Well, sometimes we have to keep secrets. Why? Honestly it is probably more for superstition than anything else. But today we’ll come clean.
Our driving team is made up of 3 driving teams. Josh and Emme lead off the race, Matt Fisher and Evan took the next shift and Matt Wilson and Nick took the third shift, we kept that rotation going so everyone had two shifts by the time the finish line came along. Fewer driving teams would have been pretty much a nail in the coffin, we just couldn’t expect the teams to hold up for that amount of driving. But it was close, we nearly had to consider that as an option when Matt Fisher broke his elbow and punctured his lung 6 weeks ago… Yeah, that is about 4 and 1/2 weeks before he would be behind the wheel.
Initially the doctors were hopeful, but after a CT scan the prognosis was a little more grim. The Pneumothorax would heal, but the broken rib, the radial head fracture, the ulta coronoid process break… well all of that amounts to one thing: Surgery.
The doctor studied the scans and determined that in this case, maybe one in a million, he might be able to get away without surgery so he had to go into a long arm cast. We may have hinted about this in some of our instagram posts.
Matt spent a good amount of time healing, simply being good to his body so it would be good to him. With the cast on his arm he worked on logistics, mapping, planning and more while the final push was happening on the car.
We left for the race on November 11th, only a few days before the doctor cut off his cast and put him in a brace. The brace limited movement but the limits were set just about at the full reach of 3rd gear.. yeah, we may have measured the angle ahead of time and made some suggestions. By the day of the race Matt had been living in a brace for approximately one week and when he hopped in the car for his first stint it was the first endurance test of his arm.
Unfortunately for Evan, this brace was on his shifting arm, which means, in a tight little race car like Tope, there would definitely be some elbow banging with that hard plastic.
Matt and Evan put in their first driving shift, and though he was a little sore he was ready for some rest. When his next leg got close he said “I just didn’t know if I could get back in the car.” But he did and was able to hand it off to our final driving team.
We had no idea how this was all going to pan out. We worked on some contingency plans, but ultimately just believed that Matt would be able to will all the bones back together. He’s still pretty sore, so be gentle if you see him. Big thanks to his doctors and PT staff for understanding that this was going to happen whether they liked it or not!