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Stewart flies T-Mac to Indy for doctor's visit

January 20, 2009, 9:20 am
By Kevin Kovac
World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Former World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Tim McCreadie is in Indianapolis, Ind., awaiting an appointment with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell after suffering a Jan. 14 back injury while competing in last week’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

McCreadie, 34, of Watertown, N.Y., had his fifth career appearance in the famed Chili Bowl indoor event at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway cut short when a broken right-rear axle sent his Wilke-Pak midget racer flipping over the turn-one fence as he led a preliminary race. He was found to have a fractured T-3 vertebra and floating bone fragments in his back.

A winner of both the World of Outlaws title and Chili Bowl trophy in 2006, McCreadie was fitted in a back brace and discharged from a Tulsa hospital Jan. 16. He was driven to a nearby hotel by his close friend James Spink, who works as USAC’s developmental series coordinator, and spent the weekend resting while fighting pain.

McCreadie and Spink were flown to Indianapolis on Sunday morning by NASCAR Sprint Cup star Tony Stewart, who graciously provided the use of his private plane so McCreadie could make the trip more comfortably. Now resting at Spink’s home, McCreadie has a Wednesday examination scheduled with Trammell, who is well-known for his treatment of injured IndyCar drivers.

A Tulsa specialist told McCreadie that he had no serious ligament damage. The front of his vertebra is shattered, but its rear is still intact, the specialist said, and none of the bone fragments entered the cerebral canal. Indications are that McCreadie does not need surgery, but he will visit with Trammell for a second opinion before proceeding with treatment.

McCreadie’s recovery time remains uncertain, but said he knows he has an extremely long road ahead. He noted that he’s learned from the 1988 back injury suffered by his father, legendary DIRTcar big-block modified driver "Barefoot" Bob McCreadie, and will not rush his return to racing.

Donations to assist with McCreadie’s medical and recovery expenses can be made to the Tim McCreadie Support Fund c/o USAC, 4910 West 16th St., Speedway, IN 46224.

 
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