TULSA, Okla. — Friday’s Vacuworx Qualifying Night program at the 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals saw Payton Williams go for a wild ride in the third Budweiser Heat Race, necessitating a rare red flag at the Tulsa Expo Center.
Williams, from North Richland Hills, Texas, was entering turn three when he washed up the corner and touched wheels with Chad Boat. The contact sent Williams’ No. 22X Paul Cook Racing/Melray Oil & Gas XXX-Chevrolet into a pirouetting flip, causing visible damage to the safety cage and ripping the left-rear wheel from the suspension of the car before it came to rest.
Safety crews were immediately on the scene, with Williams communicating to officials while he was slowly extricated from his battered race car.
The extrication process was slowed due to the roll cage damage on Williams’ car, leading to an extended stoppage of just over 10 minutes before racing was able to resume.
Racin’ Boys Network pit reporter Bryan Ward reported immediately following the crash that Williams was alert, talking to safety workers and able to move all his extremities, but had sustained both a possible concussion and a cut nose from his glasses and would be transported off-site to a local hospital for further evaluation as a result.
Ward later confirmed on the broadcast that Williams “has a broken nose and a bad concussion”, and that he would be kept overnight at the hospital for further evaluation.
The 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will conclude Saturday, with a full slate of ‘alphabet soup’ mains from twin O-Features all the way up to the night’s 55-lap championship A-Feature.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
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