Crew member Mike Rich died Sunday night in an Atlanta hospital after sustaining injuries in an accident on pit road during the Atlanta Journal 500.
Rich, a tire-changer for the Bill Elliott race team, was injured late in the race when he was pinned between two cars. He underwent surgery Sunday night at Georgia Baptist Hospital, where he died at surgery at 7:59 p.m., of serious head, chest and internal injuries.Rich, from Blairsville, Ga., was changing the right rear tire on Elliott's car during a pit stop late in the race when the car of driver Ricky Rudd slid out of control.
Rudd's car veered into the Elliott pit, pinning Rich between the cars and catapulting another crew member, Tommy Cole, several feet away. Cole was not seriously injured, but was transported to Henry County General Hospital for X-rays as a precautionary measure.
Rich remained motionless on the pavement while rescue workers freed him. He was then airlifted to Atlanta, where he underwent surgery at about 6 p.m. Sunday.