A dear friend involved with drag boat racing sent these incredible photos of a crash that occurred over the Memorial Day weekend. Check it out HERE.
Bad Boy/Problem Child Driver Dale Ishimaru crashes at Nitro NationalsAfter blistering the LQM with a 4.68 pass at over 263 mph during Saturday’s qualifying, the reigning world champion Dale Ishimaru was set to take on the field of 8 fuelers at the Nitro Nationals. Unfortunately, Dale crashed in his round 2 matchup with Glen Wilson. After talking to Crew Chief “Fast” Eddie Knox, the propellers on that run were not damaged, but did change shape, and the team was afraid to run them again in Round 1. The team put a new set of props on for first round and the boat did a huge wheel stand, nearly blowing over, similar to Jerry Kutz in 2006. Some tuneup changes were made to remedy the wheelstand, but at about half-track the boat began to hop, Dale got out of the gas, but it was too late, the boat began to barrell roll on the right side of the boat. First analysis shows that the crash was due to a propeller failure. The boat appeared in photos to have lost the left propeller and the right propeller was damaged.
Dale was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding and remains in ICU awaiting surgery that will occur on Monday on his L2 vertebrae that was broken in the accident. According the early reports, Dale sustained a concussion, as well as the back injury, but apparently no other injuries. Although the injury is not life-threating, it is very serious, and doctors felt it was necessary to perform the surgery locally instead of transporting him to Southern California.
We recieved an additional update on Dale. After 7 1/2 hours of surgery, Dale is doing quite well considering the circumstances. The doctors said that if they had to rate the surgery on a scale of 1 – 10, it was a 10 1/2, so that was great news for us drag boat fans. Bone fragments were removed from Dale’s lower back, pins, screws and some sort of wire or wire mesh was used to fix his back. Apparently he even sat up in bed today, so that is a good sign.