Ex-drag Racer Needs Help

Posted: September 03, 1998

Auto racing is a fun sport, but, as Michelle Baynes found out, it can be very dangerous.

Baynes, 24, was involved in a serious accident while racing at Cecil County (Md.) Dragway last October that left her a quadriplegic, dependent on a respirator to breathe.

One year later, she is trying to to put together a somewhat normal life while hoping to one day walk again. Among her goals is to walk down the aisle with her fiance, Dale Crouch.

Baynes has had a dozen operations and spent some time at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, in West Orange, N.J., the same facility that treated actor Christopher Reeve. She can now move her head slightly and is capable of saying a few words at a time.

She currently lives in a nursing home in Wilmington. Her family plans to bring her home, but first must make its Newark home handicap-accessible. While the community has donated electric, plumbing and other services, the family needs help to make the changes necessary.

Luckily, Michelle's family is getting help. The Winner Group has put up a Porsche Boxster as the grand prize in a raffle. The drawing, to be held Sept. 12, will include a free buffet at the Big Kahuna restaurant, located in Wilmington. The Double A Wilmington Blue Rocks will send over their team mascot to help with the drawing.

For information on the raffle or to offer any assistance, call the Michelle Baynes Trust at (302) 451-0921.

RACING SCHEDULE East Windsor (N.J.) Speedway hosts twin 20-lap small block modified features tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., as well as sportsman and street stocks events.

Williams Grove Speedway, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., offers sprints and super sportsman tomorrow, beginning at 8 p.m.

Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway goes with a 7:30 p.m. show tomorrow featuring microsprints and dwarf cars. Modifieds, sportsman, late models and a 40-lap Enduro series event will be held Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.

Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pa., closes out its 1998 season tomorrow at 8 p.m. with the Mountain Valley Golf Course Modified 100. The 100-lap main event offers $10,000 to the winner. There will be events for the pro trucks and roadrunners.

At Grandview Speedway, in Bechtelsville, Pa., the NASCAR modifieds and late models are featured among at least 13 events on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway has a tripleheader show planned for 6 p.m. Saturday. Included will be modifieds, sportsman and street stocks.

Flemington (N.J.) Speedway closes out the annual fair week with go-kart racing tonight at 6 p.m., a 200-lap Enduro on Saturday at 2 p.m.; NASCAR modifieds, JET Car Meltdown and Captain Explosion on Saturday at 8 p.m.; Daytona late models, TAR Cars, ARDC midgets, National old timers and vintage cars at 2 p.m. on Sunday; a monster truck show at 8 p.m. on Sunday; and a demolition derby at 2 p.m. Monday.

MIDGETS NEED HOME Last night's event was the last for Phoenix Raceway in Phoenixville, Pa., which runs quarter midgets. The grounds were purchased by a developer. More than 100 children, from 5 to 15, participated in the track's programs this season, said Rudy Gular, who ran the track. He's looking for a new location. Anyone with a lead can call him at (215) 256-4481.

Send e-mail to erniesaxton@csi.com.

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