401265077 10168296289840201 7002935418331353522 N
Shane "Shugah" Sexton at the end of the 2023 campaign at Cocopah Speedway.

After Frightening Crash, Shane Sexton Is Back In Action

WARNER SPRINGS, Calif. — Ten months ago, Shane Sexton was involved in one of the wildest sprint car crashes in the 27-season history of Perris Auto Speedway. 

Despite climbing out of the car and walking back to his pit, something was not right. It turned out to be a broken back that plagued him for the rest of the year. This Saturday night, when the Avanti Doors and Windows USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series opens its 20th season, the now-recovered Sexton will be back in action.   

After coming from the back to finish second in the companion lightning sprint car main on the ill-fated night, Sexton’s wild crash took place during the running of the USAC/CRA main event. Coming off of turn two in the 30-lapper, Sexton tapped wheels with another car. 

While the other car continued to race down the back straightaway, Sexton’s No. 74B catapulted into a series of terrifying flips. At one point just past the middle of the back straight, his car was higher than the track billboards and was dangerously close to flying out of the ballpark. 

The missile finally came to a stop inside the track about half a straightaway from where it was launched. 

Safety crews quickly arrived on the scene and began to help Sexton. Amazingly, the GAS Chassis built by his father Stan did its job of protecting the young driver. The car suffered little damage. Just as astonishing, Sexton climbed out of the car and sat down on the crash wall for a few minutes before walking back to his pit area.

However, all was not well.

“I was surprised that he got out of the car as quickly as he did,” longtime Perris Auto Speedway infield announcer Chris Holt said after the frightening crash. “The car held up very well and suffered very little damage. But Shane was as white as a sheet. He was definitely shaken up.”

After a couple of nights of achy sleeping, the California driver decided to go to the hospital to get checked out. It was there that he learned he had fractured his T3 and T5 vertebrae and compressed a couple of others. Surprisingly, that only knocked him out of action for five weeks before he climbed back into Mike Schweitzer’s lightning sprint at the Bakersfield Speedway where he finished 10th. 

While he was quickly back in the lightning, he only raced eight other times before the season concluded. 

And he was not at 100 percent.

“It is pretty good,” Sexton confirmed when queried on how his back injury was doing earlier this week. “I do not wake up hurting anymore. I am pretty healed up. I would say I am back to 100 percent. Towards the end of last season, I was not 100 percent physically and mentally, really.” 

Needless to say, like all racing drivers he wants to get back in his car and back in action. 

He is healed physically and mentally and he will enter the new season in better shape equipment wise as well. In addition, after suffering the back injury, he now has a CASM Safety shock absorbing seat mount system in his car to prevent another back injury.   

“Coming into this year, we are the most prepared we have ever been at the beginning of the season in any type of racing I have done,” Sexton said. “That helps. It will be the same car as last season. This year we also have a complete backup ready to go. So, there will not be long droughts of not racing.

“I am hoping to do the full USAC/CRA schedule, of course,” he offered when asked on how much he planned on competing this year. “I would love to do it, but it will be as much as the budget allows. We will be racing as much as we can. I do not think we will be doing any of the new series. Unless I get a ride in something else, the USAC series is what I will be racing.”