Brenda Sue Recovering From Racing Accident

Episode 125

October 2, 2016

Brenda Sue Carver aboard her motorcycle. She crashed at the Loring Timing Association's Fall Harvest Event September 4th. Photo courtesy Brenda Sue Carver GoFundMe site

Brenda Sue Carver aboard her motorcycle. She crashed at the Loring Timing Association’s Fall Harvest Event September 4th. Photo courtesy Brenda Sue Carver GoFundMe site

The Latest on Brenda Sue Carver’s Road to Recovery

On Sunday morning September 4, 2016 Brenda Sue Carver pointed  her racing motorcycle down the Loring runway attacking her records of 234 in the mile and 239 in the mile and one-half set at the Mojave Mile event April 11, 2015.

Brenda Sue Carver's custom motorcycle with a normally aspirated Suzuki Hayabusa engine and frame. The bike was new. Brenda Sue Carver photo

Brenda Sue Carver’s custom motorcycle with a normally aspirated Suzuki Hayabusa engine and frame. The bike was new. Brenda Sue Carver photo

After crossing the mile mark at 223 mph she slowed for some unexplained reason to about 140 mph and went off track, sliding to a stop about 50 feet from emergency personnel at the mile and one-half mark.

After being brought to Cary Medical Center for initial treatment she was immediately transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor where she continues to recover after multiple surgeries.

According to initial reports from her daughter, Shanna Carver-Hunter who lives in Schertz, Texas about 20 minutes from her mother,  Brenda Sue had a broken shoulder, broken collarbone, broken ribs, right arm broken in three places, left leg broken below the knee and at ankle, and a compound fracture of the right leg and ankle.

I was able to get an update from Shanna this evening when she had just got home from her first visit with her Mom in Maine at EMMC. Carver-Hunter stated, “She’s now been in the hospital almost exactly a month. They amputated her right leg just above the knee last Tuesday, and we started to see immediate improvement in her condition after that.”

“She was moved from the ICU to a regular room on Friday evening, and they are working on trying to get her at least a little bit mobile. She can sit in a wheelchair and they’re starting her on solid foods. She still has a trach but they’re planning on removing it Monday.”

“She is talking and it’s so nice to see her getting back to herself, but we are definitely still seeing the after effects of the sedation (she was kept sedated around the clock for most of this past month.) “

“She doesn’t always make sense and she’s got some crazy ideas right now. But just the fact that she’s awake is progress and we’re happy about that.”

I asked Carver-Hunter about future plans for racing, however, the trauma of the accident is still fresh and no decisions are being made at this time. She did note that racing is in her mother’s blood.

A hospital stay like this can be a financial burden no matter what your circumstances. I did not ask any specific questions about money, however, there are a few sites raising money to help with expenses. There are two GoFundMe sites with nearly $15,000 raised and you may know of others. If you are able to help I would ask that you do provide financial assistance as well your prayers.

Brenda Sue Carver in her hospital room at EMMC where she is recovering from injuries from an accident at Loring Timing Association Speed Trials in September. Photo courtesy Brenda Sue Carver

Brenda Sue Carver in her hospital room at EMMC where she is recovering from injuries from a racing accident at Loring Timing Association Speed Trials in September. Photo courtesy Brenda Sue Carver

When I asked about using the photo of Brenda Sue in her hospital room her daughter replied, “She has always told me that if anything happened to her while racing she wanted me to put the ugly details out there so that people understand what can happen.”

Follow Up To 24 Hours of Daytona in January

Ford GT at Petit LeMans 10 Hour Endurance race at Road Atlanta places second and clinches second in first season. Ford Racing photo

Ford GT at Petit LeMans 10 Hour Endurance race at Road Atlanta places second and clinched second in the championship in their first season. Ford Racing photo

In late January 2016 my racing helper Phil Miller and I covered our first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. In addition to covering the race I had the opportunity to visit with my brother Bill and his family in Orlando.  I was able to spend time with former Red Sox groundskeeper, now Director of Grounds at Daytona International Speedway, Jason Griffeth to see what his new job entails.

Because of the time spent at Daytona I could relate to the IMSA races held throughout the season since most of the cars and crews  were at the 24 Hours race. This would be similar to seeing Billy Graham on TV or meeting him and spending time with him.

The IMSA season came to an end at Braselton, Georgia this past weekend with the Petit LeMans 10 hour endurance race on the famous Road Atlanta Raceway. Championships in all divisions were determined.

The winning Michael Shank Racing Honda-Ligier-JSP2. Honda Racing photo

The winning Michael Shank Racing Honda-Ligier-JSP2. Honda Racing photo

The privateer Michael Shank Racing prototype driven by Ozz Negri, Oliver Pla, and John Pew won the overall race by a small margin over the Daytona 24 Hour winning Honda Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM)  Racing prototype driven this weekend by Pipo Derani, Johannes van Overbeek, and Scott Sharp.

ESM owner Ed Brown whose team is moving from Honda to Nissan Nismo next season had an interesting quote, “I’m proud of the team. They really dug hard. We didn’t have the car, but the team did really well. The drivers did unbelievable.”

“I’m really disappointed in a partner that I’ve been working with for ten years, and that’s HPD. I felt like for the sister car {Michael Shank Racing Honda}  to be able to run two degrees more wing and have four miles an hour on us, it probably wasn’t the right thing to do.”

“I think it was payback for us moving to Nissan for next year. In fairness, we’ve been a good partner. We milked their 04B, which was a horrible car. We did a lot of things for them over the years. For them to treat us that was disappointing. But we still got second, and we showed them that even with them playing the games, we are still pretty fast.”

Chevrolet #4 Mobil 1/Sirius XM Corvette C7R finished 3rd in GTLM at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Chevrolet Racing

Chevrolet #4 Mobil 1/Sirius XM Corvette C7R finished 3rd in GTLM at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Chevrolet Racing

Corvettes Lock Up GTLM Title

With a third place finish in GTLM the Corvette team of Tommy Milner. Oliver Gavin, and Marcel Fassler assured Chevrolet of the 11th title in IMSA racing. When I saw this team in action at Daytona they had just beaten their sister team the #3 Corvette by a fraction of a second at the finish line.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 placed second in GTLM at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Ford Racing

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 placed second in GTLM at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Ford Racing

Ford Finishes Second in IMSA GTLM in Rookie Year

When I saw the Ford Chip Ganassi EcoBoost GT debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January I knew that this team was going to win races. The racetrack was abuzz with talk about the team. The number of people working on this race team reminded me of their last effort in the mid-60’s when they went sports car racing with the intended goal of snatching the LeMans race away from Ferrari after the Italian team refused overtures from Ford to buy the company.

The team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a feat I consider Herculean for any first year team, even with Ford’s money. Once again I was wrong when the team celebrated their return to Victory Circle 50 years after their first such win.

This day Petit LeMans race honors went to arch nemesis Ferrari’s Risi Competizone in a  488 GTE driven by Giancarlo Fisichelli, Toni Vilander, and James Calado. Despite finishing second in GTLM the #66 Ford GT team consisting of Dirk Muller, Joey Hand, and Sebastien Bourdais earned enough points to finish second in the championship.

Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP) at Road America wins final race for this type of car. Chevrolet Racing photo

Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP) second place at Road America was good enough to win the championship in the final race for this type of car. You may recall seeing my photo of the same car covered with oil after a rough day at the Daytona 24 Hour race. Chevrolet Racing photo

Last Race Of Daytona Prototypes

It was bittersweet for me to see that the era of the tube frame Daytona Prototypes was coming to an end. I visited Riley Technologies in Speedway, Indiana (Indianapolis) in the early 2000’s when they were on the cutting edge of developing the Gen1 Daytona Prototype which would go on to dominate the DP class for several years.

In the spring of 2004 , I held in my hand the half shaft that failed in the 24 Hours of Daytona when Wayne Taylor and Max “the Axe” Angelilli drove the Sun Trust DP based out of Riley Technologies shop on Main Street, Speedway, Indiana. You could literally throw a rock ten times and hit Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Maybe someday I will tell you about the things I learned from Bob and Bill Riley, Ron McMahon, and others on that team, such as the building they were in was the racing headquarters for a well-known team in the early 1900’s. If you want to know who that was you will either have to look it up or stay tuned to future episodes.

This is why I have a soft spot in my heart for the DP cars. I will miss them for their low-cost and relative simple chassis as well as their place in my own motorsports historical quest.

Spud Speedway owner and Board of Directors member of Northern Maine Karting Association with his daughter Kirsten racing at K1 Speed in California. Photo courtesy Troy Haney

Spud Speedway owner and Board of Directors member of Northern Maine Karting Association Troy Haney with his daughter Kirsten racing at K1 Speed in San Jose, California. Photo courtesy Troy Haney

So what do you do when you go to California for work and fun? If your Troy Haney you show a little of that Aroostook County speed and dominate the results at K1 Speed Indoor Karting in San Jose, California. Photo courtesy Troy Haney

So what do you do when you go to California for work and fun? If you are Troy Haney you show a little of that Aroostook County speed and dominate the results at K1 Speed Indoor Karting in San Jose, California. Photo courtesy Troy Haney

I Need Your Help

Hydraulic oil pre-filter on my John Deere 950 tractor. HTF Motorsports photo

Hydraulic oil pre-filter on my John Deere 950 tractor. HTF Motorsports photo

Okay all you experts out there please help me determine why this paper like sludge is forming on my hydraulic oil filter directly in line before my actual hydraulic filter. I cleaned the pre-filter and installed a new hydraulic filter and the tractor ran fine for about 15 minutes and once again when I pulled the screen it looked like this.

I changed the hydraulic oil and hope I have at least allowed my tractor to work for a while. I showed this to several folks in my area and not one person could give me a definitive answer. The crud on the pre-filter screen reminds me of the consistency of pulp on the screens at a paper mill.

If you have a favorite hypothesis email me at thale@reagan.com. I want to prevent this from happening again.

What’s Happening In The HTF Motorsports Garage?

HTF Motorsports Toyota Tacoma Kart Hauler in the garage or rather on the garage. HTF Motorsports photo

HTF Motorsports Toyota Tacoma Kart Hauler in the garage or rather on the garage for an oil change. HTF Motorsports photo

As you can see the garage has had a workout this past weekend. The warm weather has allowed me to extend maintenance, like this oil change on the hauler, into the month of October. I was thinking the other day that maybe you would like a tour of the HTF Motorsports Garage; contact me for a scheduled time. Drop ins are not suggested since you may not catch me at work in the garage, especially in colder weather.

Stay tuned to future episodes when I will tell you about upcoming “Careers in Motorsports” Day at Presque isle High School and snowmobile drag races at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds.

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing.