Matt Kenseth will be without spotter Chris “Crazy” Osborne for next weekend’s Sprint Unlimited and likely the Daytona 500.
Osborne told NBC Sports that he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Dec. 17 auto accident and will not spot for Kenseth in the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
Osborne’s next doctor’s visit is Feb. 16. The doctor will determine then if Osborne will be able to spot for Kenseth in the Daytona 500.
“My gut feeling is I won’t make Daytona,’’ said Osborne, entering his fourth season spotting for Kenseth. “I want to be there as bad as anyone. It kind of knocked the wind out of my sails when they said I absolutely would not be going to the Unlimited.’’
Osborne, who also spots for Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity Series, is hopeful to be back spotting next month when NASCAR makes its West Coast swing. The team stated Saturday that Lorin Ranier, a long-time spotter who was most recently with Jamie McMurray, will spot for Kenseth in the Sprint Unlimited.
Osborne was injured while driving home with his wife Melissa and son Austin. A car, traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report, approached from the opposite direction. The car went off the road and then cut across the median, slamming into Osborne’s car.
Osborne said both his wife and son have no recollection of the crash but “myself, I remember 100 percent of everything. Before I could open my eyes, I could hear Austin’s voice and Melissa’s voice.’’
Osborne suffered a compound fracture of his right leg that required nearly 25 screws from his kneecap to his ankle because the bone was shattered. His wife, who was thrown from the back seat of the family’s Honda to the front, suffered nine broken ribs and broke her right hip, shoulder and elbow. She had more than eight hours of surgery. Osborne’s son, Austin, suffered a partially collapsed lung, cracked sternum, concussion, broken nose and lost a few teeth.
Osborne spent six days in the hospital. His wife was released Jan. 14. His son spent a couple of days in the hospital.
N.C. State Highway Patrol cited the driver of the other car, Michael Dale Kellison, with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving and having an open container in his vehicle. Results from a blood alcohol test are pending.
Kellison’s license included a restriction that he not drive with any alcohol in his system because of a DWI conviction in 2008. Kellison failed to show for a court appearance last month in relation to the charges from the accident with the Osborne family and an arrest warrant has been issued.
Osborne’s focus is on his wife’s recovery and his. Osborne, who wears a boot on his right leg, cares for his wife. His 19-year-old son moved back home from college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to care for both parents.
“He’s been an amazing supporter,’’ Osborne said of his son.
Osborne, who says he’s always been one who liked to have a good time and be around happy people, has tried to maintain a positive attitude throughout his recovery and his family’s recovery.
“I had one rough Monday two weeks ago,’’ he said. “Once I made it through that Monday, Tuesday morning I was up and right back into … how to help ourselves and move on. Just knowing my family is well and alive, that’s how I put a smile on my face. We’re very lucky as a family … that we survived this accident.’’