Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Thomas Hatcher, No. 43 Front Tire Changer, Released From Hospital

Thomas Hatcher pit road injury NASCAR Gateway 2023 Erik Jones crew member injured
Thomas Hatcher, the front tire changer for Erik Jones and the No. 43 LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team was injured on pit road late in Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway.

UPDATE: Monday, June 5, 2023, at 11:45 AM ET

LEGACY MOTOR CLUB offered the update that the entire racing world had hoped for on Monday morning. Thomas Hatcher, the front tire changer for the team’s No. 43 NASCAR Cup Series pit crew, was treated and released from St. Louis University Hospital on Sunday night.

According to the update from the team, Hatcher is resting and recovering at his home in North Carolina.

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Here is the update from LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, which shares a team photo of the No. 43 pit crew from the All-Star Race Weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Hatcher is the second pit crew member on the left side of the photo.

Hatcher is a member of the Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew department. Joe Gibbs Racing issued a statement on Hatcher’s condition Monday as well, and the team states that Hatcher will undergo the NASCAR concussion protocol this week before his performance status being determined for Sonoma Raceway.

“Hatcher, who is a member of JGR’s pit crew department, was serving as the front tire changer on the No. 43 car for Legacy Motor Club when he was injured during a stop,” the statement read. “After an initial evaluation in the Infield Care Center at the track he was transported to the hospital for further testing. Hatcher has been cleared and has returned home. He will undergo the NASCAR concussion protocol this week and his status for this week will be updated.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 8:46 PM ET

Scary moments on pit road in the late portion of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. During a pit stop on lap 178, Thomas Hatcher, the front tire changer on the No. 43 LEGACY MOTOR CLUB pit crew, was injured.

According to Mike Joy on the FS1 race broadcast, Hatcher was injured as he got tangled with the tire carrier as he was heading over the wall to perform service on the No. 43 car.

After Sunday’s race, Jones said that he knew the timing of the pit stop was off as he was coming into the box, but that he’ll have to look at the footage to see what really happened.

“I’ve got to see the video to see truly what happened,” Jones explained to Bob Pockrass after the race. “Praying for him right now.”

Jones continued by trying to recall what happened by saying, “I think he was — they were all a little late coming around with [Austin Dillon] in front of us and we were coming in like normal. It’s hard for me, it all happens so quick, right? I can’t really put it all together. I have to see it and watch it back, but like I said, thinking about Hatcher and his family, and hope to talk to him soon.”

Here is the post-race interview with Jones from Bob Pockrass:

Following the incident on pit road, an ambulance was dispatched to pit stall No. 39, where they arrived to assist Hatcher, who had collapsed to the ground, according to Joy and several reports on various team radios.

The ambulance arrived while the race was under a caution flag period and the medical team loaded Hatcher onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. The ambulance would then transport Hatcher from pit road and he was taken to an area medical facility per a report from NASCAR.

The No. 43 team stated on its team radio that Hatcher was awake and alert as he was taken away by the ambulance, a report that Joy also confirmed on the FS1 broadcast.

Following the injury to Hatcher, 23XI Racing sent its front tire changer Houston Stamper to help the team finish out the race. Stamper is the tire changer for the No. 45 team for Tyler Reddick, which fell out of the race after an exploded brake rotor.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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