Mid-South drag racer says he's lucky to be alive after crash

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Mid-South man behind the wheel of a racecar involved in a drag racing wreck said luck was on his side.

Dennis Bailey was back to work Thursday at his high-performance parts store in Southaven only days after a horrific crash at 170 miles per hour.

"I remember being upside down in a car, flying through the air," said Bailey.

Bailey is a professional drag racer.  The race in Valdosta, Georgia last weekend was the last race of the season.  Bailey said he was lucky to survive the race at all considering how badly his modified Ford Mustang was damaged.

"Basically, just had a bruised kidney and a bunch of bruises all over, but no broken bones and the CAT scan was fine," said Bailey.

Bailey began building and racing cars 20 years ago, and credits his survival with how his $200,000 dragster was put together.

"The safety equipment we use in these cars these days is really advanced," he said.

Bailey said he has no reservations about getting back in the race as soon as he can, despite the obvious danger.

"It's always in the back of your mind," he said.  "But you're there to get to the other end before the other guy, so you block it out."

Although the memory of his incredible crash will be with him for the rest of his life, Bailey said living has never felt better.

"Thank God everyday," said Bailey.  "The little things mean a lot now."

Bailey said he lost a friend 12 years ago in a similar crash.

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