Heroic Efforts of Drivers, Knoxville Safety Team Saving Carson Macedo Earn 2023 Third Quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award

September 21, 2023
Knoxville Raceway safety workers NMPA

DARLINGTON, South Carolina – Carson Macedo found himself in a situation every race car driver fears when his sprint car flipped and caught on fire in June, but quick action by those around him resulted in a positive outcome.

In recognition of their actions, Gio Scelzi, Spencer Bayston, Brad Sweet, and the Knoxville Raceway safety team have been voted the third quarter recipients of the NMPA Pocono Spirit Award. In a chilling scene, the group jumped into action when Macedo’s car hit the wall, flipped multiple times, and then burst into flames as he was initially knocked unconscious. As the safety crew was quick on the scene, the drivers ran from their cars to help pull their fellow competitor to safety.

Carson Macedo at Knoxville Raceway.
Carson Macedo at Knoxville Raceway. Photo by Troy L. Hugen / Knoxville Raceway

Macedo was transported to a hospital but released the following day. He returned to racing the next week with minor burns and a rib injury.

The group is now eligible for the year-end NMPA Pocono Spirit Award, which is also voted on by NMPA membership. It is presented at the annual convention.

Other nominees who received votes were Julie Giese, Greg Van Alst, Shane van Gisbergen, the Bandimere family, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Ellis, Alex Bowman, Darin Mock and Isabella Robusto.

Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, the Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motor sports. It is also meant to acknowledge competitors who have overcome illness, injury, or tragedy to return to racing.

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