Nov 10, 2001
© 2017, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
The GSX-R750 Suzuki Cup Final on Sunday, October 28 was stopped on the fourth lap for a crash in turn 10 involving Tapeworks Graphics' Russell Masecar.
"I saw that my buddy Scott Harwell had already crashed out there in turn 10, so I threw myself down so that they would stop the race and he could get back in it," joked Masecar from his parents' home in suburban Atlanta. "Nah, it all happened so quick. I was braking and downshifting for turn 10. I went from fifth to fourth and hit a false neutral. I guess I froze because I didn't keep trying to click gears. You don't realize how dependent you are on your engine braking until you go free-wheelin' down into turn 10 at Road Atlanta.
"I knew that I didn't want to go 100 mph through the gravel trap, and I knew that I didn't want to go on the right side like where Mladin went rippin' by when the ambulance came out. So I tried to slow down. The rear wheel's already light there because you're going downhill, and I just went straight over the handlebars. I guess I didn't practice my trick street riding enough before I came to the track. I'm not too good on the nose-wheelies."
According to eyewitness Tray Batey, Masecar went over the handlebars and tumbled with the bike on the pavement for at least 100 feet.
"I think the bike's what broke my leg," continued Masecar. "From the waist up, I don't have any bruises or nothing on my hands or arms. My helmet's just barely scratched, but no big wacko. The bike did kind of rack me pretty good where it bruised up my groin area. But I snapped my left femur right in half.
"I was conscious the whole time. The cornerworkers were right on me. As soon as I stopped they were there saying, ‘Hey man, are you hurting anywhere?' I said, ‘My left leg is messed up.' I knew as soon as I stopped that there was something wrong with my left leg.
"I got to the emergency room about 3:00 p.m. I don't think I went into surgery until after midnight and didn't get out of surgery until three in the morning. Dr. David Weiss put a stainless steel rod in my leg. They said that there was no point in putting titanium in because they are going to take it back out in 12-18 months. They said it comes out pretty easy, but they have to have another surgery and cut my hip back open to get it done. But the doctors were telling how it was such a perfect break, exactly halfway down the bone in the weakest spot, and it was perfectly perpendicular to the bone with no splintering or twisting. They said that it doesn't get any better.
"They had me walking 10:00 a.m. Monday morning after the surgery. They had a physical therapist come in and tell me to get out of bed. They had me up on a walker. I got up, walked about three feet and turned around. It was like seven hours after the operation. After that, physical therapy would come in twice a day and we would walk down the hall. I probably walked about a mile today (Thursday, November 8 – 10 days after the accident) with my crutches. They say that I can put full weight on it and do whatever I want in four more weeks."
Masecar suffered life-threatening injuries in a race transporter crash in September, 1998 while traveling home from a WERA National Endurance race at Texas World Speedway with racers Scott Harwell, Lee Acree and Dave Boosales. When asked if he would race again, 37-year-old Masecar said, "If my mom lets me."