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by David Swarts
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Roger Heemsbergen, a racer and the owner of Deming, New Mexico’s Arroyo
Seco Raceway and the Arroyo Seco Motorcyclist Association (ASMA), remains
hospitalized after suffering serious injuries in a crash during the ASMA race event
May 3-4 at his track.
“I’m embarrassed,” Heemsbergen said when reached by
Roadracingworld.com via his cell phone Thursday. “I had changed the tires out
and got interrupted a bunch of times and forgot to pump the brakes before I
went out on track. I got out on track, finished the warm-up lap, got on it hard
coming down the straightaway and [I had] no brakes. I went off somewhere around
135-140 mph. We have pretty decent runoff room, but at that speed it doesn’t
last very long.”
Heemsbergen said he went through the run-off area and out
into the surrounding open desert, where he hit a large clump of grass that
launched him off his Suzuki GSX-R1000.
According to Heemsbergen’s piecing together of everything,
because he said he doesn’t remember much, he was thrown forward and broke both
femurs when they hit his handlebars. He also suffered several broken ribs, a
broken left shoulder, and a broken left collarbone.
Heemsbergen was airlifted from the track to University
Medical Center, in El Paso, Texas. There, he underwent eight hours of surgery (which
began May 4 and ended May 5) to insert rods and pins into both of his femurs.
“They had me medicated out until late last week,” said
Heemsbergen. “These last few days I’ve been sitting up and trying to move
around a little bit. I’m looking to hopefully go home in the next couple of
Heemsbergen said the operations of Arroyo Seco Raceway and
ASMA races and track days have not be affected much by his absence due to his injuries.
“We’ve already run an event this past weekend, and we’re
running more events this weekend,” said Heemsbergen. “My wife has basically
been my partner in the track the whole time, and she’s taking over. And some of
our other racers who have been around a long time are stepping up to help run
[events]. We should be fine with the operation of the track.”
But the worst part of the crash may be yet to come as
Heemsbergen said he did not have personal health insurance at the time of the
“It had lapsed,” said Heemsbergen. “I had to make a balloon
payment on the track last year, and I let it lapse and hadn’t gotten around to getting
new stuff yet. Bad mistake!”
Friends of the track and club owner have started a drive to raise funds to help with Heemsbergen’s
medical bills and rehabilitation expenses. Anyone wishing to make a contribution can do so via a Paypal account at Roger@asmaracing.com.
For more information on ASMA, go to www.asmaracing.com, and for more
information on Arroyo Seco Raceway go to www.arroyosecoraceway.com.