Pit roads can be a dangerous place for anyone in motorsports. That fact proved to be true once again during a routine pit stop for Erik Jones' No. 43 car on Sunday during the Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway in Madison.
A pit crew member was caught up in an accident and was taken to the hospital. Originally, it was reported that Austin Dillion — who drives the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet — may have struck the crew member with his car after pulling through the pit stalls. However, it was later clarified that Dillon's car never came into contact with the crew member.
Apparently, crew member Thomas Hatcher and another fellow crew member got tangled up, forcing Hatcher to the ground. The AMR Safety crew quickly attended to Hatcher, who was transported to the hospital after regaining consciousness. Nonetheless, it was a crazy thing to see on the pit lane. Things move fast there, and anything can happen at any time. This is a nightmare situation for any of the guys on pit road — as the over-the-wall guys see a guy on the ground and their natural reaction is to try to help.
Fox now says Austin Dillon's car did *not* hit Erik Jones' tire changer. The tire changer and Jones' tire carrier got tangled up when Jones' car came in the box.
The tire changer, Thomas Hatcher, is at the hospital alert and awake. #NASCAR
— Jonathan Fjeld (@Jonathan_Fjeld) June 5, 2023
A member from Tyler Reddick's team stepped up in Hatcher's absence. That only presented itself after Reddick was the one who brought out the caution before this incident. Kudos to the guys at 23XI Racing to step up in such a scary situation.
Soon after Hatcher went down, Dillon came on his radio wondering why an ambulance was on pit road. According to the FS1 broadcast, Dillon's crew was certain there wasn't contact between the No. 3 car and the injured pit crew member.
Jones caught up with motorsports journalist Bob Pockrass following the race to offer some good wishes to Hatcher.
Erik Jones said he hopes to talk to his front tire changer Thomas Hatcher soon. Jones said it all happened so fast, he isn?t sure what happened in the incident.
Hatcher was awake and alert and taken to the hospital for further observation and treatment. pic.twitter.com/dyZu3HN1A8
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 5, 2023
A pit road is never a safe place during a race, and this is just another scary example. Thankfully, Hatcher is alright and has since been released, according to a statement on Twitter by Legacy Motor Club.
— LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (@LegacyMotorclub) June 5, 2023
Best wishes, Thomas. Hopefully, you'll be back at the track soon.
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