‘I’ve never seen anything like this happen before’: Lance Mackey survives race car crash in Washington

Four time Iditarod Champion Lance Mackey was involved in a horrific race car crash over the weekend.
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 9:45 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Lance Mackey survived a wreck during a race at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval in East Wenatchee, Washington, this past weekend.

On Sunday, while competing in the 51st Year Celebration Leonard Evans 150/NW Legends Nationals event at the race track in Washington, the dog mushing champion crashed his Tri-State Legends series race car in a manner that caused a hush to fall over the crowd.

“I’ve never seen anything like this happen before,” said WVSO General Manager Jeremy Anders.

Mackey, an icon in the sled dog community, is well-known for his four Iditarod titles, four Yukon Quest titles and for beating cancer. Recently though, he has been trying his hand at race car driving.

However, this new charge took a turn for the worst on Sunday when he came out of a turn during the race.

“Front tire jumped over the back tire of the other car. As he did that the car kind of went nose down (unintelligible) speed. Nose down straight into the front stretch wall and it came down and kind of hit the corner top of the wall, and that caused the front end of the roll cage of the Legends car to actually collapse down,” Anders said, who watched the scene unfold in person.

Despite the visible damage to the car, Mackey did not sustain any major injuries but there were other concerns, according to Anders, “there was some water and some fuel leaking from the car so they had extinguishers standing by there to make sure they were OK.”

In a video posted online by Mackey, footage displays the crash from inside his race car. In that clip, members of the safety crew at the track get to Mackey to handle the scary situation.

“Mike Simmonds is the guy you see in the yellow vest there. He is really really good, he made sure that Lance was OK,” Anders said. “He was calm and stayed calm the whole entire time and once he made sure that Lance was okay, his number one priority was to get the car rolled back over to get Lance out and make sure he was okay.”

Considering the severity of the crash, what it looked like to spectators and the race car’s damage, Mackey’s relative health afterward was a bigger win than any earned at the finish line that day.

“From my understanding, there’s no serious injury,” Anders said. He had a banged-up hand, a few other things but he was OK other than that.”

Knowing that the former Iditarod champ is said to be alright after his crash, this recent event will now add to the legend of Lance Mackey, who apparently even crashes better than everyone else.

“I think there was about 41 other Legend car drivers there from all over the country and they were all saying the same thing, they’ve never seen anything this crazy before,” Anders said. “The best picture I saw was the next day, he was out in front of his hotel room playing with his kids, which is probably the most important part about it.”

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