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  • Stan Fox

    I have seen the films and stills of his Indy crash, but cannot for the life of me figure out his head injury.

    What did he hit (or hit him)?
    ...---...

  • #2
    Having experienced a few knocks in the head myself, I have learned sometimes previous injuries to the head last for years, you must be careful...and sometimes a relatively minor hit can trigger a bad situation. Maybe something from his past...

    That's why they want these NFL QB's to retire after a few concussions.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jeff Chiszar
      I have seen the films and stills of his Indy crash, but cannot for the life of me figure out his head injury.

      What did he hit (or hit him)?
      Tire/suspension, or the wall?
      I don't remember exactly.
      www.ragingphotos.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jeff Chiszar
        What did he hit (or hit him)?
        Nothing. Reportedly there was minimal damage to his helmet. We simply witnessed the outer limits of g-force survivability. He was going this way at 170mph and three or four feet later he was going that way at 150mph. Hitting Cheever and the car disintegrating as it did and was probably just enough cushion. Stan made it, Earnhart and Brayton didn't.
        "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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        • #5
          It was decribed as a "closed head wound" at the time. No direct penetration or significant direct blow to the head. As described above, almost certianly a "g-force injury."

          Stan recovered but never raced again. Since he had no recollection of the incident, he took it quite lightheartedly. He would sign photos of his crash with some sort of jab...like "Opps!" or "I had a bad day!" I have one here hanging in the office. Sadly after all that, he died in a traffic accident of all things.
          Doctorindy.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dalz
            Nothing. Reportedly there was minimal damage to his helmet. We simply witnessed the outer limits of g-force survivability. He was going this way at 170mph and three or four feet later he was going that way at 150mph. Hitting Cheever and the car disintegrating as it did and was probably just enough cushion. Stan made it, Earnhart and Brayton didn't.
            As you said, Stan's injury came from the high rate of speed 'change of direction', when he hit the wall. But Cheever was there and luckily softened the blow. He might not have survived without EC being there.
            Earnhardt was a straight on impact where it broke the base of his skull.
            Scotty B was the 'interesting' one. When the car hit, it hit on the left rear and very quickly spun the left front into the wall. What was explained to me by an IMS track worker was Scott's brain basically 'twisted' inside his head ( because of the snap LR/LF into the wall)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doctorindy
              It was decribed as a "closed head wound" at the time. No direct penetration or significant direct blow to the head. As described above, almost certianly a "g-force injury."

              Stan recovered but never raced again. Since he had no recollection of the incident, he took it quite lightheartedly. He would sign photos of his crash with some sort of jab...like "Opps!" or "I had a bad day!" I have one here hanging in the office. Sadly after all that, he died in a traffic accident of all things.
              In Australia. Which makes me wonder if he was in the wrong lane at the wrong time?

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              • #8
                The Brayton and Earnhart crashes were similar in that they both had the sudden, instant change of direction with absolutely no time for any energy dissapation. Scott's violent slap against the wall was ominous from the moment I saw it. Although they don't seem to have much else in common it was the first thing I thought of when I witnessed Dale's wreck live.

                Stan survived but he was not the same person, which he was the first to admit. It is believed he fell asleep--which he was prone to do--and crossed the centerline in his fatal crash. His loved ones had a hard time keeping him on his medication schedule. His is a remarkable story with a sad ending.

                I heard a while ago that someone was working on a book about Stan. Anyone know about that?
                "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by flatlander_48
                  In Australia. Which makes me wonder if he was in the wrong lane at the wrong time?
                  Actually it was New Zealand, and as dalz mentions, he never truly recovered. From what I've read, it sounded similar to Lee Roy Yarbrough (though not nearly as severe). Affects from head injuries can be strange and somewhat mysterious.

                  A bit of trivia, Stan actually started Midget racing on the dirt oval at Orange County Raceway (later known as El Toro Speedway) in El Toro, California. He was attending Arizona State University at the time and would come over to run the with the USRC.
                  "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys. I hadn't even thought of it as a result of NO impact.

                    I pulled out Dr. Olvey's book and looked at the chapter about Guerrero's testing accident. Olvey called it a severe diffuse axonal injury. "The forces of a crash, if severe enough, cause the head to violently rotate. Severe damage can occur to the brain without the head ever coming into contact with anything". Sounds similar.

                    I don't know why I thought about this today, but I'll agree with most everyone that Stan's exit from racing was a sad one. I had the pleasure of watching a race from the hill at Phoenix during the Copper with Stan one year. He had me in stitches the entire time.
                    ...---...

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                    • #11
                      Looking back it really was weird that after seeing that horrifying crash that he wasn't torn up bad.

                      Stans car came to a rest about 10 feet from me and I thought to myself that we lost him, his legs were just laying out on the track and his head was slumped over.

                      The most vivid memory was that even though his legs were hanging out there was no visible bleeding and his helmet was still intact and then the track safety arrived they began to work on him.

                      When they removed his helmet he had blood trickling down both sides of his mouth and I just stood there and prayed for him and his family.

                      It still to this day amazes me how his car got ripped away from him like that and his body didn't seem to be damaged at all.
                      I am blessed to have witnessed "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing" 50 times!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeff Chiszar
                        Thanks guys. I hadn't even thought of it as a result of NO impact.

                        I pulled out Dr. Olvey's book and looked at the chapter about Guerrero's testing accident. Olvey called it a "The forces of a crash, if severe enough, cause the head to violently rotate. Severe damage can occur to the brain without the head ever coming into contact with anything". Sounds similar.

                        I don't know why I thought about this today, but I'll agree with most everyone that Stan's exit from racing was a sad one. I had the pleasure of watching a race from the hill at Phoenix during the Copper with Stan one year. He had me in stitches the entire time.

                        I can try to put it in laymans terms, if you all promise to understand I AM NOT trying to make light of what actually took place. Severe diffuse axonal injury, is like the saying "it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom." Basically, everything is moving in one direction, then the STOP, or in Stans case, a change in direction. The brain however doesn't stop, and can bounce off of the skull so violently that it can actually , in some cases, become disconnected from it's stem. It does happen frequently in everyday motor vehicle accidents. A common term is closed head injury. It's really a "knock in the head", without the head actually "knocking" anything. The brain contacts the skull in a Whiplash type of fashion.
                        Hope that made some sense.
                        Whoever said nothing was impossible obviously never tried slamming a revolving door.

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                        • #13
                          As I recall, other than the head injury, his only other injury was a small bruise on his ankle which was attributed to it hitting the wing on Cheever's car.
                          I'm from a place called the internet. Nothing disturbs me.

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                          • #14
                            I was amazed that he did not break any bones. Stan was a good guy and a fellow Wisconsinite.
                            Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                            • #15
                              Stan's accident happened in front of me and I, too, am stunned that he didn't have multiple broken bones...especially in the legs.

                              I met Stan Fox in the photo room at the IMS Museum the day before the first USGP @ Indy. Some European race fans were looking at a series of photos of the 1995 crash & were stunned to learn that Stan was the survivor of the crash. He said he would autograph the series of photos if the Europeans would buy it and they did. He said he was glad to autograph it because a percentage of the photo sales went to some head-injury place.

                              Great guy.
                              Center Grove Trojans
                              2008 5A Football State Champs
                              2015 6A Football State Champs
                              2011 Track State Champs

                              Center Grove Jr. Trojans
                              2014, 2015 & 2017 IEFA State Champs

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