It was a seemingly innocuous low-side crash that took place during the third heat race of the Fed Ex Springfield Mile on September 2., but sometimes things aren't always what they seem.
Phil Miller Racing-backed Dan Butler, who lost control of his motorcycle while battling for the lead off of turn four in the third heat race was seriously injured in the crash. Butler low-sided and then cartwheeled into the wall. Down on the track for several minutes, he was taken to Memorial Medical Center where we underwent a five-hour surgery yesterday to fuse the C-6 and C-7 vertebrae in his neck. The surgery required a bone graft, which was taken from his hip. And a plate was also added to his neck for stability until the bone graft strengthens.
Additionally, Butler suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a bruised lung a deep cut to his left elbow - which required stitches to both the skin and the tendon, and road rash that burned the skin off the bone on his right elbow.
Butler is expected to be in a neck brace for six to eight weeks, and then faces at least two months of therapy to regain mobility in his neck. It’s a tough break for the 35-year-old from Waterford, Michigan, who missed almost two seasons while healing from a crash at the Hagerstown Half Mile in 1999.
Cards and letters of encouragement can be sent to:
7677 Vamoco Drive
Waterford, MI 48327
Butler can also be reached at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org