Man survives 190 mph land speed racing crash - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man survives 190 mph land speed racing crash

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It's amazing anyone could survive a crash like this -- a driver lost control of his car -- traveling at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.

The car flipped more than a dozen times, but in the end, the driver, who lives in Arizona, was able to walk away from the crash.

Considering how bad that crash looked, he's doing okay.  

He was racing his modified car on a dry lake bed in California.  El Mirage Lake is about two hours northeast of Los Angeles -- because it's so flat and dry, it's a very popular spot for people to try to break speed records.

Just before the crash, the car was approaching 190 miles per hour.

The driver spent six days in a hospital.

"They had to actually cut the roll cage in order to extract me," said Brian Gillespie of Hasport Performance.

Gillespie was behind the wheel on November 10th.  What's left of his car is a total loss.  Even the engine broke off.

"I have a vague memory of the car first starting to roll and saying uh-oh," he said.

He was immediately taken to the hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and other injuries.

"You can see a little bruising leftover.  It cleared up after a few days, but there were exploded blood vessels all over," he said.

Earlier that day, Gillespie broke his own speed record, hitting more than 200 miles per hour.

"Typically, you can't make quick adjustments when you are going that fast.  I wasn't able to save it or pull the shoot and the car dug in and started tumbling," he said.

Gillespie runs a Phoenix-based auto supply business. He says his team spent at least $50,000 turning a typical Honda Insight into a car that can break speed records.

"This was a really fun car.  There was hundreds and hundreds of hours of work into it and it is a shame to see it destroyed like that," he said.

In addition to a metal roll cage, the car has numerous modifications to keep the driver safe.  As bad as it looks, Gillespie says it's worth it.

"People who think about the risks don't do this kind of stuff. If that is your main worry, then you're not a racer, you are a spectator."

The doctors told Gillespie to take a month off of racing and he plans to do that.  As for why this happened, Gillespie still isn't sure.

Check out the amazing video of the crash: http://youtu.be/McJJeukIWSA

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