ARCA veteran injured in Talladega crash undergoes ankle surgery

ARCA Racing Series officials say that driver Brad Smith, who was awake and alert but shaken up after a wreck in Friday evening’s ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, underwent surgery overnight for injuries to both ankles and a laceration of the left ankle. He remained awake, alert and in stable condition on Saturday morning.

Smith, 46, was admitted to University Alabama Birmingham Medical Center after fracturing his left ankle in a vicious-looking crash in Friday’s ARCA event.

The incident occurred when Smith, a veteran of 271 ARCA starts who hails from Shelby Township, Michigan, was running in the lead draft with 53 laps to go in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200.

Smith’s car slammed hard into the inside wall — which was protected by a SAFER barrier that absorbed at least a portion of the blow — after getting hit from behind by the No. 98 car of Austin Wayne Self. It appeared that Smith’s throttle may have hung, contributing to the hard impact.

Both cars were completely destroyed, and Smith limped to a waiting stretcher and was placed in an ambulance after being cut from his car and initially taken to the infield care center.

FOX Sports 1’s Adam Alexander later reported that Smith had been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.