VIDEO: 180-mph double crash during Brainerd drag race - New York News

VIDEO: 180-mph double crash during Brainerd drag race

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Photo courtesy of NHRA on YouTube Photo courtesy of NHRA on YouTube
  • VIDEO: 180-mph double crash during Brainerd drag raceMore>>

  • Don Kritzky on double crash in Brainerd

    Don Kritzky on double crash in Brainerd

    08/20/14: Even though his pelvis and right leg were shattered in a terrifying double crash on the drag race track, Don Kritzky tells Fox 9 News he'd get back behind the wheel tomorrow if he could.

    08/20/14: Even though his pelvis and right leg were shattered in a terrifying double crash on the drag race track, Don Kritzky tells Fox 9 News he'd get back behind the wheel tomorrow if he could.

BRAINERD, Minn. (KMSP) -

When it comes to drag racing, rocket-type speed is the name of the game -- but that also means things can go wrong very quickly, and a double crash at a Brainerd, Minn., track is another grim reminder.

WATCH: Don Kritzky interview with Fox 9 News

The National Hot Rod Association posted video of the two-lane, two-car crash that sent both vehicles tumbling on YouTube. Monte Green, of Haxtun, Colo., was sent rolling after his car began to wobble and a back wheel lifted off the pavement. Minnesota's own Don Kritzky, of Cottage Grove, narrowly avoided a direct collision, but was sent into a wall before his of the dragster tumbled onto its side and erupted into flame.

YOUTUBE: NHRA captures Brainerd double crash

"I like going fast," Kritzky told Fox 9 News. "There's nothing better to go 0 to infinity really fast."

Kritzky's nightmare unfolded on Sunday evening while his son, Mike, was watching.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh my gosh, he is dead,'" Mike Kritzky admitted.

Don Kritzky was traveling upward of 180 mph when his rival lost control and tore into his path, sending him careening into a crash that ignited a fire just outside of Kritzky's cockpit.

"Fire in your face," he recalled. "I'll tell you, I was scared -- really scared."


Photo by Mark J. Rebilas Photography

Despite the fear, Don Kritzky was able to call out to the crew members who rushed to his aid with fire extinguishers in hand.

"I kept going, 'Come on! Come on! I'm on fire!'" he relayed. "I couldn't move. I tried to get out, but I was trapped in there. I couldn't get out of the car."

Although he survived, Don Kritzky suffered vicious injuries from the impact. The 57-year-old shattered his pelvis in several places, he broke his hip and his lower right leg -- and his protective race suit didn't fare well either.

"Pretty much the whole right side of me is busted up," Don Kritzky said.

While the Kritzky family is grateful he left the wreckage alive, racing is what they do. In fact, Mike Kritzky is a dragster himself and was slated to face off against his father for the division title at Brainerd International Raceway on the track's biggest weekend.

"This is our Super Bowl, for sure," Mike Kritzky explained. "We were excited. This could've been a lifelong dream for us."

Unfortunately, Don Kritzky's injuries are such that doctors cannot set them in casts. That means he'll be on bed rest for the next couple of months. Not only is he dealing with intense pain, he said his spirit is crushed knowing that his beloved car is in pieces.

"The second most important thing in my life just went down the tubes," he reflected.

Since he will be unable to work while he recovers, the racing community is rushing to help him quickly speed away from the lowest point of a life spent going fast. In fact, they set up a GoFundMe account so that people can donate to help cover the cost of medical bills and rehabilitation.

"That's the kind of family that racing is all about," Don Kritzky told Fox 9 News. "Everybody is there when you are down and out -- and you need something fixed. You got it coming from every direction. It never stops."

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