Shawn Monahan Walks Away From Frightening SK Modified Fire At Waterford Speedbowl

Flames erupt in Shawn Monahan's SK Modified Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Waterford Speedbowl / Race Dog Photography)

Flames erupt in Shawn Monahan’s SK Modified Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Waterford Speedbowl / Race Dog Photography)

WATERFORD – Waterford Speedbowl SK Modified driver Shawn Monahan walked away unhurt after a scary fire enveloped his car on the track during Saturday’s SK Modified feature at the shoreline oval.

“God is good all the time,” Monahan said. “This racing is small in the scheme of things. It may not have looked big from the grandstands, but it felt like my life was flashing before me. Fire is something that you just don’t want to mess with. I’m just really blessed to be standing here talking right now. I’m just fortunate to be here.”

The incident began with 28 laps remaining in the 35-lap feature when Monahan’s car made contact with the car of Brent Sweet.

Fire blazed up on the driver’s side of Monahan’s car as he rolled down the backstretch after the contact. As Monahan attempted to roll through the grass on the infield the fire continued to intensify on the driver’s side of his car.

“I went on the outside of the [Brent Sweet] car and we came together and he blew his tire,” Monahan said. “We’re thinking right now maybe he came up and over the nerf bar a little bit and maybe broke the oil cooler and maybe that’s what caused the fire.”

The fire continued to grow as Monahan brought the car to a stop in turn three. The fire raged up more when Monahan’s car stopped.

“I started to get out of the car and I felt the fire and everything coming up into the helmet,” Monahan said. “And I was like ‘I’m just going to get back into the cockpit here and let [the fire department] do their job. While that was happening, I was swallowing a lot of smoke.”

Fire crews extinguished the blaze and Monahan was able to exit the car and walk to a waiting ambulance where he was treated for some effects of inhaling smoke.

“We’re just drinking some fluids trying to get that burning sensation out of my throat and stuff,” Monahan said. “It’s fun to go racing but it’s good to be alive.”

The incident with Monahan was the first of two fiery incidents on the night at the track. Later, in the Late Model feature, Keith Rocco crashed in the backstretch wall hard and was able to quickly climb out of his car as fire took over the ride.

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  1. Great reporting Shawn. That fire was big even from the stands and girls were screaming all around us. Monahan is right – God is good all the time!

  2. Jiminy Cricket says

    Should external nerf bar mounted oil coolers be mandated out by the safety police? Why allow a near 250 degree flammable fluid under 40-60 psig pressure less than three feet from the driver?

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