The grandson of late NASCAR Cup Series star Neil Bonnett was injured in a fiery crash during the Snowflake 100 on Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
Justin Bonnett suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula with burns to his hands, face and neck following a unique incident that caused him to be transferred to the University of South Alabama’s trauma center.
Bonnett was running 26th on Lap 54 when a wayward car driven by Jarrett Parker came back up the track and in front of oncoming traffic. Parker’s fuel cell was dislodged by the contact between the two and was dragged by Bonnett through turns 3 and 4.
Bonnett was in the car for nearly a minute before being pulled out of the car by two officials.
The complete report offered by the team on Saturday night read as such:
Justin has sustained a broken leg and burns and is being treated. Thank you to everyone who helped extinguish the fire and help get him out of the car. Thank you all for the messages, texts call and most of all the prayers. Please continue to lift him up in prayer.
The younger Bonnett lives in Hueytown, Alabama, home of the famed Alabama Gang of NASCAR drivers, which was comprised of Bobby and Donnie Allison, Red Farmer, Jimmy Means, Davey Allison, Hut Stricklin and David Bonnett — Justin’s father.
Criticism was pointed towards the track for not having a traditional fire truck on site, but speedway general manager Tim Bryant says the smaller equipment vehicles on site were actually better equipped to deal with the incident.
“Our safety officials are all firefighters and we leave it in their capable hands and are comfortable with that,” Bryant said. “Some situations are worse than others but we’ll learn from it and see if there were any mistakes. But thankfully our driver isn’t in worse condition because that was a devastating crash and a bad fire. I think our response was pretty good.”