Man dragged nearly 100 feet beneath SUV at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Twilight at the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night.
Twilight at the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

An S.C. man was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening after falling off a tow bar connecting two vehicles and being dragged nearly 100 feet after Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, police said.

Daniel Wayne Delk, 34, of Summerville, was injured about 12:30 a.m. Monday in the infield area near the tunnel exit of Gate 26, Concord police Major Wendell Rummage said.

Witnesses told police that Delk was sitting on a tow bar connecting a motor home pulling a sports utility vehicle while traffic had stopped. Witnesses said it appeared Delk continued sitting on the tow bar while the motor home was moving, until the motor home turned to exit the infield.

As the motor home was turning, witnesses told police, Delk fell beneath the SUV and was dragged 98 feet on the asphalt road leading to Gate 26, Rummage said.

The motor home driver left the speedway and learned about the incident from a friend an hour later, Rummage said. The driver immediately called the Concord Police Department to provide his information. Officers met with the driver and found no impairment, Rummage said.

The driver of the motor home reported that he never realized a pedestrian had gotten behind the motor home and had no knowledge that anyone was injured, Rummage said.

The 2009 Newell motor home was driven by Timothy Blair Clontz, 35, of Indian Trail. He will not be charged with any offenses, Rummage said.

Delk was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center Main in Charlotte, where he remained Wednesday in serious condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Bill Kiser, a Charlotte Observer sports correspondent, said he witnessed the incident.

“I was driving right behind the motor coach, and all of a sudden I saw the front end of the Tahoe dip up like it hit a speed bump,” Kiser said of the SUV attached to the motor home. “And all of a sudden I see a body appear in the rear wheel well and it gets run over by the rear left tire.

“Fortunately, there was a track security guard coming the other way who stopped and got the EMTs there literally within 3 minutes of it happening.

“I’ve covered a lot of races, but that was the first time I’d seen anything like that happen,” Kiser said.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak