Racer from NJ walks away from 100 mph crash into woods (VIDEO)
It was a scary moment for a New Jersey racer at a New Hampshire racetrack Saturday when his car went off the track and into the woods.
The crash was captured by his helmet cam.
Joey Bailey, 24, from Monroe in Middlesex County, disappeared off the track at Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire, while driving in the Northeastern Midget Racing Association.
"He luckily walked away from the crash and it took a while to get the car out. The throttle stuck open and at that point, he was just along for the ride at almost 100 mph," NMRA announcer Pete Falconi wrote on his Facebook page.
The track was wet as rain began to fall during the races on Saturday, according to the track's Facebook page.
'Hang on, close my eyes and go for the ride'
Bailey's helmet camera captured the moment when his full-size midget went off the track and hit the brush and trees.
"I drove in deep trying to catch the guy in front of me. When I went to lift off the gas it was stuck on the floorboard. I pretty much realized what was happening quickly," Bailey told New Jersey 101.5.
"In the car, we have a push/pull cable system so the gas pedal wraps around my foot and if the throttle sticks I can pull it up with my foot. But when tried that it was completely stuck on the floor. I wasn't able to get the gas pedal off the floor. We're still trying to diagnose what happened with that."
Bailey said when he realized he couldn't get the pedal off the floor he was already off the track in the air flying over a pond and into a tree.
"I realize at that point there was nothing I could do except hang on, close my eyes and go for the ride," Bailey said.
"Sore for sure but definitely thankful all the safety equipment held up," Bailey said on his Facebook page.
Bailey said two people got to him and he was nervous because he felt a sharp pain in his back.
"I calmed down and I was able to move my legs. At that point, your adrenaline is going. I just wanted to get out of there immediately. They helped me get out and helped me walk to the ambulance," Bailey said.
He said the pain was in his lower back and declined a trip to a hospital.
"It almost felt like you slipped or pivoted the wrong way at the gym and you pulled something wrong. I told them I'll monitor it and if it gets worse I'll go to the doctor near me. Besides that, I feel fine. Sore for today for sure but there were no other problems except that," Bailey said.
Bailey said that he had moved up to 5th place before the crash at one of his favorite tracks.
Back behind the wheel at 'home'
Bailey, a 2015 graduate of Monroe Township High School who attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, also races full-time for ATQMRA where he tops all 24 drivers. He'll be back behind the wheel Saturday at Wall Stadium, his home track, for Stavola Night.
His father raced with ATQMRA, which got him into racing when he was 7. He started professionally at the age of 15 and won the championship in 2019. He started racing with Mike Scravani in 2020.
When he's not driving he works for UPS in Secaucus.
Bailey is supposed to drive #21 again in a few weeks but that's up in the air.
"I don't anything is salvageable from that car. I think we're going to have to rebuild something over the winter and come back stronger next year," Bailey said.