TULSA, Oklahoma. Wednesday night’s Chili Bowl Nationals preview was overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Ashton Thorgerson, a teenager making his debut in the prestigious off-road race.
Thorgerson, 16, crashed badly on the way back and was thrown out of the car after lap 10 of 30. According to the official Chili Bowl Twitter accountThorgerson was on guard and interacted with track officials before he was taken to a Tulsa, Oklahoma hospital.
In Thursday afternoon update from his family which was posted on social networksTorgersen was released from the emergency room but remained in the hospital until Friday morning for a follow-up CT scan.
Later on Friday, Thorgerson’s family reported that he was walking around his hospital room: “The blood in his brain hasn’t worsened and he continues to improve.”
.@_Torgerson02 gets up and walks around in his room. The blood in his brain has not worsened and he continues to improve. @torgersonracing the family is very grateful for the support and care he received!
— Petersen Media (@Petersen_Media) January 13, 2023
Thorgerson was making his first start in the Chili Bowl and his first start as a midget. He has performed well in previous races, earning enough passing points to secure a front-row seat for the start of the feature.
Starting second, Thorgerson fell onto the field and was racing Kevin Thomas Jr. for seventh when the crash occurred.
Ashton Thorgerson was rushed to a Tulsa hospital after an accident during Wednesday’s pre-special event at the Chili Bowl Nationals. Ashton was on guard and interacted with track officials before being transported. We will update when we have more information.
— National Chile Bowl (@cbnationals) January 12, 2023
Thorgerson crashed into a wall and his car turned sideways and overturned.
A tweet sent by the Thorgerson family after midnight ET. reported that “Ashton is conscious and awake in the hospital. He has sensitivity in his arms and legs and is still being tested. Now he is being scanned. We will continue to keep you updated.” Thorgerson’s team also tweeted a positive update.
Ashton is conscious and awake in the hospital. He has sensitivity in his arms and legs and is still being tested.
Now he is being scanned. We will continue to keep you updated. @cbnationals
— Petersen Media (@Petersen_Media) January 12, 2023
The race resumed and Rico Abreu won, setting a record with his eighth qualifying night win (tying Sammy Swindell and Christopher Bell, who will miss this year’s race), but the crash overshadowed the annual off-road race that draws hundreds of riders. from all over the country. During the red flag, drivers drove down a quarter-mile covered dirt track after Thorgerson left in an ambulance.
Thorgerson’s downfall also sparked a strong reaction on social media.
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, who sponsored Thorgerson in the Micro Sprints in 2022, was among the many who showed support for the driver and his family. “We’ve gotten to know them over the last couple of years and we really enjoyed (seeing) the driver that is Ashton and our friendship!”
The Bush family sends our thoughts and prayers to the entire Thorgerson family and Ashton that he is okay!! We got to know them over the last couple of years and we really enjoyed Ashton being a racer and our friendship! 🙏🏻
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) January 12, 2023
In victory lane, Abreu promised his winnings Wednesday night to the Thorgerson family.
“These are difficult moments for a rider,” Abreu said at a post-race press conference. “I didn’t personally witness what happened, but you could just feel the energy shift in the building. It is anxiety and a little fear that have been created. You could feel it. And see the curtain crossing the path. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
“We are racers. We should buckle up to these things as soon as things cool down and we take our hats off to the Chili Bowl where the incredible security team shows up right away.
“You see the circumstances that are happening in all sports lately and you just feel gutted. All I’ve been thinking about for the last hour or so is making sure this boy is okay.
Abreu edged out Mitchell Moles for the win as the top two finishers entered Saturday night’s main event. Brent Crews, who took third place, will have to go through one of the preliminary races.
UDPB: Ashton Thorgerson (@_Torgerson02) sits front row at the Wednesday Chili Bowl Nationals preliminary tonight.
— Always race day (@AlwaysRaceDay) January 12, 2023
After nine seasons of Monster Energy Supercross and two seasons in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross on the 450, RacerX.com Reports Adam Entiknap Has Retired. Nerve damage from the 2021 crash had the unfortunate side effect of unsettling a rider who had never experienced such emotion in his life.
Enticknap, who scored 25th in the 2020 Supercross season, has not been a consistent leader in most weeks, but he has been one of the brightest riders in the paddock. Entiknap has raced for the HEP Motorsports Twisted Tea Suzuki team for the last few years.
“Dude, I’m a slacker; it really sucks,” Entiknap said at the RacerX Pulp MX show. “Unlike many racers in our sport, I hated working hard. I’ve always hated training. This was the worst part. But something about riding a motorcycle off-road and racing, I had a lot of fun. I enjoy communicating with all the fans and just being at the races, enjoying the fact that every weekend is getting better.
“Every day I woke up thinking, damn it, this is so cool that I can do something so complicated, and in fact, I’m half decent at it. It made me want to get better and better every day. I liked the racing aspect. You could have gone there and all the work we’ve done could have been better. Then, at the end, I did a little testing for the team and I needed to provide input on some of those things. So to see how it helps the team was really great.”
MORE: Entiknap paved the way for 19 other riders in the field
Entiknap made three majors last year, finishing 19th in St. Louis. However, the injury that ultimately put Entiknap out of the game occurred in 2021 in Orlando.
“I hit the side of my body very, very hard,” Entiknap said. “After that, I had problems with the nervous system after that accident in Orlando, and then all summer. Then he tried to figure it out. Tried to get through it. Was on various medications and all sorts of things. I got better slowly, and I still do, but I just wasn’t the same mentally and physically. I kind of told myself that if I get better at this, I’ll be racing until I’m 45. It was one of those things where this accident messed me up so much that I felt like I couldn’t do my best.”
MORE: Injury is a lifestyle for Supercross racers; Austin Forkner Describes Knee Injury
A pinched nerve near his collarbone forced Entiknap to retire. For the first time in his life, Entiknap experiences anxiety that prevents him from riding.
“I damaged the vagus nerve, which is right next to your collarbone,” Entiknap continued. “I began to develop anxiety, but to the extreme. I didn’t even know what anxiety was in my entire life. For example, I didn’t even know what it was. I literally didn’t care about the whole world. I didn’t have any ideas.
“After that accident, my right side was badly damaged, and this vagus nerve is one of the main nerves that controls your body system. One of the biggest problems people don’t know about is that they don’t know much about your nervous system. They can’t fix it. They cannot enter there. They can’t do anything. You just have to hope it heals over time and do your best to deal with it and that’s what we did. But unfortunately it took much, much, much longer than I thought.”
For more on why Entiknap retired, see Click here.