Popular Radial vs The World competitor Lyle Barnett was critically injured on Thursday evening at the South Georgia Motorsports Park when his turbocharged Corvette caught fire and crashed, leaving the North Carolina native with extensive third-degree burns.
Barnett was racing alongside Jamie Hancock during the opening round of RvsW qualifying at Donald Long’s No Mercy VI drag radial race at the Adel, Georgia facility when, according to reports, a hung connecting rod led to significant engine damage at the conclusion of a 4.25-second, 175 mph run, causing the Corvette to immediately erupt into flames as it continued into the shutdown area. Barnett, fighting to bring the car to a halt, lost control when fluids got underneath the tires, sending the car careening nearly head-on into the guardrail before rolling to a stop in front of the already-rolling SGMP safety vehicle.
Barnett was able to climb from the car into the waiting hands of the SGMP safety and medical crew and was transported via helicopter to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation, before being moved to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, where he remains in a very critical state of care. According to a number of sources, Barnett received third-degree burns to his face, arms, and legs in the incident.
Barnett’s fellow racers have already stepped up to the plate to offer their support, opening a GoFundMe account and even donating their winnings from the No Mercy event to the family for Lyle’s medical bills and other costs. His comrades also created a decal overnight following the accident and distributed them around the pit area. By the time the cars hit the track the next morning, many of the cars were carrying the decal to honor their friend and competitor.
We’ll have further updates on Barnett’s condition as it becomes available. Until then, keep he and his family in your thoughts as he continues to fight.
Video courtesy MotormaniaTV