(Perris, CA, October 11, 2016) Regular fans of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series who were at Perris Auto Speedway on September 24th and who witnessed the violent crash of series regular Jeremy “The Bear” Ellertson, had better sit down before they read the next sentence. Amazingly Ellertson, who suffered three broken ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured orbital bone, will be in action when the series returns to The PAS this Saturday night, October 15th.
Ellertson, a 36-year-old former UCLA football player who resides in Lawndale, California, was contesting the B main event when the crash occurred. Heading into turn three he rode over the right rear of another car and became airborne. When he came back to earth, the center broke out of the left rear wheel launching him into a series of violent flips. He hit the top of the crashwall with the roll cage of his white #98 sprint car. He then proceeded to punch a hole in one of the billboards. His left rear wheel and tire cleared the billboards with 20 feet to spare and landed in a fairgrounds storage yard.
Safety workers quickly arrived on the scene and the friendly driver was out cold. After he came to, workers had to cut the cage off of the car too free him and he was taken to a local hospital where he stayed until the following Monday morning.
“I am a little sore still, but I am looking forward to getting back in the seat again on Saturday” the veteran driver told Dave Stall on KCBQ’s San Diego Motorsports Radio Show this past Sunday afternoon. “It was driver error and I take full responsibility for the accident. The car in front of us, I hopped his right rear (tire) and it upset the chassis. The wheel center broke when it (the car) came down and it went into a spiral flip.”
During the crash, Ellertson’s head actually hit the crashwall and he credits his helmet and seat with saving his life.
“The helmet saved my life and so did my seat,” he told Stall. “The car went cage first into the k-rail and they estimate I was going anywhere from 90 – 110 (miles per hour). You are not going to win that battle. It was the force of my body against my seat that collapsed my lung and broke my ribs. The wall intruded the car and that is how I hit my head on the wall. I have seen multi angles and slow motion of the crash. I have studied everything about it so I can understand what the car did and how the injuries were obtained.”
While he is racing for the first time after the crash this Saturday, he could have come back two weeks ago.
“I got released the Friday after,” he laughed when talking to Stall. “The doctor told me he had never seen anybody recover from these injuries this fast. I could have actually taken the backup car that Friday (six days after the crash), loaded it up and drove to Arizona that day to race. I decided to stay home and enjoy my kids.”
Despite the severity of the crash and the subsequent painful injuries, Ellertson turned the episode into a positive. Both of his sons, 3-year-old Christopher and 12-year-old Christian, had heart transplants when they were infants. So, Ellertson decided to auction off the helmet from the crash and donate the money to the “Children’s Organ Transplant Association.” The helmet sold to Kenny Koldsbaek for $500.00 and every cent of it went to the charity.
“That is why I drive the Donate Life #98 and I try to spread organ donation awareness,” he said to Stall. “It is important to be an organ donor. Guys like Bryan Clauson are amazing people and he saved many lives. I have a genuine interest in the cause because I am a benefactor of it with my two boys.”
Anyone who would like more information on the Children’s Organ Transplant Association or who would like to donate to the cause, can go to the website at the following link: http://cota.org/
Fans wishing to see Jeremy Ellertson’s comeback this Saturday can be advised that the spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first race will be at 7:00.
Saturday’s show will consist of qualifying, heat races, B main (if needed) and a 30-lap A Main for the USAC/CRA Series. The Senior Sprints (drivers 45 and older) and Young Gun Sprints (drivers 14-25 with no prior sprint car experience) will contest heat races and main events.
Adult tickets are $25.00. Seniors 65 and older get in for $20.00. Active military members with proper id, teens 13-18 with their school id and kids 6-12 get in for just $5.00. Children 5 and under are admitted free. The event will not sell out and there will be plenty of tickets available for everyone at the ticket window on Saturday. Parking on the fairgrounds is $8.00.
For patrons who wish to purchase tickets in advance, they can do so 24-hours a day by clicking on the following link October 15th tickets or by calling 1-800-595-4849.
Camping is available for $25.00 per night for all PAS events. The campground opens at noon the day before each event. Tailgating in the spectator parking lot will begin at 1:00 PM.
Amsoil USAC/CRA Points
1. Damion Gardner – Concord, CA – 1212
2. Richard Vander Weerd – Visalia, CA – 1105
3. Jake Swanson – Anaheim, CA – 1089
4. Brody Roa – Garden Grove, CA – 1003
5. Austin Williams – Yorba Linda, CA – 995
6. Mike Spencer – Temecula, CA – 896
7. Max Adams – Loomis, CA – 805
7. Logan Williams – Yorba Linda, CA – 689
9. Cody Williams – Corona, CA – 646
10. Jace Vander Weerd – Visalia, CA – 602
PAS Senior Sprints
1. Eddie Tafoya – Chino Hills, CA – 453
2. Richard McCormick – Canyon Country, CA – 452
3. Rick Hendrix – Palmdale, CA – 319
4. Bill Badger – Santa Clarita, CA – 300
5. Dwayne Marcum – Riverside, CA – 294
PAS Young Gun Sprints
1. Courtney Crone – Corona, CA – 491
2. Hannah Mayhew – Acton, CA – 405
3. Matt McCarthy – Riverside, CA – 333
4. Daniel Anderson – Venice, CA – 330
5. Timmy Fitch – Lake Elsinore – 309