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Driver severely hurt in truck series crash

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver John Nemechek sustained a severe brain injury in a crash during the Florida Dodge Dealers 400, a race won Sunday by rookie Kenny Irwin.

Nemechek, the 27-year-old brother of Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek, was listed in extremely critical condition after admission to the neurological intensive-care unit at Jackson Hospital Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

Dr. Stephen Olvey, the Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex medical director, said Nemechek, a Lakeland native, had a severe hemorrhage. He had a minor procedure to relieve pressure on his brain.

Nemechek, whose brother raced Sunday in the NASCAR Busch series event at Las Vegas, was injured when his truck hit the wall in Turn 1 on Lap 144 at the 1.57-mile track.

A second driver, Jay Sauter, also was taken to Jackson Hospital after his truck collided with Tobey Butler's in Turn 4 on Lap 157. Sauter, who sustained a concussion, was listed in serious but stable condition. Butler was not injured.

The 27-year-old Irwin became the first rookie to win in the series, now in its third year. He passed Jack Sprague on Lap 165, then held on over the final two trips around the rectangular track.

LAS VEGAS 300: Jeff Green passed Tim Steele with 14 laps remaining for his first career Grand National victory in the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Green, who started from the pole in a Chevrolet, led 70 of the 200 laps on the 1{-mile oval. He earned $89,250, the second-highest amount ever won by a driver in the 16-year history of the series.

A crowd of 81,000 saw the $885,275 race.

Winston Cup Series regular Nemechek appeared to be the favorite when the green flag dropped. He led the first 38 laps, but was sidelined due to a multicar accident on Lap 122.

Dick Trickle finished second in his Chevrolet.

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