelerating to catch the field that was under the yellow flag.

"Lazier didn't realize Wissen's crew was still on the track in Turn 4.  By the time Lazier saw Wissen, it was almost too late.  The race car moved toward Wissen at more than 200 mph like a guided missile.  Wissen raised his hands to his head.  He closed his eyes.  He prepared for the worst.

"'I was standing in the high-speed groove,' recalled Wissen, now 65 years old.  'It was like I watched it in slow motion.'

"Lazier missed Wissen by inches, deftly guiding the car between Wissen and the wall.  Wissen was so close to being hit that he was spun around and knocked to the ground by the backdraft from Lazier's car."


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