There was a scary moment at Star Speedway in Epping on Saturday when a racer went off the track and into the adjacent woods.

Driving Car #21 for Mike Scravani's team in the Northeastern Midget Racing Association racer Joey Bailey, 24, from New Jersey disappeared off the track just shy of a turn past the stands during the track's 56th annual Star Classic Weekend.

"He luckily walked away from the crash and it took a while to get the car out. The throttle stuck open and at that point, he was just along for the ride at almost 100 mph," NMRA announcer Pete Falconi wrote on his Facebook page.

The track was wet as rain began to fall during the races on Saturday, according to the track's Facebook page.

"Hang on, close my eyes and go for the ride"

Bailey's helmet camera captured the moment when his full-size midget went off the track and hit the brush and trees quieting the engine.

"I drove in deep trying to catch the guy in front of me. When I went to lift off the gas it was stuck on the floorboard. I pretty much realized what was happening quickly," Bailey told Seacoast Current. "In the car, we have a push/pull cable system so the gas pedal wraps around my foot and if the throttle sticks I can pull it up with my foot. But when  tried that it was completely stuck on the floor.  I wasn't able to get the gas pedal off the floor. We're still trying to diagnose what happened with that."

Bailey said when he realized he couldn't get the pedal off the floor he was already off the track in the air flying over a pond and into a tree.

"I realize at that point there was nothing I could do except hang on, close my eyes and go for the ride," Bailey said.

"Sore for sure but definitely thankful all the safety equipment held up," Bailey said on his Facebook page.

Joey Bailey's car after the crash at Star Speedway
Joey Bailey's car after the crash at Star Speedway (Joey Bailey)

Bailey said two people got to him and he was nervous because he felt a sharp pain in his back.

"I calmed down and I was able to move my legs. At that point, your adrenaline is going. I just wanted to get out of there immediately. They helped me get out and helped me walk to the ambulance," Bailey said.

He said the pain was in his lower back and declined a trip to a hospital.

"It almost felt like you slipped or pivoted the wrong way at the gym and you pulled something wrong. I told them I'll monitor it and if it gets worse I'll go to the doctor near me. Besides that, I feel fine. Sore for today for sure but there were no other problems except that," Bailey said.

Back Behind the Wheel Next Week

Bailey said that he had moved up to 5th place before the crash at one of his favorite tracks.

Bailey also races full-time for ATQMRA and will be back behind the wheel next weekend and is supposed to drive #21 again in a few weeks but that's up in the air.

"I don't anything is salvageable from that car. I think we're going to have to rebuild something over the winter and come back stronger next year," Bailey said.

Bailey said he's been racing since he was 7 and started with the TQ midgets which he was driving Saturday night when he was 15.

This report was updated with comments from Joey Bailey.

Joey Bailey's #21 car before the crash
Joey Bailey's #21 car before the crash at Star Speedway (Joey Bailey)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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