ARCA Racing Series driver Justin Fontaine has been diagnosed with a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra following a crash in the closing laps of Saturday’s race at Daytona International Speedway.
Fontaine spoke to FOX Sports during a telephone interview from the hospital Saturday night, reporting that he will be placed in a back brace for the next three months.
“I’m going to be focusing on getting healthy,” stated Fontaine, “I won’t be racing for a while.”
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Fontaine’s car was turned into the SAFER barrier coming out of Turn 4 with five laps left to go. He had been running in the top 10 at the time.
“Once I saw the car turning right and I knew what was going to happen, I braced for impact,” explained Fontaine. “I think [that] was the scariest part, it took longer to hit the wall than what I thought it was going to take.”
Fontaine’s Toyota then rolled up onto its roof before coming to a rest on the front straight. Emergency workers checked that Fontaine was responsive before gradually rolling his car back onto its wheels. While Fontaine was moving inside the car, emergency workers had to cut the roof off to extract him from his vehicle before transferring him to a local hospital. Fontaine hopes to be released from the hospital tomorrow.
The race was not restarted due to damage to the SAFER barrier. Austin Theriault was declared the race winner.