Late Model racer escaped injury in wild crash at ’05 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Jan. 24, 2009 — Just call it the wildest Dirt Late Model crash ever seen during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park.
Tim Senic of Elkins, W.Va. — the driver who was in the seat of the out-of-control car — certainly wouldn’t dispute the claim.
During a UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model B-Main on Feb. 16, 2005, Senic simultaneously astonished and horrified the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH crowd with a single-car accident that no one in attendance will ever forget. His car veered to the right between turns three and four, vaulted the outside steel guardrail and went flipping out of the ballpark and into the dark night.
Senic’s machine hopped the retaining wall with ease, launched skyward like the ‘Rocket’ (Chassis) it was. Looking like a high-flying Dukes of Hazzard stunt vehicle, the car began to twist in the air as it cleared the 30-foot-wide access road beyond the guardrail. Then it disappeared from the view of fans and video cameras and things really got crazy.
The machine proceeded to flip several times down a steep embankment, taking out small shrubs, trees and an old chain-link fence. His car came to rest not far away from the first-turn area of Volusia Speedway Park’s then one-third-mile asphalt track, where all the DIRTcar big-block Modified teams were pitted that evening.
Fortunately, Senic escaped the horrendous wreck without injury. Despite getting stuck in the cockpit for a few seconds because he popped his seat belts before removing the steering wheel, he slithered out before safety crews even reached the crash scene.
Damage to the car was heavy — its rear-end was cracked in half, the front clip was twisted and one of the four windshield safety bars was broken completely off by a tree branch that contacted it during the downhill rolls. But the machine maintained its integrity throughout a decidedly unusual ordeal.
Senic even kept his sense of humor following the show-stopping accident. While surveying his car in the pit area afterward, he noted that the line of destruction his mount left in its wake was significant.
“One guy from around here came over and told me I did more damage (to the track) than the hurricanes did (the previous summer),” said Senic, shaking his head.
More memorable moments are sure to occur in only 10 days at the 38th running of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, which runs from Feb. 3-14 at the sweeping half-mile oval. The meet features six consecutive nights of Dirt Late Model racing — two World of Outlaws Late Model Series events (Feb. 12 and 14) and four UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned programs (Feb. 9, 10, 11 and 13).
Fans can still take advantage of special ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH events contested by each headline division, including the six-night dirt Late Model meet; the six Sprint Car events (All-Star Circuit of Champions on Feb. 3-5, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Feb. 6-8); eight nights of UMP DIRTcar Modified action (Feb. 3-10); and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).
And with infield trailer heights limited to 9 feet, 6 inches, there are no bad seats in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park, which sits merely 15 miles inland from Ormond Beach on State Road 40.