Brad Doty’s life changed in the blink of an eye on July 23, 1988, as he came off of turn two on the opening lap of the fifth annual Kings Royal sprint car event at Eldora Speedway.
“I remember winning the heat race, I remember lining up for the feature and I remember the start of the crash. But, fortunately, that’s all I remember,” Doty said about the multi-car accident that ended his driving career. “I could point the finger at a lot of people and a lot of things that may have caused the accident or contributed to it, but that gets me nowhere. It doesn’t get me out of the chair.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say even to this day that I still wonder what if. How many races would I have won, or where my career would have led if I hadn’t gotten hurt.”
Ten years after that fateful night, Doty climbed back into a sprint car and, using hand controls to maneuver the restored No. 18 Coors Light machine, participated in the parade laps prior to the 1998 Kings Royal.
“On the other hand, I have the fond memory of getting back in the car 10 years later and making the pace laps,” he said. “My family being there to see that and then later, seeing the emotion on their faces; my daughter crying.
“I don’t hold any bitterness toward that event. I still enjoy going to watch. But I was fortunate that I was able to get involved in TV and stay in the sport for many, many years and that helped, that helped me adjust.”