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Driver survives ‘crazy’ wreck at Alaska racetrack

The driver in a dramatic crash Saturday at a Butte race track survived with only a broken rib, the track’s manager said.

The crash happened Saturday evening at the Alaska Raceway Park in the Butte area during a "Legends" event, which features drivers racing replicas of 1930s and 1940s cars powered by Yamaha motorcycle engines, said Michelle Maynor, the manager of the race track.

The crash was caught on video by racer Eric Land's rear camera.

The driver in car #99 was heading into a turn when he made contact with another car and "just catapulted and flipped over,"  Maynor said.  She was watching from a tower and got a bird's eye view of the tumbling car.

"The wreck was just crazy," she said.

A safety crew based at the track went to the car and helped get the driver, who Maynor identified as Rodney Pucak. An ambulance was called, Maynor said.

An attempt to contact Pucak for this story was not successful.

Last Maynor had heard, the driver had taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for overnight evaluation. He had all of his safety gear on at the time of the crash, she said.

"They kept him overnight but I heard this morning he's going home with a broken rib," Maynor said.

The car was not in such good shape.

"It's pretty much totaled," Maynor said.

Land, the driver who captured the crash on his rear camera, said there's inherent risk in race car driving.

"The track does an outstanding job of enforcing the highest standards for safety rules and it's no coincidence that the driver had relatively minor injuries," Land said.

The drivers are a close-knit bunch, he said.

"We already have a fellow driver donating a complete chassis to replace the one destroyed in the incident."

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