Shane Kline couldn't believe how fast everything happened.
"I looked to my right and saw Craig (Paulsen) up against the wall, then I got hit from behind and that pushed me underneath Craig's car," Kline recounted of a nine-car pileup at the green flag of the 100-lap WESTCAR Late Model Series feature race at Champion Speedway on Saturday night.
Seven cars went to the pits, including Kline's No. 20 and Paulsen's No. 65 - both with extensive damage.
One racing fan who videotaped the accident gave the following account: "Kline started on the outside of row 4, as Gary Glenn started on the inside of row 3 with Gonzales on the outside of Glenn. To point out Gary was not even involved in the wreck at all. I have watched my video of the wreck several times and it showed that the 57 car of Mike Garcia slides up the race track into Paulsen which is what caused Paulsen to hit the wall. Kline checked up to miss Paulsen and got hit from behind by the 12 car of Travis Combs which is what drove Kline into Paulsen causing Paulsen to spin around backwards on the front straight away. Then with the straight away blocked by Kline and Paulsen, all other cars behind had nowhere to go."
Unfortunately, the cars were damaged. Fortunately, none of the drivers sustained any serious injuries. Kline, for one, felt he avoided injury thanks to his use of a Hahn's device.
"I definitely think the Hahn's device saved a neck injury or back injury on my part," Kline said. "The magnitude of the impact was tremendous and afterward, I know I appreciated the fact that I had it."
Kline added that he is a firm believer in the Hahn's device.
"Personally, I think every driver should have one," he said.
Ironically, Kline was driving the car for Dean Heller and Blackjack Motor Sports.
"I'd like to thank Blackjack Motor Sports for giving me the opportunity to drive their car," Kline said. "It was just too bad because two weeks of preparation went into getting the car ready so I could have a chance to win the race. It was running great, too, because we went out and set the fast time (13.54)."
The good news is, Kline will get another shot at winning. The WESTCAR series resumes on June 4 at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., then returns to Champion Speedway on June 18 and again on July 9.
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