Kyle Strickler missed most of the night as he visited the hospital; He returned to the track and electrified the fans
Medic: “That’s a hard no on you racing tonight.”
Dirt racers have invaded Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida for the 50th annual DIRTcar Nationals. On Wednesday night, something amazing happened in the DIRTcar UMP Modified division
Early in the night, Strickler was working the jack on his race car. In the process, he sliced his middle finger, nearly clear off. To be clear, it was caught in the lift that picks the car off the ground using hydraulics.
He sent out via twitter, “Just to update everyone. I cut the tip of my finger almost completely off. I’m headed to the hospital to get it stitched up hopefully be back racing tomorrow. Thanks”
The driver thought he was done for the night. However, after a trip to the hospital, they got him stitched up and he felt good to go. So he went…
He tweeted, “stitched up and headed back to the track.”
Strickler missed most of the night. However, he was able to make it back to the track ahead of the LCQ races and give himself a chance to make the show.
Strickler cut the middle finger of his racing glove off. The repairs on his finger made it too wide to fit in the glove.
He started 13th of 14 in one of the four LCQ races. The race is only 10 laps and only the top 2 advance.
With 7 laps to go, Strickler ran 5th. After they took the white flag, he drove even with Ken Schrader and took the lead but the caution was displayed.
As they dropped the green in the one lap shootout, Strickler was able to get alongside Schrader off the final corner. However, he wasn’t able to take the win.
Strickler finished 2nd and grabbed the final transfer spot into the main event.
Clawing to the podium, minus one finger
Strickler started 23rd of 24 cars in the 20-lap main event.
16 to go, he was up to 15th. 13 to go, Strickler cracked the top 10.
With 8 laps to go, Strickler was three wide and inside the top 5. He was on the charge to the front of the field.
Most of the field ran the bottom and the middle of the track. That left the outside lane wide open as Strickler drove right by them all
With 4 laps remain, Strickler was up to 3rd but he was stalled and he was out of time. The driver was forced to settle for the final step of the podium. Tyler Nicely grabbed the feature win.
Kyle Strickler comments from the podium
Strickler parked it on the front stretch and climbed from his car:
“When I was in the ambulance, after almost cutting my finger off. They told me, ‘That’s a hard no on you racing tonight.’ Because that was the first question I asked them.”
“She’s like, you gotta go to the hospital and get stitches. It just got caught in the lift when we were putting the car on it and trying to jack the car up.”
“It cut it three-quarters of the way through on one one and halfway through on the other side. We ended going to the hospital, stitching it up, coming back here and making it in time.”
“This was the first time I sat in this car, in that B-Main there. We’ll keep working on it because I really don’t think we were that good there.”
“I know I’m doing all that big-time dirt late model stuff. But, man these modifieds are so much fun. That’s the most fun I’ve had in a race car for a long time.”
Strickler added, “Really glad I could put a show on for the people that stayed and braved the cold.”
On Thursday night, Strickler returned to victory lane at the same track. The Gator championship will be determined by Monday night for modified competition.
Strickler is planning to make the switch back to the Late Model on Tuesday. With two races in the books for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in 2021, Strickler is the current point leader.