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Chris Knight

Chris Knight

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Chris Knight (@Knighter01) has served as Senior staff writer, Assistant News Editor and director of driver communications for CATCHFENCE.com since 2001. In his 14 years with CATCHFENCE.com, he has covered and posted daily news and press releases for NASCAR's top-three national divisions, ARCA Racing Series and "Other" Series for CATCHFENCE.com. In addition to his active duties at CATCHFENCE.com and other racing endeavors, the 31-year old also served as the Manager of Operations and Communications for Sheltra Motorsports and driver Patrick Sheltra in the ARCA Racing Series for four years, including their championship season in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @Knighter01

Apr 24
Friday

Scary Pit Road Fire Sends Three XFINITY Crew Members To Local Hospital

Filed under Press Releases

Anthony O'Brien, a rear tire changer for Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, receives medical attention following a fire on pit road during the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. - Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images
Anthony O'Brien, a rear tire changer for Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, receives medical attention following a fire on pit road during the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. - Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images
RICHMOND – An apparent malfunction in the gas head caused a scary fire in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race Friday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in the ToyotaCare 250.

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) tire changer Anthony O’Brien, gas man Josh Wittman and Clifford Turner, a crew member from Eric McClure’s JGL Racing team were transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The fire ignited during the second caution flag of the night on Lap 108 when Brendan Gaughan entered the pit road for a routine stop. As Gaughan was completing his pit stop, the fuel connected with a spark, causing an immediate inferno.

The track’s safety personnel quickly extinguished the fires on both RCR crew members, as well as the fire itself.

O’Brien was replaced by backup tire changer Jeremy West, while Wittman was replaced by Thomas Costello, who is a gas man for Brian Scott’s team.

The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. NASCAR requires all crew members to wear fireproof suits and helmets.

A spokesperson for Eric McClure’s NASCAR XFINITY Series team says that Clifford Turner was evaluated and released from a local hospital. The team said he wasn’t burned in the incident, but inhaled all of the extinguisher chemical when they sprayed the other XFINITY Series crew members.

NBC Sports reported that Wayne Auton, XFINITY Series director, said that NASCAR will take the fueling head back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection. Auton said he talked with Richard Childress Racing about the fire in Gaughan’s pits and that film of the incident had been reviewed.

NASCAR said that they expect the teams to provide updates on their conditions as they become available. As of 11:00 p.m., no updates have been given on the Richard Childress Racing crew members.

Follow Chris Knight on Twitter @Knighter01.

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