Wild Chili Bowl Wreck Results In Driver Thrown From Midget Car, Taken To Hospital

Videos by OutKick

It’s not often you see race car driver ejected from their seat and sprawled out in the middle of a live track survive, but that’s exactly what happened to young Ashton Torgerson Wednesday night at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl.

Torgerson, a 16-year-old from Oregon, was running in a late-night preliminary when his midget car made contact with the wall and flipped several times.

Replays then show Torgerson ejected from his seat and thrown onto the track before the video cuts away. Medical personnel rushed over and he was taken to a local hospital, where, miraculously, it appears that he avoided a major situation.

“Ashton is awake and alert at the hospital. He has feeling in hands and feet and has passed his tests so far,” Torgerson’s PR company said in a tweet. “He’s now going into scans. We will continue to keep you posted.”

Ashton Torgenson update after Chili Bowl crash

Insane stuff, even if the video cuts off at the end. We probably don’t need to see the rest of it to know what happened or how it looked.

Torgerson was apparently awake and alert as he was taken off the track, and his race team later released a statement saying he has so far passed most of his tests.

“Passed back, neck tests waiting on CT scan… 1st thing he asked me was what place was he in!! You have no ideas how much the support means to Ashton and the family,” the team said in a tweet.

The crash occurred on Lap 11, and race officials met to discuss whether to continue the event. They eventually continued the race, which was won by Rico Abreu.

“These are tough moments for race car drivers,” Abreu told reporters after the race. “I didn’t personally witness what happened, but you could feel the energy shift, and change in the building. Anxiety. Fear.”

Frankly, these crazy crashes happen pretty frequently in these events. I think ex-NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne is involved in at least one major midget car wreck a year at this point.

Ashton Torgerson.
Ashton Torgerson involved in scary Chili Bowl crash.

But it’s not often – or ever – that you see a driver ejected from the car and thrown into traffic. Scary stuff, and pretty wild that Torgerson appears to be in decent shape all things considered.

Now, why he was ejected from the seat to begin with is probably worth examining in the coming days, and it most likely will be. But that’s for another time and another day.

Glad the kid is OK.

PS: “1st thing he asked was what place was he in” is a great racer line. Kid still has his eyes on the prize even after being thrown from his car.


Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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