Popular Top Fuel pilot and nitro tuner and wrench-slinger Dom Lagana provided the sport of drag racing with some positive news in an otherwise difficult year as he returned home this week after nearly four months in a hospital recovering from a traffic accident that almost took his life in August.
The Scarsdale, New York native, who works full-time for Steve Torrence’s Capco Contractors Top Fuel team and also pilots his family-owned car on a part-time basis, was injured in early August a short drive from the Lucas Oil Raceway, just hours following the conclusion of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals. The accident also involved fellow Top Fuel racer Richie Crampton and nitro crewman Jake Sanders, both of whom were released a short time after the crash. Lagana, who was behind the wheel, received the worst of the injuries and remained in an Indianapolis hospital fighting for his life for several weeks, as the NHRA community rallied behind him in an outpouring of support at every venue it visited in the latter half of the season.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my family through this difficult time,” said Lagana in late October. “I’m just starting to see some of the messages and videos that were created, and I feel so grateful. It’s a very tight knit racing community and this shows firsthand how we really are a big family. I can’t thank everybody enough. I was able to watch some of the past races online and seeing all the Lagana Strong t-shirts being worn is such a huge motivation for me. I have a long road ahead of me to my recovery but I’m working hard and I’m extremely motivated. The positivity from everyone is what’s helping me progress and I’m determined to get back to the racetrack.”
Said Lagana this week in his first public statement since returning home: “103 days in the hospital since my accident on August 9 and I’m happy to say that I’m finally back home. I had severely bad burns to my body which resulted in my lower legs getting amputated. This hasn’t been an easy journey but I am so lucky to have such an amazing support system around me. I am forever indebted to all the doctors, nurses and therapists who saved my life. I’ll be continuing outpatient rehab and focused on working toward getting prosthetics. It’s a big life adjustment but I’m so grateful to still be here. Thank you again for everyone’s support and prayers, it means the world to my family and I.”
Lagana made his NHRA debut in Top Fuel in 2009 driving his family’s Twilight Zone dragster, and appeared in his first and only final round in 2010. He remains the fastest Top Fuel driver in history, clocking 338.35 mph at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in September 2017.