Reigning Australian Top Doorslammer Champion Kelvin Lyle has announced his retirement from racing in a lengthy social media post, citing two serious crashes in the past five years.
Lyle was injured in a heavy crash at the Nitro Up North event at Hidden Valley in June (as part of the Supercars Darwin Triple Crown) that saw his 1967 Ford Mustang impact both walls before heading deep into the Turn 1 runoff, where it impacted a guard rail.
Despite serious concerns for his welfare, Lyle was released from hospital several days later after being placed into an induced coma.
The crash was his second serious incident, after his car hit Willowbank's right-hand side wall at around 370km/h in 2019.
“This may not come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I've decided to stop drag racing,” wrote Lyle.
“After two big crashes in five years, I don't think my body could handle another crash, if that was ever going to happen again.
“I feel the last crash in Darwin was a warning sign as the emergency crew there wasn't sure if I was going to make it through.”
“I'd like to thank all of the people that followed our journey to us winning the Top Doorslammer championship this year.”
“I'd also like to thank all of the crew through the years that has helped me through my drag racing career, and my partner Shaniah that has stuck by me and inspired me to keep racing when we had problems with the Mustang in previous years.”
“This has been a hard decision to make as drag racing has been a huge part of my life, but I also think it's the right one for Shaniah and my kids.”
“I'll still go to meetings to catch up with many friends that I've made through drag racing over the years. This is the end of me racing but not the end of me loving and enjoying the sport.”
The new NDRC (National Drag Racing Championship) season is due to kick off at the new Dragway at The Bend on October 21-22 this year with Top Doorslammer supporting the headlining Australian Top Fuel Championship.