Litt's crash 'worst ever' in sprint car

JIM CRESSMAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

Ryan Litt looks at the photos and video and can't believe he walked away from the wreck.

"I had a lot of people tell me it's the worst hit they've ever seen a sprint car take," the 22-year driver from Lyons said of his recent crash at Toledo Speedway.

Litt and the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints were in Ohio along with the International Super Modified Association for the annual Fastest Short Track Show in the World.

The day began with Litt posting one of the fastest laps in practice for either division.

"I was running smooth, not out of control," he said.

Then came qualifying.

Coming out of the first set of turns on his first lap, parts in the rear end separated from the rest of the car and the left rear wheel flew off, spinning Litt hard into the outside wall.

"There was no warning at all. It made a huge sound when (the back end broke off) and I didn't have any time to react," he said.

"From the time I felt it drop to the time I hit the wall was less than a blink of an eye and I didn't even have time to lift. I was flat out through (turns) one and two, and I didn't drag the brakes or anything. The car was on a rail."

Litt said the time trials at Toledo are a big part of the evening's show because of the speeds and wide-open qualifying laps some drivers try, and fans always show up early.

One fan has posted a video of the crash on YouTube.

"It was one of the worst types of hits, too, because the driver's side always has the smallest crush zone due to the offset of the chassis," he said.

"When the car hit, it kind of exploded and a lot of bodywork and framework came off. I think that took some of the energy away from me, sort of like an IndyCar, which is made to come apart to reduce the impact."

Damage includes a demolished front end, a badly damaged wing, a bent roll cage and the shoulder support on the seat is nearly past the outside of the roll cage. In other words, his car is basically totalled.

"The motor came so far back the valve covers hit the frame and crumpled. We figure it came back five or six inches," said Litt, crediting his in-car safety equipment allowed him to walk away unscathed.

"It was definitely the hardest hit I have taken. It knocked the wind out of me and my left leg and my neck are a little stiff, but other than that I'm fine."

Like any good driver, Litt will be back and hopes to have his backup car ready to go June 27 at Berlin, Mich.


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