The Road to recovery for race car driver Derrick Lancaster

Digital Originals

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Christiansburg native Derrick Lancaster was involved in a fiery crash last month at the ARCA race at Talladega. He spent a few days in an Alabama hospital before coming back home.

Derrick’s road to recovery has included trips to VCU for hydrotherapy, which is him getting what is comparable to a power wash to keep his 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face, neck, and arms clean. Overall, it is tough for Derrick and his wife to look back on that fiery day at Talladega last month.

“They tell us where the fire trucks are so I knew I had to drive where the fire trucks were. I knew the grass was wet from the four inches of rain we had from the night before. So I drove through to get to the water to put out what fire I could, but I knew I had help. Pretty much at that point, once I got the car stopped, I started to get out, they helped me get out, I do not remember anything until Wednesday,” said Derrick.

Beth Lancaster shares her thoughts about the crash.

“Feeling very helpless, it is such a big track where we were. Over the pit box, there were screens everywhere so you can watch. So, I had my radio on and he was doing so good. I heard the spotter say ‘we have been wrecked, you have been wrecked, you are on fire,'” said Beth.

It took some time before the Lancasters got a chance to look at the wrecked car.

“We left it in the trailer for three weeks. We just unloaded it on Monday. I came back here and it was a shock, I couldn’t image how torn up it was it was torn up. I don’t think I had a crewmen there to unload the car, a family member or an employee I don’t think there was a dry eye when we unloaded it,” said Derrick.

This is Derrick’s second major race car accident in 10 months. Last August, in Tennessee, he suffered broken bones in his neck. Derrick says his future in racing could be over.

“I am sure Beth, my parents, and my kids and my close friends, they are all saying we don’t want you back in it. If my guys loaded up the car we would go to Motor Mile right now and test. But for the first time in my life, I have to think of people other than myself. I am not the type of person to sit on my couch with bubble wrap. The profession I chose is more dangerous than driving that race car. The towing and recovery business is very dangerous. I think the good Lord has other things in store for me. Why I have been hurt twice the way I have been hurt, I do not know. It is hard to talk about,” said Derrick.

Beth said when she was giving updates on Derrick through her Facebook posts it was good therapy for her. She is also a registered nurse which was big in helping with her husband’s recovery.

Derrick says his youngest daughter was excited about racing…but after the crash, she is no longer interested in racing. Derrick and Beth are very thankful for all of prayers and support they got from all of the well wishers.

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