Birmingham, Ala. (April 20, 2002) - Roush Racing owner Jack
Roush is listed in critical but stable condition at the
intensive care unit at University of Alabama-Birmingham
Medical Center after being injured in a plane crash late
Friday afternoon near Troy, Ala.
Roush suffered closed head injuries but, according to his
physician, he is "following commands." Other injuries include
minor chest and internal injuries and fractures to his lower
All Roush Racing teams scheduled to race this weekend at
Talladega Superspeedway will do so as planned, including Greg
Biffle, who will start today's Busch Grand National Race.
Drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch
will compete in Sunday's Winston Cup competition.
For updated information on Roush's condition, log on to
www.talladegasuperspeedway.com, or call the UAB Medical
Center at 205/934-4011.
Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, met with the media at
Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday morning to provide an
update on the condition of Jack Roush, who was injured in a
plane crash Friday night. Smith was joined in the infield
media center by Roush Racing drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton,
Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.
GEOFF SMITH, President, Roush Racing-"Yesterday was Jack
Roush's 60th birthday, which he was celebrating in a style
that we would expect of Jack, which was with friends, flying
aircraft. As you heard, the aircraft that Jack was flying as
the sole passenger and pilot, crashed and Jack received
serious injuries and was taken to the University of Alabama at
Birmingham hospital. Today he is in critical but stable
condition. He has suffered a closed-head injury, which is the
most serious of the injuries that he has, we're told. However,
we are very encouraged by the fact that he is able to follow
commands and respond to the commands that he is given. He also
has two leg fractures, which we are expecting to be set this
afternoon. We are told to be guarded about the head injury for
the next 48 hours because circumstances can change in that
regard. In the meantime, Roush Racing is an organization that
has many senior managers in engineering and fabulous race-car
drivers and managers, and all of us, from our boss, Jack
Roush, have the understanding in our lives that we are to go
forward and compete this weekend, which is what we're all
prepared to do and have been practicing.
"We'd like very much to acknowledge a man named Larry Hicks,
whom I've yet to meet and we're trying to contact. Larry is
the gentleman that pulled Jack out of the water and
resuscitated him. Without Larry and the efforts of the Troy
Police and the emergency response team, we wouldn't be feeling
as positive as we do at this moment."
"We have a press release that we will be publishing shortly,
and we will be updating the press release with medical
information as it comes in, to you. We are posting this
information on the
www.roushracing.com site, it's on the NASCAR.com site,
it's on the Talladega Superspeedway site, and there's an
operator-assisted information telephone service that will also
take our updates at (205) 934-4011.
"That's the extent of our remarks. Does anyone have a
particular question. We'll open it up for a couple of
WHAT TYPE OF PLANE WAS IT? "It was not Jack's P-51, that was
speculated. It's called an twin-engine air cam, and we do not
know the details of what precipitated the accident. I don't
know what the configuration of the plane, the weight, the
characteristics, other than it's a form of an experimental
aircraft that has a use related to photography. It's used for
photography. Mark [Martin] knows much more about that. We're
going to be expecting information back on all of the
circumstances surrounding what happened later on down the
WHERE WAS HE COMING FROM AND WHERE WAS HE GOING? "I don't
know. We don't know from the people that he was with exactly
what airport he left from, where he was going. I believe they
were rotating aircraft as part of his birthday enjoyment."
WAS HE WITHIN RADIO CONTACT OF AN AIR-TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER?
"We don't have the detail on any of the airplane-crash
circumstances or details. When we get that information or
people that are more informed than we are we'll let you know."
ARE THE PEOPLE HE WAS VISITING FROM TROY? "I just know that he
was with friends, these are friends that live in the Atlanta
area and there may have been other people that they were
visiting in the Troy area."
WHO'S INVESTIGATING THE CRASH? "We don't know who's been
assigned to investigate it at the present time. We're waiting
for - the FAA's going to tell us who that is."
HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? "I have not seen him yet, but there are the
doctors and several visitors have confirmed with their own
observation that acknowledgments that he makes, either through
recognition by hand squeeze or, he's on a respirator so he
can't verbalize his responses."
CAN THEY SPECULATE HOW LONG HE WAS UNDER WATER? "There's no
date for us to determine that whatsoever at this point in
time, although it's a possibility."
WERE THERE ANY BURNS? "None was reported, other than the
fellow that did the rescue suffered some kind of burning and
we don't know what that was."
DID ANY OF THE DRIVERS SEE JACK? "Jeff and Mark have been in,
were in last night."
MARK MARTIN-6-Pfizer Taurus-"He had great color, looked pretty
beat up. That's really all I can say. I know that everybody
wants answers right now, believe me, I know and understand all
that, but in situations like this, you have to wait. Last
night it was going to be 24 hours before anything at all could
be determined, and we've had some earlier positive signs, they
came sooner than that."
HOW'S THE FAMILY? "Hanging in there, I guess, under the
HOW ARE THE DRIVERS? "Well, we've all worked with a man who is
completely and totally driven, and one of the things that
earned us the opportunity to work with him was our same kind
of drive. We're all the kind of people that like to take care
of our business, and that's what he wants us to do, and that's
what we'll do. Our greatest concern is for his health and all,
but in the meantime we will take care of business because the
guy's got eyes in the back of his head. We'd be in trouble if
HOW DID JACK LET YOU KNOW THAT HE KNEW YOU WERE VISITING? "He
didn't. I didn't know the details and couldn't find out the
details of the accident, and the things that I had heard that
surrounded the accident didn't make a lot of sense to me and I
wasn't convinced that it was Jack. I had to see to know.
Because we were ahead of the details, we got to the hospital,
Jeff and I got to the hospital before Jack did. Of course,
Jack went to the Troy hospital first, and that was transferred
to Birmingham, and Jeff and I got to the hospital before Jack
did and before his friends got there as well, so the
information that were getting was not exactly accurate and
didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe I was a little
bit in shock, but I wanted to see for myself for sure that it
was Jack, because they had said that he was in an ultralight,
and if I know Jack Roush as well as I know him, he wouldn't
flying an ultralight, so I couldn't hardly believe it. So that
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE PLANE? "I don't, I just had it explained
to me. Jeff and I did talk to the owner of the aircraft, which
was a friend of Jack's. I'm not aware of what it is other than
a small twin-engine airplane that was built for National
Geographic to do photographing, and that's why it's called
whatever it was. That's why it was called whatever it was. He
was with friends and they were having, just as Geoff said,
sort of going to have a little birthday cake and have a little
fun. He had, obviously, everyone knows, a tremendous passion
for flying as well as racing. Roush Racing has, in my opinion,
which may or may not be worth that much, Roush Racing has the
best drivers in Winston Cup racing, and some of the best crew
chiefs, and people surrounding it. Right now, what we need to
be doing is praying for Jack and taking care of our business."
HOW DIFFICULT WILL IT BE FOR YOU AND THE OTHER ROUSH RACING
DRIVERS TO CONCENTRATE ON THE RACE? "I guess I would say prior
to the race it's sort of hard to get in the mood. But all of
us when we climb in the race cars, I can speak for every one
of these guys, they didn't get here for being weak or
scatter-focused kind of people. When we climb in those race
cars, we will be taking care of business. And that's our
commitment and we are as determined to do that, more
determined to do that than ever before make sure that we show
and prove, not only to Jack, but to everyone else that we can
--Ford & Roush Racing--
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