NASCAR & Auto Racing

Chaplain: Myrtle Beach Speedway driver suffered broken neck but was alert in hospital

A Myrtle Beach Speedway driver suffered “serious injuries,” including a broken neck, during a crash during a race Saturday night.

Lionel Jewell, the track’s chaplain, posted an update on racer Ed Ray’s condition to Facebook on Sunday morning.

“I spoke to his daughter this morning. From my understanding they still have some scans scheduled but it is confirmed that he has broken/fractured neck, possible broken nose and some cuts and bruises,” Jewell’s post reads. “There were some concerns about him remembering things. He may not remember the accident so well, but when I went into the room to pray with him last night he knew who I was and told me I was the chaplain at the track.”

About an hour later, Myrtle Beach Speedway shared Jewell’s post along with well wishes for Ray via social media.

“Myrtle Beach Speedway continues to pray for Ed Ray and for a safe & speedy recovery. We will share updates as they come,” the speedways post reads.

Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the crash around 9:10 p.m. Saturday. The single-vehicle wreck included a racecar going into the wall, according to the fire agency.

Fire crews had to extricate Ray before he was taken to the hospital, according to Horry County Fire and Rescue.

The speedway has had a rough few years, with four of its drivers dying since 2017. Veteran driver Bob Walker died from natural causes while packing up his car following a win in the Vintage Modified Series in August 2018. In 2017, three MBS drivers died — Terry Evans (vehicle wreck going home from the racetrack), Mark Hale (cancer) and Jackie Ward (natural causes following a race).

On Sunday, more than 100 people commented on Jewell’s posted update on Ray, sending prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery.

“Continue to lift Ed up in prayer because the great physician is always listening. Lord I lift Ed up in prayer to you. I pray that you would touch him with your healing hand. Give him comfort,” says the post by Jewell, who’s with First Baptist Church in North Myrtle Beach. “Lord for the trial that he is going through, I know that he will stand on your promises. Lord guide the doctors and the nurses. Thank you for your mercy and your grace. In JESUS name, Amen.”

Attempts to reach Myrtle Beach Speedway General Manager Steve Zacharias for further information on Ray’s background and his current condition were unsuccessful at the time of this report.

Staff writer Alex Lang contributed to this report.