Former NASCAR driver and current USAC racer Shane Hmiel was involved in a violent single-car accident in qualifying for Saturday's SUMAR Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.
Hmiel was qualifying his Silver Crown car when he lost control between turns three and four of the half-mile dirt oval. His car "bicycled" onto two wheels and impacted the retaining wall. The force of impact crushed the roll cage down to the top of the driver's seat.
Hmiel was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and immediately placed into a medically-induced coma to reduce cranial pressure and minimize swelling brought on by his head trauma.
In addition to his head injuries, Hmiel suffered two compression fractures in his neck and two in his back. The fractures were described as "severe." However, a preliminary CAT scan showed no permanent brain damage.
Doctors performed surgery on the neck fractures Sunday and surgery on his back on Monday.
Shane's family has set up a Facebook page with continuous updates here.