Three Drivers Hospitalized in Crash-Marred Race

Denny Hamlin is placed on a stretcher after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' AMP Energy 500 auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Greg McWilliams)
By  | 

James Buescher held off Joey Logano in a battle of 18-year-olds on the final lap of Saturday's crash-marred ARCA RE/MAX Series race
at Daytona International Speedway that sent three drivers to the hospital.

The 80-lap event was slowed by a series of multicar wrecks,
including a three-car accident six laps from the end that brought
out a red flag.

Patrick Sheltra, running third, was hit from behind by
pole-winner Justin Lofton, sending Sheltra's car into the wall. As
it slid back down the banking on the 2.5-mile oval, Sheltra's car
was slammed hard and sent into a spin by the trailing car of Larry

It took safety workers about 20 minutes to get Sheltra out of
his battered car and he and Hollenbeck were taken by ambulance to
Halifax Medical Health Center.

Bobby Gerhart, who hit the wall earlier in the race after a tire
blew, was taken to the same hospital.

There was no immediate word on any of their injuries.

Logano, scheduled to drive Saturday night in the NASCAR Sprint
Cup Budweiser Shootout, is replacing two-time Cup champion Tony
Stewart this year in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Toyota. He drove the
ARCA race in a car prepared by JGR and fielded by Venturini Racing.

He lost a lap early in the race when his team was penalized for
having an extra man with no helmet over the wall during a pit stop,
but got back on the lead lap and was in position to challenge for
his second ARCA win as the race neared its finish.

The race was restarted with just one lap remaining and Buescher,
who at 16 was the youngest winner in ARCA history when he took the
checkered flag in a race at Lakeland, Fla., in 2007, was able to
keep Logano behind him, winning by about two car-lengths.

"I knew he was going to come after me in the third turn and I
just made the car as wide as I could," Buescher said. "I did what
I had to do."

Lofton finished third, followed by John Wes Townley and Ken