RON KRISHER REBOUNDS

 Nobody would blame NHRA Pro Stock veteran Ron Krisher if he decided to skip this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. while he recovered from injuries sustained in a horrific crash during eliminations at the 52nd Mac Tools U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis two weeks ago.

Nobody would blame NHRA Pro Stock veteran Ron Krisher if he decided to skip this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. while he recovered from injuries sustained in a horrific crash during eliminations at the 52nd Mac Tools U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis two weeks ago.

But Krisher, who suffered some minor burns and a few cracked ribs when he barrell-rolled his Valvoline Chevy Cobalt, is a racer. And when in doubt, racers race.

Which is exactly what Krisher will be doing when the POWERade Series 23-race tour resumes with this weekend's event at Maple Grove Raceway.

"We're going to haul the car to Reading and drop the clutch and see what she does," Krisher said via telephone from his home in Warren, Ohio. "It's kind of amazing. I'm going to be sore, and I'm not going to be 100 percent, but it doesn't do me any good to sit home.

"I'd rather race than sit home. Actually, I'm bored."


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But two weeks ago, the feeling was quite different for Krisher, who was enjoying a pretty good weekend at the biggest drag race of the year. He qualified No. 12 before opening eliminations with a victory over No. 5 Mike Edwards in the first round.

His second-round pairing against Vieri Gaines also looked good from the start. He got off the starting line on time, had inched ahead by half-track and appeared to be making another solid 6.7-second pass that might put him in the semifinals. Then his world literally turned upside down just past the 1,000-foot mark.

"We were making a pretty good run up until 1,000 feet," Krisher recalled. "At 1,000 feet, the motor just went straight up and that was the end of it."

At that point, Krisher's Cobalt got very loose, moved left and right before making a hard left turn just past the finish line. The car then rolled over twice before scraping the left retaining wall. The fuel system broke as a result of the crash, causing the car to burst into flames before stopping.

This was Krisher's second major crash in the past year. He also rolled his Pro Stock car at Seattle in August, 2005. He credited this latest accident due to excessive fluid on the track.

"It was oil on the race track," Krisher said. "If you look on the tape, you can see the tire start to paddle when it got into whatever the (heck) was left on the race track. You're car doesn't go through the middle of high gear and go crazy (like that). We didn't break anything, we didn't blow up a motor, we never lost any fluid.

"It had nothing to do with my race car. We didn't break an axle...nothing happened (to it), but the thing just went crazy when we got to a certain point on the race track."

There seems to be some truth to Krisher's claim.

There was one major cleanup during the fuel session of the second round. That occurred after the final Top Fuel match-up between eventual winner Tony Schumacher and David Grubnic, who's motor erupted into a fireball just past half-track, resulting in a cleanup by the NHRA Safety Safari that took nearly an hour.

There were no incidents in the Funny Car session. But the first pair of Pro Stock resulted in Krisher's crash.

"They had a major blowup (during the final pair of Top Fuel)," said Krisher, who was ran in the same lane as Grubnic. "They took about 45 minutes working on it, and it possibly put oil in both lanes. And they just missed something.

"A Funny Car can drive through small patches of that stuff, because it has about a 7,000-pounds of downforce and we have about 200.

 "When we hit something, our cars will break loose. (Fuel cars) are traveling so fast that they are not going to have the problems that we would in Pro Stock."Krisher was initially unconscious just after the crash, but regained consciousness and got out of the car with assistance. He was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and later released. He suffered minor burns on his left elbow and forearm, bruises on his left leg and some cracked ribs.

But still it could have been worse. One report indicated that if it wasn't for the HANS device that most Powerade Series competitors use during competition, Krisher's crash could have resulted in a fatality.

"The HANS device took care of everything," he said. "My neck wasn't sore. It was a tremendous asset.

"That was a heck of a wreck and you're traveling at a lot of speed. I just feel very fortunate."

Krisher hasn't lost his desire to want to go back to the race track, which he will do this weekend.
But it's also been a rush to get him a competitive car ready to race. The team recently received a new chassis and finished preparing the car this week.

"I'm not going to be 100 percent," Krisher said. "But I can drive. We finished up the car (Wednesday). I really would like to take it out and make some test runs, but we didn't get a chance to do that, what with the weather the way it is here, so we'll just haul it to Reading and see what we can do. I really don't like doing it that way, but I don't' have a choice."

But he has a choice on whether or not to get back in the game, and he's chosen the latter.

"Nothing will stop that," said Krisher referring to his desire to continue to let the clutch out.


 

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