Thursday, April 13, 2017

Butch Lindley Suffer's Fatal Injuries At Desoto - April 13, 1985

March 25, 1948 - June 6, 1990
Butch Lindley
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, USA.
Clyde Lindley, Jr., nicknamed Butch, was a Short track racer. He was the champion of the NASCAR National Sportsman series in 1977 and 1978.

On April 13, 1985, Lindley was competing in an All Pro Super Series race held at the Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida, driving Frankie Grille's #15 Chevrolet Camaro. He was leading after the 125-lap distance was complete, but the scheduled distance included a late caution flag, and All Pro rules stated that the final five laps of its races had to finish consecutively under the green flag, so the race continued. During the extra laps, a trailing arm on Lindley's car pulled apart as he entered turn three, sending the car into a spin that caused the driver's side to hit the wall. Lindley's helmet made hard contact with the wall, and he sustained a closed head injury. His crash was one of the factors that led to improvements in window nets, helmets, and head and neck restraints, which have dramatically reduced the number of injuries and deaths resulting from race car crashes.

Lindley remained in a coma until his death. He died at an assisted living facility in Greer, South Carolina on June 6, 1990. He is buried at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville.

In 1965 Lindley married Flora Joan Barbare, known as Joan. She frequently traveled with him and assisted his race teams, and Joan was scoring laps during the race when he sustained his fatal injuries. Butch and Joan Lindley had two children, daughter Tonda and son Mardy.

Mardy pursued a career in racing, driving at Southeastern short tracks including the United Speed Alliance Pro Cup. He later became a mechanic for Roush Fenway Racing, coincidentally on the #16 team, the car number most often associated with his father. He later served at HScott Motorsports as a crew chief in the K&N Pro Series, winning the 2013 championship, having worked later with Rico Abreu. Mardy is now working with Lorin Ranier, the son of a former NASCAR car owner himself, at MDM-Ranier Racing, again as a crew chief.

In 2005, Butch Lindley was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

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