On August 13, Kevin Swindell’s world came to a standstill at the Knoxville Nationals.
Kevin Swindell is the 26-year-old son of sprint car racing legend, Sammy Swindell. He is a dirt track standout with 77 feature wins to his credit. Kevin began his racing career at the age of five in go karts and worked his way up to sprint cars and eventually into NASCAR’s XFINITY Series where he made 29 starts. Swindell is a four-time Chili Bowl champion and was the first to win the Chili Bowl Nationals four straight years. Known for his tenacity on the track, Swindell garnered the nickname, “The Bull Dog.”
Swindell qualified 41st on the second night of the Knoxville Nationals missing the 8 car inversion by one spot. He started ninth in the first of five heats on the evening. Pole sitter R.J. Johnson brought the field to the green slowly, which stacked up the cars behind him. Ed Lynch Jr. bounced off the inside berm across the track and into Swindell’s car sending him into the wall and airborne into the catch fence upside down. The catch fencing then slung the car back down to the track where it landed hard on its wheels.
Swindell was removed through the top of the car by track safety workers and was then transported to Des Moines Mercy Hospital on Thursday evening. Swindell underwent the first surgery to stabilize the first of two fractures in his back on Friday morning. He underwent the second surgery on Monday morning to stabilize the second fracture.
Late Monday evening, Swindell’s father, racing legend Sammy Swindell, released the following statement.
“Kevin underwent surgery today at Des Moines Mercy Hospital to address one of two fractures he suffered in his back following last week’s accident at Knoxville Raceway. Both surgeries have been successful and the doctors are heartened by his progress.
“The doctors are also running tests on and monitoring a spinal cord injury that Kevin received during the accident.
“We realize there is a long battle ahead, but Kevin has remained positive throughout the process and is prepared to fight to regain his health. We’re all hopeful for a Friday discharge and the next steps to recovery.
“We would like to especially thank the doctors, nurses and the staff at Des Moines Mercy Hospital for their outstanding work and the care they have provided for Kevin. Additionally, we want to let the sprint car community and all of the fans who have reached out to the three of us know that we are grateful for your ongoing support, prayers and donations.
“We remain optimistic about Kevin’s progress and will provide updates as they become available.”
— Sammy Swindell Aug. 17, 2015
If you would like to send well wishes to Kevin you may do so at the following address:
c/o Frazier Rehab Institute
220 Abraham Flexner Way
Lousiville, KY 40202
Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #BullDogStrong in their Facebook and Twitter posts to show support for Swindell.
The entire staff of Speedway Media wishes Kevin a quick and full recovery.
Kevin Swindell was released from the hospital Friday, Aug. 21. His family issued the following statement to the media.
“Kevin has been released from Des Moines Mercy Hospital today after an eight-day stay at the hospital following last week’s accident at Knoxville Raceway.
“The doctors and staff at Des Moines Mercy have been generous to us, both in their care for Kevin and their patience and understanding to all of us throughout our time here. We will forever be grateful to them.
“We cannot begin to thank everyone in the racing community for the support that you’ve shown to Kevin. The thoughtfulness of all of you is seen and felt and we feel stronger each day because of you. Kevin feels the power of your prayers and they are working. Our motto is: God showed up and showed out!
“We’re also grateful for the donations that have come in and the continued fundraisers that race fans, organizations and tracks have started to help Kevin. We know there is a long road ahead of him and the donations will help ease the burden of the medical expenses we’ll have and allow Kevin to focus solely on his health.
“Bank of America has set up an account for donations to Kevin. If you’d like to make a donation or are getting questions of where someone can donate, the information is below.
“To make a donation to Kevin’s Recovery Fund, please make a check out to Kevin Swindell and write “Recovery Fund” on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:
Kevin Swindell Recovery Fund
c/o Spire Sports + Entertainment
P.O. Box 638
Cornelius, N.C. 28031
“If you’d prefer to wire funds, please call Spire Sports + Entertainment at 704-897-2880 for information on how to do so.
“Donations can be made online at http://www.stevekingfoundation.com. Please be sure to type “Kevin Swindell Recovery Fund” in the comment section to ensure your donation goes to Kevin.
“Again, from all of us, thank you.
“Kevin, Sammy and Amy Swindell and Jordan Armstrong.”