SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Current Subaru Motorsports USA rallycross driver and former NASCAR driver Scott Speed suffered a broken back during Friday’s Nitro World Games at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Speed, who drives regularly in the American RallyCross Championship, had a hard landing during qualifying for the Nitro World Games event, which broke three vertebrae in his back.
The 36-year-old from Manteca, Calif., actually finished the qualifying run – ending up third – before exiting his car and being taken to a local hospital.
Speed was quickly ruled out for the rest of the event.
“After landing hard in Q1, I broke my back. [I] was rushed to the local hospital for checks,” Speed explained on social media. “[A] CT scan confirmed a destroyed T6, then [I] was taken to a spine specialist at University of Utah.
“[I] finally got an MRI done around 3 a.m., and we found I have three fractured vertebrae,” he added. “Waiting now for the surgeons to give us the game plan. Last night was easily the scariest and most painful time I can remember. [I] was in a pretty dark place, but I want to thank everyone who came and spent time with me. [There’s] no way I could have made it through alone.”
Subaru Motorsports USA released a statement regarding Speed’s injury in the wake of the crash.
“Unfortunately, Scott Speed suffered a back injury during the first qualifying heat after a hard landing over a jump. He was able to finish the heat and exit the car, but has been transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation,” Subaru officials said. “Scott will miss the remainder of the event.”
Speed joined Subaru this season after earning three championships in four years with Volkswagen and Andretti Autosport. He entered the Utah weekend leading former teammate Tanner Foust by five points in the season-long standings.
Prior to moving to rallycross, Speed spent time in Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR. The majority of his NASCAR tenure was spent with the now-defunct Red Bull Racing, which he drove for from 2008 through the end of the 2010 season.
He also drove part-time for Leavine Family Racing during its fledgling days in 2012 and 2013.
Overall, Speed’s best-career finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was fifth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2009. He did earn one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory for Bill Davis Racing, which came in 2008 at Dover Int’l Speedway.