Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TriStar Crewman Burned In Shop Explosion

Tristar Motorsports crewmember Mike Cluka is recovering at his home in Kannapolis, NC, today after suffering severe burns in an accident at the team's shop last week.

Cluka was working on the team's #19 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevrolet driven by veteran Mike Bliss last Tuesday, preparing the car for Friday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway when a spark from a cordless electric drill ignited gasoline fumes. "I was simply tightening a hose clamp on the fuel cell vent when the drill motor sparked and ignited vapors, causing a huge blue flash and fire," said Cluka, who also serves as shock specialist for the team. He is a longtime familiar face in the NASCAR garage area, having previously served as shock specialist and front-tire changer for the late Dale Earnhardt.

"I got severely burned, receiving second-degree burns to my face, arms and neck," said Cluka. "I'm very lucky to be alive today. I want all crew members to be very aware of cordless drills and impacts."

Cluke is resting comfortably at home this week, and there is no timetable for his return.


  1. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Get well soon. The most I get at work is carpel tunnel from typing :-(

  2. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Too many accidents recently...hope this doesn't continue...get well soon:)